Consumers who agree to a financial hardship agreement with their lender for a personal loan, home loan, car loan, or credit card will have their repayment history safeguarded through a special payment arrangement. 

This arrangement will be implemented for a period of time set by the lender. 

It is important to note that the credit report will not include the reason for the consumer entering the hardship agreement nor the specific details of the agreement. 

Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA) chief executive officer Mike Laing said financial hardship shouldn’t be perceived as a reflection of poor credit management.

“Covid-19 and natural disasters such as floods and bushfires have demonstrated that financial hardship can affect anyone at any time,” Mr Laing explained.

“Entering a financial hardship arrangement can help prevent missed payments being recorded on your credit report - it’s actually a good sign that you’re engaging with your lender and seeking to get back on track.

“Importantly, financial hardship arrangements can give customers the breathing space they need during difficult times and prevent the account going into default, or a default being recorded on their credit report.”

What impact will the changes have on a credit report?

A consumer’s credit report currently contains a 24 month history which reflects how reliable they are in making debt repayments and paying bills in a timely fashion.

If a financial hardship arrangement is put in place, the credit report will reflect the revised repayments agreed with the lender, not the original repayments. If the consumer meets these new repayments, their history will show that repayments are up to date.

In the case where a consumer is temporarily required not to make payments under the hardship arrangement, this will also be reflected in the credit report.

When calculating a consumer's credit score, credit reporting bodies are restricted from including the financial hardship indicator.

What about accessing credit in the future?

During or within 12 months of the end of your financial hardship arrangement, lenders will have access to your credit report that states you have been in financial hardship. 

When applying for a new loan, Mr Laing reassures consumers that hardship arrangements should not stop them from applying for credit in the future. 

“Seeking hardship assistance from your lender does not exclude you from applying for credit in the future,” he said. 

“Depending on how recently your hardship arrangement ended, new lenders may ask for a few extra details to get a better idea of your current circumstances to understand whether you are still experiencing hardship and if this will affect your capacity to take on new credit.”

After 12 months, financial hardship information is deleted from credit reports. 

“Getting help early can help avoid the problem getting worse and better enable the lender to work with you during tough times to help you get back on track,” Mr Laing said. 


Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Update resultsUpdate
LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.04% p.a.
6.06% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Online ExclusiveUp To $4K Cashback
  • Immediate cashback upon settlement
  • $2,000 for loans up to $700,000
  • $4,000 for loans over $700,000
5.99% p.a.
5.90% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Apply In Minutes
  • No application or ongoing fees. Annual rate discount
  • Unlimited redraws & additional repayments. LVR <80%
  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
6.14% p.a.
6.16% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Unlimited Redraws
  • No annual fees - None!
  • Get fast pre-approval
  • Unlimited additional repayments free of charge
  • Redraw freely - Access your additional payments when you need them
  • Home loan specialists available today
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

Image by Sebastian Voortman via Pexels

Ready, Set, Buy!

Learn everything you need to know about buying property – from choosing the right property and home loan, to the purchasing process, tips to save money and more!

With bonus Q&A sheet and Crossword!

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy