Financial hardship assistance

If you’re going through financial hardship we may be able to help you. Please don’t be afraid to talk to us – the sooner you do, the sooner we can work out what we can do to help.

What is financial hardship?

You could be hit by financial hardship for all sorts of reasons, and everyone's circumstances will be different. If any of these situations apply to you, we may be able to help:

  • A recent job loss
  • An unexpected reduction in income
  • A relationship breakdown that’s made it difficult for you to meet your financial commitments
  • An illness or injury, that prevents you from working
  • A natural disaster or unforeseen significant event that has affected your financial situation.

If none of these situations apply to you but you're experiencing financial difficulties, we may still be able to help.

The sooner you get in touch the better. If you get too far behind in your loan repayments or bills you might not be eligible for our financial hardship assistance.

What kind of assistance is available?

The type of assistance will be tailored to your specific situation and the accounts and services you have with us. It may include a repayment holiday, interest-only repayments, interest suppression or extending your loan.

If you’re a business going through financial hardship, please talk to your Business Manager.

Financial hardship assistance isn't available to investment entities, partnerships or trusts.

How much will it cost?

There is no charge or fee to apply for financial hardship assistance.

How to apply

  1. To apply for financial hardship assistance, you should call us on 0800 222 224, 8:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday or visit your nearest Kiwibank.
  2. Once you’ve spoken to us, we’ll send you a form to fill out that details your financial position – any loans, assets, income, credit cards etc.
  3. We’ll need you to send back the form, along with a letter or email explaining why you want financial hardship assistance.
  4. Once we’ve heard back from you, someone will be in touch within five business days.
  5. In some cases we may ask for more information. If so, we’ll be in touch. That information could include: pay slips, proof of other income, bank statements or loans. We may also conduct a credit check.

What happens next?

Assistance is decided on a case-by-case basis. Once you’ve submitted your application, we‘ll contact you within five business days to let you know the outcome.

If your application is approved the assistance may appear on your credit reporting history.

Frequently asked questions

Can someone else apply on my behalf?

Yes, but only if you provide consent. We can discuss and negotiate with your nominated representative, but you’ll still need to agree to whatever solution is proposed.

What’s not considered financial hardship?

Generally anything that you could have anticipated is not considered financial hardship, such as:

  • Loss of rental income
  • Ending of fixed-term employment contracts
  • Saving for travel
  • Paying off other debt
  • Returning to study
  • Paying for general expenses
  • Sabbaticals (or similar requests for long-term leave)
  • Parental leave
  • Long-term income changes
What should I do before asking for financial hardship assistance?

Before applying for financial hardship assistance, there are some other steps you can take:

  • If you’ve lost your job and have income insurance cover, get in touch with your insurance provider to see if you’re covered for loss of income.
  • Obtain independent, free debt advice from organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau or MoneyTalks.
  • Contact us if you are having problems making payments or think that you may soon experience financial problems.
  • Keep to any payment plan you've agreed to. If your circumstances change and you think your ability to make repayments on a loan might be affected, then let us know.
  • Make sure you keep anyone guaranteeing your loan(s) up to date with what's happening.
What if I have a revolving home loan?

Due to the nature of this product we're unable to provide any assistance on this type of loan account.

Do I need to apply for hardship assistance before applying for a KiwiSaver withdrawal?

Yes. Your KiwiSaver scheme provider will check to see that you've taken all reasonable steps to deal with your current financial hardship, including refinancing or consolidating your existing debt, making payment arrangements, and seeking appropriate budget advice, from a budget advisor.