Financial assistance and saving tips for Canberra’s Community Bank customers

Katrina Condie17 September 2021
Row of townhouses in Canberra suburb

Homeowners and small business operators can reach out to Canberra’s Community Bank for assistance, including loan payment deferrals and loan extensions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Canberra’s Community Bank branches have extended their existing hardship support measures to include small business and home loan customers significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new package is an extension of Bendigo Bank’s support measures already in place for customers financially affected by the pandemic.

Canberra Community Bank Group senior branch manager Jacob Krog says the new national support package includes repayment deferrals and loan extensions, waiver and refunds of some fees, and targeted support for larger business customers.

Business banking customers applying for support must be up to date in their repayments or have a repayment program arrangement in place, while customers with asset finance or overdraft products will be assessed on their personal circumstances.

A range of support measures are available for both individual and business customers, including month by month home loan deferrals.

Customers who have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – regardless of their location or industry – are encouraged to contact the bank as soon as possible to discuss the various support options available, based on their circumstances and needs.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank CEO and managing director Marnie Baker says the bank has remained steadfast in its support for all stakeholders affected by the impacts of the pandemic, while also providing credit to support the economy.

“While we have only seen a small number of customers seek assistance, we are conscious that behind each and every number is a person, a family or a small business,” she says.

“We treat each situation individually with care and respect, and through our experience we are confident the support we offer will assist customers through these difficult times.”

Jacob says any Canberra customers experiencing hardship, or with concerns, should contact their local branch manager at Calwell, Curtin, Jerrabomberra and Wanniassa.

“Our customers can rest assured that we remain open as an essential service to assist them where they need it,” he says.

Customers can seek help in relation to their home loan, residential investment loan, or line of credit.

The bank may also offer assistance with personal loans, credit cards and personal overdrafts.

“We understand there may be times when personal circumstances change and customers may experience an unexpected event or changes outside of your control such as losing your job, suffering an illness or injury, or being affected by a natural disaster,” says Jacob.

“If customers can’t afford the minimum repayment on their loan or credit card, and would like us to consider if we can provide financial difficulty assistance, they need to contact us immediately.”

In many instances, help can be provided quickly and efficiently over the phone.

Federal Government financial support is also available to ACT residents affected by the current COVID-19 restrictions.

On the flip-side, for people fortunate to still be working through the pandemic, the bank offers some great saving tips.

Setting some short- and long-term savings goals can help inspire some change in spending habits.

Short-term targets might be one to five years away, and could include things such as appliances, technology or furniture.

Long-term goals could mean saving for eventual post-COVID-19 travel, a new car or reducing debt.

Jacob says short-term goals are important because they can help ‘train’ goal-setting habits and reward you when you fulfil what you set out to achieve.

“Once you get going, you might realise the saving isn’t as hard as you first thought,” he says.

Jacob recommends going through bank statements to see where funds can be saved, or putting money aside that would normally be spent on recreational activities such as festivals, travel and going out for dinner.

“For those who can, now is a great time to save for when we can start to travel again,” he says.

“It could be as simple as reducing online spending and cutting back on takeaway food.”

Setting up a savings account for a holiday, car or home deposit is easy at Bendigo Bank and can be done online or over the phone on 1300 236 344.

Original Article published by Katrina Condie on The RiotACT.

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