If there is an immediate threat to your safety call emergency 000.

We've partnered with Kristy McKellar (KM Consulting Services) on this content, an expert in family violence and social change.

Financial abuse is a form of domestic and family violence where the abuser uses money or finances to control the other person. If you’re experiencing financial abuse there are ways to keep your finances safe. Before taking any of these steps consider your personal safety and have a safety plan ready.

We’ll treat information that you give us about your situation confidentially but any information about a joint loan (such as balance and payments that you make) will be available to the co-borrower. We understand that domestic and family violence is a very complex and personal issue, and it takes a lot for someone to disclose their situation. We want to support you through this difficult experience.

If you have particular concerns about your privacy let us know and we can put extra security on your accounts.

It's important to remember that if you and your partner (or ex-partner) have joint loans or accounts with us, then you're both our customers. We will assist in supporting and resolving matters with you as individuals where possible, even when it relates to joint matters. Read more about joint accounts and debt below.

Protecting your finances while you're in the relationship

There are lots of financial things to consider when you're in a relationship where family violence exists. It’s best to talk to a specialist family violence worker about your options and what steps you should take. For many people, setting up their own transaction account is an important step in their safety planning. You can use this account to save emergency money and, when it’s safe to do so, direct your salary and government payments to this account. Banks are obligated to send you statements and letters regarding your accounts in the mail, so consider choosing to receive your statements and letters online, or ask a trusted friend if you can nominate their address as your mailing address.

When you've left a relationship

It can be hard to know where to start when leaving a violent relationship. Here are some tips for taking control of your financial situation:

  • Change your PIN, phone banking and internet banking passwords.
  • Setup SMS security on your accounts through internet banking or by calling us on 13 22 65.
  • If you’ve changed addresses, notify us of your new address. We’ll keep this information confidential. If you’re staying somewhere short-term or have a temporary address, consider changing your mailing address to a trusted family member or friend, or requesting online statements.
  • If you haven't already, set up a transaction account in your name. When it’s safe to do so, you can use this account to save money and direct your salary and government payments to this account.

If you have joint accounts and debts

Joint accounts and debts that have been set up during the course of a relationship need special attention when you have escaped a violent relationship, especially debts that are in both of your names. It’s important to know that:

  • Funds held in joint bank accounts are owned by both people on the account, and
  • Debts in joint names are owed by both borrowers. When debts are in joint names, both account holders are responsible for repaying the full amount of the loan (known as joint and severable liablility).

We will work with both customers in joint accounts and debts, but we can’t mediate a property settlement on your behalf. We recommend you to seek legal advice. You can contact various legal services for free information about the law and how they can assist you.

If you have a joint loan with us, you can ask for hardship assistance without the permission of the other borrower. We’ll consider a request for assistance from either of you. We will keep the reasons for your request confidential, however we do need to notify other borrowers and guarantors of the outcome of your financial hardship request. You can speak to us about how we’ll keep your personal information safe and protect your privacy.

If you’re having difficulties making your payments, call NAB Assist on 1800 701 599. We have a range of options that may help if you’re experiencing financial hardship.

This is general information, so we recommend you seek legal advice for specialist advice about a property settlement and your rights in joint accounts and debts. You’ll also need to seek specialist advice about your superannuation and life insurance policies.

Joint transaction accounts

What you need to know:

  • An important first step when you plan to stop using a joint account is to have a bank account in yo​ur own name. We can help you set one up.
  • Another step you can take is to change how an account operates, from 'anyone to sign' to 'all to sign'. Contact us and ask to change the account authority.
  • Ask us for 13 months of statements on any joint bank accounts so you can redirect any direct debits.

Credit cards

What you need to know:

  • NAB credit cards are not joint credit cards.
  • NAB credit cards have one account holder (also called the primary cardholder), and this person is liable for all charges on the account.
  • There may be a secondary cardholder who is authorised by the account holder (primary cardholder) to use a secondary card, but the secondary cardholder is not liable for the debt on this card.

If you’re the primary cardholder and would like to cancel a secondary card, contact us. You’ll remain responsible for any transactions made by a secondary cardholder until you advise us that you want to cancel the secondary card.

Mortgages

What you need to know:

  • Consider cancelling redraw on your mortgage or changing redraw to 'both parties to sign'. To do this call us and ask to change the authority on your redraw.
  • If possible, agree to a plan about who will pay the mortgage payments and how much while you go through a property settlement. If there’s domestic or family violence, or a restraining order, use a trusted friend or family member to communicate with the other borrower if possible.
  • If you’re going to have difficulties making your mortgage payment contact NAB Assist on 1800 701 599 as we may be able to provide assistance.
  • If you’ve moved out of the home, consider removing your name from utility bills.

Personal Loans

What you need to know:

  • Consider cancelling redraw on your personal loan or changing redraw to 'both parties to sign'. To do this call us and ask to change the authority on your redraw.
  • If possible, agree to a plan about who will pay the personal loan payments and how much while you go through a property settlement. If there’s domestic or family violence, or a restraining order, use a trusted friend or family member to communicate with the other borrower if possible.
  • If you’re going to have difficulties making your personal loan payment contact NAB Assist on 1800 701 599 as we may be able to provide assistance.

Support services

Financial hardship

If you're having difficulties making your payments, call NAB Assist on 1800 701 599, Mon-Fri 8am-8pm (AEST/AEDT) or 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

1800RESPECT

The National Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Counselling Service, offers confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral services.

Visit 1800RESPECT or you can call 1800 737 732, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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