Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said that struggling homeowners have to re-assess their priorities when it comes to making arrangements to pay their debts.
It follows reports that banks are asking people in mortgage difficulties to give up their health insurance, foreign holidays and TV packages among other things, when re-negotiating their loans.
Minister Bruton said that each case has to be taken individually and guidelines will be needed.
He said that there has to be a compromise, however.
"Obviously in a situation where people have a huge financial obligation and are seeking to manage it, they do have to look afresh at what are their priorities," he said.
"I think we're seeking to develop a situation where the banks will recognise the difficulties that people have.
"So obviously, people have to meet … both sides have to meet in the middle."