Text version: Problems paying your mortgage?
Spot the signs - get back on track
Are you having problems paying your mortgage?
Most of us manage our money well, even if things are a bit
But when something happens out of the blue it can be a struggle
to make ends meet.
Events like these can play havoc with your finances:
- Losing your job
- Reduced work hours
- A family break-up
- A death in the family
- A serious illness or accident.
If you're having difficulty with your mortgage, here are some
practical things you can do to get back on track.
Get guidance from MoneySmart
Check where your money is going
Use our budget planner to create a budget.
Talk to your lender
You can talk to them about changing your repayments or your loan
term through a hardship variation. Your lender must assess and
respond to your request.
Talk to a free financial counsellor
Financial counsellors can explain your options when you need
help with your debts. They can even negotiate with your lender on
your behalf. Find your closest financial counsellor at
www.moneysmart.gov.au or call 1800 007 007.
Get free legal help
If you have received a legal letter from your lender you will
need to get legal help fast. See MoneySmart for your nearest free
Talk to Ombudsman
If you are not happy with your lender's response, you can get
free assistance from an external dispute resolution scheme:
- Financial Ombudsman Service - 1800 367 287
- Credit Ombudsman - 1800 13 84 22
Get emotional support
Call Lifeline's crisis support service on 13 11 14 (24 hrs a
day) or try their crisis support chat
Busting mortgage myths
Myth: I can't afford to get help
Fact: Contacting your bank won't cost you anything. Nor will
going to a financial counsellor or getting advice from a free legal
service (all are free and not means tested).
Myth: The bank will take my house if I contact
Fact: They can only sell your house after a set legal process
and only if you are unable to pay your mortgage, or the money you
owe, within a reasonable time.
Myth: I can consolidate my debts and save
Fact: Debt consolidation services cost money and may not be your
best option. Talk to a financial counsellor and check
www.moneysmart.gov.au before doing this.
Myth: I can juggle my mortgage by borrowing money from
family and friends or getting more credit cards
Fact: This can lead to more expensive and deeper debt. What you
really need is to work out a better spending and saving
Signs you might have mortgage problems
- You're worried about interest rates going up
- You've had a drop in your family's income
- You're struggling to pay your bills
- You've been through a relationship breakdown and this has
caused money problems
- You're using your credit card to pay for essential items and
- You're having trouble paying your mortgage
- Your health is suffering due to money worries
This brochure gives you simple steps to get on top of your
mortgage and your bills.
Taking quick action can stop a small problem from becoming a big
one. Don't put it off. Take action today!
Follow our simple steps to get your mortgage back on track
- Check the MoneySmart website
- Do a budget
- Talk to your lender
- Talk to a free financial counsellor
- Get free legal help
- Get emotional support (if you need it)
ASIC Infoline: 1300 300 630
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a
summary giving you basic information about a particular topic. It
does not cover the whole of the relevant law regarding that topic,
and it is not a substitute for professional advice.
© Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Last updated: 25 Oct 2018