FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Question: What is the Household Relief Loan and service?

Answer:
Household Relief combines financial assistance services and a loan.

The services offered are Financial Counselling and Financial Capability through a dedicated team. Our team of financial counselors and capability workers provide people with information, support and advocacy relating to:

  • Debt Management
  • Financial Abuse
  • Debt Renegotiation
  • Access to hardship arrangements
  • Budgeting
  • Accessing concessions and benefits
  • Your financial rights
  • Utility hardship
  • Saving and goal setting

The loan offered is up to $3000. There are no fees and no interest charged. The loan can be paid back over a maximum period of 24 months. The loan can go toward Rent and Utilities.

Household Relief was put together in direct response to COVID-19 affecting people's financial wellbeing. It is made possible through a partnership between the Australian Government, the National Australia Bank, and Good Shepherd.


Question: How much can I borrow?

Answer:
The total amount you can borrow is between $300 to $3000.


Question: How much does it cost?

Answer:
The is no cost to you. No fees are charged and there is no interest. You are just required to pay the loan back through regular repayments, made over an agreed period - up to 24 months.


Question: Is there really no fees and no interest?

Answer:
Yes. Through a partnership between the Australian Government, the National Australia Bank, and Good Shepherd, Household Relief Loans can be offered without having to charge any fees or interest.


Question: What can I use the Household Relief Loan for?

Answer:
The purpose or what the loan can used for, covers:

  • Rent
  • Bond
  • Utility bills (limited to Gas, Electricity, Water, Telephone/Mobile, Internet)
  • Body Corporate Fees
  • Council Rates

It can be used for one or more of these purposes.

Question: Am I eligible for the Household Relief Loan and service?

Answer:

You are eligible for the Household Relief service if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are 16 years or over
  • Currently reside in Australia
  • Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid visa
  • Have lost your job, had income reduced, moved onto Centrelink payments after February 2020 or been otherwise financially impacted by Covid-19

You are eligible to apply for a Household Relief loan if you meet the above service criteria as well as the following:

  • If you are a visa holder, it must be valid and expire 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

Question: Am I still be eligible if I don't have a job right now?

Answer:

Yes. As long as your job loss was as a result of COVID-19 or you have been otherwise financially impacted by Covid-19.


Question: Am I still eligible if I live in government or temporary housing? A caravan park?

Answer:

For government or temporary housing and caravan parks, the organisation or business will just need to provide you with documented evidence of your residence at that address.


Question: Am I eligible as an international student?

Answer:

As long as you hold a valid visa, then you are eligible. You must still meet the other eligibility criteria for services or the loan if applying for one. 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).


Question: What do I need to complete the loan application online?

Answer:

As a minimum to complete the online application you will need:

  • An email address you have access to
  • A phone number; either a mobile or home number
  • At least one of the following forms of ID and be able to upload it: A valid drivers license, or a valid passport, or a valid Medicare card
  • If your loan purpose includes rent, be able to upload: a rental agreement/invoice featuring the agent/business name, your name and the address
  • If your loan purpose includes one or more utilities, be able to upload: a bill/invoice for each utility you are applying for
  • Bank statements for the last 90 days. These we will ask for electronically, directly 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

Question: What if I don't have or can't find all the documents you ask for?

Answer:

You will need all of the required documents asked for if applying online. If you don't have access to these or can not locate them, give the team a call on 1300 121 130 discuss what can be done.


Question: What if I don't have access to any ID?

Answer:

You won't be able to apply online, but we may still be able to help you. Give the team a call on 1300 121 130 to discuss what can be done.


Question: What do you mean by Rental Agreement or Utility Bill?

Answer:

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)


Question: Can I get help to complete the loan application?

Answer:

We are happy to help you you over the phone. Give the team a call on 1300 121 130 for help completing your application online or alternatively start and complete an application over the phone.


Question: Can I apply more than once?

Answer:

No. A person may only have one active application at a time, and if approved may only have one active Household Relief Loan.


Question: What if my circumstances change, can I apply again?

Answer:

If you were not eligible - but your circumstances change where you now meet the eligibility criteria to apply for the Household Relief Loan or sevice, then you are welcome to apply once 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.


Question: If I have further questions what do I do?

Answer:

We are happy to answers your questions over the phone. Give the team a call on 1300 121 130.


Question: I have started more than one application, what should I do?

Answer:

Unfortunately at this stage we are not able to consolidate or combine two active online applications into one. Please either continue with the most up to date online application or start and complete a new application over the phone on 1300 121 130.


Question: How do I apply without using the website?

Answer:

You are welcome to give the team a call on 1300 121 130 who can help determine your eligibility for the Household Relief service, and complete and submit a loan application with you if you are eligible for the loan.


Question: How can I contact someone?

Answer:

We are happy to answer your questions over the phone. Give the team a call on 1300 121 130


Question: How come staff can't access the application I've saved?

Answer:

Unfortunately at this stage you are the only person who has secure access to your saved application. In the near future, staff will be able to securely access your saved application following your consent to do so.

Question: How do I get approved for the loan?

Answer:

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

Question: How long does approval take?

Answer:

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.


Question: How do I make repayments?

Answer:

There are currently two ways by which you can make repayments:

  1. CentrePay (linked to your Centrelink payments)
  2. Direct debit from your bank account

Question: How much are repayments?

Answer:

As there are no fees and no interest on a Household Relief loan, repayments are based upon the amount you are approved to borrow, the time you have agreed to pay it back over, and how often you agree to make repayments (fortnighly or monthly). Maxiumum repayment period (how long the loan is paid back over) is 24months, based on the initial loan application. The minimum repayment amount is $10.


Question: Can more than one person in a household or family apply for a loan?

Answer:

If applying as 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.


Question: Will a credit check be conducted?

Answer:

No, credit checks are not part of the application and approval process.

Question: How do I save my application?

Answer:

To save your application you will first need to login. Currently logging in, is done via a social media account - we do this for security and authentication puposes only.

To save your application for 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 naivagtion menu.


Question: Can I save my application without using a social media account?

Answer:

Currently this is the only way we are securely creating a log in for someone to save and retrieve an application they are in the process of submitting. In the near future we hope to offer the ability to create a log in, using a unique username and password.


Question: I've forgotten which account I used to log in and save, what do I do?

Answer:

Try:

  • 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

Question: How do I get help using the website?

Answer:

We are happy to answers your questions over the phone. Give the team a call on 1300 121 130.