What is hardship assistance and how can it help me?
Sometimes the unexpected happens, like losing your job, a medical condition, a death in the family or a relationship ending. You may then find that you can’t make your repayments.
Finding it hard to make repayments?
Hardship assistance can help give you some breathing room if you’re struggling to make repayments on your loans or credit cards. If you qualify for financial hardship assistance, there are a number of ways we may be able to help including:
- Reducing your loan repayment amounts for a period of time
- Restructuring your loan
- Allowing a payment holiday.
In certain circumstances we may also be able to offer alternative financial help to customers who do not qualify for hardship assistance, for example if you have accounts other than home or personal loans or credit cards. Some options are:
- To discuss an overdrawn account call 0800 402 802
- To apply for a loan or overdraft call 0800 177 277
- To discuss your KiwiSaver call 0508 972 254.
Before considering financial hardship assistance there are some other options you can consider:
- MoneyTalks (run by FinCap) gives free, independent and confidential budgeting advice and can organise and plan your debt
- Are there any expenses that can be reduced? Our budget calculator can help to assess your income and expenditure and give you good insights into creating a personal budget or reviewing your outgoings
- Could you benefit from reviewing or developing your money management skills through our free Managing Your Money workshops and webinars?
- If you have insurance (e.g. crisis cover, redundancy cover, etc), you could consider making a claim first
- If you’re having difficulty repaying your loan because a loved one who was a joint borrower has passed away, please let our deceased estate team know first on 0800 756 872 (Monday to Thursday 8am-5.30pm, Friday 8am-5pm). We’ll then talk to you about applying for financial hardship
- You might be able to use your KiwiSaver to manage unexpected expenses. Call us on 0508 972 254 to discuss.
Impact of receiving financial hardship assistance
As part of receiving financial hardship assistance we may need to ask for your credit report from a credit bureau, and report back to them that you’ve received hardship assistance from us. This means that if a credit check is needed for certain transactions, like making a hire purchase or taking out a new rental agreement, it could be harder for you to meet the requirements needed. But don’t worry, your balance and overdue amounts will not be disclosed. Your credit report will only show that you’ve been receiving financial hardship assistance instead.
Another important factor to consider is that you will pay more in interest over the term of your loan due to the hardship assistance. And that once your agreed hardship assistance period ends your account will move into a Financial Support period for a minimum of 6 months. Your minimum repayment during the support period will also change.
We understand that this can be a difficult decision however it’s important to contact us sooner rather than later. If you fall too far behind your repayments, our financial hardship solutions may not be able to help.
If you’d like to talk to us further about the impact and to find the best option for you, just give our helpful Financial Solutions team a call on 0800 772 771 between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Any time from 8am – 6pm Monday-Friday.
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Apply in Westpac One®
If you're a Westpac One® Online Banking customer apply there. Our financial solutions team can review your application faster.
It’s important to contact us sooner, rather than later. If do not have access to Westpac One or are not a Westpac customer yet, you can apply by printing or filling out our online form.