Vogue Advisory Group CAR #126 1760 is an Authorised Representative of of Lifestyle Asset Management Pty Limited ABN: 58 113 067 968 which holds Australian Financial Services License AFSL No.288421

Mortgage prisoners

The recent update on interest rates in Australia has brought a lot of attention to the state of the housing market and the challenges faced by home buyers. According to a report by 9News, the Reserve Bank of Australia has kept the cash rate on hold at a record low of 0.1%, which is good news for borrowers. However, there are still some challenges that home buyers face, such as serviceability and home loan buffer requirements, which have been dubbed as mortgage prisoners.


Serviceability is a term used by lenders to determine whether borrowers can afford to repay their loans based on their income and expenses. It’s a critical factor in the loan approval process, and lenders have become increasingly cautious due to the economic uncertainties caused by the pandemic. As a result, many borrowers are struggling to meet the serviceability requirements, which has led to some being unable to refinance their loans or access lower interest rates.


Another challenge faced by home buyers is the home loan buffer requirement. A buffer is an extra amount added to a borrower’s repayment amount to help them cope with unexpected expenses or interest rate hikes. The buffer is usually set at around 2-3% of the loan amount, which can be a significant amount for some borrowers. This buffer requirement can be a barrier for some borrowers looking to enter the property market or refinance their existing loans.

These challenges have led to some borrowers being trapped in what’s known as the mortgage prisoner dilemma. Mortgage prisoners are borrowers who are stuck with their existing home loans because they cannot refinance or access lower interest rates due to their financial situation. This situation can be stressful and can have a significant impact on a borrower’s financial well-being.


The Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) have acknowledged these challenges and are taking steps to address them. The RBA has committed to keeping the cash rate low for the foreseeable future, which will help borrowers access lower interest rates. APRA has also eased the serviceability requirements for lenders, which should make it easier for borrowers to qualify for loans and access refinancing.

However, more needs to be done to address the issue of mortgage prisoners. The government and regulators need to work together to create policies that help borrowers who are stuck in this situation. This could include programs that provide financial assistance or support to help borrowers improve their financial situation, such as debt counselling or financial education.

What does this mean for mortgage prisoners?

In conclusion, while the recent update on interest rates is good news for borrowers, there are still challenges that need to be addressed, particularly for mortgage prisoners. The government and regulators need to take action to create policies that help these borrowers, as well as provide support to ensure that all Australians have access to affordable housing.

How can we help mortgage prisoners?

Vogue Advisory Group financial advisors can help mortgage prisoners in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

  1. Financial analysis: A financial advisor can help a mortgage prisoner assess their current financial situation, including their income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. This analysis can help the mortgage prisoner understand their options and identify opportunities to improve their financial situation.
  2. Debt management: A financial advisor can help a mortgage prisoner manage their debt, including developing a debt repayment plan, negotiating with lenders to lower interest rates or fees, and exploring debt consolidation options.
  3. Budgeting and savings: A financial advisor can help a mortgage prisoner develop a budget that prioritizes essential expenses, such as mortgage payments, and identifies opportunities to save money. The advisor can also help the mortgage prisoner develop a savings plan to build an emergency fund and prepare for future expenses.
  4. Refinancing and loan modification: A financial advisor can help a mortgage prisoner explore options for refinancing their mortgage or modifying their loan to make it more affordable. This can include negotiating with lenders, exploring government programs, and identifying other financial institutions that may offer more favorable terms.
  5. Investment advice: A financial advisor can help a mortgage prisoner identify investment opportunities that can generate additional income and help build wealth over time. This can include identifying stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles that align with the mortgage prisoner’s financial goals and risk tolerance.

Overall, financial advisors can play a critical role in helping mortgage prisoners improve their financial situation and achieve their long-term financial goals. By providing personalized advice and support, advisors can help mortgage prisoners navigate the complexities of the financial system and make informed decisions that lead to a brighter financial future.

The intention of the content of this article is to provide a general guide to the subject matter. You should seek specialist advice about your specific circumstances.

Vogue Advisory Group – the benefit of a financial advisor

Vogue Advisory Group has a team of experienced advisors who provide personalized advice and support to clients across a range of industries and backgrounds. Whether you are looking to manage your debt, invest in the stock market, plan for retirement, or achieve other financial goals, their advisors can help you develop a customized financial plan that aligns with your unique needs and objectives.

To learn more about how Vogue Advisory Group can help you achieve your financial goals, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our advisors. We are committed to helping clients improve their financial wellbeing and achieve long-term financial success.

Mortgage Prisoners