On 3rd May 2006, the Reserve Bank announced an interest rate increase. The rationale behind this decision was to stave off inflationary pressure, but for the average Australian home owner, this rate rise will mean they will have to find and extra $35-$60 per month in their budget. There is no doubt a lot of people will find it tough to do this. The family budget is already stretched to breaking point and the latest hike in interest rates will only add to the strain. During the property boom, many people felt the need to enter the housing market before it was "too late". Real estate experts saw no end in sight to the increasing cost of housing and buyers were told to buy or they may miss out. There was a feverish rush for consumer finance and many people over extended themselves in order to get a deposit. For the last two years or so interest rates have been constant but despite this, consumer debt levels have never been higher. It seems, according to industry experts, people have been relying on credit cards and personal loans in order to supplement their income. As petrol prices continue to rise, the cost of groceries will increase along with other goods and services. An interest rate increase only adds stress to the household budget. What's the answer? Grant O'Donnell is the CEO of the personal debt management company Debt Fix and says "...There is no better time than right now to review your budget and take control of your finances". Debt Fix provides solutions to people with money issues. For instance, Debt Fix is able to consolidate debt through personal loans, debt agreements or refinance debt to reduce the overall monthly cost. Mr O'Donnell has been in the debt management business for many years and helps people find their way through the debt maze; "...My advice is to review your spending and shop around for a better deal" he says. He goes on to say, "...Essentially, there are numerous lenders out there all vying for your business so why not use this interest rate rise as a trigger people to re-think how your finances are positioned and test the lending waters". Despite this, The ANZ and Commonwealth banks think most homeowners will find the interest rate rise manageable because the majority of home loan customers are already paying more than the minimum required payments. Nevertheless, there is speculation about a further rate rise. This being the case, it's important to work out the impact of an interest rate rise on your repayments and whether or not you can comfortably afford the higher repayments. Mr O'Donnell went on to say, "...If debt levels are too heavily geared Debt Fix can help refinance your mortgage and has direct access to many lenders. Otherwise, you could consider "fixing" all or part of your home loan. There are still some good fixed rates on offer - but if you do this you need to be mindful of the fees and charges associated with this." Contact Debt Fix today to discuss how you can regain control of your finances and get a better mortgage.