Mortgage stress occurs when a household has difficulty paying their bills, paying living expenses and keeping up with their home loan repayments. There is not complete consensus on what classified as mortgage stress, but a frequently used measure is that it occurs when a household with a relatively low income spends more than 30% of its income on home loan repayments.
If you are in mortgage stress it is worthwhile consider free financial counselling services that are available in most states, Or you can consult a trusted financial planner or mortgage broker (at AAA we offer free financial consultations and mortgage consultations). It is also worthwhile talking to your lender to see if they can adjust repayments to make them more manageable. For example, they may be able to reduce your repayments to the minimum amount, switch you to interest only repayments, or restructure your loan. You can also consider refinancing with a new lender to get on a better rate - but you need to be mindful of fees and difficulty with being approved.
In summary, there are always options to help you out if you are experiencing mortgage stress. Taking advantage of free financial planning services should be your first step. then turning to your lender of a trusted broker is a great option to see how you can make your loan work for you, not the other way around.