A simple guide to financial assistance

A simple guide to financial assistance

If you need to ask for help, here are some tips to applying for financial assistance, creating a plan that works for you and getting back on track.

Financial support options differ between lenders and solutions will depend on your individual circumstances. Options may include changing repayments or a repayment holiday. Here is a simple guide on what to expect when speaking with your lender about assistance:

Get prepared

Your lender’s website may have a financial assistance section with information on ways they may be able to assist you, so you can consider the pros and cons of these options. If you’re a Pepper Money customer you can visit our Financial Assistance Hub to understand the options that may be available to you.

Before contacting your lender, think about how long you may need some sort of repayment assistance for and when you might be able to resume making repayments. Knowing what you can and can’t afford to pay and having this information ready will help you have a productive conversation with your lender, help you manage your finances through the assistance period and set yourself up for success in the longer term.

Get in touch

Once you feel ready to contact your lender, which may be in writing or over the phone depending on the lender’s requirements – you will be able to explain that you are or will be unable to make your existing loan repayments. Your lender will then likely ask for some further information or supporting documentation that will help them better understand your situation and work out how they can best help you.

Here are some examples of information you may need to share:

  • Your loan number (if you know it)
  • Reason for the assistance request – what has changed for you, if your circumstances are expected to change or improve in the future
  • Can you afford to make any repayments now? (no matter how small)
  • When you think you may be able to resume making repayments
  • A summary of your current income, expenses, assets and liabilities
  • Evidence of employment (e.g. payslips, employment contract, tax return)
  • Evidence of income (e.g. account statements, Centrelink statement, social security payment details)
  • Evidence of medical circumstances if relevant (e.g. medical certificate from a qualified medical practitioner, proof of assistance via the disability support pension)
  • Any other relevant information required (e.g. separation statement, contract of sale, or consent from joint borrower).

When speaking with your lender make sure to take the opportunity to ask plenty of questions. It’s your chance to understand all your options and decide on the best course of action for you. You may find yourself overwhelmed with information at the time so consider any potential questions you may have prior to your conversation.

Some questions you may want to ask include:

  • What extra information do I need to provide during this assistance application process?
  • When will this repayment holiday start?
  • Can you tell me what my repayments will be after the repayment holiday?
  • What are the next steps if my assistance application is declined?
  • What will happen if I am still not able to make my repayments at the end of the repayment holiday?
  • Will your team check in with me on a regular basis? Or do I need to call you to inform you if my circumstances change?
  • If my circumstances change during my repayment holiday, can I make voluntary payments? If so, how do I this?

Get back on track

If you’re on a repayment break with your lender, it’s a good idea to have a plan to get back on track with your repayments after the break. This could mean fast-tracking your road to recovery and achieving your financial goals.

If you are able to, you may want to consider:

  • Make some regular repayments: You may be able to make your post-break repayments more manageable by making some regular voluntary contributions while in a repayment break. Even a small amount each week or month can help reduce your repayments and the total interest paid over the loan term.
  • Cutting short your repayment holiday: Financial circumstances can change rapidly, and you may be able to start making repayments on your loan earlier than expected. If things do change and you can make your regular full repayments before the end of the repayment break, just get in touch with your lender.

Are you a Pepper Money customer? If you're experiencing financial difficulty, please call us sooner rather than later. Contact us on 1300 650 931, or visit our Financial Assistance Hub to understand the options that may be available to you. 

Don't forget to check out our other articles in Pepper’s Real Life Money Management Guide, for some simple tips to manage your money and seek assistance in need. 

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