FAQs: what you need to know about COVID-19 bank relief

25 March 2020

Helping Aussie businesses remain viable and keeping people in their homes is good for everyone.

Relief has now been extended to 98% of all businesses with loans with an Australian bank.

Contact your bank online today to get a six month deferral of your business loan.

Contact your bank online today to ask about a six month deferral on your mortgage.


Contact your bank’s COVID-19 team online

COVID-19: bank relief FAQs

Yes. Bank branches remain open across Australia, but banks are encouraging people to bank online or use bank apps where possible.

Australian banks will defer loan repayments for six months for small businesses who need assistance because of COVID-19.  

They are also offering loans, including overdrafts, with no repayments for the first six months, at very low interest rates, supported by the Government, through an SME Loan guarantee. 

Other assistance can include fees waived, loans restructured, and further credit offered to get through the pandemic.  

Yes, it applies to all current small business operators.  

Contact your bank to opt in. A fast track approval process will provide support as soon as possible. 

For eligibility criteria, contact your bank.

Yes. Banks are offering loans at very low interest rates, supported by the Government, through an SME Loan guarantee. Your business would still need to meet certain lending criteria set out by your bank.  

While you won’t have to make any principal or interest payments for the 6 months, interest will continue to be accrued.

It can then be paid off over the life of the loan once repayments begin again, or the length of the loan can be extended. This will be a conversation between you and your bank.   

Yes. Banks are now offering customers the option to defer home loan repayments for up to six months. 

If you’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and are experiencing hardship, your bank can help. Assistance can include waiving fees, restructuring loans or other things to help get you through the pandemic.

Check your banks website under ‘Hardship’. 

Banks report your repayment history to credit bureaus. Any change to your loan structure or repayments may be recorded on your credit history, but banks and credit bureaus are working together to ensure that reporting is fair to customers and takes Covid-19 into account.   

Your bank wants to partner with you through this difficult time.

Getting people back to work and keeping them in their homes is what is in the best interests of all Australians.  

Many banks are contacting their customers directly to see what help they may need.

However, if you are worried, it’s important that you contact your bank as soon as possible. The earlier you contact your bank the more assistance they will be able to provide.  

Businesses with total business loan facilities of up to $10 million (up from the $3 million small business threshold) will also be able to defer business loan repayments for six months.

These businesses are generally much larger and employ a greater number of people.

Support now extends to 98% of all businesses with a loan from an Australian bank.

Banks are also taking a more flexible approach to other loan terms and conditions. During this period banks have also agreed to not enforce business loans for non-financial breaches of the loan contract (such as changes in valuations).

This extension of bank support to larger businesses will apply to an additional $100 billion of business loans.

Combined with measures already announced, it will mean a six-month deferral of loan payments for approximately $250 billion worth of loans, freeing up vital cash for hundreds of thousands of Australian businesses to help get them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses with total loans of more than $10 million may also be eligible for help, but this will need to be considered on a case by case basis as they are often much more complex in their structure.

Yes, commercial property landlords,with total loan facilities of up to $10 million, can get relief as long as you provide an undertaking to the bank that for the period of the interest capitalisation, you will not terminate leases or evict current tenants for rent arrears as a result of COVID19.

If you’re having difficulty paying your credit card contact your bank before your payment is due.

Some of the things that a bank may do to help includes, transferring you to a product with lower interest rates, deferring payments, arranging a more flexible payment plan or waiving late fees.

If you can’t make your scheduled loan repayment contact your bank before the due date.

Some of the things that your bank may do include arranging a more flexible payment plan, deferring payments or waiving late fees. It’s important to note that if you’ve been paying more than the minimum repayment you may have funds available to cover your loan for a period.

Download more COVID-19 Customer FAQs about banking during the pandemic.

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