Australian's struggling with financial doom

AUSTRALIANS REELING IN FINANCIAL DOOM

Two thirds admit their financial situation is worse now than 12 months ago

One in five Australians running into debt

Borrowers taking on second jobs to make ends meet

Higher interest rates, rising petrol prices and increasing grocery prices have taken their toll on Australians with 67 per cent of respondents to a survey by NEWS.com.au claiming their financial situation is worse now than 12 months ago - an increase of 21 per cent from November 2007.

Conducted by Coredata in partnership with NEWS.com.au, the survey of 2331 respondents also found:

· In the current economic market, one in five Australians are running into debt

· If the Reserve Bank of Australia continues to raise interest rates, many will be forced to sell their home. 47 per cent of property investors and one third of homeowners said that they would be forced to sell if mortgage rates rose another one per cent.

· 70 per cent of respondents thought the banks were not justified in raising rates beyond official cash rate

· Just over three quarters (76 per cent) of respondents are finding mortgage repayments more difficult after seven official interest rate rises in two years

· About one in five borrowers are using more than half of their total household income on home loan repayments.

· As debt repayments grow, fewer people have the chance to add to their savings. Only 13 per cent of respondents said that they were saving a lot - down from 24 per cent in November.

· One in five, or 20 per cent, said they were running into debt to run their household.

· The investor dream seems to have diminished as two thirds of Australians unlikely to buy or invest in residential property in the current market - up from 47 per cent in November.

"It is no secret that Australians are struggling financially with the high cost of living, given rising interest rates and escalating petrol prices," Nicki Bourlioufas, business editor, NEWS.com.au said.

"What is becoming a reality though is that Australians are struggling with debt. Some Australians are being forced to dip into their savings in order to get by while others are running into debt just to make ends meet.

"As expenses continue to grow, more and more borrowers are also taking on second jobs to help climb out of debt.

"If rates continue to climb, some homeowners and property investors will be forced to sell. And given an economic slowing, more people could find themselves without a job and some homeowners could be forced to sell, banishing their great Australian dream. "

To see the NEWS.com.au story on the survey results visit:http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,23636,23758574-462,00.html

Visit the NEWS.com.au in-depth page on interest rates at: http://www.news.com.au/business/money/feature/0,,5016109,00.html




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