April 23

Banks change policy for home loans, business loans, credit cards

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Lenders across the country are changing the way they handle loans in response to the unfolding coronavirus crisis.

One of the biggest announcements has been that any borrowers who are granted a six-month deferral on loan repayments will not have their credit rating affected as a result of the holiday, so long as they were up to date with repayments prior to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Furthermore, some banks have announced new changes, including:

·       Reducing interest rates, reducing minimum monthly payments and refunding late fees for credit card customers

·       Waiving merchant fees for small business customers

·       Increasing the number of businesses eligible for loan repayment holidays

One lender has even announced that it will make a one-off interest refund to homeowners who have deferred their mortgage repayments.

New loans

Some banks are now taking longer to process mortgage applications because:

1.     They’re prioritising customers who need hardship relief

2.     They’ve received a lot of refinance applications from borrowers who want to take advantage of record-low interest rates

Some banks are also adjusting their policies about how they lend money:

1.     Reassessing the risk for people that work in certain industries

2.     Looking closely at the value of your property.

Identification Requirements

Many lenders now no longer expect brokers to have face-to-face meetings with clients for identification purposes. Most lenders will now let you verify your ID remotely and we can use e-signatures to complete the paperwork – so you can apply for a loan without putting your health at risk.


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