We’re here to help

At MyState Bank, we understand that things don’t always go as planned. You could have lost your job or regular overtime, your business or investments may have experienced a downturn, your relationship might have broken down or you may have incurred unexpected medical expenses.

In some cases, the problem may not arise from a major event, but instead be the result of difficulties and unexpected expenses over a period of time. Any of these things can put you in a position of financial hardship and make it difficult for you to meet your loan repayments.

Letting us know

If you find you’re no longer able to meet your MyState Bank loan repayment obligations, or you think you might not be able to do so in the near future - whatever the reason - please get in touch with us as soon as you can, so we can help.

By contacting us early, we may be able to put arrangements in place that will assist you in recovering from the changes in your circumstances, and leave your credit rating intact. Early intervention is the key when your financial circumstances change.

If you have a joint account with someone and you are experiencing financial difficulty, then we can assist you. If you ask us to, we can do so without involving the other person initially.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us by visiting your nearest branch, or calling us on 138 001.

You can apply for Hardship Assistance online by clicking here:

Apply for Hardship Assistance

How we may be able to assist you

When you contact us, it is important to be open, and as honest as you can be about your financial position. In turn, we will be compassionate in understanding your situation and discussing any way we can help.

We’ll work with you to develop a strategy suited to your circumstances, and we’ll do everything we can to find a way forward together.

Restoring your financial position is possible – meaning it is likely that you will be able to meet your monthly repayments again in the future Restoring your financial position is unlikely – meaning it is unlikely that you will be able to meet you monthly repayments again in the future

Our financial hardship arrangements focus on situations from which you can recover your financial position.

In these situations, we may be able to help you by:

  • agreeing to interest only payments for a short period;
  • extending the term of your loan to reduce your repayments; or
  • temporarily postponing or deferring payments.

These arrangements may require you to pay more interest over the loan term.

What you can do

In these circumstances, contact us and we will help you work out what you need to do.

A permanent change to your financial situation may mean it is now unlikely that your financial position can be recovered — even if your existing loan were to be changed.

In that case, it may not be appropriate, for us to offer you changes to any payment arrangements under the National Credit Code’s financial hardship process.

However, even in these circumstances, we may be able to offer you help — for example, options may include:

  • agreeing on an alternative arrangement, plan or contract;
  • changing the terms of your loan;
  • giving you time to sell your property; or
  • giving information about bankruptcy or insolvency arrangements.

What you can do

In these circumstances, contact us and we will help you work out what you need to do. We may refer you to people who can help you find a financial adviser or counsellor.

Access to confidential and free financial counselling:

You may wish to contact a financial counsellor for free, independent advice about your situation. The National Debt Helpline website (ndh.org.au) has easy to use, step-by-step guides on how to tackle debts. You can also call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to talk to a financial counsellor.

For business finances you can contact the free Small Business Debt Helpline service (sbdh.org.au/) on 1800 413 828 for independent advice and assistance that may help your situation.

If we are working with you to help you respond to financial difficulties, then you can tell us to deal with your financial counsellor or representative — rather than dealing with you. To do this, you will need to give us their contact details in writing.

Australian Banking Association (ABA) Financial Assistance Hub

For the first time, banks are unveiling an industry-wide Financial Assistance Hub www.ausbanking.org.au/assistance. The site aims to inform and assist bank customers so they know exactly where they stand, and how banks can assist them when they are experiencing financial stress. This support includes clear and constructive information on what people can expect as they handle financial stress and what steps they can take to get out of it.

Many things can lead to financial difficulty, the guidance in the Financial Assistance Hub is designed to help you understand the options that may be available if you are struggling financially. This information is only a guide, so it is a good idea to contact MyState as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

What does financial hardship mean for my credit report?

Prior to 1 July 2022, financial hardship arrangements were not included in the information allowed on customer’s credit reports. As such, a customer’s credit report might have shown that they have missed repayments during a hardship arrangement, even if those missed or reduced payments were agreed as part of a financial hardship arrangement with their lender. Alternatively, some lenders ceased reporting a customer’s repayment history during a financial hardship arrangement. The lack of consistency across lenders led to confusion for customers and banks alike.

From 1 July 2022, the credit reporting system will be much clearer, with the introduction of “financial hardship information”. If you agree to a financial hardship arrangement with your bank, your credit report will show that you have made your repayments on time for the period of the arrangement. This is provided you meet the terms of the financial hardship arrangement agreed with your bank.

Your credit report will also include information that indicates you are in a financial hardship arrangement. This information will stay on your credit report for one year and then disappear. Your credit report will not include the reason for your financial hardship arrangement.

The ABA has produced some credit reporting fact sheets and frequently asked questions. You can access these resources here: https://www.ausbanking.org.au/credit-reporting/

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to show evidence of financial hardship to receive help?

Yes. You will need to complete our online hardship application in full so we can assess your current financial position and establish how to best provide assistance.

How do I know if I’m in financial difficulty?

There are many triggers for financial stress and every situation is different. It may be that you are finding it difficult to meet your regular financial commitments like bills, mortgage repayments or school fees. Or it may be that you unexpectedly experience a change in your personal circumstances like redundancy or divorce. These are just a few examples, but the simple answer is, if your financial situation is causing you worry, it’s probably a good enough reason to talk to us. Remember the earlier you approach us for help the better.

Will I be penalised for accepting assistance, such as a repayment holiday or reduced repayments? Doesn’t that affect my credit rating?

No, it won’t affect your credit rating. In fact it’s better to ask for assistance and restructure your finances early to ensure that you don’t affect your credit rating should you leave it too late and fall into unmanageable arrears.

Does it cost anything to get financial hardship assistance from MyState Bank?

No. We do not charge any fee or penalty when assisting you in times of hardship.

What is bankruptcy? Could it happen to me? What effect will this have on the rest of my life?

Bankruptcy is a legal declaration that you are insolvent, that is, you cannot repay your debts. Bankruptcy is listed on the Government Insolvency Register permanently and is also noted on your credit report for between 7 and 10 years. Bankruptcy will hinder your attempts to gain credit (i.e. a credit card or loan) in the future.

You should, wherever possible, avoid bankruptcy due to the long term effects that come with this action. Again, contacting us early will in most cases negate the need for this course of action to be considered.

What is a Part IX Debt Agreement?

A debt agreement is a binding agreement between you and your credit provider and falls under Part IX of the Bankruptcy Act 1966. Under a Part IX debt agreement, your credit provider will agree to accept an amount of money that you can afford to pay, over a set period of time, to settle your debts. When a debt agreement is in place, the legal recovery action is suspended and debts, along with interest and charges, are frozen.

A Part IX debt agreement is a form of Bankruptcy. The debt agreement is made public and is recorded on your credit report for a similar term as Bankruptcy.