Financial Hardship

Introduction

W Coogan & Co Pty Ltd trading as Coogans Stores (Coogans, we, us or our) recognises that our customers may experience periods of financial hardship due to changes in circumstances beyond their control.

We are committed to helping customers experiencing financial hardship make payments in accordance with the terms and conditions of their credit contracts.

 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that if our customers are experiencing financial hardship, we will work with them to enable them to pay their account over time.

This policy aims to be flexible enough to accommodate the circumstances of each customer. If you wish to claim financial hardship and change the terms and conditions of your credit contract, please contact our Credit Department in accordance with paragraph 8 of this policy.

 

Financial hardship

Financial hardship involves a situation where a customer is unable, reasonably, to meet the financial obligations under their credit contract with us.

Financial hardship includes, but is not limited to:

      a)loss of employment of the customer or family member;

      b)family breakdown;

      c)death of a family member;

      d)illness (e.g. hospitalisation, physical incapacity or mental illness of the customer of a family member;

      e)natural disasters

You can provide us with a hardship notice if you consider that you will be unable to meet your obligations under a credit contract. We will assess each hardship notice on its merits and circumstances to identify the most appropriate means of assistance.

 

Who this policy applies to

Financial hardship can be short term or long term. Depending on the type of financial hardship, customers will have different needs requiring different solutions.

Customers experiencing long-term financial hardship may require ongoing assistance. However, customers who are in short-term financial hardship due to a sudden change in circumstances may only require one-off assistance, such as an extension of time or flexible payment arrangements.

Under a financial hardship arrangement, we may also allow customers on small/low incomes to make smaller regular payments.

 

Identifying hardship

We aim to be proactive in recognising financial hardship. Our staff are:

      a)trained to identify potential financial hardship;

      b)trained to assist customers who may be experiencing financial hardship; and

      c)informed about the options available to customers experiencing financial hardship.

We identify customers who may be experiencing financial hardship through our billing process and customers’ payment history. If you are experiencing financial hardship please contact us as soon as possible so that we can assist you and work with you to resolve it.

 

Financial hardship arrangements

If we enter into an agreement with you to change your credit contract as a result of your hardship notice, we will give you a written notice within 30 days after the date of the agreement setting out the details of the change in the terms of the credit contract.

 

Your obligations

Our financial hardship arrangements are intended to assist you in times of need. You also have a responsibility to help us with your financial hardship arrangements.

You acknowledge and agree that you:

      a)have a debt and that it is your responsibility to repay it;

      b)must provide us with enough information for us to assess your hardship notice;

      c)will make the repayments set out in any changed credit contract; and

      d)will notify us immediately if your financial position changes.

 

Applying for assistance

To apply for assistance under this policy or to discuss your financial situation, please contact our Credit Department on (03) 6233 1854 or email on [email protected]