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Dealing with finances can be hard and anyone can experience financial difficulties. Financial stress occurs when you are unable to meet your existing commitments for your loans or other debts. Financial stress can occur in many situations and under various circumstances – what causes one person financial stress may not impact another.
Some situations that might cause financial stress include losing your job or being retrenched, a downturn in your business, unexpected events, loss of a loved one, a major change in your circumstances, juggling expenses or not being able to deal with the increasing costs of living.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s ok to need a little help sometimes. Our members are here to support you, many have specialist teams in place to tailor assistance to your needs and circumstances and assist you get financially back on track. In most cases, the support needed is only temporary so the earlier you get in touch with your lender, the quicker suitable options can be put in place.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, reach out early to your Bank or lender. To help prepare you, here are some points to consider:
Assess your financial position: Review your income and expenses to understand how much you can repay, what expenses are a priority and where you may be able to cut some of your expenses. There are many tools available to help you track your expenses (see Tools & Support section below).
Be ready to talk to your lender: Call your lender and let them know you are in financial hardship. Be prepared to discuss your current situation and what’s contributing to your circumstances. Have information on your income ready (eg payslips, social security payments) and details on your expenses including any changes you have made before contacting the lender.
Talk to your lender: Be open and honest with your lender so they can provide you with the most suitable options. Continue to communicate and exchange information with your lender to ensure any plans put in place are right for you.
It is also a good idea to speak to your electricity, phone and other service providers. They have hardship teams who may be able to delay, reduce or waive debt repayments depending on your situation.
Contact details and financial hardship information for each of our members is available below: