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How will a bank treat a COVID-19-affected borrower?

  • March 24 2020
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Borrow

How will a bank treat a COVID-19-affected borrower?

By Grace Ormsby
March 24 2020

Are you looking for some clarification around the way banks can treat loan customers who have a need to access COVID-19 support packages, or wondering if there’s a catch?

How will a bank treat a COVID-19-affected borrower

How will a bank treat a COVID-19-affected borrower?

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  • March 24 2020
  • Share

Are you looking for some clarification around the way banks can treat loan customers who have a need to access COVID-19 support packages, or wondering if there’s a catch?

How will a bank treat a COVID-19-affected borrower

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has noted that many banks have recently announced COVID-19 support packages that provide affected borrowers – mainly home loan and small-business loan customers – with options to defer repayments on loans for up to six months.

All four major banks and a number of non-majors have already indicated they will be putting a number of measures in place to support their customers through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the regulator, where a borrower who has been meeting their repayment obligations until recently chooses to take up the offer not to make repayments as part of a COVID-19 support package, the relevant bank does not need to treat the period of the repayment holiday as a period of arrears.

Loans granted a repayment deferral under a COVID-19 package also will not be considered as “restructured”.

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In a similar vein, the credit reports of individuals who are required to access support packages are unlikely to be detrimentally affected, according to one such credit reporting business.

Steven Brown is the director of bureau engagement at credit reporting business illion.

He told nestegg’s sister brand Mortgage Business that they would not be counting deferments or variations as “credit events”.

“Where a borrower seeks and is granted varied terms for loan repayments under a hardship agreement, the information provided to a credit bureau is typically different from what is reported under a normal loan repayment schedule.”

He explained that it’s currently standard practice for lenders to omit providing loan repayment information to credit bureaus where hardship arrangements are in place.

As a result, any delayed payments “are not visible to new lenders and are not included in the borrower’s credit score”.

How will a bank treat a COVID-19-affected borrower?
How will a bank treat a COVID-19-affected borrower
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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