Macquarie to protect credit scores of borrowers affected by Coronavirus shutdown

Tara McCabe

Thursday 26 March 2020

As the fallout from the continued Coronavirus shutdown is felt more and more each day, Macquarie has become the first Australian bank to protect borrowers’ credit scores.

Woman talking on phone with mask.

According to news website Banking Day, Macquarie sent a notice on Wednesday, informing mortgage aggregators and brokers that it would not be reporting missed home loan repayments to credit agencies for customers who have been affected financially by the health crisis.

This new measure will apply to home borrowers forced to pause repayments for 6 months as a result of sudden financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Macquarie announced last week that it would be offering repayment pauses for customers with overdrafts, home loans, car and equipment loans and credit cards.

Repayment pauses ongoing issue in US

The notification of repayment pauses is an ongoing issue in the United States, in the wake of the Coronavirus. North America has been hit hard by the pandemic, with a reported 65,701 confirmed cases as of Thursday 26th March 2020.

Reportedly hundreds of lenders across the US have informed credit agencies that borrowers will require special relief. Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax, which also operates in Australia, advised borrowers in the US to file a statement detailing the impact the pandemic has had on their ability to pay back their loan.

Big 4 yet to make a move

As it stands, the big four banks have not confirmed whether or not they will be reporting missed payments to credit agencies, for customers forced to take repayment holidays. 

Macquarie warned brokers that now would be a good time to urge borrowers to check whether their lender is reporting missed payments, as this will negatively impact their credit rating in the future.

Want to find out what your bank is doing to help customers affected by the pandemic? Why not read one of our guides and if your bank hasn’t made a statement yet, it might even be a good idea to give them a ring.

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