“Hi Liz, I need a favour” said a friend, Harrison “someone has accessed my identity and fraudulently taken out a credit card in my name, and I need you to do a credit check on me to see if there are other banks involved that I have now got credit cards with”.
“Oh no” I said, “not a problem!”.
We then completed the necessary forms, and as Veda accredited agents accessed his credit file. Thankfully Harrison had caught them early by opening his mail box and finding the card, so no other banks were implicated yet. Being in the finance world himself Harrison mentioned “I’m going to set up a Veda Alert from here in, I just want reassurance that I know about this as soon as possible”. I agreed. Veda Guard tells you if there are certain changes made to your credit file without your knowledge, such as someone applying for credit in your name. It’s worth checking out, follow this link https://www.veda.com.au/yourcreditandidentity/product-comparison/veda-plan Veda states that more than one in five Australians have experienced some form of identity crime ! They have another service called Identity Watch https://www.veda.com.au/yourcreditandidentity/protect I would suggest to you though, that, Veda has SO many plans and services on it’s website that can easily be confused. Bottom line, if you need any help, call me!
Quite some hours later another call came in from Gary “Hi Liz, I hope you’re well, but I have some bad news. I just got diagnosed with a condition and I need to know if I took out some personal insurance with you when I took out my mortgage”. I had to tell Gary he didn’t. Years ago when Gary rang us, we didn’t have those services, or offer them yet. It always seems like hindsight is 20/20 and it’s never easy telling someone that they declined insurance or didn’t have any in place. Gary now needed to take a half a year off work. Suffice to say I had some ideas for him “Gary please call the hardship line with your lender, and start now with requesting and negotiating a moratorium on your repayments. You really need a strong strategy to cover your mortgage between now and when you return to work in June”. I found the number and encouraged Gary to call as soon as possible.
By providing medical reports Gary would easily qualify for hardship provisions. Essentially if you are finding it hard to meet your loan repayments for example, because of illness, unemployment, or changed financial circumstances, you can apply to your lender for a ‘hardship variation’ which will change the terms of your loan. To find out more about how to apply for this, head to the governments Money Smart website on this link https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/managing-debts/trouble-with-debt#hardship Further if you are not happy with your lenders response you can talk to the Financial Ombudsman Service or he Credit and Investments Ombudsman, depending on the jurisdiction.
As Gary had problems with memory I reminded him of his life insurance policy, and super balances “Perhaps contact your super provider to see if you can access the funds sooner under hardship provisions”. It was also possible he had some trauma insurance within his life insurance policy. Gary was able to take down some details that assisted with that process. Gary actually commented “Well even if you had offered insurance I probably would have told you that I couldn’t afford it as I was on a budget at the time”. Insurance is the kind of thing most of us can’t afford not to have however, and he realised this now.
So much can happen in a day. Remember, we are aim to be as resourceful as possible at Wilson Financial. Whilst we may not always have the solution you seek when you ring, rest assured as our clients we will do all we can to help you with your financial circumstances.