Premium Broker COVID-19
Our Response - we are here to help
As a result of the the COVID-19 Pandemic our office will be closed for face-to-face meeting and most staff are working from home. Where possible please ring you broker on their mobile numbers.
All brokers have access to video conference and are in constant contact with lenders, other brokers and professionals. We have put together some information that may help you and your friends.
If anyone you know needs assistance - please ring us.
We are working with all lenders to provide clients with support. These options differ from lender to lender so we have collated the following information:
Please click on the sections below:
Information from Lenders - including web links
Lenders will consider providing a repayment holiday under their current financial hardship program if related to COVID-19. Clients can apply for this via phone or lender websites. We have the numbers and links available on our website www.premiumbroker.com.au/covid19 for most lenders. Just go to our website and click on your lenders logo.
Get Prepared Early
Call your broker, bank or lender now before you go into arrears. It is better to have that conversation before you are in need of assistance and are trying to catch up. Take into account the lenders are taking a lot of calls/emails so they may take a while to process.
Lenders may ask a lot of questions about your current situation, the amount of money you have, the security of your job and the impact of COVID-19 on your business. Make sure you are on top of this.
Help with Budgeting
Revise your budget and savings and be realistic if you cut back on your spending (and most of us have me included) then could you make interest only payments for 6 months, that will make the catch up a lot easier.
Free Budget - ASIC MoneySmart https://moneysmart.gov.au/budgeting/budget-planner
Free App- Humaniti https://www.humaniti.com/ios
Financial Hardship Options
If you need help, please let Premium Broker know. We are working with all lenders to provide clients with support. These options differ from lender to lender. If you or your business is affected by COVID-19 the following options may be available for Premium Broker clients, family & friends (ie anyone who needs help)
Reducing the rate
We can ask your current lender to reduce your interest rate.
This may include taking advantage of some fixed rates as low as 2.29%
Interest Only – Holiday
We can ask your current lender to convert the loan to Interest Only for 6 months
Repayment – Holiday
We can ask your current lender to pause repayments for 6 months. Interest will be capitalised and monthly fees will continue
Refinance to a cheaper rate
We can look at refinancing to a cheaper alternative
Business Loan Concessions and Loans
Some lenders are offering small business customer repayment holidays and unsecured cashflow lending
Most lenders will allow you to make extra repayments or principal reductions during the holiday period, however this may not apply for fixed rates.
Be Aware - The Holiday Must End
When you talk to your lender, don’t be rushed to agree to what they offer, it may put you into a financial position you cannot get out of in 6 – 9 months, so it is important to consider what your situation will be at the end of the holiday period. This could include:
Your monthly instalment may increase
Your remaining term may increase
Your Credit Rating may increase and include adverse history reporting*
*Most lenders have advised this will not be the case and your credit history will not be affected
The amount of interest and fees you need to pay increases
If you are still in financial distress at the at the end of the holiday you may be transferred to the recovery division of the bank. In extreme circumstances, this could then result in the lender calling up your security.
Premium Broker is here to help – so if you have any concerns or questions, please make contact with your broker.
Will this affect my credit rating?
For those entering into financial hardship arrangements with their lenders, there is a risk that your credit rating would be negatively affected. Financial Hardship would normally result in your lender reporting you loans repayments as missed. However if the purpose of Hardship is COVID-19 related this should not happen.
APRA have advised that Australian lenders "need not" report financial hardship arrangements as arrears. Click here for the full report
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) announced:
"Any Australian who is granted a six month deferral on loan repayments on their mortgage or other credit products, such as a credit card, will not have their credit rating affected as a result of that deferral, provided they were up to date with repayments prior to COVID-19"
Our Recommendation if applying for Financial Hardship
If Apply for financial hardship make sure you complete the following:
Go to your lenders website and check out your options
Contact Premium Broker
Apply before you fall into arrears
Make sure your specifically explain it is because of COVID 19
Keep documents or screenshots of your applications
Understand that your loan amount & repayments will probably increase after end of term
Track your credit rating - preferably get a copy of it before you apply.
You can apply for a free credit report from Equifax once a year.
If you need help - Contact your broker