What to do if you can’t make your home loan repayments

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Even the most prepared person can be thrown a financial curve ball in their life, where a comfortable lifestyle can suddenly become a stressed one.

Perhaps you’ve lost your job and you’re a sole income family, or maybe illness has struck. As we saw during the COVID pandemic, the most unexpected of issues could arise.

So what happens if you can’t meet your home loan repayments?

First and foremost, the main rule is to not bury your head in the sand. Ignoring emails or calls from your bank, and just hoping the problem can get kicked down the road, is not the right approach.

The last thing a bank wants to do is kick you out of your home and sell your property. It is the absolute last resort, despite the reputation they may have at times.


Your bank will be able to provide you with a whole range of options, including pausing your payments for a period of time, reverting to interest only or consolidating other loans. There will be a variety of options on the table well before the prospect of selling.

And once you’re back on your feet, or even while you’re still off them, talking to a broker is a good option. A broker can ensure you have the best possible home loan arrangement, and if your credit history has taken a hit during your period of financial stress, they’ll be able to provide the best advice possible for your circumstances.

Paying off the family home is a wonderful achievement, and of course takes a long time. Perhaps 30 years, in a lot of cases. You can’t expect that during those 30 years it’s all going to be smooth financial sailing.

There will be times of change and stress, and knowing your bank or broker is in your corner is important.

So if you do have a time of financial stress, make sure you be up front and active straight away – don’t bury that head!

Mark Stevenson

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