One in 10 borrowers has missed a mortgage repayment

Higher interest rates and rising costs have led to more than one in 10 borrowers missing a mortgage repayment, according to a new survey.

A Finder survey of 1071 respondents revealed 12 per cent of mortgage holders have missed one or more repayments over the past six months.

That equates to an estimated 396,000 borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgages.

The research found 4 per cent of mortgage holders – 132,000 households – said they had missed one repayment.

A further 8 per cent of mortgage holders – 264,000 households – missed more than one repayment.

The data revealed 3 per cent have had to ask for a repayment holiday or applied for hardship from their lender.

Home loans expert at Finder, Richard Whitten, said mortgage defaults were a growing concern.

“Thousands of mortgage holders have weathered rate rises but are now experiencing extreme financial strain as savings and emergency funds run dry,” Mr Whitten said.

“Any further hikes would push many to breaking point.”

According to the survey, 1 in 3 borrowers (32 per cent) are worried they will miss a repayment due to mortgage stress, equating to over 1 million Australians at risk of delinquency.

Of those who missed a repayment, a third (33 per cent) said they ran out of money because of other bills, while 31 per cent said interest rates increased and they could no longer afford it.

Mr Whitten said many Aussies are forking out a disproportionate amount of their income paying off their home loan.

“Interest rates rose so rapidly that mortgagors have reached breaking point with some unable to stay financially afloat,” he said.

Mr Whitten encouraged homeowners to review their home loan.

“Take a look at what rates are available from other lenders and make sure you’re not paying more than you need to,” he said.

“And have a look at what your lender is offering new customers.

“You might be able to negotiate a better deal with your current lender, or you could find a better offer somewhere else.

“Refinancing, switching to interest only or increasing the payment term are all options for stressed borrowers.”

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