Grim warning for Aussie mortgages


Almost a third of Aussie mortgage holders are more than 30 days behind on payments, a new survey has revealed.

The Finder survey of 446 Australian home loan customers has found about 31 per cent of mortgages - about 899,000 - are behind on payments.

Almost a fifth of those surveyed were behind by 30 days or more, 8 per cent by 60 days or more and 5 per cent were considered "seriously delinquent" as they were behind by 90 days or more.

South Australia has the greatest number of mortgages in arrears at 41 per cent, followed by Queensland with 36 per cent.

The remaining 69 per cent of home loan customers surveyed said they were up-to-date on their repayments.

Finder home loans expert Sarah Megginson said while virus cases were dwindling in Australia, the financial effects of the pandemic were still being felt.

"COVID-19 put a lot of households in a precarious financial position," she said.

"Some people are still without work or underemployed and aren't earning enough to cover their monthly living expenses - including their mortgage.

"With some homeowners now only a few missed mortgage payments away from potentially having their homes repossessed, this is no doubt a scary time."

Ms Megginson said many people were also concerned about what would happen once the JobKeeper subsidy was wound back at the end of March.

She urged struggling mortgage customers to contact their lender as soon as possible.



"If you're falling behind on your repayments, don't put your head in the sand. The earlier you get help, the more options you'll have," she said.

The research found men were more likely to be behind on repayments with only 59 per cent up-to-date compared to 80 per cent of women.

The stark survey finding comes as the automatic loan deferrals due to the pandemic comes to an end, with the program set to cease by the end of March.

The Australian Banking Association said last month 91 per cent of deferred loans had resumed repayments.

Just 5 per cent of deferred business loans and 13 per cent of deferred housing loans were yet to resume repayments.

Chief executive Anna Bligh said banks were now taking a more individual approach with specialised hardship teams for customers who are unable to make reduced repayments or restructure their loans.

Originally published as Grim warning for Aussie mortgages

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