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Shocking mortgage reality 1.3 million Aussie households face

A record number of Aussie homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgage.

A composite image of property in Sydney and the Finder chart which shows how many Australians struggled to pay their mortgage in April.
Mortgage holders are struggling to keep up with rising interest rates. (Source: Getty / Finder)

The Reserve Bank (RBA) has lifted the official interest rate 11 times over the past year, and homeowners are struggling to keep up.

A staggering 40 per cent of Aussie mortgage holders – equivalent to 1.32 million households – admitted they struggled to pay their home loan in May, according to new data from Finder.

This was the highest proportion recorded since Finder began tracking the question in 2019.

The percentage of those struggling to pay was up from 24 per cent – or 792,000 households – 12 months ago in May 2022.

More interest rate hikes mean more pain

This comes as 44 per cent of experts from Finder’s RBA Cash Rate Survey forecasted another increase to the cash rate this month.

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Finder head of consumer research Graham Cooke said panic was starting to set in.

“With 11 interest rate rises over the past 12 months, and potentially another one or two on the horizon – millions of mortgagees are at the end of their tether,” Cooke said.

“Many are facing the frightening prospect of defaulting on their loans and potentially losing their homes.

“If you haven’t already, try to negotiate a lower rate with your lender. If you don’t get it, it might be time to refinance somewhere else.”

Which Aussies are struggling the most?

Finder’s data shows mortgage stress is most prevalent among women, with 47 per cent struggling to pay their home loan in May, compared to 32 per cent of men.

Millennial homeowners were also the hardest hit – a sizable 49 per cent admitted they were having trouble making their mortgage repayments, compared to 33 per cent of Gen X.

Mortgage stress is defined as when more than 30 per cent of your income goes towards your mortgage.

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