COVID-19: Which lenders offer relief on personal loans?

Polly Fleeting

Thursday 23 April 2020

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. 

Man sitting on the floor on his laptop looking at his personal loan repayments bill 

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:

LenderReduced InterestFrozen RepaymentsWaived fees
Adelaide BankOn new loans taken out by existing Adelaide Bank customers

Up to 6 months Consolidation fees
Australian UnityxUp to 6 monthsx
Australian Military BankxUp to 6 monthsx
Auswide BankxUp to 6 monthsx
Bank of AustraliaxCustomers can apply for repayment pausesx
Bank of QueenslandxCustomers can apply for repayment pausesx
Bank FirstxUp to 3 monthsx
Bank of usxUp to 6 monthsx
BankVicxUp to 6 monthsx
Bendigo BankOn new loans taken out by existing Bendigo Bank customersUp to 6 months Consolidation fees
CUAxxLate fees
Endeavour Mutual BankxUp to 6 months (with a 3 month checkpoint)x
Firefighters Mutual BankxUp to 3 monthsx
Gateway BankxUp to 3 monthsx
G&C Mutual BankCustomers get  1.00% discount on normal eligible Fair Rate Loan Tier over next 6 monthsUp to 3 monthsx
Health Professionals BankxUp to 3 monthsx
Heritage BankCut all rates by 0.25%xx
HSBCxUp to 6 monthsx
Hume BankNew unsecured loans available to eligible customers at secured interest ratexx
INGx3-6 monthsx
IMB BankPersonal line of credit interest rate cut by 1.00% (new and existing customers)xx
ME BankxUp to 6 monthsLate fees
MOVE BankxUp to 3 monthsEstablishment fees
MyState BankxUp to 6 months (with 3 month checkpoint)x
Newcastle PermanentxUp to 6 months (with 3 month checkpoint)x
People’s Choice Credit UnionxUp to 6 months (with 3 month checkpoint)x
QBankCar loans reduced by 0.50% per annum (if approved by 27 March)xx
Qudos BankAutomatically reduced personal/car loan rates by 0.10% for existing customers. 

New customers can apply for discount
Up to 6 monthsApplication fees on new loans
RACQxCustomers can apply for repayment pausesx
SuncorpxInitial 3 months (further 3 months if required)x
Sydney Mutual BankxUp to 6 months (with 3 month checkpoint)x
Teachers Mutual BankxUp to 3 monthsx
UniBankxUp to 3 monthsx
Unity BankxInitial 3 months (further 3 months if required)x
Warwick Credit UnionxUp to 6 monthsx

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. 

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 online personal loans you can apply for right from home

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