There are a lot of people who are experiencing hardship, particularly with the lack of rising wages, increasing cost of living and a subtraction in the Australian economy and more broadly the global economy.
It is common for people to experience financial hardship at various times and through different stages in life.
Financial hardship can come from an unexpected redundancy, death of a spouse, under employment or through unexpected bills and repairs or expenditure that is not planned for.
It is normal for most people throughout their lives to experience an unexpected event or changes outside of their control that will negatively impact on your financial circumstances.
Perhaps you’ve lost your job, suffered an illness or injury or have been impacted by a natural disaster.
If, as a result, you can’t afford the minimum repayment on your loan or credit card, and you would like your financial institution to consider if they can provide you with financial difficulty assistance, please contact them immediately. The sooner you contact your financial institution the sooner they can work with you and alongside you to try assist you through this difficult time.
In many instances assistance can be provided quickly and efficiently over the phone.
Alternatively, you may need to complete a more detailed assessment of your personal and financial circumstances to identify how they may be able to help you.
Financial difficulty assistance is available to you, whether you are an individual, joint account holder, guarantor or small business customer. If you have a joint account and you are experiencing financial difficulty, your financial institution can assist you individually if you request it.
There are also some free online tools that have been designed to help people manage their money, try ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) Money Smart www.moneysmart.gov.au
ASIC’s MoneySmart website is for all Australians regardless of their circumstances. . It offers free, independent guidance so you can make the most of your money. It has smart tips on dealing with the ups and downs of life: losing your job, having a baby, divorce or separation, buying a home, losing your partner and many more.
There is also the National Debt Hotline – 1800 007 007. The National Debt Hotline is open from 9:30am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday.
Thank you to Mr Michael Bell, Senior Branch Manager, East Gosford, Lisarow & Kincumber Community Bank, Bendigo Bank & LifeSpan Champion for contributing to this article.