How your bank can help if you’re having money troubles
Banks want to help their customers, especially if they’re experiencing financial difficulties. Depending on your circumstances, banks may be able to assist in a variety of ways.
Download the fact sheet
What is financial hardship?
Financial hardship occurs when you’re unable to meet your existing financial obligations for a period of time. It may be caused by a number of factors, such as unforeseen weather events, a major change in your circumstances, such as illness or injury, or a change in employment.
What can your bank do?
If you find yourself experiencing financial difficulties, you should talk to your bank. The earlier you let them know that you’re experiencing financial difficulties, the more options that may be available to help you.
What are some hardship assistance options?
Hardship arrangements cover the time between when your circumstances change and when you can start repaying your debts in full or varied as agreed. In most cases, people just need some temporary help to get them through the tough times.
The arrangements available will depend entirely on your personal circumstances and financial situation. But some measures may include:
- deferring or reducing loan repayments
- restructuring and consolidating loans
- altering loan repayments to interest-only
- changing limits on lines of credit (e.g. credit card)
- waiving certain fees and charges
- waiving penalties for early withdrawal of a term deposit
- freezing loans in exceptional circumstances, such as after an emergency event or natural disaster
- providing a moratorium on collections action
- providing alternative banking arrangements.
When considering the type of assistance that might be appropriate, banks will assess the situation on a case-by-case basis and consider your specific circumstances.
You can also phone the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or visit the National Debt Helpline website.