Consumers in financial difficulty

consumer financial difficultyAre you unable to meet your repayments under a credit facility, such as a credit card, personal loan or business loan?

Clause 28 of the Code of Banking Practice states that a bank must try to help customers – with their agreement and cooperation – to overcome financial difficulties they may have with a credit facility they hold with that bank.

 

 

Talk to your bank first

If you are finding it difficult to meet your repayments, contact your bank as soon as possible to discuss your situation and the options available to you.

Applying for financial hardship assistance may be one of your options. The Australian Bankers’ Association’s Doing it tough? website explains how to apply for this assistance, what you can do and what your bank can do. It also provides contact numbers to help you get in touch with your bank.

Financial counselling and legal support

Financial counsellors can assess your situation and identity options to address your financial problems. Government-funded financial counselling services are free and confidential. If your money and debt problems have developed into legal problems, you can also access a range of services that provide free legal advice – see below for contact details.

Report a concern

Concerned a bank has breached its code obligations in providing services to you? Report your concern to the CCMC.

Useful resources

Financial counsellors

Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) FCA’s website contains a service locator for organisations in each State or Territory that provides financial counselling.Freecall 1800 007 007 (available 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday). You will be automatically transferred to the phone service in your state.

Legal aid

National Legal Aid National Legal Aid’s website features a legal aid service locator for each State and Territory. These services are free, independent and confidential. Phone (03) 6236 3813.
National Association of Community legal centres The association’s website provides a service locator for community legal centres. Phone (02) 9264 9595.

 

Money tools, financial information and support

Doing it tough? Published by the Australian Bankers’ Association, this website directs you to ‘hardship websites’ for each institution, and features financial health checklists testing whether you are at risk of loan default.
Money Help Free confidential and independent financial information for Victorians experiencing difficulty paying their rent or mortgage or facing job loss.
Money Smart This website helps people make smart choices about their personal finances. It offers free, independent guidance so that you can make the best choices for your money.
Debt self-help A useful site directing you to financial counsellors in your area, featuring a ‘Debt Self Help Tool’ for a tailored assessment of your options.