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Hardship

Anyone can experience temporary financial problems for a variety of reasons. Whether you are currently impacted by Covid-19, financially overcommitted, encounter job loss or reduced hours, become ill or injured, our Hardship program can help you through difficult times.

We don’t believe in a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. We aim to tailor an approach based on your individual circumstances and address every request in-confidence.

We’re committed to looking after our members’ financial needs – even in difficult times. That’s why we have had a range of options in place for over 25 years to help our members through changes in personal circumstances.

At Newcastle Permanent we understand that sometimes, life doesn’t always go as planned and you can find yourself experiencing difficult or challenging circumstances which may affect your ability to keep on top of your loan and/or credit card repayments.

Events that may contribute to financial difficulty include:

  • Unemployment / redundancy
  • Reduction of income (employed/self-employed/investments)
  • Injury and/or illness
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Over commitment
  • Natural Disaster
  • Other (e.g. court matters, needing time to sell a property).

Newcastle Permanent has a Hardship program that may help customers that are experiencing financial difficulty. We will talk to you about your current circumstances to understand what type of assistance may be available.

We do not believe in a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. We aim to tailor an approach based on your individual circumstances and address every request in confidence.

Assistance that could be provided in appropriate circumstances includes (but not limited to):

  • Pausing repayments
  • Reducing repayments
  • Capitalising any arrears e.g. putting arrears back into the balance of the loan
  • Investigating if there are any other options that may assist our customers with their lending obligations
  • Repayment Holiday e.g. If the your loan is in advance, you may be able to use those advance repayments.

If you proceed with an application for hardship, it will be helpful to gather the following items together:

  • Details of your loan and credit information, both with Newcastle Permanent and other lenders (if applicable)
  • Transactional and loan statements not held with Newcastle Permanent 
  • Reason for assistance and your repayment proposal
    • When do you expect to be able to resume your repayments or clear arrears
  • Supporting documents to help us help you, for example:
    • Illness/injury - medical certificate
    • Unemployment - separation certificate
    • Evidence of income (payslips, Centrelink income statement etc.)
    • Selling property - contract for the sale of land
    • Evidence of loan and credit commitments.

In some instances, we may require you to complete a Hardship application form, this application along with the additional information requested will assist us to:

  • understand your current financial position;
  • determine whether you are or will be unable to meet your obligations under your credit contract; and
  • determine what (if any) changes may be made to your credit contract that can assist you in meeting your obligations moving forward.

If an authorised representative such as a relative, friend or authorised party e.g. financial counsellors is acting on your behalf, we will be happy to speak with them about your situation however, we will require your signed authorisation for privacy reasons.

You can contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to locate your closest Financial Counsellor. Financial counsellors are qualified professionals who provide information, advice and advocacy to people in financial difficulty.

Their services are non-judgmental, free, independent and confidential.

Financial counsellors are based in community organisations throughout Australia, from large charities to smaller community centres, as well as local government agencies.

The MoneySmart website has advised to be cautious with credit repair companies that claim they can clean up or fix your debt. They may not be able to do what they say. They may also charge you high fees for things you can do by yourself for free.

Paying a credit repair company is unlikely to improve your credit score.

To discuss your current circumstances, you can call or email our Customer Assist Team.

Alternatively, you can download and complete the Hardship Application form (PDF) and do one of the following:

  • Drop into your local NPBS branch
  • Post: Customer Assist PO Box 5001HRMC NSW 2302.

Once we have received your online enquiry, our Customer Assist team will be in contact with you the same day or following business day to discuss your current situation.

If you have submitted a completed Hardship Application, we will acknowledge the receipt of your application the same day or following business day. Following this, we anticipate providing you with a decision within 24-48 hours. You will also receive written response outlining our decision within 21 days from when we receive your Hardship application form and any additional information.

Our written response will confirm whether we agree to change your credit contract. If we do not agree to change your credit contract, we will inform you of our reasons for making this decision. We will also provide you with details of our free external dispute resolution scheme and your rights under that scheme.

If your completed Hardship application or additional information is not received within the required timeframes, we may determine we do not have sufficient information to agree to change your credit contract.

While the Customer Assist team can look to provide temporary relief if you are facing financial difficulties, this is also an opportunity for you to review your circumstances and budget. A break from your repayments is only a temporary solution; for long term change you may need to assess your spending and determine your priorities. There may also be other support services that may be able to assist you as detailed below:

Financial Counsellors provide free information and support to people in financial difficulty. Visit the National Debt Helpline for more information or call (free) 1800 007 007.

Family and domestic violence 1800 RESPECT is a national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service which provides a 24 hour hotline for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault. For more information call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

Money Smart Money Smart is run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which offers free independent guidance to help you manage your money.

Legal Aid Services
NSW  Legal Aid NSW for more information contact Law Access NSW on 1300 888 529.
QLD Legal Aid QLD for more information call 1300 651 188.
VIC Victoria Legal Aid for more information call 1300 792 387.
SA Legal Services Commission of South Australia for more information call 1300 366 424,
WA Legal Aid Western Australia for more information call 1300 650 579.
ACT Legal Aid ACT for more in call their Legal Aid Hotline 1300 654 314.
NT Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission for more information call 1800 019 343.
TAS Legal Aid Tasmania for more information call 1300 366 611.

Lifeline Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. For more information call 13 11 14.

Gambling help Online provides free 24/7 chat and email counselling and support services to assist with problem gambling and online services. For more information call 1800 858 858 or visit Gambling help

Beyond Blue Beyond Blue provides a 24 hour/7 days a week hotline to provide anyone within Australia the skills to help look after their mental health and wellbeing. For more information, contact their support service on 1300 224 636 or visit Beyond Blue.

MensLine Australia MensLine Australia is the national telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. The service is available from anywhere in Australia and is staffed by professional counsellors, experienced in men’s issues. Callers have access to 24-hour support, anywhere anytime.

Newcastle Permanent Vulnerable persons policy

If your concerns haven’t been resolved to your satisfaction, you can offer feedback or lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). 

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Terms, conditions, fees, charges, eligibility criteria and credit criteria may apply. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these matters and the product Terms and Conditions.