How to deal with a dispute with your lender

The Law gives you access to a two stage free mandatory complaint process known as Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) and External Dispute Resolution (EDR). As the names suggest the first process you need to go through is ‘internal’ with the lender you have an issue with. Lenders are required to follow strict processes outlined by ASIC in the mandatory IDR process and must respond to you within certain timeframes depending on your situation.

When you make contact with the lender specifically state that you "want to talk to the staff member who is in charge of the Internal Dispute Resolutions process". See the tips section below on how to prepare.

Tips on preparing

Top tips to prepare you for making your compliant to the lenders Internal Dispute Resolution process.

  • Before you contact the business, think about your complaint and how you would like it to be fixed. If it helps, write down the main points and any questions you have.
  • Decide how you want to contact the business - by phone, email, letter or face to face.
  • If you can, speak to the person you first dealt with, or phone the customer helpline if there is one.
  • Stay calm and explain the problem as clearly as possible. Try not to get too angry or emotional – staff are not required to listen to any abusive language or comment.
  • Ask questions if there is anything you don't understand.
  • Stick to the facts and include any relevant dates or names of people you dealt with.
  • If you contact the business by phone, make a note of the date, who you spoke to and what they said.
  • If you contact the business by letter or email, attach copies of any relevant documents and keep the originals. Keep a copy of your own email or letter. Include your name and contact details and any reference numbers for your policy or account.
  • If your complaint is resolved immediately, you don't need to do anything else. You can ask the business to confirm in writing how they have responded.
  • Ask the lender how long it will take to resolve your issue and follow up on the day given if your issue has not been resolved.
  • If you're unhappy with the response from the business, you can ask the lender for details of their External Dispute Resolution scheme and a 3rd impartial party will make a decision.  This can take from several weeks to several months. You are better to resolve the issue with the lender when possible.

External Dispute Resolution (EDR) Schemes

There are two EDR schemes available and it is mandatory that your lender belong to one of these schemes.  Apart from the information you have already collected for dealing with your lender's IDR, the EDR will want to have copies of any correspondence between you and the IDR as you try to settle the dispute.  You need to be able to show the EDR whether you have had any offers from your lender to settle the dispute and, if you did not accept it, why you did not accept the offer.


  1. EDR complaints scheme will not deal with it unless you have raised it with the lender first and given them the chance to put things right.
  2. if you go to court first and lose, you can't then have the matter looked at by a complaints scheme.


Here are the lnks for both of those schemes:

Click here for FOS - Financial Ombudsman Service..

Click here for CIO - Credit and Investment Ombudsman