What is financial hardship assistance

Financial hardship is when someone is having trouble meeting repayments for their loans or other debt. This may be a result of an unexpected change in circumstances (such as illness or injury, loss of income or being affected by a natural disaster). Many people will experience financial hardship during their lives.

Every year we help thousands of customers experiencing these challenges by providing financial hardship assistance. Based on our experience supporting customers, we know the earlier they reach out to us when experiencing financial hardship, the quicker they get their financial position back under control.

If you’re struggling to make repayments on any of your credit accounts or have experienced an unexpected change to your circumstances that might impact your ability to make your repayments, please get in touch with us about hardship assistance as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can talk with us over the phone:

  • For personal hardship assistance contact NAB Customer Care on 1800 701 599 (Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 8:00pm (AEST/AEDT), Saturday, 9:00am to 1:00pm (AEST/AEDT))
  • For business hardship assistance contact NAB Customer Care on 1300 961 577 (Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm (AEST/AEDT))

What are the next steps?

Once you’ve submitted your online application for financial hardship assistance, we’ll send you an email to confirm we’ve received it. If necessary, we may require further information from you to consider your application. Otherwise, we’ll be in touch with you again to either confirm we have agreed to provide a financial hardship arrangement or to discuss other options if they’re more appropriate for your circumstances.

Please note:

  • In some cases, a financial hardship arrangement may not be appropriate for your circumstances. We’ll write to you to let you know of our decision. We’ll be available to talk to you about other options.
  • Financial hardship arrangements don’t provide you with money. If you need help with your banking (unrelated to hardship), call us on 13 13 12 to speak with one of our bankers.

If you want to discuss an agreed arrangement or have any concerns about meeting an agreed arrangement, please reach out to our team.

When will I know the outcome of my application for financial hardship assistance?

  • We’ll typically assess your application based on the information you’ve provided us within five business days.
  • Sometimes we can assess a hardship assistance request without calling you. In other cases, we may need to speak with you to discuss the application before we can make our decision.
  • Sometimes we may need additional information from you, which may mean we aren’t able to fully assess your application until we’ve received the required information.
  • Once a decision by NAB has been made on your application, you (and any joint account holders) will receive a notice to your nominated email address or postal address of the outcome.

More support options available to you

  • While we can help you with your NAB accounts, we can’t help with other bills or expenses. If you need assistance with payments for your utilities like electricity, water or mobile phone, please reach out to those service providers and ask for assistance.
  • At times like these, it’s important to take care of your health and wellbeing. Consider whether it would help you or a loved one to speak with Beyond Blue, opens in new window or Lifeline, opens in new window . NAB also supports its customers with access to free, independent and confidential counselling for all aspects of life – physical, mental, social, professional and financial. You can call 1300 574 759 to make an appointment with a TELUS Health Clinician.
  • Please look at our Customer Care Kit for information about options, resources and community organisations outside NAB that may provide assistance to you.

You can also check out our free online budgeting tool.

This hardship assistance form applies to your NAB branded products only

  • You’re about to fill in a financial hardship assistance application for NAB branded credit product(s). To submit this form, you’ll need to be registered for NAB online banking. If you aren’t registered for online banking, please call us using the phone numbers set out above.
  • When filling out the form, you’ll be asked to outline your current financial situation and tell us how we can assist you. We’ll use this information for purposes related to assessing your financial hardship assistance application.
  • For more information about NAB’s personal information handling practices, please refer to our Privacy Policy. This policy also contains information about how to lodge a privacy-related enquiry, request or complaint.
  • If you elect to provide information about another person, please make sure that you first get their permission to share their information with NAB for the relevant purposes. You should also tell them that they can access our Privacy Policy on our website (or by request). We may ask you to provide information confirming you are authorised to act for them.
  • If you apply for financial hardship assistance in relation to a NAB credit card, the credit card will be blocked from further use and direct debit payments from that card may not be processed for the duration of the financial hardship arrangement. You’ll need to monitor your direct debit transactions and if required, organise alternate arrangements to fulfill these payment obligations.
  • If you apply for financial hardship assistance in relation to your NAB Now Pay Later product, it’ll be blocked along with the digital card preventing further purchases from the time of application. Any automated repayments from your linked transaction account towards your NAB Now Pay Later will be stopped or, if processed, reversed for the duration of the hardship application and assistance periods. If we agree to a financial hardship arrangement with you, that includes a payment obligation – you will need to manually make the relevant payments through the NAB App during your hardship assistance period.
  • If your application for financial hardship assistance is successful, we’ll send you a letter confirming this and describing how the financial hardship arrangement will be reported to Credit Reporting Bodies. More information on NAB’s credit reporting practices is set out in our Credit Reporting Policy (see Attachment 1 of our Privacy Policy.

Impacts on your NAB accounts and existing direct debit/periodical payments

As noted above, if we agree to a financial hardship arrangement with you, direct debit and periodical payments may be impacted.

In some cases, we may be able to provide your requested financial hardship assistance immediately without contacting you. We’ll send you a notification in writing, but this may take up to seven business days. In these circumstances there will be the following impacts on your credit card and any periodical payments or direct debits you have for accounts affected by the hardship assistance:

  • Your ability to use your credit card will also be restricted. You won’t be able to use your credit card to access your accounts or obtain further credit (e.g., make further purchases or cash advances including by way of direct debit) (‘hardship restrictions’). The hardship restrictions will remain in place until your hardship assistance period has ended, following which your credit card (and access to your accounts via your credit card) may be similarly restricted until overdue amounts have been paid. If your savings or transactions account is linked to your credit card and you require access to these accounts, please contact us so we can assist with appropriate debit card arrangements.
  • If you have a direct debit for your credit card, it will be paused and reinstated when your hardship assistance ends. If you’re agreeing to a payment arrangement, you’ll need to manually make the payment during your hardship assistance period.
  • If you have a direct debit or periodical payment for a home loan or a personal loan account, we’ll pause it during the hardship assistance period. If you’re agreeing to a payment arrangement, we’ll enter a temporary direct debit or periodical payment to make those payments while you have the arrangement. When your arrangement ends, your normal direct debit/periodical payment will resume.
  • If you’ve set up any other recurring payment to an account affected by hardship assistance, you’ll need to adjust or postpone these payments yourself and reinstate them once the assistance ends.
  • If you have redraw available on your home loan your ability to access this may be restricted. Please contact us to discuss access to redraw.

What is a Financial Hardship Arrangement? 

A financial hardship arrangement is an agreement between you and your lender to adjust your repayment obligations when something has happened that has affected your ability to pay them.

There are two types of financial hardship arrangements:

  • Temporary financial hardship arrangement which reduces or defers regular repayments for a period of time, e.g., reduced payments for a couple of months or a deferral.
  • Variation financial hardship arrangement which changes the terms of the loan, e.g. in some cases, we may allow any overdue amount to be paid off over the remaining term of the loan

Am I guaranteed a hardship arrangement?

We must consider all applications for financial hardship assistance, however, we are not obliged to agree to enter into financial hardship arrangements. If you ask for financial hardship assistance, we will consider your circumstances to work out what sort of support is suitable for your circumstances. It will depend on NAB’s assessment of your financial circumstances and why your repayments are overdue.

If we don’t agree to provide a financial hardship arrangement, we will explain why in writing. If you do not agree or feel our decision is not reasonable and fair, you can lodge a complaint with NAB or with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Why should I agree to a financial hardship arrangement offered to me?

Entering a financial hardship arrangement can help prevent missed payments being recorded on your credit report. Importantly, financial hardship arrangements can provide some breathing space you may need during a difficult time and prevent your credit account(s) going into default.

A financial hardship arrangement can help protect your credit report and credit score while you recover from your financial difficulty. It does this by changing your payment obligations to make it easier for you to meet them, and your payments will be reported as up-to-date to the credit reporting bodies as long as you make the adjusted payments on time and your credit report will also show that you’ve worked with us to get through your current financial difficulty.

When you agree to a financial hardship arrangement with a lender, it also shows other lenders that you have taken steps to take control of your financial situation and that you are working with the lender to get back on your feet.

Seeking or agreeing to hardship assistance does not exclude you from applying for credit in the future.

If you take no action, your credit report and credit score can be negatively impacted and affect your borrowing capacity in the future. Credit reporting bodies do not use financial hardship information to calculate your score, however, missed repayments do impact your credit score. 

Please note: During most hardship arrangements, interest, fees and charges continue to be charged and arrears continue to increase. We will discuss options about what to do with the arrears at the end of your hardship arrangement, but it is important to keep paying what you can towards your debt.

What do you report on my credit report during this hardship assistance?

Your credit report usually shows whether you have made your loan, credit card or other credit product repayments on time for each of your accounts. This is known as your Repayment History Information (RHI).

Importantly, your credit report:

  • will not show missed payments during a financial hardship arrangement provided you make the repayments agreed as per the arrangement (if any);
  • will not include the reason for the financial hardship arrangement; and
  • will not show any information about your financial hardship arrangement after twelve months.

Credit reporting bodies are not allowed to use FHI in the calculation of your credit score. For more information, please refer to creditsmart.org.au. 

More information on NAB’s credit reporting practices is set out in our Credit Reporting Policy (see Attachment 1 of our Privacy Policy).

How a financial hardship arrangement is reported to the Credit Reporting Bodies is dependent upon whether the relevant credit account is regulated by the National Credit Code (NCC).

If your application for hardship assistance for a credit account that is not regulated by the NCC is successful, we will send you a letter describing how the hardship arrangement will be reported to the Credit Reporting Bodies.

If your loan, credit card or other credit product is regulated by the NCC then, for the period that a financial hardship arrangement is in place, we will report Financial Hardship Information (FHI) to the credit reporting bodies. This shows that a financial hardship arrangement was agreed with you.

During the arrangement, your repayment history information will show that you have made your repayments on time provided you meet the agreed payments of the financial hardship arrangement (if any). 

If you do not have any repayment obligations during your financial hardship arrangement at all (sometimes called a “payment break”), you will be reported as up-to-date while the financial hardship arrangement remains in place.

What do you report on my credit report after the hardship assistance period?

Before and after the hardship assistance period ends, we will report repayment history information (RHI) against your standard repayment obligations under your credit contract (rather than against the terms of your financial hardship arrangement) to the credit reporting bodies. When we report RHI, we will tell the credit reporting bodies if you are up to date with repayments under your credit contract or if you are overdue.  

We provide this information to each of the credit reporting bodies we work with (Equifax, Experian and illion) monthly. Credit providers might access the information to assess your creditworthiness if you’re applying for more credit.

If your account is overdue at the end of your hardship assistance period, this will be reflected in your RHI within 14 days of your hardship assistance ending unless we have agreed to provide further assistance. The RHI provided to credit reporting bodies will reflect how many months overdue the account is. 

RHI reporting will remain on your credit report for 24 months. RHI can impact your credit score and credit providers might access this information to assess future lending applications. 

More information on NAB’s credit reporting practices is set out in our Credit Reporting Policy (see Attachment 1 of our Privacy Policy.

How can I check my credit report with the credit reporting bodies?

You can check your credit file through the credit reporting bodies we work with:

For more information about credit reporting, visit the Australian Government’s Credit Smart, opens in new window website.

Find out more about ​your credit report: access, corrections and complaints.

If the National Credit Code applies to your loan

In addition to the Banking Code of Practice, the National Credit Code has provisions dealing with hardship assistance applying to National Credit Code regulated credit contracts. If you tell us that you are or will have difficulty in making payments under a regulated credit contract, we are required under the National Credit Code to tell you within certain time periods whether we will assist you by changing the terms of your credit contract and give you in writing either details of the changes that we have agreed or an explanation of why we do not agree.

Please answer these questions before applying for hardship assistance

Are you having difficulty making payments on your existing NAB credit card or loan?


Are you looking to apply for additional funds or to consolidate your existing lending?


Please note that hardship support can’t provide you with money.  If you need help with your banking (unrelated to hardship), you can call us on 13 13 12 to speak with one of our bankers.



This application for hardship applies to existing NAB loans or credit cards. For additional support view our Customer Care Kit, or if you’re looking to apply for further lending call 13 13 12 to speak with a banker.

Important information