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Using credit responsibly

When you take out a loan, you are borrowing money which you agree to repay over time, with interest.

We are committed to responsible lending practices (PDF 41KB). So to help our customers manage credit responsibly, we have prepared the following guidelines. You may find it helpful to read this before applying for a loan.

Decide if you can afford the loan

Before taking out a loan, or any other form of debt, decide if you can afford to repay it.

One of the best ways of doing this is to work out a budget. List your current commitments, such as existing loans, your mortgage or rent, and other necessities.

Next, work out if you can afford the amount you want to borrow.

Are there any extra costs you need to consider? For example, if you are buying a car, you will need to keep in mind the cost of insurance, registration, maintenance, and fuel. Have you allowed for these costs?

When you apply for a Westpac loan, we work with you to ensure your new loan commitment is manageable. We want to ensure you have enough surplus income to service your loan.

Understand your loan

It is important to understand if the loan you are considering suits your needs. Please make sure you read the terms and conditions and get independent advice if you are unsure. You will be asked to visit a branch to sign your contract if your application is approved. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to read through the contract documents so that you understand the conditions of your loan.

If you are not comfortable reading the contract in the branch, or would like independent advice, you can take a copy of the contract with you.

The contract needs to be completed, signed and returned to the branch within 30 days of approval so your loan can be organised.

Think about the unexpected

There are a number of reasons why even the most responsible money manager might get into financial difficulty. Sickness, injury, disease, involuntarily losing your job can strike at any time and can affect your ability to meet your loan payments.

One way to protect yourself against these unexpected events, is to take out insurance. We can help you select the most appropriate cover for your situation.

Things you should know

The information contained within this page is general in nature. It serves as a guide only and does not take into account your personal financial needs. Before you act on this information you should seek independent legal and financial advice. Westpac does not warrant the appropriateness of this information.

1. The information contained within this page is general in nature and serves as a guide only. It does not take into account your personal financial circumstances or needs. Before deciding to acquire a financial product please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement which is available from our branches.