Handling Financial Difficulty

Here to help you

At Heritage, we know life isn’t always straightforward, and unexpected and unplanned events do happen. Sometimes this can mean it becomes difficult to keep up with repayment obligations. If this happens, we may be able to assist. Get in touch with us as soon as you feel you might need some support.

Financial difficulty can happen to anyone, don’t wait until you’ve missed a payment, or are falling behind to contact us – the sooner we can discuss the situation with you, the better.

Financial difficulty can happen unexpectedly

Financial difficulty can be caused by many different situations, and can affect anyone - whether you’re an individual, a couple, joint account holder, small business, borrower or a guarantor. We know these circumstances can often arise quickly and unexpectedly, and could include:

  • Employment changes or unexpected unemployment
  • Income or expenses changes (cost of living)
  • Major life events (such as breakdown of a relationship or a death in the family)
  • Domestic or family violence
  • Financial abuse
  • Serious injury or ill health
  • Natural disaster or emergency event (such as a pandemic)



1800 222 030

Available Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm AEST. Select Option 1.

We're here for you

At Heritage, supporting our customers is at the heart of everything we do. It’s not always easy to ask for help, but please try to contact us early if your circumstances change (even if it’s only short term) so we can work out how best we can assist you.

When you feel comfortable to talk, we assure you that we will:

  • Treat you fairly, with compassion and respect
  • Be honest about what options are available to you
  • Keep your information confidential at all times
  • Work with you to come up with a plan
What hardship assistance is available?

Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to offer Financial Hardship Assistance to members struggling to meet loan or credit card repayments.

If you're finding it difficult to stay on top of your loan repayments, get in touch with us to see if we can help.

Depending on your circumstances, some of the ways we may be able to help include:

  • Deferred payment arrangement:
    Providing you with a temporary payment break in your loan arrangement
  • Reduced payment arrangement:
    Temporarily reducing your minimum repayments under your loan arrangement
  • Or a combination of arrangements may be available depending on your current situation
What happens next?

When you are ready to talk to us, we will work with you to create a plan of support. At that time we encourage you to be as open as possible when sharing your financial position.

If you do request Hardship Assistance, we encourage you to keep making whatever payments you can while we assess your request.

If you have a joint account, we can work with you in the initial stages of your request without involving the other party, if preferred.

When we receive a request for hardship assistance, we will:

  • Look into the request for assistance, considering your current situation
  • Consider the long and short-term financial issues where necessary
  • Pause collection activity whilst reviewing your request
  • Respond promptly to the request
How to get in touch

If you’re going through financial difficulty and would like to talk to us about your options, please get in touch with our dedicated team at 1800 222 030 or email memberassist@heritage.com.au as soon as you can.

Alternatively, you can apply for Hardship relief by completing the Hardship Relief form and emailing it to Heritage. When the form is received, we will contact you to discuss your application further. If preferred, you can also post the form to: Member Assist Department, Reply Paid 190, Toowoomba QLD 4350, please note, no stamp is required if posted within Australia.

Please note our team may ask you about your income, expenses, assets, and request documents specific to your finances to assist with your application. Our team has been trained for these situations and are here to help you with the next steps.




Your credit report

How financial hardship impacts your credit report

A financial hardship arrangement is an agreement between you and Heritage. If something has impacted your ability to repay your credit card, personal loan, car loan or mortgage loan repayments, we can help by reducing them or deferring them for a set amount of time. Financial hardship information is not a reflection of poor credit management. In fact, having a hardship agreement can help protect your credit report from missed repayments.

If you agree to a financial hardship arrangement with Heritage, this will show on your credit report during the arrangement. It will remain on your credit report for 12 months after the end of the agreement. This helps safeguard your repayment history as it will show that a special payment arrangement is in place for a period due to financial hardship. 

Being in a financial hardship arrangement won't impact your credit score. However, repayment history information can be included in the calculation of your credit score. So, if you miss a payment under your arrangement, your credit score might be impacted. 

What does financial hardship look like in my credit report?

If you've missed one, or multiple loan repayments, this will show on your credit report. Your credit report is updated with your repayment history monthly. Any missed repayments will show on your credit report for 24 months after they are reported. 

If you have an approved financial hardship arrangement, your credit report will show the type of arrangement you have with us. This could be a temporary arrangement or a variation to your loan. Your credit report will not include the reason for the hardship arrangement, or any further details of our arrangement.

The arrangement will be shown as a simple letter code ('A' or 'V') next to your repayment history. This will show for a maximum of 12 months after the end of the agreement.
  • Letter code 'A' refers to a temporary hardship arrangement. This is a type of short-term relief or deferral of your credit obligations. This gets reported each month that the financial hardship is in place. 
  • Letter code 'V' refers to a variation financial hardship arrangement. This is a permanent variation to the terms of a credit agreement, such as capitalising your arrears after being in a temporary hardship arrangement. This gets reported once, in the month that the permanent variation took place.

Does financial hardship exclude me from applying for credit?

Financial hardship information does not exclude you from applying for credit in the future, once your financial hardship arrangement has ended.

If your credit report has financial hardship information, a potential lender may ask you for more information about your current situation to understand whether you are still experiencing hardship. 

If you'd like to learn more about what is in your credit report, visit our help page about Comprehensive Credit Reporting. To learn more about Financial Hardship visit the CreditSmart website.
Frequently asked questions

What happens when I get in touch with Heritage to discuss my hardship situation?

The team at Heritage Bank treat each case with respect, empathy, and equality. To help us understand how we may be able to help you, our team may ask some questions about your income, assets and expenses, and may request supporting documents for your application.

What hardship assistance is available?

Some of the potential types of financial difficulty assistance from Heritage Bank include deferred or reduced payment arrangements on your loan. Depending on your circumstances there may also be additional options available. 

Will my hardship arrangement affect my credit report?

If we've agreed to a hardship arrangement with you, this will be noted in your credit report for the duration of the arrangement and will remain on your credit report for 12 months from the end of the hardship arrangement.


Being in a financial hardship arrangement with us won’t impact your credit score. However, repayment history information can be included in the calculation of your credit score, so if you're under a temporary financial hardship arrangement and you miss a payment under the arrangement, your credit score might be impacted. You can read more here.

Can someone else apply for financial hardship on my behalf? 

Yes. With your authorisation, we can discuss your application with a friend, relative, partner, or counselling service.

What happens if my circumstances haven't changed at the end of the hardship period?

If your hardship assistance agreement period is coming to an end and you are concerned that your situation hasn’t changed, please get in touch as soon as possible so that we can re-assess your case.

Will I be contacted by Member Assist after financial assistance has been approved?  

You may receive a courtesy call during, or at the end of, the assistance period to see how you are getting on.

What happens if I don't qualify for financial hardship assistance? 

We will provide you with a reason in writing as to why you did not meet our hardship criteria. You may wish to seek hardship advice from a financial professional or external support service. Another source of information and assistance could be the National Debt Helpline, and there are more resources on our external financial support services page. 

What if I'm not happy with your response?

You can contact Member Assist (email: memberassist@heritage.com.au or call us on 1800 222 030) to discuss, or have the decision reviewed by our Complaint Resolution Team, or contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
External support services

There are a range of free services you can access for information and confidential counselling. Find more information on our external financial support services page. 
Disaster Relief Support

Contact us now for assistance

If you've been impacted by bushfire or flood please reach out to us as soon as possible. Our contact centre team is available 24/7 by calling 13 14 22 and will work quickly to assess your situation and advise how we can help. 

If you’re unable to make your next mortgage, personal loan or credit card repayment due to bushfire or flood impacts, contact our Member Assist Department on 1800 222 030.

For all other Member Relief Package enquiries please call 13 14 22.

Our Member Relief Package includes:

  • Hardship provisions to help impacted members through their situation
  • Waiving fees associated with restructuring of loans needed because of flood or bushfire impacts
  • Waiving or refunding fees incurred because flood or bushfire impacts have made it impossible for members to comply with requirements of their accounts, for example missed payments
  • Early redemption on Term Deposits and Farm Deposit Management accounts for members impacted by flood or bushfires, without fees or penalties

Above all, safety is the number one priority. If you live in an impacted area we encourage you to monitor the situation through the media and emergency service websites.

Financial Abuse

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Financial abuse
Understanding financial abuse and being able to recognise the signs, can help protect you and your loved ones.
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