FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT HOUSEHOLD RELIEF
What is the Household Relief Loan and service?
A free, friendly, confidential service available for Australian households financially impacted, in any way, due to Covid-19.
Our team can help you with:
- Identifying financial supports, reviewing your household budget, helping you access financial hardship arrangements and grants, and referring you to free in-house Financial Counsellors and other support services.
- No Interest Loans of up to $3,000 to get back on your feet (note: not for cash).
If required our in-house financial counsellors and capability workers can support you with information, support and advocacy relating to:
- Debt Management
- Financial Abuse
- Debt Renegotiation
- Access to hardship arrangements
- Accessing concessions and benefits
- Your financial rights
- Utility hardship
- Saving and goal setting
The Household Relief service is made possible through a partnership between the Australian Government, NAB, and Good Shepherd.
Am I eligible for the Household Relief Loan and service?
You are eligible for the Household Relief service if your household has been financially-impacted at all by Covid-19 since February 2020 and you:
- Are 16 years or over
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid visa that expires after the loan term
- Have a before tax annual income of less than $60,000 if you are single, or less than $100,000 for couples or single person with dependents
- Are using the loan for a purpose covered by Rent or Utilities
Am I eligible for the service/loan if I live in government or temporary housing or a caravan park?
Yes if the organisation or business can provide you with a document evidencing your residence at that address.
What do you mean by "financially impacted in any way due to COVID-19"?
- If your income, or your partner’s income, has reduced at any time since February 1st 2020, as a result of Covid.
- Or, if your ex-partner’s reduced income due to Covid, has impacted your household income.
- Or, if your household has incurred increased expenses, for example due to Covid lockdowns.
For example due to:
- If you have found it difficult to manage your household expenses because Covid has impacted your household income.
- Employer redundancy (even If it was not stated as due to Covid-19).
- Inability to work due to lockdown restrictions, awaiting Covid-testing results, contact tracing or Covid illness.
- Lost income if self-employed, casual or a contractor.
- Reduced work hours.
- Claimed Centrelink payments , even if it was temporary and you have returned to work.
Below are all eligible scenario examples:
- “My ex-partner lost their job In October and can’t now pay the child support my family needs.”
- “I have increased expenses due to Covid-19 lockdowns prohibiting my travel to collect essential medications, so I needed to pay for courier costs.”
- “I lost work in July 2020 for 2 weeks. They never said it was because of Covid though. I’ve since been working again as normal but today I find myself a bit financially stretched.”
- “I worked through the pandemic, but my partner lost hours temporarily and our household lost income as a result.”
- “I was unable to work for a few days while waiting for a Covid test result.”
- “I lost my job In March 2020 and had to go on Centrelink for the first time, which I’m still on now.”
- “I’m self employed and lost a client in August 2020 and have been looking for work since.”
If your situation fits any of the above, you are eligible for the service and can apply for Household Relief loan online or by calling us on 1300 121 130
Am I eligible as an international student?
As long as you hold a valid visa (and the other eligibility criteria) you are eligible. . You will need to have a valid visa for the full term of the loan (the agreed length of time the loan is paid back over) if applying for the loan.
Am I still eligible for the service/loan if I live in government or temporary housing? Or a caravan park?
Yes. For government or temporary housing and caravan parks, if the organisation or business can will just need to provide you with a documented with evidence of your residence at that address.
APPLYING FOR A HOUSEHOLD RELIEF LOAN
What do I need to complete the loan application online?
At a minimum you need:
- An email address you have access to
- A phone number (mobile or home number)
- At least one of the following forms of ID and the ability to upload it:
- a valid drivers license
- a valid passport
- a valid Medicare card
- If your loan purpose includes
- rent – upload a rental agreement/invoice featuring the agent/business name, your name and the address
- one or more utilities, upload a bill/invoice for each utility you are applying for
- Bank statements for the last 90 days. We will ask for these electronically from your bank using a safe and secure online service. If this is not possible, you will need to upload 90 days of bank statements
What if I don't have or can't find all the documents you need?
Call the team on 1300 121 130.
What if I don't have access to any ID?
You won’t be able to apply online, but we may still be able to help you. Call us on 1300 121 130.
How much can I borrow?
The total amount you can borrow is between $300 to $3000.
How much does the loan cost?
You are only required to pay back the loan amount you borrow through regular repayments, made over an agreed period – up to 24 months. There are no fees and no interest charged.
Is there really no fees and no interest?
Yes. Through a partnership between the Australian Government, NAB, and Good Shepherd, Household Relief Loans are offered without having to charge any fees or interest.
What can I use the Household Relief Loan for?
The purpose or what the loan can used for one or more of the following purposes, covers:
- Utility bills (limited to Gas, Electricity, Water, Telephone/Mobile, Internet)
- Body Corporate Fees
- Council Rates
What do you mean by Rental Agreement or Utility Bill?
By ‘Rental agreement’ we mean: Rent receipt, statement or invoice of rental payments.
By ‘Utility bill’ we mean: A bill, receipt or invoice of payment for the utility (eg gas, water, electricity, home phone, mobile phone, internet)
Can I get help to complete the loan application?
We are happy to help you by phone on 1300 121 130.
Can I apply more than once?
No. You may only have one active application at a time, and if approved may only have one active Household Relief Loan.
If my circumstances change can I apply again?
If your circumstances change and you now meet the eligibility criteria for the Household Relief Loan or service, you are welcome to apply again.
If you had applied and it was determined that you weren’t able to afford the loan repayments based on your income and expenses – but you now believe that either your income or expense have changed where you might afford the repayments, then you are welcome to apply once again.
If I have further questions what do I do?
We are happy to answer your questions over the phone. Call our team on 1300 121 130.
I have started more than one application, what should I do?
Unfortunately we can not consolidate or combine two active online applications into one. Please either continue with your most up to date application or start and complete a new application over the phone on 1300 121 130.
How do I apply without using the website?
Please call the team on 1300 121 130 to help you determine if a Household Relief loan is the appropriate support for you, and support to complete and submit your loan application.
How can I speak with someone?
We are happy to answer your questions over the phone. Call us on 1300 121 130
Why can’t staff access the application I've saved?
You are the only person who has secure access to your saved application.
LOAN APPROVAL AND REPAYMENTS
How do I get approved for the loan?
Approval is based on you:
- Meeting the eligibility criteria
- Having valid documentation and evidence of what the loan is for
- Having documentation and evidence of your income and expenses
- Your income and expenses allowing you to meet the repayments required
How long does approval take?
At a minimum, approval usually takes at least 3 business days after an application has been submitted. It can take longer if further documentation or clarification is needed.
How do I make repayments?
There are currently two ways to make repayments:
- CentrePay (linked to your Centrelink payments)
- Direct debit from your bank account
How much are repayments?
As there are no fees and no interest on a Household Relief loan, repayments are based on the amount you are approved to borrow, the length of time you have agreed to pay it back, and how often you agree to make repayments (fortnightly or monthly). The maximum repayment period (how long the loan is paid back over) is 24 months, based on the initial loan application. The minimum repayment amount is $10.
Can more than one person in a household or family apply for a loan?
If applying as a couple, no.
If applying as an individual, yes (eg part of a share house) – each person needs to separately meet the eligibility criteria and have their application assessed.
Will a credit check be conducted?
No. Credit checks are not part of the application and approval process.
SAVING YOUR LOAN APPLICATION
How do I save my application?
To save your application you first need to login. Currently logging in is done via a social media account – we do this for security and authentication purposes only.
To save your application the first time, locate and select the ‘Save and retrieve’ link in the top navigation menu, just before the ‘Quick exit’ button. Use one of the account options to login and save.
To continue to save after being logged in, locate and select the ‘Save’ link in the top navigation menu.
Can I save my application without using a social media account?
No. Currently this is the only way to securely login, save and retrieve an application in process.
I've forgotten which account I used to log in and save, what do I do?
- Logging in with one of your accounts
- If the account was previously used to save, you will be prompted to retrieve your saved loan application
- If the account was not previously used to save, you will not be prompted to retrieve your saved loan application. Log out and try again with another account
How can I get help with my loan application?
We are happy to answer your questions over the phone. Please call the team on 1300 121 130.