Home Loan Relief during the COVID-19 pandemic

*Please ensure that you speak with you accountant, financial advisor or bank before making any financial decisions.  The below is not advice, it is simply a sharing of information which is publicly available.

Your Home Loan and Credit Card Payments

In response to worsening economic conditions due to the coronavirus outbreak, Australia’s major banks will be allowing home loan customers to defer their home loan repayments for up to six months.

The last thing Australians need to be worrying about is their mortgage repayments. Giving customers the option to hit pause will provide significant relief to households as the current crisis unfolds.

ANZ

ANZ’s assistance options currently focus on their business and home loan customers, but they’re also ensuring all other retail customers can access all their accounts digitally to support social distancing. Business banking customers can expect:

  • A six-month payment deferral on loan repayments for term loans, with interest capitalised
  • Temporary increases in overdraft facilities for 12 months
  • A 0.25% p.a. decrease in variable interest small business loan rates effectivefrom 27 March, resulting in a 0.50% reduction in March
  • A 0.80% p.a. reduction to a new two and three-year fixed rate of 2.59% forsecured small business loans up to $1 million, effective 3 April

Home loan customers are being offered:

  • Decreased variable interest home loan rates by 0.15% effective from 27 March
  • A two-year fixed rate of 2.19% p.a. for owner occupiers paying principal and interest
  • Home loan payment deferrals for up to 6 months (reviewed at 3 months)

Get in touch: All customers can get onto ANZ at 13 13 14, and business

customers are advised to talk to their relationship manager.

Commonwealth Bank

CommBank have extensive options set up for their business customers, and are assisting other customers on a case-by-case basis for home loan, credit card and personal loan repayments, including a six-month deferral on home loan repayments. The bank will also be adding additional resources and extended hours. Other business support includes:

    • Deferring repayments and fee waivers for various products (including repayments on business loans and overdrafts for 90 days)
    • Waiving merchant terminal fees for 90 days
  • Deferring repayments on vehicle and equipment finance loans, and tailoring restructuring options
  • Waiving early redraw fees on business term deposit accounts (including Farm Management Deposit accounts)
  • Waiving establishment fees and excess interest on temporary excess products

Offering unsecured loan of up to $250,000 with no establishment or account fees, and no repayments for six months for business with less than $50m turnover.

Get in touch: Call the Business Financial Assistance Team on 13 26 07 or the Financial Assistance Team on 13 30 95 for other account holders.

NAB

Like most banks with physical branches, NAB will be ramping up their in-branch cleaning and social distancing measures, and also encouraging more customers to head online or seek remote assistance for their banking needs. NAB has a business customer and home loan holder focus, early on announcing measures to support these customers as tourism and regular spending screeches to a halt and cash-flow hits a wall. For business, these include:

  • Deferral of business loan repayments and extension of business loan terms (both up to 3 months), based on individual circumstances
  • Support to restructure existing business loans, including equipment finance
  • Business credit card deferred repayments.For homeowners they’re offering:
  • A six-month home loan repayment pause (with a check-in at three months)
  • The option to reduce repayments or make redraws through offset accounts

Get in touch: They suggest business customers experiencing hardship reach

out by calling 1300 769 650, while those experiencing personal financial stress ring 1300 683 106.

Westpac

Westpac home loan customers can access a three-month deferral on their loan, with the option to extend to another three months on a review-basis after that period. There are also special 12-month term deposit rates and reduced fixed home loan rates available from March 27. Business customers at Westpac will have a range of support measures to consider in the wake of Coronavirus, including:

  • Access to an unsecured three-year term loan up to $250,000 to all business customers with a turnover of less than $50 million (with a six-month payment- free option)
  • Fee-free redraws on loans
  • Business loan and credit card repayments deferred by up to 3 months
  • Options to extend business loan terms by up to 3 months
  • Restructuring and consolidating loans
  • Access to term deposit funds without reduction in interest rates
  • Overdraft reduction by 200 basis points effective 6 April
  • 100 basis point interest rate reduction for small business cash-based loans

Access to business finance counselling

Get in touch: Check your business or personal eligibility for assistance by ringing 1800 067 497.

Suncorp

Suncorp will be easing the financial strain on customers during the pandemic, offering support measures for all customers, particularly small businesses who have been hit hard by the current working and trading conditions.

Customers have the opportunity to defer scheduled loan repayments, rearrange loans without establishment fees (perhaps moving from principal plus interest on their repayments to solely interest when income is uncertain), and withdraw early from term deposits without fees. Businesses will be able to do the same across various loan products, and will also see a reduction in variable loan rates and small business overdraft and line of credit interest rates. Suncorp has also announced increased interest rates on term deposits (six and 12 months), and lower home loan interest rates.

Get in touch: Give Suncorp a ring on 13 11 55 or have a chat with your relationship manager to see what assistance is available to you.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Similarly, this bank group has put an assistance package in place across the nation for small business and agribusinesses, as well as consumer customers.

There’s a central focus on loans, with relief on repaying home loan and business loans for up to three months, and a waiver of fees for restructuring and consolidating loans, as well as Bendigo Bank customers getting a discounted interest rate on new loans. Existing credit card holders can apply for an emergency limit increase, while those looking to withdraw their nest egg early from a term deposit won’t see an interest rate reduction. Repayment on equipment financing will be considered for deferral or extension on a case-by-case basis.

Get in touch: Affected customers should contact their local Branch Manager, Business Banker or the Mortgage Help Centre on 1300 652 146 (or on 1300 650 259 for Adelaide Bank customers).

Bank Australia

Any banking customers here can apply for assistance if COVID-19 has impacted their financial situation due to illness or inability to work. On a case-by-case basis, Bank Australia is offering deferrals of scheduled loan repayments , fee waivers, interest-free periods or no interest rate increases, and debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.

Get in touch: Ring 132 888 to get your finances sorted with Bank of Australia if you’re struggling.

Macquarie Bank

Macquarie Bank are going in with a tailored approach across their customer base, offering things like credit card interest rate reductions, special services for those in extreme financial situations, and loan restructuring and reassessment for business clients. They suggest personal banking customers use their banking app for convenience in lodging requests, and investigate the bank’s approach to financial assistance for more detail.

Get in touch: Macquarie has helpfully designated contact numbers for different financial products. These include:

– Home loans on 1300 363 330
– Credit cards on 1800 674 922
– Leasing on 1300 368 908
– Business banking through your relationship manager or on 1800 620 673

ME BANK

Along with flexible financial hardship support, ME is offering customers affected by COVID-19 a six-month pause on home loan repayments (with a review halfway) and lowered fixed rate interest on one, two and three-year home loans. Other measures to capitalise on savings include an increase in their six and 12-month term deposit rates to 1.80%, as well as three months (March-May) of guaranteed bonus interest for online savers who have qualified for the interest bump in any of the last three months (December-February).

Get in touch: Chat with the ME financial hardship team on 13 15 63.

What if my bank isn’t on this list?

Not every institution will have a specific COVID-19 financial assistance package or initiative prepared. However, most will have standard policies for providing support during financial hardship caused by illness, injury or other scenarios impacting customers’ ability to work. Start with the ABA’s financial difficulty page. It provides overarching information and relevant contacts and links to the association’s 22 member banks. If you’re not banking with an ABA member, seek out your bank’s customer assistance phone numbers or recent announcements about their approach to Coronavirus.

You may be able to access your Superannuation

The government is allowing individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

From mid-April eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

To apply for early release, you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

  • You are unemployed.
  • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance forjobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partneredpayments), special benefit or farm household allowance.
  • On or after 1 January 2020, either
  • you were made redundant
  • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more

Though we may not be able to help you specifically with your mortgage or superannuation needs, Bellcourt Mount Lawley will continue operating and is here for any property needs or general information you need.

Wayne Heldt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *