If you are finding it hard to pay your bills or loan payments, there are several things you can do.
Financial support(external link) — Unite Against Covid-19
Loans and debt
If you have an existing loan, find out what you can do to make repaying more manageable. Contact your lender to:
- explain your situation
- ask about your options
- understand the impact of any repayment changes.
For example, repayment deferral lets you delay making payments but interest will continue to be added to your loan. This means your loan will cost more and take longer to pay off in the long run. Keep repayment deferral as short as possible. Reducing loan payments or choosing to pay interest only may be better than putting them on hold.
It may take a while for you to get through to the lender, as banks and finance companies may be busier than usual. Banks and major lenders have information about COVID-19 on their websites.
Emergency no-interest loans
Good Shepherd New Zealand provides loans for people financially impacted by COVID-19 who need urgent help to:
- pay bills, eg electricity
- pay existing loan repayments
- buy essential products or services — examples include to replace a broken fridge or pay for urgent home repairs.
These loans are only available to people with a Community Services Card, and who meet some other eligibility criteria. These loans can also be made available to people on work visas.
Good loans(external link) — Good Shepherd New Zealand
If you are finding it hard to pay your bill, speak to your power company. You may be able to pay your bill in instalments to make payment easier. If you are worried about being disconnected talk to your power company, as some are offering more flexibility during this time.
If you receive payments from Work and Income, you may get the Winter Energy Payment. This is an extra payment to help with the cost of heating your home. Winter Energy Payments will be double this year in response to COVID-19.
If you qualify, it will be added to your regular payments — you don’t need to apply for it. It is paid from 1 May to 1 October.
Winter Energy Payment - Work and Income(external link)
Try the MoneyTalks helpline. A free financial mentor can help with budgeting advice. They can also talk to your lender, eg about changing repayments.
Phone 0800 345 123 or use live chat, email or text.