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How to handle mortgage repayments in a recession

While the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has bounced back this week, given the uncertain economic environment many Aussies are worried about their mortgage repayments at the moment. The share market has been buoyed by trillions of dollars in economic stimulus measures, but the situation on the ground is still tough.

Aussies in many industries including travel, hospitality, retail, sports media and countless others have found themselves out of work. The coronavirus pandemic has seen the country shutdown many services in a bid to prevent the spread.

If you’re one of many Aussies wondering how you’ll tackle your mortgage repayments in the tough times ahead, here are a few tips to get you started.

Get on top of your personal finances

If you’re currently not working, cash flow is a likely concern right now. However, rather than sit back and wait for financial stress to kick in, now is a good chance to take stock.

Sit down and work out how much money is needed to cover your essentials. Work out what cash you have access to in order to make your mortgage repayments. Research what government support may be available to you. Try and avoid selling your shares in a bear market and crystallising your losses.

Times may be tough, but getting a clear picture of your financial position can make things a lot easier.

Be proactive about your mortgage repayments

Rather than sit back and wait for trouble, be proactive with your mortgage. Many of the large banks like Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) are offering respite to borrowers. If you think you’re going in trouble, talk to your lender about a solution.

These are extraordinary times, which require extraordinary measures. If you can get your mortgage repayments under control, that could help you down the line. Don’t wait until everyone is queuing up for help before you seek out assistance.

If you need help with managing debt then check out National Debt Helpline resources or debt refinancing tips from ASIC’s Moneysmart tips for getting debt under control.

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As of 17/3/2020

Motley Fool contributor Ken Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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