FAQ: COVID-19 Information for Consumers
FSF members are dedicated to helping Kiwis affected financially by COVID-19
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a impact on the livelihoods and financial wellbeing of New Zealanders all over the country.
We are encouraging borrowers who have been affected financially to talk to their providers as soon as possible.
These impacts are the exact types of unpredictable life events that can affect people's ability to make loan repayments where they could previously, and the very types of circumstances for which responsible lenders will have a hardship process.
Responsible lenders do not want their customers to suffer in silence, it's not a good outcome for the borrower or the lender.
We are also reminding borrowers to check with their lender if a credit-related insurance policy was arranged at the time the loan was entered into.
The best thing to do for a person who is concerned about a loan repayment is to keep in touch with their provider, the sooner they know a person's situation, the better placed they are to help them through it.
FSF members are supportive of the work of FinCap, and has with them a Memorandum of Understanding based on our shared value of good outcomes for consumers. This arrangement is helping our members to accelerate hardship applications linked to the effects of COVID-19.
How can I talk to a financial mentor?
Moneytalks is a free and confidential budgeting service helpline which can also help you during this time to identify what assistance you might be eligible for and other resources which may be of help.
You can contact them via phone, email, text, or live chat at their website"
What's a repayment "deferral" or "holiday"?
"Repayment deferrals", sometimes referred to as "repayment suspensions", and "repayment holidays", are one of several tools that lenders may use to help customers who find themselves in financial hardship.
If a lender is offering such assistance, it is important to know what this actually means - find out more here.
Are there No or Low Interest Loans available during COVID-19 Lockdown?
Good Shepherd NZ, a charitable non-government organisation, is extending its No Interest Loan Scheme to help vulnerable people and families financially impacted by COVID-19. The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provides loans of up to $1500, and was previously only for essential goods and services such as furniture, whiteware and items needed for school and education. From now it can now also be used as relief for people and families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, providing a no-interest loan to pay outstanding bills like rent and utilities, or to refinance or consolidate existing high-cost debt. Find out more at www.goodloans.org.nz .
Where can I get advice on my Kiwisaver?
NZ Funds has developed a hotline to connect Kiwis with an Authorised Financial Adviser to discuss options around KiwiSaver withdrawals in particular and whether or not that is the best option for the person concerned, call 0800 698 884.