Hardship assistance

You might experience financial hardship if you lose your job, your personal circumstances change significantly, or you become sick. Hardship assistance allows you to ask your credit provider to restructure your debts so they are more manageable during these times.

Hardship assistance for customers of banks and financial institutions is one of your rights under the national laws which govern the provision of credit, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and the National Credit Code.  Customers of telecommunications or utilities companies also have rights under relevant laws and/or industry codes to be considered for hardship assistance. 

To find out about financial hardship assistance, talk to your credit provider. You can also go to ASIC's MoneySmart website for more information if you have trouble with debt.

Free financial counselling services are available to help you get back on top of your financial situation if you are experiencing financial difficulties. Financial counsellors work in community organisations and provide advice about credit and debt issues. Financial counselling is free, independent and confidential. You can find a financial counsellor here.

What effects will hardship assistance have on your credit report ?

If you have made a hardship request under the National Credit Code, and it has been refused, a credit provider will be required to wait 14 days after this refusal before it can list a default on your credit report. 

If your request for hardship assistance is granted and you comply with the terms of your hardship assistance, the default will not be listed on your credit report whilst you are in hardship.  However, this will not prevent a default being listed either prior to your request for hardship assistance, or at a later time if you have not met the terms of your hardship assistance and your credit provider has sent you written notices about its intention to list a default.  Similarly, if the hardship assistance comes to an end and you find yourself behind on your payments (but have not sought additional hardship assistance), a credit provider may list a default on your credit report, after they’ve given you the required notices to do so.