- A reduction in repayments to people ahead of their current loan repayments to $100 per month (available from 17 April 2020)
- Access to a redraw facility for people who are ahead of their current loan repayments
- Financial hardship assistance to people who are not ahead of their loan repayments
Coronavirus: What to do if you can’t afford your personal loan repayments
If coronavirus is affecting your financial health, there are some relief measures in place to help.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a huge financial impact on people in Australia and all over the world. Small businesses are struggling, Aussies are losing jobs due to lack of trade and many people are being forced to go on sick leave. With Australia's personal loan debt among the highest in the world, a large number of the people affected by COVID-19 are going to struggle to meet their personal loan repayments. If you're one of these people, there are some relief measures in place that could help.
What's in this guide?
- What do I do if I can't pay my personal loan on time as a result of COVID-19?
- Are the banks offering relief for personal loan customers during COVID-19?
- Which banks are offering repayment deferrals as a result of COVID-19?
- What else are the banks doing to help customers during COVID-19?
- What if my bank doesn't have a coronavirus relief plan?
- What other options do I have if I'm facing financial hardship?
- Can I take out a personal loan if I'm struggling from financial hardship as a result of COVID-19?
What do I do if I can't pay my personal loan on time as a result of COVID-19?
If you're facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the first step is to contact your creditor. Most creditors have hardship measures in place for people who are unable to meet their payments. Common reasons for people facing financial hardship are unemployment, illness or a family breakdown. Therefore, most creditor hardship measures will likely cover coronavirus-related hardship cases.
Once you've contacted your credit provider, it may organise for you:
- A freeze on your interest
- Waiving your fees
- To have more time to pay
- A flexible payment arrangement
- A smaller payment to settle the debt
Are the banks offering relief for personal loan customers during COVID-19?
Yes. While the news is mainly covering the banks' response to small business customers, a number of banks are responding to their personal banking customers directly. This number is constantly being updated, with more banks and lenders offering assistance to people affected by COVID-19 daily.
Which banks are offering repayment deferrals as a result of COVID-19?
These are the banks offering personal loan repayment deferrals as a direct result of COVID-19:
- Bank Australia
- Bank of Queensland
- IMB Bank
What else are the banks doing to help customers during COVID-19?
Below we've outlined which banks are offering assistance with COVID-19 and what personal loan customers can expect:
|ANZ||ANZ is offering support to all of its customers affected by COVID-19. For personal loan customers, this includes:||More info|
|Bank Australia||Bank Australia is offering assistance to any and all customers affected by COVID-19. Assistance for personal loans includes:||More info|
|Bank of Queensland||If you're a customer of the Bank of Queensland and are struggling to meet repayments or need financial assistance, you might be entitled to:||More info|
|Bendigo and Adelaide Bank||Bendigo and Adelaide Bank customers affected by the pandemic may be able to qualify for:||More info|
|CommBank||As of yet, CommBank is only extending financial help to business customers. However, branches are being kept open for longer to assist personal customers. Therefore, your claim regarding a personal loan may be considered.||More info|
|CUA||CUA has taken note of the unforeseen loss of income that many Aussies are now facing as a result of COVID-19. Measures CUA has put in place to help personal loan customers facing financial difficulty include:||More info|
|HSBC||HSBC is offering support to all customers affected by COVID-19. If you're affected, you may be entitled to the following:||More info|
|IMB Bank||IMB Bank has taken specific note of the financial difficulties many of its personal loan customers may be facing and is employing certain measures to assist. These measures include:||More info|
|Latitude||Latitude is helping its personal loan customers by offering:||More info|
|ME Bank||ME is offering support to all customers affected by COVID-19. If you're a ME personal loan customer, the bank is offering relief in the form of:||More info|
|ING||ING is offering to personal loan customers:||More info|
|NAB||NAB is assisting all of its customers that are affected financially by COVID-19. If you're a personal loan customer of NAB, it is offering:||More info|
|People's Choice Credit Union||The People's Choice Credit Union is offering financial assistance to personal loan customers in the form of:||More info|
|Suncorp||Suncorp has responded to the coronavirus pandemic by offering support to all customers. Measures for personal loan customers who are having financial difficulties include:|
|St.George Bank||As of yet, St.George Bank has only specified the measures of support in place for its home loan, small business, term deposit and transaction account customers. However, if you have a personal loan with St.George Bank, you can call St.George Assist to discuss your situation and it may consider your claim.||More info|
|Westpac||Westpac is offering some support measures for personal and business banking customers. These include the potential to:||More info|
What if my bank doesn't have a coronavirus relief plan?
If your bank or creditor is not on the list, it doesn't mean it won't be able to help. Lenders will still often have their own forms of financial hardship assistance in place for unforeseen circumstances. Visit https://www.ausbanking.org.au/campaigns/financial-hardship/ to see a list of these creditors.
Even if you still can't find your lender, it's still vitally important that you get in touch with it directly. This is an unprecedented situation and many companies are rallying to assist people in a time of need.
What other options do I have if I'm facing financial hardship?
If your lender isn't providing support or if you've lost your job as a result of COVID-19, there are other avenues you can take to get financial support. These include applying for JobSeeker Payment, contacting a local charity such as the Salvation Army, your local community centre or getting in touch with your insurance provider (if you have one).
There are also a number of measures that state governments are taking to help people who are facing financial problems as a result of COVID-19. These include actions like freezing household bills and charges and student support services.
Can I take out a personal loan if I'm struggling from financial hardship as a result of COVID-19?
If you're facing financial difficulties, it's always a good idea to consider other options before taking out more finance. That being said, some lenders (e.g. Bendigo) are offering discounted personal loans to existing customers who are struggling in the face of COVID-19.
Compare personal loans
Need to save money?
Times are tough and many Australians are in the midst of it right now. If you're facing financial hardship, there are other ways to save money rather than deciding to take out a personal loan.
One way is to get a grip on your daily finances, but there are more options out there. You can read more about ways to save in our guides below.
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