Next Property Workshop on 6th July 2024

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Financial Security in Uncertain Times

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Financial Security in Uncertain Times

Homeownership and Navigating Mortgage Hardship in New Zealand

With news of economic unease and news articles with job losses swirling, it’s natural to feel a pang of anxiety about your financial well-being. Homeowners, in particular, might worry about the impact a job loss could have on their ability to keep a roof over their heads. However, it’s important to remember that there are resources and support systems available, especially for those with mortgages.

The Power of Homeownership During Hardship

Owning your own home can be a source of stability during challenging times. It provides a secure living environment and a long-term investment. Even if faced with a temporary income setback, there are options to explore before considering selling your property.

Understanding Mortgage Hardship Schemes in New Zealand

Fortunately, New Zealand’s main banks offer financial hardship schemes to assist homeowners struggling to meet mortgage repayments. These schemes provide tailored support depending on your individual circumstances. Here’s a breakdown of the main offerings:

  • ANZ Home Loan Assistance Program: This program offers temporary solutions like reduced repayments or capitalisation of arrears (adding unpaid interest to the loan principal).

  • ASB Hardship Assistance Program: Similar to ANZ’s program, ASB provides flexible options such as extending the loan term or capitalising arrears.

  • BNZ Hardship Support: BNZ offers similar support structures, including temporary payment reductions and potential loan restructuring.

  • Westpac Financial Hardship Program: Westpac’s program allows for personalised solutions like reduced repayments, capitalisation of arrears, or extending the loan term.

Accessing Help During Financial Difficulty

If you find yourself facing financial hardship, the first step is to proactively reach out to your bank’s hardship team. They will work with you to assess your situation and explore suitable options within their hardship program.


  • Early intervention is key. Don’t wait until you miss repayments – the sooner you contact your bank, the more options they might have available.

  • Be prepared with documentation. Gather documents that support your situation, such as payslips or unexpected bills.

  • Communicate openly and honestly. Transparency with your bank will help them tailor the most effective solution for you.

While economic uncertainty can be unsettling, remember there’s support available, particularly for homeowners facing temporary income disruptions. By leveraging the power of homeownership and utilising the resources offered by New Zealand’s main banks, you can navigate challenging times and emerge even stronger financially.