Applying to pay mortgage arrears or council rates
You can elect to use a lump sum from your superannuation to pay your mortgage arrears or council rates if your financial hardship is only for a fixed period of time (for example, if you’re between stable jobs).
It may be tempting to view this as the holy grail, but don’t forget you might be using your future retirement income on an asset that you still may lose anyway.
Before you consider applying, read about the risks associated with accessing your superannuation, and speak to one of our financial counsellors. Read more
If you want to access your superannuation to pay your mortgage arrears or rates you need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The lender or council is threatening to sell your home that you own
- You’re responsible for the loan repayments or rates because you own the home
- You can’t afford to pay the arrears without accessing your superannuation.
How to apply
If you’re eligible, complete an application form using your Centrelink MyGov account.
Superannuation for your mortgage
If you’re applying for early access to your super to help with your mortgage, you’ll need a copy of any default notices as well as a letter from your lender that confirms:
- if the arrears aren’t paid within a specified time frame, the mortgagee will foreclose the mortgage and take possession of, or sell, the property
- the amount owing that must be paid to stop the action to sell or take possession of your property
- the address of the property under threat of sale
- the amount equal to 3 months of repayments for the loan
- the amount equal to 12 months interest on the outstanding balance of the loan, and
- the name of the mortgagee and the bank account number for the loan
Superannuation for your council rates
For your council rates, you’ll need a letter from your council confirming:
- the amount of the arrears and the length of time the rates have been in arrears
- the council will sell the home if the arrears aren’t paid within a specified time frame
- the address of the home under threat of sale
- the relevant state or territory legislation the action’s being taken under, and
- the arrears will be accepted to stop the forced sale
Note that even if you obtain approval from the Australian Taxation Office, your superannuation fund is not obliged to release your funds early if their policy disallows early access.
How much of my super can I access?
For my mortgage
The maximum amount of super you can get in a 12-month period is:
- 3 months repayments; and
- 12 months interest on the outstanding balance of the loan.
For council rates
For council rates, you can only access the amount of the arrears.