If you are in financial difficulty

Are you unable to meet your loan repayments under a credit facility, such as a credit card, personal loan or home loan?

If you are in financial difficulty, you are entitled to the following help.

Help on offer

Customer owned banks have dedicated staff trained to help you overcome financial difficulty. Ask them for help and they may offer to:

  • Reduce or postpone your loan repayments for up to six months.
  • Suspend interest payments on your loan.
  • Consolidate or refinance to a different product if you have multiple debts with them, reducing monthly repayments.
  • Extend your loan term to reduce monthly repayments.

Application process

While your financial difficulty request is being considered, your customer owned bank cannot make a default listing on your credit file or sell your debt to another company.

Unless agreed otherwise, they can still charge interest on your account. This means your debt will continue to increase, so it’s important you make whatever payments you can during the application process.

It is also important to stay in touch with your customer owned bank to get an update of your status of your application.   

Information you’re entitled to

Your customer owned bank must provide you with access to information about financial difficulty over the phone, at a branch or online. This may include:

  • an online financial difficulty application form
  • tools to help you manage your finances such as budget calculators
  • contacts for free financial counselling services, and
  • details about their complaints handling process, and when to bring a complaint to an external dispute resolution scheme.

Lodging a dispute

 If your customer owned bank is unable to help you when you are in financial difficulty, you may wish to lodge a dispute.

 Two schemes provide independent dispute resolution services, which are free to consumers. Your customer owned bank will tell you which scheme it subscribes to, or contact the scheme directly to find out if it is a subscriber:

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Australia

Call: 1800 367 287

Email: info@fos.org.au

Credit and Investments Ombudsman Ltd (CIO)

Phone: 1800 138 422

Email: info@cosl.com.au

Breaches of the Code

 If you believe your customer owned bank has breached its financial difficulty obligations under the Code, you can report a concern. You can help to maintain high service standards by reporting your concerns.

Find out more

Download the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice (PDF, 689 KB, 32 pages).

Financial Difficulty Guidance for consumers (PDF, 242, two pages).

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