Every buyer goes through a “honeymoon” period when their monthly bond repayment seems a small price to pay for the pleasures of home ownership.
But the romance can sour rapidly if that instalment becomes a burden - which can happen quite easily if your work hours get cut back, you really have to buy a new car or an addition to the family puts new demands on your household budget.
“And the problem is not going to go away by itself,” says Rudi Botha, CEO of leading bond originator BetterBond. “You need to acknowledge it and assess your options for dealing with it, as soon as possible.”
The signs that affordability is becoming a problem include making your bond repayment later and later each month, cutting back the repayment of other debts so you can afford the bond repayment, or perhaps even “borrowing” from your credit card or overdraft facility to make up a shortfall on the instalment.
If this is your situation, he says, your first step is to work out how long your cash “crunch” is likely to last. An interest rate decrease may be on the way, or you may soon be due for a salary increase. Perhaps you’ll be able to ease the situation quite quickly by cutting family spending, by taking a part-time second job to pay off your short-term debts, or even by getting a new, better paid, full-time job.