COVID-19: Which lenders offer relief on personal loans?
While the news has been flooded with how the government and banks are helping small businesses and mortgage holders during COVID-19, personal loan lenders across the country are offering similar support to their customers.
The hard truth is that many Aussies have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
In fact, on Monday the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data that indicated more Australians are out of work in April than they were in March - with just 63% currently in a job compared to 66% a month ago.
And as many Aussies nestle personal debt, unemployment or a reduced income is simply another kick in the financial guts.
How have personal loan lenders responded?
Some lenders have opted to reduce interest rates, waive fees, provide flexible repayment options and even freeze loan repayments.
Bear in mind though, that in the case of frozen loan repayments, some lenders may be using ‘interest capitalisation’.
This means that while you don’t make your regular repayments for a certain amount of time, your balance still accrues interest. Then once your frozen repayment period is up you could end up facing a larger repayment and owe more in interest.
So make sure you check in with your lender to see if this is the case for your current loan.
Personal loan lenders offering coronavirus support
Currently, only some of the big banks are offering personal loan support to customers:
- NAB is allowing borrowers to apply to reduce their monthly repayment to $100 for up to 6 months, as well as allow access to a redraw facility for those that are ahead on their loan repayments.
- Westpac is providing reduced or deferred repayments to eligible borrowers (for a short period of time).
- ANZ is assisting borrowers who are ahead on their repayments by offering reduced repayments as well as a redraw facility.
- CommBank is yet to announce support for personal loan customers.
So far 35 other lenders on the Mozo database have put similar or more measures in place to assist people financially affected by coronavirus.
Here’s a full rundown of what’s on offer:
|Lender||Reduced Interest||Frozen Repayments||Waived fees|
|Adelaide Bank||On new loans taken out by existing Adelaide Bank customers||Up to 6 months||Consolidation fees|
|Australian Unity||x||Up to 6 months||x|
|Australian Military Bank||x||Up to 6 months||x|
|Auswide Bank||x||Up to 6 months||x|
|Bank of Australia||x||Customers can apply for repayment pauses||x|
|Bank of Queensland||x||Customers can apply for repayment pauses||x|
|Bank First||x||Up to 3 months||x|
|Bank of us||x||Up to 6 months||x|
|BankVic||x||Up to 6 months||x|
|Bendigo Bank||On new loans taken out by existing Bendigo Bank customers||Up to 6 months||Consolidation fees|
|Endeavour Mutual Bank||x||Up to 6 months (with a 3 month checkpoint)||x|
|Firefighters Mutual Bank||x||Up to 3 months||x|
|Gateway Bank||x||Up to 3 months||x|
|G&C Mutual Bank||Customers get 1.00% discount on normal eligible Fair Rate Loan Tier over next 6 months||Up to 3 months||x|
|Health Professionals Bank||x||Up to 3 months||x|
|Heritage Bank||Cut all rates by 0.25%||x||x|
|HSBC||x||Up to 6 months||x|
|Hume Bank||New unsecured loans available to eligible customers at secured interest rate||x||x|
|IMB Bank||Personal line of credit interest rate cut by 1.00% (new and existing customers)||x||x|
|ME Bank||x||Up to 6 months||Late fees|
|MOVE Bank||x||Up to 3 months||Establishment fees|
|MyState Bank||x||Up to 6 months (with 3 month checkpoint)||x|
|Newcastle Permanent||x||Up to 6 months (with 3 month checkpoint)||x|
|People’s Choice Credit Union||x||Up to 6 months (with 3 month checkpoint)||x|
|QBank||Car loans reduced by 0.50% per annum (if approved by 27 March)||x||x|
|Qudos Bank||Automatically reduced personal/car loan rates by 0.10% for existing customers. |
New customers can apply for discount
|Up to 6 months||Application fees on new loans|
|RACQ||x||Customers can apply for repayment pauses||x|
|Suncorp||x||Initial 3 months (further 3 months if required)||x|
|Sydney Mutual Bank||x||Up to 6 months (with 3 month checkpoint)||x|
|Teachers Mutual Bank||x||Up to 3 months||x|
|UniBank||x||Up to 3 months||x|
|Unity Bank||x||Initial 3 months (further 3 months if required)||x|
|Warwick Credit Union||x||Up to 6 months||x|
What if my lender isn’t in the list above?
If your current lender isn’t in the list above, get in contact with them directly and see what they can offer. You never know, they may waive some fees or even grant you a repayment holiday if you meet the right criteria.
Alternatively, another way to lessen your monthly repayment if to shop around for a better rate.
So, if you aren’t receiving a competitive interest rate at the moment you may want to consider jumping ship - it may be a simple way to make it easier for you to pay your loan repayments month to month.
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