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Financial Difficulty Assistance

We understand there may be times when your personal circumstances change. Perhaps you have lost your job, suffered an illness or injury or have been impacted by a natural disaster.

If as a result you cannot afford the minimum repayment on your home loan, personal loan or credit card, and you would like us to consider if we can provide you with financial difficulty assistance, then please contact us immediately.

In many instances a temporary arrangement can be made 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. If you would like to apply for assistance, please contact our dedicated team.

Contact CIRCLE Alliance Bank

Phone: 1300 553 582
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Postal Address: PO Box 135, Deer Park, Victoria 3023

Financial difficulty assistance FAQs

What are some assistance options?

The options available will depend on your personal circumstances and financial situation. Some of these may include:

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

What is the application process?

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 enter into a temporary arrangement 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.

CIRCLE Alliance Bank may require:

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

How will we assess your application for financial difficulty assistance?

Our dedicated team will contact you and will take into account the following types of factors when assessing your request:

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

How will we confirm the arrangement?

We will confirm the details with you verbally and/or in writing.

You will need to ensure that you meet the terms of the arrangement.

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

What happens if my application is declined?

There may be a number of reasons why we decide not to provide financial difficulty assistance. If this is the case the reason for this 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.

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

You have the option of referring the matter to the Customer Advocate who will impartially assess your complaint, keep you informed of the progress and provide you with a response.
The Customer Advocate can be contacted by:
  • Telephone – 1300 139 572 (+61 3 5485 7919) between 8:30am and 5:00pm Victorian time, weekdays
  • Email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Post/Letter – write to: Customer Advocate, P.O. Box 480, Bendigo, Vic, 3552
Alternatively (or following consideration by the Customer Advocate) you may refer your complaint directly to the relevant External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme.
Australian Financial Complaints Authority

Online:  www.afca.org.au

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:  1800 931 678

Post: Australian Financial Complaints Authority, GPO Box 3, MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Other useful resources

If you are experiencing financial difficulty, there are a range of useful resources available to you, including:

If your account is overdrawn and you’re in need of support head to http://humanservices.gov.au/overdrawn

The ABA’s ‘DoingItTough’ website 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. See www.doingittough.info

ASIC’s ‘MoneySmart’ website provides information and tools to help you make the most of your money. See www.moneysmart.gov.au

You may wish to seek advice from an independent financial counsellor about your options. For more information about financial counselling services phone the toll-free number on 1800 007 007 or go to Financial Counselling Australia’s website at www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au

Financial Hardship Assistance Policy

Assisting Members Facing Financial Hardship

Borrowers who fall into financial hardship should be treated with care and respect. CIRCLE supports the Government’s initiative to ensure that all borrowers experiencing financial hardship are treated according to some common standards of assistance. CIRCLE has adopted the borrower hardship principles agreed between the Government and the four major banks, with some variations and additions to reflect the features that distinguish our sector from the major banks. These distinguishing features are our mutual status, smaller size, commitment to personal service and record as responsible lenders.

Your legal rights as a borrower

Your basic legal rights as a borrower are set down in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act.
Under the NCCP, borrowers can apply for changes to their credit contract on the grounds of hardship.
A borrower who is unable reasonably, because of illness, unemployment or other reasonable cause, to meet their obligations under a credit contract and who reasonably expects to be able to discharge their obligations if the terms of the contract were changed in a manner set out in the Act, may apply to the lender for such a change.

For Further Information

To find out more about our assistance program simply call us on 1300 553 582