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AMP Bank research has found that almost seven out of 10 or 69 per cent of home owners are worried about their mortgage repayments now and if interest rates continue to rise.
Particularly feeling pressure were the respondents aged 25–44, with 80 per cent of this cohort being worried that additional rate rises will result in them not being able to meet repayments.
For older home owners (65 and over), 44 per cent said they’re worried now and the prospect of more rate hikes.
The research also found that the majority of mortgage holders are not seeking any available help or relief, with 73 per cent stating they had not contacted their lender for a more competitive rate or other support, 39 per cent of whom said they believed they’d be able to make ends meet, while 29 per cent simply don’t believe their lender could help.
Further data indicated that 31 per cent of all Australian home owners are concerned about their mortgage repayments right now, up 8 percentage points from February 2023 (23 per cent).
Just over three-quarters (76 per cent) of all home owners said they have made changes to spending habits because of climbing rates, while half of mortgagors don’t believe they can do any more to curb their spending to meet the current or expected rising cost of their mortgage.
Especially vulnerable were Australians aged 65 and over, with 66 per cent indicating they cannot do any more to alleviate cost pressures.
AMP bank group executive Sean O’Malley said: “We encourage home owners who are worried about meeting repayments to talk to their bank or broker to understand their options and to utilise the resources and help available through their bank.
“It’s concerning to us that there are a large number of people in the community who are doing it tough who haven’t contacted their bank or broker to seek assistance or look for a better rate.”
Speaking to Mortgage Business, Mr O’Malley further stated that this is a reminder for brokers to check in with their clients to see whether their home loan “is still fit for purpose” and for both brokers and lenders to educate their customers on the options available.
“We’ve seen lots of instances where brokers have had that value-add conversation with customers and pointed them in the right direction,” Mr O’Malley added.
“Customers feeling the pinch may benefit from small tweaks to their home loan such as restructuring, adjusting repayments, negotiating a better rate, or also refinancing where appropriate.”
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