2 Aug 2023 | Blog

Constructing a Robust Financial Infrastructure: Dodging Mortgage Default

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In the same way that a robust foundation is integral to the longevity of a house, so is a sound financial footing when acquiring a home using a mortgage. This financial infrastructure is vital to circumvent mortgage pressure, loan default, and possibly even eviction. However, macroeconomic conditions such as escalating cost of living, unexpected interest rate surges, or sudden unemployment can undermine your financial bedrock.

What embodies mortgage pressure? Mortgage pressure manifests when homeowners grapple with balancing their mortgage payments and daily living expenses. The Australian Bureau of Statistics implements a “Mortgage Affordability Indicator”, setting a 30% mortgage repayment limit relative to a household’s income. Experiencing mortgage pressure can apply substantial stress on individuals and families and elevate the likelihood of mortgage default.

Loan default arises when borrowers fail to honour the repayment terms and conditions of the loan agreement. This predicament can lead to severe outcomes, including eviction and the lender reclaiming ownership of the property.

How can we elude mortgage pressure and loan default?

1. Understand Your Financial Reality

To sidestep mortgage default, a comprehensive grasp of your financial reality is essential. A detailed analysis of your income, expenses, and overall financial health allows you to spot potential vulnerabilities and discern what options are at your disposal. Regularly monitoring your income and outflow helps to scrutinise your spending behaviour and spot opportunities for saving or reprioritising expenses to generate surplus cash flow. This is also an optimal moment to reassess your expenses and haggle with service providers for better deals. Understanding your financial reality could also reveal options that could offer financial relief in periods of hardship.

2. Engage a Professional

A mortgage broker can be instrumental in examining your existing loan terms and investigating potential refinancing or loan alteration options that might better accommodate your financial situation. Their advice can be invaluable and they can help in securing more favourable terms with your lender.

3. Maintain a Clear Line of Communication with Your Lender

If you anticipate hardship in meeting your mortgage repayments, it is advisable to establish clear and early communication with your lender. Most lenders have dedicated teams to provide assistance to customers experiencing financial hardships. They may be able to provide temporary payment plans or other solutions to ease you through tough times.

Case Study

Let’s examine the scenario of John and Sarah, a couple confronted with the possibility of defaulting on their mortgage due to a sudden yet temporary income disruption. To avert this situation, they employed several strategies:

  • Examined their financial reality: John and Sarah carried out an in-depth analysis of their financial state. They scrutinised their expenses, put a halt, or reduced non-essential expenditures, and renegotiated terms with their utility and service providers. This strategy freed up additional cash flow which was redirected towards their home loan. They also discovered that they were a bit ahead with their home loan repayments.
  • Established communication with their lender: The couple proactively initiated discussions with their lender to understand their loan repayment alternatives. Since they had already made some advance repayments, they qualified for a repayment holiday. This break allowed them to reduce their home loan contributions for the next six months. After assessing their financial state, they were confident they could manage these lowered repayments and that this would offer them a six-month buffer to recover their lost income.


To ward off mortgage pressure and default, it’s crucial to proactively manage your finances and fully comprehend your financial reality. Despite its difficulties, taking immediate action and being open with your lender can help create a collaborative plan to navigate financial hurdles and secure your home.

If you’re encountering difficulties in making your mortgage payments, the MoneySmart website offers a variety of helpful resources.

The information contained on this website has been provided as general advice only. The contents have been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before you make any decision regarding any information, strategies or products mentioned on this website, consult your own financial adviser to consider whether that is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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