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More than 60 per cent of the National Debt Helpline’s online chat users are aged between 18 and 39 (Bigstock)

A record number of younger Australians are reaching out for financial help as rents and mortgage payments soar, according to new figures from the National Debt Helpline. Source: ABC News.

Financial counsellor Mike Dunkley said he is experiencing his busiest time at the National Debt Helpline (NDH) in Sydney’s Surry Hills.

“I’ve been on the NDH now for 2.5 years and I reckon this is the busiest I’ve ever seen it.”

Calls started ramping up late last year as higher interest rates started to bite.

“It’s going to be three things [people call in about]: number one: mortgages; number two: lots of rent; and lately, for probably the last five or six months, it’s the ATO,” Mr Dunkley said.

The financial year just gone saw a total of 145,166 calls to the National Debt Helpline — the highest number of calls in four years.

But those in financial distress can also use the helpline’s online chat service.

Mr Dunkley said the call centre’s figures show, so far this year, the number of chat users should soon surpass the total number of users last calendar year.

Over 60 per cent of chat users are aged between 18 and 39, and the majority of this cohort are women struggling with paying the rent.

A phone conference of financial counsellors last week found mortgage and rent stress ramping up across the country.


Financial stress ‘through the roof’ as interest rate hikes come home to roost (By David Taylor, ABC News)