Managing personal debt during a difficult times

. 1 min read

If you are finding it difficult to keep up with your loan repayments due to issues related illness, unemployment and or changes in your circumstance, you should reach out for support. In particular, lenders have 'Financial Hardship Programs' in place to help support when in need.

Providers of finance for personal and household purposes (including mortgages, car loans, personal loans and credit cards) are required under the consumer credit law to consider hardship variations (flexible payment arrangements) to your loan if you are experiencing financial hardship.

Contact your lender

Despite all the backlash against the banks from media, banks have the Hardship Assistance programs in place to support and help out when in need. All lenders have hardship teams ready to help customers in tough times.

The earlier you get help, the more options you'll have in setting up a hardship variation plan with your lender.

Hardship variation plans could be in the form of:

  • Pausing repayments
  • Reduction in repayments
  • Pausing interest accrual
  • Reducing interest rates

Lender must write to you within twenty one days to let you know the outcome of your hardship request.

Following are the contact details of the various hardship

AMP 1300 130 191

ANZ 1800 252 845

Arab Bank 1800 64 64 84

Bank Australia 132 888

Bank of Sydney 139 5000

BOQ 1800 079 866

BankSA 1800 679 461

Bankwest 1300 769 173

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank 1300 652 146

Citibank 1800 722 879

Commonwealth Bank 1300 720 814

HSBC 1300 555 988

ING 1300 349 166

Macquarie Bank 1300 363 330

ME Bank 1300 500 520

MyState 138 001

NAB 1800 701 599

St. George Bank 1800 629 795

Suncorp Bank 1800 225 223

Westpac 1800 067 497

Call the National Debt Hotline on  1800 007 007. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

What to do if your hardship application is refused?

If your lender refuses your hardship application, they must give reasons. If you are not happy with their response, you can complain directly to the lender or to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).