Banking, Finance & Loans

​If you or your family have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and are having difficulties making loan repayments, please talk to your financial institution soon than later to discuss your options. Australian banks have hardship teams ready to help. If you’re dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, or drought, bushfire or flood, there are practical ways your bank can help. The type of assistance will depend on individual circumstances. You can get more information from the Australian Banking Association.


Up to 98% of all business loans from an Australian bank can now be deferred. Please note this applies only to banks, not necessarily to other banking institutions.  If your small businesses has loan facilities of up to $10 million that been impacted by COVID-19 and lockdowns, you should contact your bank today.

Assistance may include:

  • A deferral of scheduled loan repayments, but remember, a deferral is a break, not a freeze. Interest still accrues.

  • Waiving fees and charges

  • Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.


Here are a list of financial institutions with their most recent media releases regarding assistance:

AMP: 1300 130 191 Experiencing financial hardship - Media Release

ANZ: 1800 252 845 Customer Connect - Media Release


Arab Bank: 1800 64 64 84 Hardship Assistance


Bank Australia: 132 888 Contact Us - Media Release


Bank of Sydney: 13 95 00 Financial Hardship - Media Release


BOQ: 1800 079 866 Financial Hardship Assistance - Media Release


Bank SA: 1800 679 461 BankSA Assist - Media Release


Bankwest: 1300 769 173 Experiencing financial hardship - Media Release


Bendigo and Adelaide Bank: 1300 652 146 Financial difficulty assistance - Media Release


Citibank: 1800 722 879 Hardship assistance - Media Release


Commonwealth Bank: 1300 720 814 Emergency assistance - Media Release


HSBC: 1300 555 988 Financial difficulty - Media Release


ING: 1300 349 166 Financial Hardship


Macquarie Bank: 1300 363 330 Financial Hardship - Media Release


ME Bank: 1300 500 520 ME Bank financial hardship - Media Release


MyState: 13 80 01 MyState financial hardship


NAB: 1800 701 599 Financial Hardship - Media Release


Rabobank: 1800 025 484 Financial Hardship


Rural Bank: 1800 660 115 Financial Hardship


St. George Bank: 1800 629 795 St. George Assist - Media Release


Suncorp Bank: 1800 225 223 Suncorp Customer Assist - Media Release


Westpac: 132 142 Westpac Assist - Media Release

For more information on banks in relation to security, fraud and scams, reducing fees, or if you need to make a complaint about a bank you should contact the Australian Banking Association.



Everyone should be aware scammers are adapting existing technology to play on people’s fears around coronavirus and selling products claiming to prevent or cure the virus.

Unfortunately, scammers are using the uncertainty around COVID-19, or coronavirus, to take advantage of people.

If you think you have been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

More information on coronavirus scams is available on the Scamwatch website, including how to make a report and where to get help.



The Hunter Valley Project Financial Counselling Service and Samaritans Foundation Financial Counselling Service offer financial counselling, information & referral to legal advice where appropriate. This service covers the whole of the Hunter Valley i.e. the local government areas of Port Stephens, Maitland, Cessnock, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Scone, Murrurundi, Merriwa, Denman, and Quirindi. They also provide home visits to the isolated and unable to get to their local community centre.  They are located at Unit 9, 555 High Street, Maitland NSW 2320 and can be contacted by calling 02 4933 8999 (HVPFCS) or 0428 578 616 (Samaritans).



The Financial Counsellors’ Association of NSW Inc (FCAN) is the peak membership body that represents Financial Counsellors in NSW.

FCAN was established in 1980 and has a rich history of advocating for financially vulnerable people and supporting people experiencing financial hardship.

Financial Counsellors assist people in financial difficulty by providing information and support to help them deal with their financial problems,manage their debts and alleviate the stress of being in financial hardship.

Financial Counsellors work in community organisations, and their services are free, confidential, independent and non-conflicted.  

FCAN is funded by the NSW Government through the Fair Trading Financial counselling services program.

Contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007




If you have experienced a special disaster including drought, bushfires, floods, are a primary producer, commercial fisher or involved in the forest industry, you may be eligible for a loan or grant from the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA). For information about available grants or loans, please go to:    


You may apply to defer a repayment on your RAA loan if you are experiencing financial difficulties where:

  • making a repayment would cause you serious hardship

  • there are other special reasons affecting you – for example, a natural disaster, death or serious illness.

Repayment deferrals can be negotiated for up to 12 months. Send your request to defer a repayment to or phone the RAA on 1800 678 593.

Repayment deferral requests exceeding 12 months must be submitted in writing with the following supporting documentation;

  • 3 years financial statements

  • 3 years individual tax returns

  • 12 month cash flow forecast

These requests can be submitted to either: or via fax (02) 6391 3098 or post to:

NSW Rural Assistance Authority
Locked Bag 23





The NSW Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) is a free and confidential service that provides information and assistance on financial position, budgets and submitting applications. There are over 30 rural financial counsellors throughout NSW who are available to support farmers. Find your local rural financial counsellor.