Support During Covid-19

COVID-19 questions answered

FAQs

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

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.

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

To be eligible, you must have less than $3 million total debt to all credit providers. You need to be current, and not in arrears as of 1 January 2020. It does not matter how many people you employ. Some banks are applying these criteria flexibly, if you fall outside these criteria, please 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.

Customers will self-assess whether their business has been adversely impacted, no further verification will be required.

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 have hardship teams in place to assist people experiencing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.  Our banks are now offering customers the option to defer home loan repayments for up to six months. Contact your bank to discuss how they can help you.

If you have 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’.

As long as you were up to date on your payments before COVID-19 the deferral will not impact your record. This applies to deferrals on your mortgage or other credit products.

Banks don’t report information to credit bureaus about small business customers.

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 very 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.

Yes, commercial property landlords 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 COVID-19.

Australia Post outlets remain open for customers to use for their daily banking.

First stop should always be contacting your bank to see what options there may be. All banks have the flexibility to restructure your loans and help if you are in hardship. As always if you are unhappy with the deal that you are being offered by your bank shop around.

Yes, online banking continues as usual.

If you were behind in repayments before, banks won’t report the repayment history information for the deferral period, they will leave that field blank for the duration of the crisis deferral period.

Bank call centres are receiving extremely high volumes of calls, so we please ask that you to be patient.  If possible, please go to your bank’s website or use the smart phone app to complete your banking.

For every dollar that an Australian bank lends, regulation requires them to hold a certain amount of capital. If banks don’t charge interest, even if the loan is deferred, the loan must then be treated as ‘impaired’ under the accounting and banking rules. The bank is then required to hold more capital to support that impaired loan.

If banks stopped charging interest on the hundreds of thousands of deferred loans during the COVID19 pandemic they would not have enough capital to provide new loans. That would not be in the best interest of Australians and the need to support the Australian economy.

Support During Covid-19
Support During Covid-19

We’re here to help

Australian banks are open and here to help all their customers in this time of financial hardship.

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