Report gives insight into Aussies’ finances

According to the data, less Australians are worried about mortgage interest rate movements than in years previous. Just 7% named it as their biggest financial concern for the year ahead in 2019 as compared to 9% last year.

However, concern over debt as a whole has risen, with 7% naming mounting debt levels as their leading concern for the year ahead as compared to 5% in 2018.

Just over a quarter (26%) of Australians reported they spend more than they earn, don’t save regularly and don’t limit their debts. The average debt outside of property loans rests at $48,809.

The respondents communicated credit cards are their biggest downfall, giving way to “accidental debt” through spending rather than the considered decision of taking out a loan and, without the discipline of a fixed repayment plan, it tends to linger longer.

Of those surveyed, 67% said their debt is in the form of a credit card, 17% a car loan, 16% a personal loan, 10% buy now pay later, and 20% other.

Nearly half (43%) of those with debt say they think about it on a daily basis.

Nearly a quarter (24%) doesn’t have any savings at all – the same percentage as in 2018, showing a lack of improvement in savings habits. Of those not saving, close to three quarters (74%) indicated they live pay cheque to pay cheque.

Younger generations continue to live at home longer while they save for their financial goals, be it a holiday, a car or a home, with respondents saying adult children should move out by the age of 34.

Home loan repayments as a percentage of the average income are now at a similar level as they were before the Global Financial Crisis (GFC); however, the RBA cash rate is approximately one-tenth of the pre-GFC cash rate, meaning repayments have been reduced.

Canstar expects worry to intensify when interest rates start to rise, and says now is the time to be getting a good deal.

Source:  Australian Broker 27th December 2019