Kaia has had an account with her lender for nearly 10 years. Throughout this time, Kaia has received multiple loans and loan top ups. When Kaia approached a financial mentor, John, he expressed concern over the affordability of these loans. John said that Kaia could not afford to make her repayments, and she was experiencing financial hardship. At the time Kaia complained to FSCL about whether the lender had complied with their responsible lending obligations, she had two open loans with the lender, totalling around $8,500.
The lender maintained that the lending was affordable. However, as a gesture of compassion, they agreed to write off one of Kaia’s loan accounts. This account had a balance of almost $2,700. This reduced Kaia’s weekly repayments by over $100.
John appreciated this gesture, but he said that Kaia could still not afford her repayments. John explained that Kaia was in hardship, and was relying on food assistance and other help to feed her family. John said that to resolve the complaint, they would like the lender to also write off Kaia’s other loan account.
Shortly after we began our investigation, the lender reconsidered Kaia’s situation and accepted that she could not afford to make any repayments. The lender said that Kaia had been a great client, so they agreed to write off her other loan account, which had a balance of almost $5,800.
Kaia was very happy with the outcome, and the complaint was settled.
Insights for consumers or participants
We were pleased to see the lender write off the remaining loan balance. Although they maintained that the original lending was affordable, they recognised that Kaia was in financial hardship, so they took a compassionate approach.