Home loans customers 'need to speak up when problems arise'

People having trouble paying their home loans or who fear they may do in the future have been advised to seek help rather than ignoring the problem.

Delia Rickard from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission told the Sydney Moring Herald that lenders are often unaware that customers are in trouble until things are very serious because people usually make their mortgage the first thing they pay each month.

However, she warned that this could lead to debts piling up elsewhere – such as on credit cards – and urged Australians not to bury their heads in the sand because they are embarrassed or worried.

Instead, the expert recommended talking regularly to the lender and carrying out household-based financial management each month.

"We're saying to people to run a little check – because the earlier you take action the easier it is to deal with any problems," Ms Rickard concluded.

This comes after mortgage broker AFG revealed that sales of home loans rose to the highest level seen for 18 months in August this year.

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