COVID-19 & Financial Hardship - What your bank can do to help.
The world as we know it has changed dramatically in the last few weeks and we are here to help you navigate these challenges. In an effort to do this, we want to provide you with some information regarding the response of the banking sector to the COVID-19 crisis and some of the options that are available to you. Whether you are an existing Crispin & Jeffery Mortgage Solutions client; if you have been adversely affected by the crisis; or if you have a home, investment property, asset finance or business loan then generally speaking you should contact your bank or finance company to discuss your options. All lenders are providing COVID-19 related financial hardship assistance including the ability to defer loan repayments for up to six months in most cases.
Below are the home loan financial hardship contact numbers and links to the bank’s hardship information pages for several leading banks (apologies if your lender is not on this list):
ANZ 1800 252 845 or this link CBA 13 30 95 or this link NAB 1800 701 599 or this link Westpac 1800 067 497 or this link St George 1300 303 110 or this link HSBC 1300 308 008 or this link Bankwest 1300 787 144 or this link AMP 13 30 30 or this link Suncorp 1800 225 223 or this link ING 1300 349 166 or this link Macquarie 1300 363 330 or this link ME Bank 13 15 63 or this link
Given the volume of people experiencing financial difficulty, you should expect these hotlines to be very busy and the web-based forms may well be the easiest method to contact your bank. In addition to (or as an alternative to) a repayment holiday, the interest rate on your loan should have reduced and may fall again as the banks consider their responses to the RBA rates cut of last Thursday. It seems unlikely that the banks will respond with a further rate cut (to date only ANZ has announced a 0.15% cut, with others such as CBA announcing no further cut to their variable rates). The RBA has also acted to reduce the rates on two and three year term loans. This means that there are now numerous lenders offering two and three year fixed rates between 2.09%pa and 2.39%pa whereas variable rates (currently) start from 2.66%. It also appears that there is not much scope for further reserve bank loosening of overnight rate (impacting the variable rates offered by banks) – or inclination of the lenders to pass on further cuts. Accordingly, if you are not eligible or not considering a financial hardship repayment holiday, then the current two to three year fixed rates may be an attractive option.
In summary, the best place to start if you would like to discuss repayment holiday is with your lender. If you have difficulties with your lender or are interested in looking at your options please feel free to contact me, Adam Magro. If you would like to discuss how the Federal and State Governments’ emergency measures could help your particular situation please contact Jonathon, Mark or Bill.
Best wishes for the health of you and your families.