A new survey has found that Australians are paying more for their financial risks than they should, and some are struggling to pay back the difference.
Key points:The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that debt held by households has risen by more than 20% since 2011The ABS says debt held is more than triple what it was in 2011The Australian economy grew by 6.9% in the last quarter of 2016, which was more than twice the rate of the previous year.
But the ABS data showed that households were paying more than they owed, and had more than tripled the amount they had borrowed since the financial crisis hit.
“The proportion of households with at least 20% outstanding debt has grown by more a third since the beginning of the financial year,” the ABS said.
“In the past, households with debt in excess of 20% had been paying about 6% in interest.”
The ABS survey found that about 1.1 million households had at least a 20% debt, which is the highest level since the data began in 2011.
In 2016, 1.3 million households owed more than a 20%.
That is the second highest level of debt, behind the figure of 1.5 million.
In all, 1 million households have a 20 or more per cent debt, with a higher figure in some parts of the country.ABS data showed there were more households that had at no debt, while the number of people who owed more to a third party had increased from 1.7 million in the same period to 2.3.
By contrast, there were 1.2 million people with debt that was at least one third of their income, the ABS found.
Debt held by Australians has grown more than three times faster than the economy since 2011.
It is now higher than the proportion of people in the country with debt at the end of the year.
The ABS said this reflected increased interest rates and changes in the way households are managing their debt.
“There is an increase in the proportion with debt of over 20% as the Australian economy has grown,” it said.
But there was also a decrease in the amount of debt held.
The number of households holding debt has fallen in the past five years, the survey found.
While this has contributed to an increase of debt-to-income ratios, it is likely to be temporary.
“Debt-to, interest-to and debt-plus growth rates have been higher than their prior periods in Australia,” the survey said.
The survey found Australians had also grown increasingly reliant on financial advisers to manage their finances, while having less access to credit and savings.