Lender Hardship Guide

Please click on your lender below to see how they are assisting borrowers impacted by the Coronavirus / COVID-19 crisis.

  • Hardship Contact Details: 1300 650 259
  • https://www.adelaidebank.com.au/coronavirus-assistance/
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Home Loan and Business Loan customers can apply for relief on loans for up to six months
    • Waiver of fees for the restructuring or consolidation of loans
    • Waiver of interest rate reduction for early withdrawals on term deposits prior to maturity
  • Hardship Contact Details: 13 30 30 between 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday, or 9am  - 5pm Saturday and Sunday (AEST).
  • https://www.amp.com.au/forms/loans/covid-19-home-loan-support
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • AMP Bank is offering to pause home loan repayments for clients experiencing financial pressure resulting from COVID-19.
    • This means you can request to pause home loan repayments for up to three months with the option to extend for a further three months, if you are experiencing ongoing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19.
    • If you're ahead on your mortgage repayments, there may be other options available. You may be able to reduce your current repayments or use your offset or redraw to get access to additional money.
    • During your repayment pause, unpaid interest will be capitalised which means it will be added to your loan balance and when repayments start again they will be higher for the remainder of your loan term and you may incur a higher amount of interest over the life of the loan.
    • Fee waivers for clients in financial hardship
    • A waiver of the monthly account-keeping fee for everyday and savings account holders, from 30 March 2020 until 1 October 2020
  • Hardship Contact Details:
  • https://www.anz.com.au/promo/covid-19
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • For Home Loan Customers:
      • Decrease variable interest home loan rates in Australia by 0.15% p.a. across all Variable rate indices, effective from 27th March 2020.
      • Introduction of a two-year fixed rate of 2.19% p.a.3 for Owner Occupiers paying Principal & Interest; our lowest fixed-rate home loan on-record.
      • Request a deferral of home loan repayments for up to six-months, with a review at three-months, with interest capitalised(Interest Capitalisation is the addition of unpaid interest to the outstanding loan balance. The outstanding loan balance increases when payments are postponed during periods of deferment or forbearance and unpaid interest is capitalised.
    • For Business Owners:
      • Decrease variable interest small business loan rates in Australia by 0.25% p.a., effective from 27th March 2020, resulting in a 0.50% p.a.1 reduction since last week.
      • All impacted customers can request a six-month payment deferral on loan repayments for term loans, with interest capitalised2.
      • Making available temporary increases in overdraft facilities for 12 months.
  • Hardship Contact Details: 1300 134 107,  secure messaging through Online Banking, or the Bankwest Mobile App
  • https://www.bankwest.com.au/help/coronavirus-support#content-btc-c?promocode=edm5979&cid=edm5979
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Bankwest is providing additional support to home loan customers who may need assistance at this time with an option to defer home loan repayments for six months. Customers will be able to apply for a deferral of home loan repayments through an online registration process, which is currently under development and will be made available as soon as possible.
    • Bankwest is supporting the Australian Government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme by extending additional support to small and medium business customers.
      • Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, eligible businesses can access unsecured business loans* of up to $250,000 for three years at historically low rates, given the Government’s support and the Reserve Bank’s recently announced term funding scheme.
      • Interest rates on unsecured business loans will be lower than current rates. No interest will apply unless the loan is used, no repayments will be required for six months, and there will be no establishment or monthly account fees.
      • Australian businesses with less than $50 million turnover are eligible.
    • Bankwest is also supporting small business customers who may be facing financial difficulty at this time with a specific package of support measures available which include 1% p.a. interest rate reduction for all new and existing variable business loans, effective 3 April 2020. These support measures will not be automatically activated and customers seeking assistance will need to contact Bankwest on call 13 7000.
    • Effective Wednesday March 18th  all of Variable rates reduced by 25 basis points for all New and Existing Bankwest clients.
  • Hardship Contact Details: 13 33 22
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Support for home loan customers:
      • Reduced Fixed Home Loan Rates: A 2.29% p.a. fixed rate home loan for one, two and three years for owner occupied customers on principal and interest repayments with Advantage Package, effective Friday 27 March 2020.
      • Repayment relief for home loan customers: Bank of Melbourne customers who have lost their job or suffered loss of income as a result of COVID-19 should contact us for three months deferral on their home loan mortgage repayments with extension for a further three months available after review. Apply here
      • $1 Billion in home lending commitment: Bank of Melbourne pledges to play its part to keep the property market and economy moving by supporting more Victorians with their home ownership needs.
    • Support for small businesses:
      • 200 basis point reduction on overdrafts for new and existing customers, effective Monday 6 April 2020.
      • 100 basis points interest rate reduction for small business cash-based loans, effective Monday 6 April 2020.
      • Repayment relief for small business customers: Bank of Melbourne small business customers who need help to manage their cash flow can defer principal and interest repayments of business term loans for six months. Find out more and how to apply here.
      • https://www.bankofmelbourne.com.au/business/small-business-relief
  • The Hardship Assistance Team can also be contacted on 1800 079 866.
  • Your Finance Broker can apply for Hardship on your behalf.
  • 1300 300 309 - Weekdays 8.30am to 6.00pm AEST
  • Capital Finance has announced extensive support measures to help businesses impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia. We remain determined to assist customers and committed to help our broker partners through this extraordinary period.
  • To provide further financial support for small business customers, Capital Finance will introduce the following changes.
  • Repayment relief for small business customers: Capital Finance small business customers who need help to manage their cash flow can defer principal and interest repayments of equipment finance loans for six months. Find out more and how to apply here.
  • Helping small and medium businesses take advantage of the increased instant asset write-off and accelerated depreciation provisions in the Federal Government stimulus package with no establishment fees for equipment finance loans until the end of June 2020.
  • These measures are in addition to the help already available for small business customers who are impacted by recent disasters and are experiencing hardship including restructuring and consolidating loans or fee free redraws.
  • Interest will continue to be charged to your loan during any repayment relief period. Small business offer available to eligible small business customers with total business borrowings less than $3.0m. Customers will be available to opt-in to this offer online from Monday 23 March 2020.
  • Hardship Contact Details: Advantedge.customercare@advantedge.com.au
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Pause home loan repayments for up to six months, if experiencing financial challenges, including a three-month checkpoint. For a customer with a typical home loan of $400,000, this will mean access to an additional $11,006 over six months, or $1,834 per month.
    • Access redraw.
    • Reduce repayments on variable rate loans. Over the past 12 months, reductions of 84bps to our owner-occupier variable rates have provide a potential benefit of $3,360 per year to customers with a $400,000 loan. Most customers have not yet taken the option to reduce their payments.
  • Hardship Contact Details: 13 12 20
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • No change to interest rates following the our of cycle RBA rate cut in March.
    • Our existing hardship policy is well suited to the current crisis, offering:
    • a repayments holiday for three months
    • the option to extend for a further three months
  • Hardship Contact Details: 13 12 22
  • https://www.heritage.com.au/about/member-commitment/financial-hardship
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Hardship provisions to help impacted customers through their situation.
    • Deferral of scheduled loan repayment
    • Waiving of fees associated with restructuring of loans needed, such as switching from P&I to IO
    • Waiving or refunding fees incurred due to virus impacts, for example missed payments
    • Early redemption of Term Deposits and Farm Deposit Management accounts for customers impacted, without fees or penalties.
  • Hardship Contact Details: 133 464 Monday to Friday between 8.45am and 5.00pm (AEST).
  • Visit https://www.ing.com.au/help-and-support/coronavirus-covid-19.html
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • From 26 March 2020, ING 's fixed rates will start from as low as 2.09% p.a. (3.77% p.a. comparison rate) for a new Owner Occupied 2 year fixed rate loan with Orange Advantage. Variable home loan rates remain
    • To support ING customers who suffer a loss of income or employment due to COVID-19, we ask that they contact us as they be may eligible for a three month deferral of their ING home loan repayments. An extension for a further three months may also be available on request and will be subject to financial assessment.
    • Please note that a loan deferral arrangement will mean a customer is not required to make any repayments during the deferral period, however interest and fees will continue to accrue on the loan. This will result in a higher loan balance at the end of the deferral period, and an increase to minimum repayments so that the loan can still be paid within its term.
  • Hardship Contact Details: Online form to request payment pause - Home loans 1300 363 330 - Credit Cards – 1800 674 922  - Leasing – 1300 368 908  - Business Banking – Please contact your relationship manager or call 1800 620 673
  • https://www.macquarie.com/au/personal/coronavirus
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • From Friday 20 March, all Macquarie Personal Banking clients who are experiencing financial difficulty can immediately defer their loan repayments for six months. This applies to all overdraft, home loan, car and equipment loan and credit card clients.
    • Macquarie Business Banking clients who are experiencing financial difficulty can immediately defer their loan repayments for six months. This applies to all business loans up to $5 million.
    • Asset Finance: for consumer loans, interest will be accrued during the payment pause period and will be capitalised (along with and arrears) at the end of that period. The loan term will be extended as required to keep the regular repayments same (including any balloons). Customers will receive a variation letter as soon as it is processed that confirms the details including the next payment due date, new regular repayment amount and new contract expiry date. It will have no negative impact on the clients credit rating. Customers can make payments during the Payment Pause, which wont affect the Payment Pause arrangement.
  • Hardship Contact Details: 13 15 63
  • https://www.mebank.com.au/support/coronavirus-information/
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Due to the continuing COVID-19 health crisis unfolding in Australia, ME has recognised the need to provide our customers with additional support during what is an unprecedented and incredibly difficult time.
    • Customers currently facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 health crisis can now request a three-month suspension on mortgage repayments with the option to extend for a further three months following a review.
    • Customer’s interest and charges will continue to accrue during the repayment suspension. As a result, their minimum repayments will increase based on the higher balance calculated at the end of the suspension period.
    • ME Customers experiencing financial difficulty should speak to our First Contact or Hardship team to discuss their options.
  • Metro is continuing to assist our customers with COVID19 relief requests and are working through high call volumes.
  • Metro has introduced a streamlined process to assist affected customers, including up to 3 months’ payment deferral which can be further reviewed and extended if required.
  • This process is conducted over the phone so please continue to encourage your clients to call Metro Finance Customer Service on 1300 362 627 (select option 2 and then 4). Customers have a call-back option to avoid waiting on hold.
  • Hardship Contact Details: 138 001
  • https://www.mystate.com.au/about-us/covid-19
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • If you’re an existing variable rate home loan customer, we have recently announced a decrease of our variable rate home loans by 0.25%p.a. effective 31 March 2020.
    • We’re also introducing 1, 2 and 3 year fixed rate home loan interest rates1 for new and existing customers from as low as 2.39%p.a. (comparison rate 4.04%p.a.2) to give you the option of locking in your repayments with certainty through these uncertain times.
    • Defer your loan repayments - If you’re experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 and you need some help to get back on your feet, you may have the option of deferring your home or personal loan repayment for up to six months – we will check in with you after three months.
  • Hardship Contact Details: 13 22 65
  • https://www.nab.com.au/common/forms/coronavirus-contact-form
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • How NAB is helping home owners:
      • Eligible customers can pause their home loan repayments for up to 6 months (including a 3 month checkpoint).
      • Eligibility applies to all NAB home loan customers affected by Coronavirius (owner occupiers and investors on either principal and interest or interest only repayment schedules).
      • After a repayment pause, customers are required to bring their account up-to-date over an agreed period of time. This will result in monthly payments being adjusted (i.e. the amount required may be higher than current repayments and may incur a higher amount of interest over the life of the loan).
      • If you require additional hardship support, you can submit a request for support online with our specialist team. Alternatively, NAB’s Customer Care team is available on 1300 683 106 to discuss options Monday to Friday 8am-8pm (AEST/AEDT and now Saturday 9am-1pm (AEST/AEDT), but please be conscious that the Contact Centre is currently experiencing high demand and longer than usual response times.
    • How NAB is helping business owners:
      • Pause business credit card repayments for up to 6 months (including a 3 months checkpoint).
  • Hardship Contact Details: 1800 356 383, between 8:00am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday (AEDT)
  • https://www.pepper.com.au/lending/contact-us
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Pepper offer a number of payment options which are specifically designed to cater for a customer's changing circumstances. These may include:
      • Repayment holidays
      • Postponement of payments
      • Loan variations etc
      • Redraw of funds
  • Your finance broker can assist with the application for hardship if you prefer.
  • Q - Will those customers that take up the moratorium on loan repayments be impacted by adverse credit references for future borrowings once we pass through this financial crisis?
  • A – Whilst under this agreement we will not report the Repayment History Information to the Credit Bureau and any agreement entered into will not impact future borrowings however they must understand that any future borrowings are assessed under the usual credit criteria and if approved/declined it is not because of the assistance period offered but another underlying factor
  • Q – Will interest accrue whilst payments are deferred?
  • A – Interest on the outstanding loan balance will continue to accrue on your loan during this period of assistance and will be added onto the principal balance on the  date the payments are due.
  • Q – What happens to the payments that are deferred?
  • A – Any missed payments will be added to the balance of the loan (capitalised) and the repayments adjusted (re-amortised) to ensure the loan balance is repaid within the term remaining. In cases where extreme hardship exists, the assist team may consider another form of loan variation which may include extending loan terms however additional interest charges would apply for the months it is extended by.
Customers need to call 1300 768 710 or visit the following website: https://www.ratesetter.com.au/admin/hardship/
  • Hardship Contact Details:
  • https://www.resimac.com.au/financial-hardship-assistance
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Common types of assistance we provide include:
      • Deferred repayments
      • Long term repayment arrangements
      • Time to seek financial / counselling advice
      • Reduced repayments
      • Capitalisation of arrears
  • Hardship Contact Details: 13 11 55
  • https://www.suncorp.com.au/banking/help-support/financial-difficulty.html
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
    • Suncorp Bank is supporting personal customers by:
      • Offering 1.70% on term deposits between 6 to 12 months. These fixed rates will give our customers certainty of returns during these challenging times.
    • Suncorp Bank is supporting business customers by:
      • Reducing the interest rate for existing Business Essentials variable loans (fully secured) to a maximum rate of 3.69% p.a. for residentially secured lending and a maximum rate of 3.99% p.a. for commercially secured lending. This move saves our small business customers an average of $1,300 p.a.
  • Hardship Contact Details: 132 032 for personal banking or 132 142 for business banking.
  • Announcements (updated 26/3/19):
  • https://www.westpac.com.au/help/disaster-relief/coronavirus/?pid=iwg:sc:COVID-&ttid=DCV_1947-TG-WBC-C-NA-CM-P:
  • https://banking.westpac.com.au/olfmu/eforms/assist/#/welcome/applyNow
    • Support for retail customers.
      • Effective Friday 27 March 2020, we are making changes to Fixed Home Loans under the Premier Advantage Package*.
        • 1 year owner occupier Principal & Interest fixed rate^ home loan decreasing by 1.00% p.a. to 2.29% p.a. (comparison rate** 3.61% p.a.)
        • 2 year owner occupier Principal & Interest fixed rate^ home loan decreasing by 0.69% p.a. to 2.29% p.a. (comparison rate** 3.53% p.a.)
        • 3 year owner occupier Principal & Interest fixed rate^ home loan decreasing by 0.69% p.a. to 2.29% p.a. (comparison rate** 3.45% p.a.)
      • Westpac customers who have lost their job or suffered loss of income as a result of COVID-19 can contact us for three months deferral on their home loan mortgage repayments, with extension for a further three months available after review.
      • Effective Friday 27 March 2020, we are introducing a Term Deposit special offer of 1.7% p.a. interest for 12 months for all Australians (up to $500,000 per customer). Available online and in-branch. For Australians aged 65 years and over the rate will be 2% p.a. for eight months (up to $500,000 per customer). Customers can choose to have interest paid monthly to provide them with regular income.
    • Support for business customers.
      • We have made a 200 basis point reduction on overdrafts for new and existing customers.
      • We have made a 100 basis point interest rate reduction for small business cash-based loans.
      • Small business customers with business balances less than $3m1 experiencing cash flow issues as a result of COVID-19 can defer Principal & Interest repayments of business term loans and Equipment finance for six months.
      • We also have merchant terminal rental fee waivers for up to three months. In addition, we are helping small and medium businesses take advantage of the increased instant asset write-off and accelerated depreciation provisions in the Federal Government stimulus package with no establishment fees for equipment finance loans until the end of June 2020.

 

Here are some common questions you may have given the circumstances:

  1. Accessing redraw if you have it.  If your loan is variable you may access your redraw usually via an online transfer
  2. Speak to your Financial Planner or superfund about accessing up to $10k of superannuation if you are in financial stress. Information about this and how to arrange it are available at https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Early_Access_to_Super.pdf
  3. Check if any other Government stimulus initiatives are available to you via Government websites and media stories.
  4. Centrelink assistance may be available if you are without work and unable to find a job. There may be varied rules around the requirements to access financial help during Covid19 so it may be worth checking their website for current and updated information.
  5. Check your mortgage interest rate. If you feel it is on the higher side, contact one of our brokers and they can see if we can either negotiate with your current lender or refinance to a new lender.  A drop in interest rate will lower your monthly repayment.
  6. Potential refinancing of your home loan.  If you will still be able to manage repayments but would like to minimise the repayment to allow you to still be able to repay them if cashflow gets tougher, loans can be refinanced back out to a 30 year loan term.  This will lower your repayment to help you through this tough time, but it is important to remember this puts your loan back to 30 years so if you continue making the minimum 30 year repayment long term, you will probably pay more interest over the life of your loan. It is about what is financially most beneficial to you, for some it will be cashflow and lower payments, for some it will be total interest cost over life of the loan.   We would discuss this with each of you personally.  To refinance your loan you do need to still qualify for the new loan under bank policies with current employment and income rules and we would help you through this process which takes around 4-6 weeks from start to finish.
  7. There are also still refinance rebates of several thousand dollars available if you are looking to refinance.
  8. Residential home and investment lenders do offer hardship arrangements for loans.  These usually include no monthly repayments for 6 months however interest still adds onto the loan.  They usually require this interest to be made up in the following 6-12 month period.  The arrangements can vary and you would need to speak with your bank directly to discuss this option and negotiate the terms.  You should start this process before you miss a payment however if you are still able to manage your repayments for the coming months, there is no need to investigate it immediately and you may benefit from waiting to see if further Government stimulus options are announced over time.
  1. Government stimulus assistance is available in many circumstances.  Please seek advice from your accountant on the Government stimulus items that may apply to you.  One example is a Cash flow assistance incentive for business (information at https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Cash_flow_assistance_for_businesses_0.pdf ) but there are many other initiatives also.  Information is available on Government websites or your accountant may be able to assist.
  2. Business banks have an array of small loans of offer to help businesses through this time.  Please contact your business bank to discuss the options available to you.
  3. Business banks are also offering hardship arrangements for business loans.  These usually include no monthly repayments for 6 months however interest still adds onto the loan.  They usually require this interest to be made up in the following 6-12 month period.  The arrangements can vary and you would need to speak with your business bank to discuss this option.  Again, you should start this process before you miss a payment however if you are still able to manage your repayments for the coming months, there is no need to investigate it immediately and you may benefit from waiting to see if further Government stimulus options are announced over time.
If you’ve just lost your job and face the possibility of losing your home because you can no longer pay your mortgage, one of the options to consider is applying for a deferment of repayments with your lender. Even though your mortgage repayments would be paused (or reduced), interest is still accruing on the principal loan amount, which means that the interest you don’t pay during your period of deferral is added to your outstanding loan balance. This is called interest capitalisation. This means you will either have to increase your repayment amount or make more frequent repayments after, which could end up making your home loan more expensive in the long run. If you choose to defer your home loan repayments for up to six months, your loan balance will be bigger than it was before and you’ll still have to keep up with your repayments. But if you are faced with a choice of either losing their home because you can’t make your repayments or temporarily deferring their mortgage and paying more in interest later, that extra interest could be a very small price to pay.
Even though your employment or income may not have yet been affected, it's still wise to take the opportunity to review your financial position and plan to minimise the impact of any future changes:
  • Mortgage:
    • Speak to your finance broker about reviewing your current interest rate, your lender may be willing to reduce it in order to keep your business
    • If there are more competitive loan options available, your finance broker will be able to talk you through the possible benefits and costs savings if you were to refinance
    • If possible, look at switching your repayments to interest only. This will reduce your monthly repayments which can give you a bit of breathing room. Just be aware that interest-only repayments can often make your home loan more expensive in the long run. Because you’re not paying off the principal over the interest-only period, you’ll end up paying more interest over the life of your loan than someone who has been paying both principal and interest.
  • Living Expenses:
    • Review your ongoing subscriptions - do you really need three streaming services?
    • Review how much you are eating out
    • If you have some free time, it's a perfect opportunity to review your utilities (gas, electricity, internet, insurances etc)
The short answer is yes - many lenders are changing their policies to allow identity verification to be completed via digital platforms (eg. Skype, Facetime etc). Contact your broker to discuss further.
    1. Temporary early release of superannuation - Temporary Early Release of Superannuation
    2. Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates - Temporarily Reducing Superannuation Minimum Drawdown Rates
    3. Reducing social security deeming rates - Reducing Social Security Deeming Rates
    4. Income support for individuals - Income Support for Individuals
    5. Payments to support households - Payments to Support Households
    6. Boosting cash flow for employers - Cashflow Assistance for Business
    7. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses - Providing Temporary Relief for Financially Distressed Businesses
    8. Increasing the instant asset write-off - Delivering Support for Business Investment
    9. Backing business investment - Backing Business Investment
    10. Supporting apprentices and trainees - Cashflow Assistance for Businesses
    11. Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities - Assistance for Severely Affected Regions