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Managing Financial Difficulty

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We understand there may be times when your personal circumstances change. You may experience an unexpected event or changes outside of your control. Perhaps you’ve lost your job, suffered an illness or injury or have been impacted by a natural disaster.

If, as a result, you can’t afford the minimum repayment on your loan or credit card, and you would like us to consider if we can provide you with financial difficulty assistance, please contact us immediately. The sooner you contact us the sooner we can try to help you.

In many instances assistance can be provided quickly and efficiently over the phone.

Alternatively, we may need to complete a more detailed assessment of your personal and financial circumstances to identify how we may be able to help you.

Financial difficulty assistance is available to you, whether you are an individual, joint account holder, guarantor or small business Member. If you have a joint account and you are experiencing financial difficulty, we can assist you individually if you request it.

Request a CallContact Us

If you would like to apply for assistance, please contact:

Phone: 1300 361 761
Email: support@serviceone.com.au
Postal address: SERVICE ONE Credit Control
75 Denison Street
DEAKIN ACT 2600

 

  Financial difficulty assistance - FAQs

Q: What are my assistance options?

A: This will depend on your personal circumstances and financial situation, and may include:

  • tailoring a payment arrangement
  • deferring or reducing loan payments for a defined period of time
  • extending the loan term, and/or
  • capitalising loan arrears.

It is important to contact us early so that we can discuss your situation and provide the best options available to you. 

Q: What is the application process?

A: If you think you are, or will be, unable to meet your debt obligations please contact us as soon as possible.

Depending on your situation we may be able to provide assistance quickly and efficiently over the phone.

Alternatively we may require further information and documentation to help us understand your financial position and determine whether assistance is appropriate.

We may require:

  • a statement of financial position to be completed summarising your current income, expenditure, assets and liabilities
  • an employment contract and/or payslips
  • your account statements
  • a Centrelink statement and/or social security payment details
  • a medical certificate from a qualified medical practitioner
  • an employment separation statement
  • a contract of sale/ sales agency agreement, and/or
  • other documents which support your request.

Once you have provided us with all the requested information necessary to review your financial situation, we will provide you with a decision within 21 days.

Q: How will we assess your application for financial difficulty assistance?

A: Our dedicated team will contact you. When assessing your request they will take into account factors including:

  • the reason for financial difficulty
  • your current financial position
  • your ability to meet the commitments under the proposed arrangement and future repayments under the contract, and/or
  • the ability to rehabilitate your circumstances (based on whether the financial difficulty assistance will offer genuine relief to restore your financial situation).

Q: How will we tell you about our decision?

A: We will tell you in writing if we can assist you, the reason for our decision to provide assistance and the main details of the proposed new arrangements.

You’ll need to ensure that you meet the terms of the new arrangement.

If you are subsequently unable to meet these terms, you should contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Q: What happens if my application is declined?

A: There may be a number of reasons why we decide not to provide financial difficulty assistance. If this is the case the reason for the decision will be explained to you in writing. We will also seek to discuss the next steps we will take and other available options with you.

Q: What if I am not satisfied with the outcome of this assessment?

A: Please contact us on 1300 361 761 or email us. We will promptly investigate your complaint and notify you of the outcome.

If you are not satisfied with the response provided, you have the option of referring the matter to the Bendigo Bank Customer Advocate team who will impartially assess your complaint, keep you informed of the progress and provide you with a response.

The Bendigo Bank Customer Advocate can be contacted by:

Telephone: 1300 139 572 (+61 3 5485 7919) between 8:30am and 5:00pm Victorian time, weekdays
Email: customeradvocate@bendigoadelaide.com.au
Post/letter: write to Customer Advocate, PO Box 480, BENDIGO VIC 3552

Alternatively (or following consideration by the Customer Advocate) you may refer your complaint directly to:

Australian Financial Complaints Authority
GPO Box 3
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Phone: 1800 931 678
Fax: 03 9613 6399
Email: info@afca.org.au
www.afca.org.au

  Other useful resources

If you are experiencing financial difficulty, useful resources are available to you. These include:

  • The National Debt Helpline or website, which 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 free, independent advice about your situation.
  • The Financial Counselling Australia website provides information on finding a financial counselling agency in your area.
  • The ABA’s DoingItTough website which provides information about financial hardship, including how to identify if you’re experiencing financial hardship, how to apply for hardship assistance, and tips to help you manage your money.
  • ASIC’s MoneySmart website provides information and tools to help you make the most of your money.
  Steps to manage your money

Here are 10 positive steps towards managing your money during a period of financial difficulty:

  1. Get into the habit of using a budget to manage your money, and avoid having to borrow money from friends or family. Our online budget planner can assist you in organising your weekly income and expenditure.
  2. Avoid impulse shopping - use services such as lay-by to avoid credit card purchases.
  3. Use prepaid or capped mobile phone accounts to help control how much you spend on your phone.
  4. If you buy a car, shop around for the best deal on a loan - don’t just accept the finance offered to you at the car yard.
  5. Shop around for the best deal on car insurance and tell your insurance company all the facts when applying for a policy - don’t be tempted to conceal convictions or crashes, or you could be left uninsured.
  6. Keep credit cards under control by paying them off in full each month - look for a credit card with a low ongoing interest rate, rather than paying for bells and whistles.
  7. If you have several loans including lots of credit card debt, consider consolidating the loan balances into one personal loan.
  8. Set up regular electronic transfers to your credit cards, or savings account.
  9. Use discount coupons. Why pay full price for fast food? Or even groceries? Take advantage of discount coupons to save some money.
  10. Never commit to financial affairs that you can’t afford and stick to your budget.

You can also pick up your free copy of our Budget Guide from any Branch which will help you develop a budget plan for your household.

 

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