Article updated 8 September 2021
What is mortgage stress?
Although there is no official criteria for mortgage stress, it is a type of financial stress that occurs when your mortgage repayments become too high and results in a struggle to pay your bills or other monthly living expenses. A common guideline used to test if you’re in mortgage stress is if 30% of your income is going on mortgage repayments.1
Areas/Postcodes with high mortgage stress
With the Coronavirus pandemic and Australia entering its first recession in 29 years, there's no surprise that mortgage stress is becoming more common within homeowners across the country. As of July 2021, data from the DFA has indicated that the overall mortgage stress level is currently sitting at 41.33% or 1.53 million households.2
The top areas currently experience mortgage stress, by number of households stressed are currently concentrated in the high growth corridors of Melbourne and in regional centres.
The top 10 postcodes currently experiencing mortgage stress in Australia include:3
- Tapping, WA (6065)
- Narre Warren, VIC (3805)
- Berwick, VIC (3806)
- Sydenham, VIC (3037)
- Cranbourne, VIC (3977)
- Ballarat East, VIC (3350)
- Merriwa, WA (6030)
- Pakenham, VIC (3810)
- Mount Annan, NSW (2567)
- Roxburgh Park, VIC (3064)
Mortgage stress and mental health
As with all types of financial stress, mortgage stress can have many impacts to one’s personal life and mental health. For many, a mortgage is one of the biggest financial commitments a person will take in their life, therefore it’s only natural that mortgage stress can result in negative impacts on your mental health, even causing depression and anxiety.
As mortgage stress is becoming more prevalent, it is important to understand the impacts this can have on your mental health and understand the options available to help relieve some of the stress. If you’re finding your mortgage stress and the impacts of lockdown affecting your mental health it’s important to know that help is always available.
The following resources can help if mental health issues are affecting yourself or something you know:
- Speak to a doctor
- Speak with a family member or friend
- Call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or chat online: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
- Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online: https://www.lifeline.org.au/
- Visit Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au.
For anyone currently experiencing mortgage stress or if you’re concerned you may be heading that way, we have three solutions that may help you avoid or lower your mortgage stress.