Financial hardship assistance
Financial hardship means you are having trouble meeting repayments for your loans or other debt. This could be because of an unexpected change in your circumstances (such as illness or injury, loss of income or being affected by a natural disaster).
If you struggle or anticipate not being able to make repayments in the near future, get in touch with your lender about hardship assistance as soon as possible. Depending on your circumstances, you and your lender may agree to a financial hardship arrangement.
How can lenders help?
Lenders have well-established programs to assist you if you are having financial difficulties. Remember that financial hardship can affect anyone, and lenders have experience helping their customers to get back on track.
Your lender will discuss arrangement options with you, considering:
- The type of loan or credit you have
- The reasons you are struggling to make repayments
- Whether those reasons are likely to be short or long-term.
It is important to get in touch with your lender as soon as you are experiencing financial hardship and have trouble making your credit account payments – and then work with them to find a solution.
What is a financial hardship arrangement?
A financial hardship arrangement is an agreement between you and your lender to adjust your credit card, personal loan, car loan or mortgage repayment obligations, after something has happened that has affected your ability to pay them.
There are two types of financial hardship arrangements:
- Temporary financial hardship arrangement which reduces or defers your regular repayments for a period of time, e.g. reduced payments for a couple of months or deferral.
- Variation financial hardship arrangement which changes the terms of your loan, e.g. an extension of the remaining term of the loan to permanently reduce the monthly payments.
Am I guaranteed a hardship arrangement?
If you ask for financial hardship assistance your lender will consider your circumstances to work out what sort of arrangement is best for your. Your lender is not obliged to agree to a financial hardship arrangement. Instead, it will depend on their assessment of your financial circumstances and why your repayments are overdue.