Debt is accounting for half of many salaries

More than 40 per cent of Australians are spending about half their monthly income repaying debts, a new survey has found.

A poll by the mortgage broker Loan Market found that 44 per cent of respondents spend more than 40 per cent of their income repaying mortgages, credit cards or personals loans.

Loan Market chief operating officer Dean Rushton said the survey results were "staggering" and urged the Reserve Bank to consider the country’s mounting personal debt problems when setting interest rates in the future.

"If official rates go back up to traditional levels of around 5.5 per cent from the current level of 4.25 per cent too quickly then a lot of mortgage holders will be struggling to make their repayments," he said.

Rising debt concerns may encourage Australians to compare credit cards and home loans in search of lower interest rates. In addition to the Loan Market findings, Veda Advantage’s bi-annual Australian Debt Study confirmed this week that 82 per cent of Australians are worried about their ability to repay debt over the next 12 months.

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