AUSTRALIA | Today, the Australian Banking Association has launched a campaign encouraging Australians struggling with loan repayments to contact their bank, titled ‘Don’t tough it out on your own.’
“Banks know many of their customers are making difficult financial decisions right now as the country navigates challenging economic conditions,” said ABA CEO Anna Bligh.
“Banks stood by their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic deferring payments for people who, for the first time in their lives, found themselves unable to pay. Banks stand ready to help people again now.”
“The earlier people reach out, the faster banks can help. Don’t tough it out on your own.”
The Australian Banking Association ads will feature on radio, in digital news and on social media for four weeks starting today.
Bligh said banks may be able to help by:
- lowering home loan or credit card payments
- restructuring the length of a loan
- moving a customer to interest-only payments for a while
- deferring payments for a period.
“People who are finding their finances are stretched should not feel they have no options and they have to do it on their own. Banks have dedicated, highly experienced teams ready to help. Please get in touch. Don’t delay.” said Bligh.
Bligh said there were reassuring signs that many customers were navigating the unpredictable economic climate well but noted it is important to look out for the warning signs of financial stress.
“Thankfully, recent data shows that most customers are keeping up with their repayments and that arrears are well within historical ranges.”
“But for those worried about falling behind or finding it difficult to navigate the current conditions, banks have options to assist in the short or long term.”
“The spiral into financial hardship can happen very quickly, but early assistance can make a real difference. Please talk to your bank.”
New Financial Assistance Hub
Designed as a “pathway out of financial hardship”, the ABA recently launched a new Financial Assistance Hub.
Originally launched during COVID-19, the Hub has been completely updated with information for customers who are moving off fixed-rate mortgages or struggling to repay buy now pay later loans.