Financial hardship

We're here for you

 
For over 60 years, Community First has kept our members' money secure and our people safe from harm. This will never change, and together, we're here to help you navigate life's challenges together.

As many of our members deal with the growing health and financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our priority is clear: to support you where we can.

We are open for business and will continue operating as we did through the Global Financial Crisis and other challenges since 1959.

What is financial hardship?

Financial hardship refers to a situation where an individual has difficulty in maintaining their living expenses and paying their debts when they are due. Everyday events causing financial distress may include:

  • injury or illness
  • unemployment
  • reduction of income due to unforeseen circumstances
  • relationship breakdown 
  • domestic violence or financial abuse
  • natural disasters such as a bushfire, flood or drought
  • pandemics such as COVID-19
  • depression or recession would impact employment or reduction of income due to unforeseen circumstances

Financial hardship is more common than you might think. Statistics from the National Financial Capability Strategy show that one in five Australians don’t have access to $2000 in an emergency. 1

How we can help

Our members are a valued part of our community, and we are here to support you during uncertain times. If you experience financial difficulties, we encourage you to contact us quickly so we can work through your options together.

What you need before you start

We’ll need details about:

  • your account information
  • your situation, which you can provide using our Statement of Financial Position Form, which is available here                                                                        

To make sure your application is processed quickly, complete the Statement of Financial Position Form as precisely as you can, and provide any supporting documents to assist our team assess your circumstance. Alternatively, visit us, call us or write to us and we can assist you.

How to apply

There are several ways to apply for financial hardship assistance:

What happens next?

Generally, we can process your financial hardship assistance application over the phone. 

Occasionally we’ll need you to provide supporting documentation. If this is the case, please provide this as quickly as possible and allow up to 21 days from the date you provide this information, for us to process your request.

Steps you can take yourself

Claim against your loan protection, or income protection insurance policy

Access available redraw on your loan

Chances are if you’ve made a habit of paying more than your minimum scheduled repayments, then you’ll have money available for redraw from your loan. If you have internet banking, you can view how much funds you have available to redraw.

Sometimes fixed-rate loans have restrictions. However, at Community First, our fixed and variable rate home loans come with the ability to redraw.

Note: You must have paid ahead by at least one full repayment to access your redraw online. Fees may apply

Loan repayment pause

If you are ahead in your repayments you could consider pausing your repayments, the duration of the pause will be dependent on how many months in advance your repayments are.

Call Community First Direct on 1300 13 22 77, Mon-Fri 8am - 8pm (AEST/AEDT) or 8am-3pm on Saturdays to request a repayment pause.

Request interest only repayments

Switching to interest only repayments on your home loan for a term may provide you with some cash flow relief. Your repayments will be lower as you are only repaying the interest, not the principle amount borrowed. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary measure, and you need to remember that at the end of the interest only term, your repayments could increase as you’ll need to repay the remaining loan amount over a shorter period.

Support for businesses

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may be able to access a range of government support both nationally – and in your state/territory. You should also contact your accountant to enquire what tax concessions may be available to you. 

Federal Government support

Cash Flow Boost payment for employers

A Cash Flow Boost is available for eligible SMEs that employ staff. The payment is designed to help businesses with their cash flow, so they can keep operating and retain staff. You should refer to the Federal Government website for current information.

State and territory stimulus packages

There are a range of supports in place for small businesses and these differ between states and territories. For current information on what support is available you can visit your State Government's website.

Disclaimer: Prepared by Community First Credit Union for general information purposes only. Information current as at April 2020. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. For the latest updates on support for small business, please refer to the Federal, state and territory government websites.

1 https://www.nsw.gov.au/your-government/the-premier/media-releases-from-the-premier/10000-grants-to-provide-fast-relief-for-nsw-small-businesses-battling-covid-19/

 

Community First Credit Union LimitedABN 80 087 649 938 | AFSL and Australian credit licence 231204 | BSB 512-170