Treasury research suggests that debt is not as serious an issue for households as is sometimes portrayed.
Two analysts have studied what they say has been an appreciable rise in the total debt of the household sector, which had sparked concerns.
The study particularly looked at households with more than 30% of their gross income going into debt servicing and whose liabilities were more than their assets.
It estimated that just over 1% of couples, or around 8000 households, were at risk. That was only 2000 more than in 2003.
The Treasury says it seems that the overall state of household balance sheets is not a cause for concern.