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Forget Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) to buy these 3 dividend shares

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) used to be a must buy share for everyone looking to build a dividend focused portfolio but profit downgrades, changes in the strategic direction of the company and a share price that has declined 58% since 2015 made it an undesirable choice.

As an alternative these three companies might be suitable choices to fill the Telstra shaped hole in your income portfolio:

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

Westpac like other banks Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) will benefit from rising interest rates as well as a growing population given its significant retail banking focus.

While concerns over the housing market persist, the reduction in lending to interest only borrowers and a slowdown in house price growth have contained the situation thus far.

Westpac trades at a fully franked dividend yield of 6.4% and has a payout ratio of 81%.

IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX: IFL)

IOOF benefits for the mandatory 9.5% superannuation guarantee contribution in Australia and there are tailwinds down the track as this rate increases progressively to 12%.

Further tailwinds are coming with Australia’s population ageing and if IOOF completes the acquisition of the wealth management division of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), it will be well placed to take advantage of these.

IOOF trades at a dividend yield of 5.7%.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)

Sol Patts has a diverse holding in a number of top quality businesses including TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) and Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API).

With a long history of consistently paying dividends, this company is certainly worth considering for your income portfolio.

Sol Patts trades at a dividend yield of 2.7%

If you are on the hunt for top dividend paying companies, I think you should also read this FREE report about these companies that are set to raise their dividends.

Breaking news: ASX companies set to raise dividends!

It's been a nail-biter of a reporting season here in the first half of 2018.

But the real action, in my opinion, is what companies are doing with dividends.

What does this mean for you? Well there is one stock I've found that could very well turn out to be THE best buy of 2018. And while there's no such thing as a 'sure thing' when it comes to investing - this ripper might come as close as I've ever seen.

Click here it's FREE!

Motley Fool contributor Kevin Gandiya has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

You can find Kevin on Twitter @KevinGandiya.

The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Limited, TPG Telecom Limited, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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