Everything you need to know about Coronavirus and your finances

By Olivia Gee ·

Around Australia and across the globe, Coronavirus (COVID-19) has permeated every aspect of daily life. It’s changed the way we work, socialise and how our country will be economically governed for the foreseeable future. The situation is constantly evolving, so Mozo is keeping track of the latest news about the virus and how it will affect individuals and businesses. Here are answers to the big coronavirus questions.

Support for businesses

Government and banks are providing numerous financial support options. These include government wage assistance, cashflow boosts, business loan guarantees and instant asset write-off expansion, plus fee waivers, loan deferrals and other support from banks. We've also broken down some steps business can take to get through this difficult period.
Big Aussie insurers are supporting small businesses. Suncorp Insurance, QBE and Allianz have introduced measures including six-month payment deferrals and refunds upon cancellation of unused premiums.
The 2020 Federal Budget has brought a new wave of support for businesses. Read about what's available across wage subsidies and asset write-offs, plus tax deductions, concessions and backlogging. 

Government support for individuals 

JobKeeper payment and JobSeeker supplement. On July 21, changes to these support payments were announced. Then in November, the government announced the JobSeeker supplement would be extended officially until March 2021 at a further reduced rate.
The HomeBuilder scheme. In an effort avoid an expected slump in the construction industry, the government is offering $25,000 grants to eligible Aussies building new homes or making substantial renovations.

2020 Federal Budget tax changes

Individuals in some income brackets will have their tax bill reduced in the 2020/2021 financial year. This involves an early roll-out of already legislated cuts. 

Mortgage relief

Banks are offering relief options to home loan customers. This could come in the form of fee waivers, mortgage deferrals, interest rate freezes and payment reductions. Many banks and lenders are choosing to extend deferrals beyond the initial six-month period

Rent did drop in major metropolitan areas, while predictions on property prices shifted slightly. Although, now the trajectory for both is trending upward.

Many banks and lenders are offering reductions across home loan rates after the RBA cut the cash rate to yet another historic low of 0.10% in November.

Insurance relief

Some car insurers are offering discounts. These rely on an assessment of how insurance holders have been financially affected by COVID-19. Other providers are offering pay-as-you-drive options since cars are spending more time idle. 
Home insurers are also beginning to present discount options. Youi says it was the first to offer a refund on home insurance premiums.

Loan and credit card relief

Some credit card providers have lowered rates. Lenders are also offering relief by reducing or pausing minimum repayments and refunding late fees on credit cards. This could be behind some increases in credit and debit card spending.
Some lenders have cut personal loan rates recently. They've opted to reduce interest rates, waive fees, provide flexible repayment options or even freeze loan repayments. Follow Mozo's guide to get the most out of loan relief.

Financial counselling

There are many free financial counselling service available. Find out who to contact and how they might help you during COVID-19.

Know what expenses you can claim on tax. This will help you recoup on energy costs and other tech and work equipment depreciation if you’re currently working from home. It also pays to know what WFH will mean for your home insurance.
Find out if refinancing is an option for you during the pandemic. It could save you thousands, but may be less accessible for those severely financially affected by the crisis. 
Assess your life insurance and income protection. Read the fine print so you know what you are covered for during coronavirus. While it might be uncomfortable, you can also consider writing a will.
Think carefully about cashing in your savings. Instead, see how else you could cut costs by creating a crisis budget.
Haggle down your household expenses. There's savings to be made from car insurance to credit cards and we've got hot tips to help you haggle your way there. It's also time to take advantage of massive drops in energy prices.
Potentially access your superannuation early. Keep in mind, you will likely loose money in the long-run (especially if you're a young worker) for this short-term boost. If you now need to rebuild your fund, we've got tips to help you re-grow that nest egg and info on the benefits of ethical investments.
Look out for coronavirus scams. Learn how to keep your money safe from scammers targeting your super, offering fake products or a virus cure.

Support your community. Stay connected and feel better by doing good deeds for your neighbours, local businesses and charitable organisations.
Sell stuff while social distancing
. Research from Gumtree shows the average Aussie household has around $5,000 in unwanted stuff they could sell. If you're stuck indoors, clean out the cupboards and plan a sale.
Have a ball indoors. Paint, exercise and play your way through the lockdown. We've even pumped your iso playlist with money-motivation tracks.
Get active online. Whether you’re after yoga classes, meditation sessions or a way to track your spending, there’s an app that can bring it to your living room digitally.
Build your personal finance knowledge. There are plenty of money-focused courses to get stuck into in iso, whether you want to learn to budget effectively or become a share trading whizz.

Global events impact foreign exchange rates. Find out what this means for your IMT and protect yourself against the current climate.
The Aussie dollar has seen a jump after Biden's win in the US election. 
This means things are looking good for anyone making international money transfers from Australia to other countries.
You can now send money to Chinese bank accounts in real time. This means recipients won’t have to go to physical branches to pick up funds.

Right now, you cannot travel overseas.

travel ban for Australians came into effect on March 25, meaning citizens can’t leave the country unless it’s on humanitarian or compassionate grounds, or in the national interest. While some states are reopening boarders to all domestic travellers from November, others still have some restrictions in place.

Travel within state boarders also differs. From June 1, regional travel within most states and territories has been permitted, with many national parks, campgrounds and other facilities opening back up. However, there are some restrictions around travelling to remote communities. 

Olivia Gee
Money writer

As one of Mozo’s money writers, Olivia shares her research and insights across banking,  insurance and property to help readers save. She loves getting stuck into a story, unveiling all the facts, breaking down stats and drawing on personal experiences.