Financial difficulty assistance
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
We understand there may be times when your personal circumstances change. You may experience an unexpected event or changes outside of your control. Perhaps you’ve lost your job, suffered an illness or injury or have been impacted by a natural disaster.
If, as a result, you can’t afford the minimum repayment on your loan or credit card, and you would like us to consider if we can provide you with financial difficulty assistance, please contact us immediately. The sooner you contact us the sooner we can try to help you.
In many instances assistance can be provided quickly and efficiently over the phone. Alternatively, we may need to complete a more detailed assessment of your personal and financial circumstances to identify how we may be able to help you.
Financial Difficulty assistance is available to you, whether you are an individual, joint account holder, guarantor or small business customer. If you have a joint account and you are experiencing financial difficulty, we can assist you individually if you request it.
What are my assistance options?
This will depend on your personal circumstances and financial situation, and may include:
- Tailoring a payment arrangement
- Deferring or reducing loan payments for a defined period of time
- Extending the loan term
- Capitalising loan arrears.
It is important to contact us early so that we can discuss your situation and provide the best options available to you.
What is the application process?
If you think you are, or will be, unable to meet your debt obligations please contact us as soon as possible. Depending on your situation we may be able to provide assistance quickly and efficiently over the phone. Alternatively we may require further information and documentation to help us understand your financial position and determine whether assistance is appropriate.
The Bank may require:
- A statement of financial position to be completed summarising your current income, expenditure, assets and liabilities
- An employment contract and/or payslips
- Your account statements
- A Centrelink statement and/or social security payment details
- A medical certificate from a qualified medical practitioner
- An employment separation statement
- A contract of sale/ sales agency agreement
- Other documents which support your request.
Once you have provided us with all the requested information necessary to review your financial situation, we will provide you with a decision within 21 days.
What is the application process?
Our dedicated team will contact you. When assessing your request they will take into account factors including:
- The reason for financial difficulty
- Your current financial position
- Your ability to meet the commitments under the proposed arrangement and future repayments under the contract
- The ability to rehabilitate your circumstances (based on whether the financial difficulty assistance will offer genuine relief to restore your financial situation).
How will we tell you about our decision?
We will tell you in writing if we can assist you, the reason for our decision to provide assistance and the main details of the proposed new arrangements
You’ll need to ensure that you meet the terms of the new arrangement.
If you are subsequently unable to meet these terms, you should contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
What happens if my application is declined?
There may be a number of reasons why we decide not to provide financial difficulty assistance. If this is the case the reason for the decision will be explained to you in writing. We’ll also seek to discuss the next steps we will take and other available options with you.
What if I am not satisfied with the outcome of the assessment?
If you are not satisfied with the response provided, you have the option of referring the matter to the Customer Advocate who will impartially assess your complaint, keep you informed of the progress and provide you with a response.
The Customer Advocate can be contacted by:
- Telephone: 1300 139 572 (+61 3 5485 7919) between 8:30am and 5:00pm Victorian time, weekdays
- Email: email@example.com
- Post/letter: write to Customer Advocate, P.O. Box 480, Bendigo VIC 3552.
Alternatively (or following consideration by the Customer Advocate) you may refer your complaint directly to:
Other useful resources
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, useful resources are available to you. These include:
- The National Debt Helpline or website (ndh.org.au), which has easy to use, step-by-step guides on how to tackle debts. You can also call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to talk to a financial counsellor for free, independent advice about your situation.
- The Financial Counselling Australia website www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au provides information on finding a financial counselling agency in your area.
- The ABA’s ‘Financial Hardship’ website provides information about financial hardship, including what you can do if you are experiencing financial difficulties, how your bank can help, where to go for more information and how to apply for hardship assistance. See https://www.ausbanking.org.au/policy/customers/financial-hardship/
- ASIC’s ‘MoneySmart’ website provides information and tools to help you make the most of your money. See www.moneysmart.gov.au