Frequently asked questions

We’ve answered some common questions you might have about the Unforeseen Financial Hardship process. If you don’t find the answer here, call us between 8am and 5.30pm on 0800 402 802, Monday to Friday.

Can I apply for KiwiSaver hardship using this form? 

No. KiwiSaver has its own dedicated financial hardship application process. To find out more information on that process, please refer to the KiwiSaver section on our website. Alternatively, you can contact the KiwiSaver team on 0508 972 254 between 8.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. 

How long am I able to receive assistance for?

This will depend on the solution offered, if any. For example, whether the term of your loan is extended, and/or you are offered a repayment holiday for a fixed period of time. 

What type of assistance is available?

Assistance is determined on a case by case basis and could include reduced repayments and/or term extension.

This means that you may be able to pay back your loan over a longer period (which would reduce your monthly payments, but increase the overall cost). You may also be allowed to pay reduced payments or just the interest payments for a period (which would reduce your monthly payments, but increase the overall cost).

Is there anything that I can do?

There are many options available to you before completing an application with us. We’ve included some options below for consideration:

  • If you’ve lost your job and have income insurance cover, get in touch with your insurance provider to see if you’re covered for loss of income. 
  • Obtain independent, free debt advice from organisations such as NZ Federation of Family Budgeting Services, and Citizens Advice Bureau etc. You can find a budget advisory service in your region here.
  • Contact us if you are having problems making payments or think that you may soon experience financial problems.
  • Keep to any payment plan you have agreed to. If your circumstances change that may affect your payment arrangement, let us know. Please be aware that if your loan is secured and you don’t keep up with your repayments, the bank may enter into possession of, and/or sell the secured property. You will remain personally liable for any shortfall.
  • Make sure you keep anyone guaranteeing the loan(s) up to date with what is happening.

What happens when I fill in the online application form?

Once we have received your application, we will acknowledge receipt of this in writing within five working days.

What happens if I cannot fill the form out online?

You can download the form and return it via email to financial_solutions@westpac.co.nz, drop it into a Westpac Branch, or send it by post to:

Westpac New Zealand Limited
PO Box 934
Shortland Street
Auckland 1140

You can also obtain a copy of the form from a Westpac branch and complete it with a staff member. Please contact our team on 0800 400 600 to make an appointment.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application in writing within five working days. 

What supporting documents do I need?

Applications are assessed on a case by case basis and we may require further information and/or documentation to be able to complete our assessment, for example:

  • WINZ documents
  • medical information
  • proof of income and expenditure

Will I still receive collection calls and correspondence from Westpac whilst my application is being processed?

Collection notices and phone calls will continue until your application is accepted. It is important that, where possible, you maintain your repayments to avoid the risk of escalating debt and any additional interest or charges being incurred.

Can someone else negotiate on my behalf?

Yes. If you provide your consent, we can discuss and negotiate a solution with your nominated representative, such as a budget advisor or other third party. For further information please call our team between 8am and 5.30pm on 0800 402 802, Monday to Friday.

What happens if my application for Financial Hardship is declined or I am not happy with the outcome?

Once your application has been assessed, we will advise you of the outcome in writing. If your application has been declined, we will also provide the reason for this in writing.

Please note that even if your application does not meet the eligibility criteria for an unforeseen hardship application under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003, we may be to prove other assistance on a case-by-case basis.

You also have the right to apply to the court to make changes if you have made a Financial Hardship application and you do not agree with the outcome.

How long will it take to decide my Financial Hardship application?

We will try to let you know the outcome of your application as soon as we are able, but no later than 20 working days after we receive a valid Financial Hardship application from you, provided we do not need any further information from you.

Sometimes, we may require further information from you to assist us to consider your application. If we do, we will request this further information within 10 working days from the date we received your application. In this case, we will try to let you know the outcome of your application as soon as we are able, but no later than:

  • 10 working days after receiving the further information requested; or
  • 20 working days after making the request for further information,

Whichever is the later.