Financial Difficulty

and Hardship Hub

Have you experienced a change to your financial situation?

If you are unable to meet your loan repayments, your Loan Market broker is here to support you and get the help you need to overcome any financial difficulty or hardship you may be experiencing.

It is a good idea to reach out as soon as you identify there may be a problem so your broker can act quickly and reduce the impact.

Whether your financial difficulty is short term or continuing, it is important to understand there are a number of steps your broker can assist you with.

You can contact your lender directly to discuss your options, such as postponing certain repayments, changing your loan term, or varying your credit contract. The lender will assess hardship applications on a case-to-case basis, provide access to short-term relief and assist you through your temporary hardship event (these are not long-term solutions).

Alternatively, you can reach out to us and we can walk you through the process including assisting you with your hardship application. We can also reevaluate your circumstances for longer-term solutions.

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How can your broker help?

Understanding your financial circumstances and the cause of the financial difficulty is crucial for your broker to determine what assistance may be possible and appropriate for you.

They can evaluate your situation to determine the options available to you and point you toward resources that may be useful. 

Loan Market brokers have over 60 lenders on their panel that may be able assist you and provide you a suitable outcome for your situation.

Mortgage brokers provide essential information and advice to you at a time when understanding appropriate options and making the right decision is critically important. 

Loan Market brokers are available to meet in person, chat over the phone or via a video call.

What's a payment deferral?

This is also known as a mortgage holiday but don’t let the name fool you, this is no holiday. If you’ve been stood down, lost your job and cannot afford to pay mortgage repayments, you have the ability to enact a payment deferral. This is when a lender defers your repayments for a period of time.

Every lender has their own rules and requirements on these payment deferrals. It’s important to know that at some point you will be required to pay the interest that accrued while the loan was deferred. For example, some lenders will add the amount you owe to the end of your loan and some will charge immediately after the payment deferral is off hold. 

Also, after the deferral, your balance and your repayments could be higher to make up for the interest accrued deferred repayments.

What happens to the principal if repayments are frozen?

When a payment deferral on an existing mortgage is activated, it means that a lender will defer your required mortgage repayments for a specific period of time. Although your repayments are deferred, the interest on your loan is still calculated and added to the balance. In effect you’re paying interest on interest.

So, when you recommence repayments your lender will recalculate your repayments so you repay the loan in the original term. This ultimately means your repayments will rise. However, there are options available to refinance after the payment deferral period, which could help to reduce repayments and increase the term of your loan, giving you a bit more flexibility.

How do I get hardship assistance?

First things first, while it’s important to understand what your options are in these difficult times, there is no need to panic and spend hours on hold to your lender. Your broker can look into your options and help you navigate and understand what your options are during this time of financial hardship that many Australians are facing.

When should you consider refinancing?

There are a number of reasons you might consider refinancing. These may include:

Lower rates

Interest rates regularly change, as is the case in the current market, so if you have a variable rate or your fixed rate is due to expire, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate with your lender – or find one that will.

More bells, better whistles

Not all home loans are packaged equal. It can be worth looking at features and functionalities to see what could be useful for you. If you aren’t using features with your existing loan, switching to a more basic loan could potentially save you in fees.

Debt consolidation

If you have multiple debts, such as a personal loan, credit card or car loan, you may be able to roll them into your home loan. This consolidates your debt to one repayment and could save you in interest. We will consider the whole picture to determining if debt consolidation is right for you.

Free up money

Whether you need to free up money for a renovation, a new car or have another project in mind, if you have grown equity in your home, you may be able to refinance to access more money to fund it.

Refinance vs payment deferral

Choosing between refinancing or deferring repayments can come down to your personal circumstances and financial needs. Your Loan Market broker can look into your situation in detail to determine your options and discuss the right strategy for you.

What are the options as a landlord?

Your tenants may be going through some financial hardship at the moment and may not be able to afford paying their rent. If this happens, your broker can help:

  • Negotiate payment deferral options for your mortgage 
  • Discuss hardship options 
  • See if you can refinance or reprice to get a more competitive rate
  • Outline the costs of switching and not switching 

Additional resources

Your first step when experiencing hardship can be to reach out and speak with your broker about your options. There are also a number of resources available that could help you. 

Helping you manage your money

  • Financial Assistance Hub: The Australian Banking Association provides a helpful financial guide.
  • MoneySmart: An Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) initiative offering tips and tools to help make the most of your money.

Free community support and counselling services

  • National Debt Helpline: Developed by financial counsellors, this site has simple step-by-step guides explaining how to fix common debt problems. If you need more help, you can call 1800 007 007 to speak to a free and independent financial counsellor.
  • Salvation Army Doorways Program: The Salvation Army provides you with tools and information to assist you in taking action early to manage your finances.
  • Family and Domestic Violence Support: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) is a 24-hour hotline providing help for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
  • Beyondblue: Information on depression and anxiety and where to get help.
  • Way Forward: This not-for-profit organisation provides people in long-term financial difficulty with help and strategies to get out of debt. You can call Way Forward on 1300 045 502.

Government support services

  • Human Services (Centrelink): Here you can find information about Federal Government initiatives and eligibility for support and social security payments. 
  • Find unclaimed money: A simple search tool by ASIC to find unclaimed money from banks, investments and life insurance policies.

Your next step

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Make it happen

Let us know what your goals are and we will connect you with a Loan Market broker directly.

Find a broker

Find a broker close to you, or set up a video call at a time that suits you.

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