Big bank coronavirus support: How to defer your mortgage repayments

Niko Iliakis

Tuesday 24 March 2020

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. 

This is just one of several measures introduced by the big banks to help households weather the current downturn. All four have also announced cuts to fixed home loan rates and sharp increases to term deposit rates.

As business activity winds down and jobs become increasingly insecure, 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.

So if you’re currently paying off a mortgage with one of the big banks and you’ve been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, here’s what you need to know about your bank’s deferral program.

ANZ

ANZ is allowing customers to defer their mortgage repayments for six months in the hopes that it will put money back into Australians’ pockets and help cushion the blow of the coronavirus outbreak.

Unpaid interest during this period is capitalised, meaning it will be added to your outstanding loan balance. When you resume your repayments, the principal you’ll be paying off will have increased.

ANZ also reminds customers to consider all the options available to them, such as accessing their redraw balances or withdrawing funds held in offset accounts. Customers who are paying more than the minimum repayment amount will also have the option to reduce the size of their repayments via internet banking or by calling ANZ.

How to apply: To request a pause on repayments from ANZ, you’ll need to fill out an online registration form. Once submitted, a representative from ANZ will get in contact with you to discuss your request.

Commonwealth Bank

CommBank is offering an assistance period of up to 6 months to all home loan customers, during which they will not be required to keep up with their mortgage repayments.

Just remember that the interest and charges you would normally pay during this period will later be added to your outstanding loan balance. The size of your repayments will remain unchanged, but the length of your loan will be extended.

How to apply: To request a pause on repayments from CommBank, you’ll need to fill out an online registration form. 

NAB

A six month assistance period is available to all NAB customers that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. During this time, customers will not be required to make their usual home loan repayments.

According to NAB, a customer deferring repayments on a loan of $400,000 will be able to access an additional $1,834 per month, or $11,006 over the six months period.

NAB also notes that during the repayment pause, customers will not be able to access their redraw facility. And once the assistance period is over, customers will be required to make up for the missed payments over an agreed period of time. That means monthly repayments will be adjusted and you could wind up paying more interest over the life of the loan.

How to apply: To request a pause on repayments from NAB, you’ll need to submit an online registration form. Alternatively, you can call up NAB directly but it’s likely you’ll experience delays due to a high volume of callers.

Westpac

Westpac customers who have lost their job or suffered a loss of income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak will be able to defer their mortgage repayments for three months, with a further three month extension available after review.

Interest that goes unpaid will be added to your outstanding loan balance, meaning your repayments will increase once the assistance period ends.

How to apply: To request a pause on repayments from Westpac, you’ll need to fill out an online registration form. Once submitted, a representative from Westpac will be in touch to discuss your situation.

For more information about what banks are doing to support their customers, read our guide to Aussie banks' coronavirus relief packages.

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