Anyone can experience a period of Financial Hardship. If this happens to you, know that you are not alone - we’re here to help you.

Financial stress can be a result of unplanned life events or circumstances such as a change in income, illness, relationship breakdown, reduction in business cash flow, or natural disasters. Whatever the cause, we’re here to work with you and to help you understand what assistance options may be available to get you back on your feet.

Reaching out can be difficult, but the sooner you do, the quicker we can gain an understanding of your individual circumstances and see what we can do to assist. When speaking with our financial hardship team it’s important to be open, honest, and realistic about your financial position.

At The Mutual Bank we respect your privacy and ensure all sensitive information is handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy. All discussions are held in confidence.

Talk to us on 1300 688 825 or request a call back below.

 

Member First Philosophy

The Mutual Bank is member-owned which means that we consider the needs of all of our members in everything that we do. And, we are here to support our members when it is needed most. Our financial hardship team is committed to helping redirect you on your path back towards long-term financial stability when you need it.

Ways we can help you

Depending on your individual circumstances, our team may be able to assist you with support options such as loan deferrals, arrears capitalisation, interest-only periods, or other appropriate relief. If you are a depositor member-only, there may also be ways that we can help you, so we encourage you to reach out and talk to us if you are experiencing financial difficulty.

Recovering from a financial setback

Getting back on your feet after a financial setback can feel like an uphill battle. To assist with your financial recovery, we have put together a couple of tips that may be able to assist you to return back to being financially stable.

The first thing you need to do is to review your current financial situation. Write down your income streams, then create a list of your weekly, fortnightly, monthly, and yearly expenditures.

Your debts could be such things as bills, loans, or credit card debt. Don’t forget the big yearly items such as car registration, insurances, or recurring payments for appointments that you need to keep.

There are many free resources on the internet to help you get started with making your budget such as the free online budget planner on Australian Government website Moneysmart.com.au.

Work out how much you need to save each pay cycle to cover your bills, and with the remaining amount, workout a savings and spending budget. Prioritise necessities such as groceries and fuel before putting money aside for discretionary spending.

You may have heard of the term ‘lifestyle creep’, but if you haven’t, let us explain. Essentially, the lifestyle creep happens when your income increases. A person might start to regularly spend money on things they might not have thought about when they were on a lower income. Examples of succumbing to lifestyle creep could be having your car regularly detailed, purchasing a new outfit for every occasion, buying your lunch whilst at work every day, or choosing a higher priced phone plan.

Can any of these non-essential expenses be cut back on, removed entirely, or paid off faster? In some instances, you may be able to reduce your phone plan or electricity plan, cancel a streaming service, or reuse or recycle items you already own.

When examining your bills/debts, know which ones need to be prioritised and which ones can be put on hold. In most instances, loan repayments, insurance costs, and car registration should be your priority.

If you are going to be late paying a bill or other debt, we encourage you to contact your Provider to find out what assistance options they may have available to those facing financial difficulty.

 

Helpful Resources and Support

Moneysmart

An Australian government website that offers financial guidance with simple tools, tips, and calculators.

Visit Website

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue provides mental health support services to people living in Australia

Visit Website

National Debt Helpline

The National Debt Helpline is a free, independent service offering confidential advice to those experiencing financial troubles.

Visit Website

Small Business Debt Helpline

The Small Business Debt Helpline offers free and confidential advice to small businesses and sole traders experiencing financial difficulty.

Visit Website

Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS)

The RFCS offers free, confidential financial counselling and support to farmers and rural small businesses.

Visit Website

 

FAQs

The Mutual Bank defines Financial Hardship as the difficulty in meeting the repayments on your loans, debts, bills, and other financial obligations. If you are unable to make a repayment, please contact our Member Services Team on 1300 688 825.

It is a period of time (usually up to six months) where you have arranged for your regular loan repayments to be deferred to allow you to get on top of your finances. During this time, interest will continue to be charged on your loan, however any late payment penalties will be waived. The repayments deferred will be recalculated back into remaining term of the loan. This may result in your monthly repayments increasing upon the expiry of the deferral period.

Before the loan deferral expires, we will get in touch to review your position and to discuss whether you are in a position to recommence loan repayments. If you are, we will remind you of your monthly repayment amount, and assist with setting up automatic payments depending on your pay cycle. If your financial position has not improved, we may request a meeting with you to again review your full financial position and discuss your options moving forward.

Yes, they apply to all loans including owner occupied and investment home loans, personal loans, business loans and credit cards.

An Interest Only repayment option for financial hardship purposes is usually provided for a term of up to twelve months. This may result in your monthly repayments increasing upon the expiry of the interest only period.

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