How to make a complaint about your home loan
Home loans can be complicated. They involve lots of red tape, paperwork and language that’s not easily understood. They also involve lots of money. Your money. That’s why it’s important to know how to make a complaint if something goes wrong. Here’s our step by step guide to the home loans complaint process.
Step 1 – Go to the source
Your first step is to always to approach your lender in person. Explain what the problem is and how you’d like it resolved. A responsible lender will try and solve the problem for you right away. However, if this doesn’t happen or you don’t get the response you wanted, move onto Step 2.
Step 2 – Put it in writing
Contact your lender in writing and ask for details about their complaints handling procedure (every lender will have one). In your letter or email include:
- Your name, contact details and the date;
- ‘Complaint’ in the heading or subject line;
- A clear and concise factual explanation of the problem, and
- Copies of relevant documents like receipts and statements. Keep the originals together with a copy of your letter.
If you don’t receive a response in a reasonable time – it’s fair to allow 2-3 weeks – or if you’re still unhappy with your lender’s response, go to Step 3.
Step 3 – External sources
Home loan complaints are managed by the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Credit Ombudsman Service. Both hear complaints for free and when asked, your lender must tell you which scheme they belong to. If you’re still unsure who to contact, call the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) info line on 1300 300 630 for help.
Depending on the nature of your complaint, you can also contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the consumer affairs/fair trading body in your State. Again, if you’re unsure about who to contact, call the ASIC info line for help.
Above all, don’t be afraid to make a complaint. You have rights as a consumer and part of getting the best home loan means knowing you’re well within your rights to complain if things go wrong.