"Things could get ugly" for Gladstone homeowners: expert

A FINANCIAL analyst predicts "things could get ugly" for homeowners in Gladstone if unemployment continues to rise.

Digital Finance Analytics principle Martin North has used a range of economic and loan performance data to create an estimate of the number of households that may default on their mortgages in Gladstone.

As it stands Mr North pegged the 4680 postcode as the 283rd worst area in Queensland for potential mortgage defaults within a 90-day period, with 0.874% of households likely to go under.

"Gladstone is slightly above the national average but still below 1%," Mr North said.

"What we see in Gladstone is that while it's not dramatic yet, it is becoming riskier and lenders are more conservative and less willing to loan money for properties," he said.

He said interest rates and unemployment needed to remain low to help locals stay in their homes.

But as Karen Wilson recently found out, it's not just interest rates and unemployment that can put you out of a
home.

REFINANCED: Karen Wilson  was in a difficult position after a relationship breakdown and couldn't afford to make mortgage payments on her Tannum Sands property.
REFINANCED: Karen Wilson was in a difficult position after a relationship breakdown and couldn't afford to make mortgage payments on her Tannum Sands property.

"It was really hard and a couple of times I had to make hardship applications because I was left with payments that I couldn't meet on my own," she said.

"I needed to refinance my loan on the terms I wanted and on the weekly payment I wanted.

"I went to all the big banks in town but they all just said you're over 50 and none of them got back to me," she said.

With Ms Wilson's home loan rates set to increase next month, she finally secured a contract to refinance her loan with local lenders, The Capricornian.

"The main thing is that they treat you as a person and with budgeting we can afford it," she said.



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