Your pre-tax annual income

$

Your partners pre-tax annual income (optional)

$

Your monthly repayment

$
Stress Free Zone
Stress Danger Zone
Mortgage Stress Zone
  • 5%
  • 10%
  • 15%
  • 20%
  • 25%
  • 30%
  • 35%
  • 40%
  • 45%
  • 50%
  • 55%
  • 60%

What do the mortgage stress calculator results mean?

The mortgage stress bar shows visually how close you could be to experiencing mortgage stress.

  • Stress Free Zone: You are spending less than 20 per cent of your income on home loan repayments. You are not in mortgage stress and are not likely to be in mortgage stress for some time.
  • Stress Danger Zone: You spend between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of your income on home loan repayments. You are close to the mortgage stress tipping point, but are not yet in mortgage stress. 
  • Mortgage Stress Zone: You are spending 30 per cent or more of your income on mortgage repayments. You are already in mortgage stress.

What is mortgage stress?

You may experience mortgage stress when the cost of your home loan makes it harder to afford your other household expenses, such as food and utilities. 

This can leave you in a vulnerable position if your financial situation changes, such as if your mortgage repayments increase (e.g. your bank increases its variable interest rates), your household expenses increase (e.g. you and your spouse have a child) or your household income decreases (e.g. you experience a pay cut or lose your job).

A bank or mortgage lender may decline your mortgage application if they believe the cost of repayments may put you at risk of mortgage stress. 

Different lenders define mortgage stress differently, but a common benchmark (used by our calculator) is that if 30 per cent or more of your pre-tax income is spent on home loan repayments, you’re considered to be in mortgage stress.

Why are some Australians experiencing mortgage stress?

Between high levels of household debt, low wages growth and high property prices, many Australians are under financial pressure and at risk of falling victim to mortgage stress.

First home buyers are often at risk, particularly those who have recently purchased property in the real estate markets of Sydney and Melbourne. However, the threat of mortgage stress remains real for anyone with a mortgage.

While Australia’s cash rate has been at record lows, there’s no guarantee that interest rates won’t begin to climb upwards in the future, putting more pressure on household finances. As interest rates increase, more Australians may experience mortgage stress.

By using a mortgage stress calculator, you can assess your household situation, and plan ahead for any future interest rate rises.

How can I avoid mortgage stress?

If the mortgage stress calculator shows you are in mortgage stress or have reached the danger zone, now may be a good time to start assessing your financial situation.

Two of the simplest ways to avoid mortgage stress are to either increase your income or lower your home loan repayments. While getting a pay rise may be a challenge, you may be able to lower your mortgage repayments by switching to a more competitive lender.

First, start by comparing your current interest rate to other lenders on the market to see if you can get a better deal. Look closely at the monthly repayments and use our switch and save calculator to see how much you could save by refinancing.

However, home loans shouldn’t be chosen on rate alone. Weigh up each home loan offer and consider which features and benefits may suit your personal needs. Are you happy with a no-frills home loan with a low rate? Or would you personally benefit from extras such as an offset account?

There are lots of factors to consider when you are refinancing, but when you find a great deal, the long-term benefits can far outweigh the hassle of the paperwork.

If our calculator shows that you’re in mortgage stress, switching to a more competitive lender could be the lifeline you need to reduce the pressure on your household budget.