We understand that unforeseen circumstances can occur after you have taken out a loan that may result in difficulty with your repayments. We have an avenue called Unforeseen Financial Hardship, which could help in situations like these.
WHAT CAN I APPLY FOR?
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that Borrowers who have their contracts varied, because of Unforeseen Hardship will still repay their loan in full – it may just take longer than initially expected.
You can apply for one of the following options:
1. An extension to the term length of your loan – this will reduce the amount you pay with each repayment, but increase the number of repayments;
2. Postpone some of your repayments for a set time; OR
3. A combination of the two – e.g. extend your term and get a postponement of some of your repayments.
Please note that with any of the above options, by extending the term of the loan and/or postponing the payments for a set time – in most cases, this increases the total repayable amount (as the interest and/or default interest will then run for a longer period).
Not all applications will be successful, and there is stringent criteria that a Borrower must fall into in order to have an Unforeseen Hardship variation granted.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR HARDSHIP?
Anyone may apply for a hardship variation, however the application must relate to an unforeseeable cause that occurred after the loan was taken out, for it to be approved.
The law does limit who can apply for a hardship variation, however our current policy is to receive all genuine hardship applications for assessment. It is imperative that you contact us as soon as possible if you are unable to meet your debt repayments, as there is a limited time to make a hardship application whilst in default (see below):
You are eligible to apply for unforeseen substantial financial hardship if:
1. You have not been in default for more than 2 months; and
2. You have not missed 4 or more payments; and
3. You have not previously applied for hardship in the last 4 months (unless your current application is due to materially different reasons than the last application); and
4. The cause of your financial hardship was NOT reasonably foreseeable to you at the time you took out the loan.
ARE THERE OTHER WAYS I COULD BE DECLINED?
If you knew or reasonably suspected you would be made redundant, or needed an operation before you took out the loan then your hardship application may be declined.
Pre-existing injuries, the ending of fixed-term/temporary contracts, resignations, or terminations due to employee misconduct or contract breaches, are usually not considered unforeseen events and may cause your application to be declined.
If you have suffered an unforeseen event since taking out your loan affecting your repayments (and you feel you may be eligible) you can request a hardship application form here:
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Once you have submitted your request you will be sent an application form within 48 hours, to complete.
This form sets out a series of questions which, when completed, will enable us to promptly assess your application.
Please be specific with dates, times, amounts to avoid further follow ups or delays in processing your application.
1. Standard interest, fees, scheduled direct debits and collection activity(default interest, fees, reminder texts and emails, etc.) do not stop whilst you are applying for financial hardship. The decision to stop any or some of these, is made by the Hardship Department if your application is approved.
2. To be approved, your financial hardship must have been unforeseeable at the time you took out the loan. We will generally need proof of this, so please provide it with your application. E.g. Letter from Employer showing your redundancy/Letter from ACC re: an accident, etc. (refer to our emailed Guide for further examples).
HOW LONG DOES THE WHOLE PROCESS TAKE?
The speed at which the application is processed, mainly depends on how prompt you are at getting your completed application through along with the relevant documents to support your application.
Once we receive your completed application, we have the below legislative time frames to work within:
Within 5 working days – We must acknowledge receipt of your completed application.
Within 10 working days – We must request any additional information/documents to support your application.
Within 20 working days (or 10 working days after receiving additional information/documents) – We must make a decision (decline or approve) on your application.
CAN I APPLY ANOTHER WAY?
Yes, you can apply for hardship by contacting us (in writing) at:
Fax: 0800 001 477
Postal Address: P O Box 11187, Ellerslie, Auckland 1542
You will need to provide your loan number and specify the reasonable unforeseen event (e.g. illness, injury, loss of employment, end of a relationship or other reasonable cause) that led to your inability to meet your repayment obligations.
Whilst we will process all applications in accordance with legislative time frames it is likely an application not submitted on our standard form and without required supporting documents may result in a slower assessment time. Therefore we recommend you request a hardship application form by completing the information requested above.
WHAT IF I DON’T MEET THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA?
If you don’t meet the legislative criteria or time frames as set out in the CCCF Act, we still want to hear from you to discuss your situation. Our collectors maybe able to offer something similar and will work with you to make your remaining loan repayments more manageable. Please visit Repayment Problems instead for our collection contact details.