July 2022 Changes to Credit Reporting
From July 2022 Credit Providers will commence reporting Financial Hardship Information. From this date, your credit report can indicate both your repayment history information and if you have agreed to a financial hardship arrangement with us.
The intention of the changes to credit reporting is to assist in protecting customer’s credit report in times of hardship. As such, there are limits on what lenders can do with the financial hardship information.
Any financial hardship arrangement you have made before 1st July 2022 will not be impacted.
For more information on the reform and ways to protect your credit report visit the Credit Smart website
Helpful fact sheets
- Financial hardship and your credit report
- Variation financial hardship and credit reporting
- Temporary financial hardship arrangements
- Late payments information
Ways we could help
You could have a loan or credit card with us and you’re struggling to make repayments. We’re here for you, no judgement, and will treat your request with confidentiality and respect.
When you apply for hardship assistance, we may be able to help find ways to ease the pressure. For example:
- Lower repayments and extend the term of your loan
- Pause repayments until you’re able to pay them again
Reasons people ask for help
Loss of a job
Relationship break down
Death in the family
And many more
When to ask for help
If you think you need help, tell us straight away. That way we can help you make a plan to get things moving in a more manageable direction.
How to ask for help
Your first step is to apply for hardship assistance so we can better understand your situation. You can do this in person by:
Or, you can fill out our hardship assistance form and email or send it back – our details are on the last page. The form will ask you about:
- Employment and income
- Financial details like assets, liabilities and expenses
- Why you want to apply for support
What happens next?
Once we hear from you, we will get back to you within 21 days. We’ll either approve/decline your request or ask to see some supporting documentation.
Consider independent financial advice
Everyone deserves to feel on top of their money, and independent advice about your personal financial situation is a useful place to start.
Financial counsellors are non-judgmental, qualified professionals who provide information, support and advocacy to people in financial difficulty.
Some of the ways financial counsellors can help:
- Advocate and negotiate with creditors or other organisations on your behalf
- Help you prioritise debts
- Understand other factors affecting your situation and provide relevant support options
- Help you develop a money plan
- Explain the debt recovery process and help you take appropriate action
- Provide useful information about your rights
- Identify if you need referral for legal advice or other services
Free, independent financial counselling
More links and information
- Credit smart - Helps you to understand how your credit choices affect the information that credit providers can access, and how you can view and control that information
- Australian Banking Association Financial Assistance Hub – to help you understand your options if you’re struggling financially
- Commonwealth Financial Counselling – for free and confidential counselling services
- Money Smart by the Australian government for tips and tools on managing money
- Mob Strong Debt Help (1800 808 488) – a free legal and financial advice service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Rural Financial Counselling Service (1800 686 175) – a free financial service for farmers, producers, harvesters and related small business owners that are experiencing financial difficulty
- Insurance Law Service (1300 663 464) – advice and advocacy on insurance issues for consumers in financial stress
- Australian Financial Complaints Authority (1800 931 678) – a dispute resolution scheme that independently assists consumers and small businesses to make and resolve complaints about financial firms
Bank Australia subscribe to the Code of Operation that has been endorsed by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA). The code is aimed to safeguard sufficient income of customers in receipt of Services Australia support payments or Department of Veterans Affairs’ payments in the event an account becomes overdrawn. We recognise that customers who receive such payments are entitled to retain at least 90% of their payment should their account become overdrawn. We encourage customers who may be experiencing financial hardship to contact our Customer Support Team on 132 888 or email@example.com.