Financial hardship

We understand that sometimes, life can be tough. If you've had a change to your personal circumstances, you may find it hard to keep up with your repayments. Experiencing financial hardship is more common than you think, but it can be managed.

Getting assistance and support is important. We're here to help you manage your financial stress.

What is financial hardship?

Financial hardship is when you’re willing but unable to pay what you owe because of unexpected events or unforeseen changes that impacts cash flow. For example:

  • Changes to your income or expenditure expenses
  • A change to your employment status, such as job loss or reduced work hours
  • A significant life event, such as a relationship breakdown or death in the family
  • You become injured or sick
  • There is an emergency event or natural disaster.


If you’re experiencing any of these events, or other reasons for financial hardship, you’ll be expected to reasonably recover your financial position once appropriate arrangements are made.

What will happen when you contact us

Contacting us should be your first step if you’re struggling to make your repayments due to unforeseen circumstances. Getting assistance as early as possible could take the pressure off and help you to manage your finances.

Your circumstances are unique and we assess each situation individually. Our Customer Assist team are dedicated to guiding you on the best approach for your current financial position. We offer appropriate solutions, such as payment plans, where possible.

Our approach

Everyone is affected differently. We work with you to determine the best approach for your situation. We may be able to assist you by:

  • reducing your payments for a period of time
  • extending your repayment arrangements
  • restructuring or consolidating your existing Bankwest debts.


Once you've applied for hardship assistance, we'll contact you within three business days. Please have the following information ready:

  • How your situation has changed
  • What income you are currently receiving
  • What your expenses are (bills, rent, mortgage, transport, food, insurance, etc)
  • How much you can currently afford to pay
  • How and when you expect your situation to change.

Do you have Credit Protection?

Credit Protection is consumer credit insurance which is designed to cover your repayment obligations if an insured event occurs. Insured events include, but are not limited to, involuntary loss of employment, becoming unfit for work as a result of sickness or accident, and death, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply. Find out more about Credit Protection.

For assistance, call St Andrews on 1300 653 751.

How do I apply for hardship assistance?

Payment solutions

If you're behind on your repayments and are unable to make them up in one go, our team can look into flexible options for your future payments. Please contact us on 1300 787 144 (international +61 8 9491 8115 option 3).

We are available Monday to Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am - 2:00pm WST.

Customer assist

If you're unable to meet your minimum monthly repayments or require ongoing financial assistance, we're here to help.

For assistance, contact us on 1300 769 173 (international +61 8 9481 8115, option 1). We are available Monday to Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm WST. You can also download and complete the Application for Hardship Assistance, then send the document to:

Email: customer.assist@bankwest.com.au
Fax: 1300 552 839
Post: Customer Assist, Post Office Box E237, Perth, WA, 6841.

If you don’t want to deal with us directly, you can nominate a representative to act on your behalf. If this person is a family member or friend, you will need to fill out a Third Party Request and send it to the address above.

You can find more information at Financial Counselling Australia.

Support

Experiencing financial hardship is tough, but you don’t need to go through it alone. Reach out to those who can support you, and take a look at all the resources available to help you.

Doing it tough?

The Australian Banking Association’s webpage Doing It Tough? has practical advice and guidance about managing your debts.

Financial Counselling Australia

Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) supports the financial counselling profession. They advocate on behalf of the clients of financial counsellors for a fairer marketplace that will prevent financial problems. The FCA services clients experiencing financial hardship. You can call the FCA on 1800 007 007.

Debt Self Help

Debt Self Help has guides and tools to help you get back on track. They provide practical information for those experiencing financial hardship – provided by Financial Counselling Australia.

MoneySmart

The Australian Security and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) MoneySmart has tips and tools to help you make the most of your money.

beyondblue

beyondblue is a not-for-profit organisation that supports Australians suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. You can contact beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

Gambling Help Online

Gambling Help Online provides support for anyone affected by gambling. For free 24/7 help or advice, call 1800 858 858.

1800RESPECT

1800RESPECT is a professional telephone and online counselling service for people affected by sexual assault or domestic and family violence. Open 24/7, you can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

We’re here to help

Need more help? Speak with someone from the team today.