With an estimated 1 million people facing unemployment as a result of the current crisis it’s no wonder that the ability to service what is most household’s largest expense, mortgage repayments, will be placed under stress. If you’re in this precarious situation, or know someone else who might be, you may ask “what are the options and how does it work?”
Each lender has provided those in hardship with a six-month payment holiday. This article summarises the big four banks’ policy response but all lenders have implemented similar measures, with slight variations.
You will be able to defer home loan repayments for up to six months and, instead of making your repayments, interest will be capitalised, in other words, added to your loan balance. That balance will be recalculated at the end of the period and extended so repayments stay the same as they were before you started the deferral.
You will be able to defer repayments for three months initially, with a possible extra three-month extension available after review. The deferred interest will be capitalised and when payments resume, they will increase slightly for the remainder of your loan term.
You will be able to defer your repayments for up to six month and there will be a three month ‘check in’ point with the bank. Like Westpac, the deferred interest will be capitalised and when they resume, payments will increase slightly for the remainder of your loan term. You will still be able to redraw during the repayment pause if you have made additional repayments to date.
You may be able to put your repayments on hold for six months and interest will be capitalised. The bank will check in with you after three months and at the end of the period your minimum repayments will slightly increase to account for the increased loan balance.
What do I need to provide to have my payments suspended?
Again this will vary for each lender but in most cases you won’t have to provide any evidence that you’ve suffered substantial loss of income, or have contracted corona virus, but you may have to sign a declaration as such.
You should only defer mortgage payments if you really have to
It’s worth noting that there’s no advantage deferring the loan if in fact you can afford the repayments as capitalising the interest will mean that your repayments will increase over the life of the loan. For example, if you paused the interest repayments on a $300,000 loan with a current rate of 3%, after 6 months the balance of the loan will increase to $304,500. In most cases when you recommence your repayments, the minimum amount will be calculated based on this increased loan balance.
If you, or someone you know, unfortunately falls into this category you will need to contact your lender’s financial hardship team which can guide you through the application process. As always, please feel free to get in touch if we can assist in any way.