Slight improvement in debt stress levels

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Rising home prices and heavy gearing have made it increasingly difficult for Australians to meet their debts, but the number reporting debt stress is improving.

According to credit profiler Veda Advantage, 2.1 million Australians – or 17% - found it difficult to make repayments this month. The figures are down slightly from the March survey which found 19% reported having difficulties.

But the improvements could be temporary, as more Australians are expected to feel mortgage stress should the Reserve Bank of Australia lift rates at its meeting next Tuesday.

Investors are tipping a 64% chance that the RBA will lift the cash rate 25bps to 4.75%.

Only 16% of Aussie borrowers indicated debt repayment difficulties September last year. The low coincided with the Reserve Bank’s decision to cut rates to 3%.

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