Emergency COVID-19 financial relief support you should know about
It’s an incredibly challenging time for our nation and the world, as the unprecedented Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to bring serious concerns. The social and economic impacts are now more apparent than ever, with individuals and businesses from various industries taking the hit.
With such a widespread impact, the Australian Government and businesses have already announced a range of responses which we cover further below.
All four of the big banks (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and Westpac) have committed to some measures, offering emergency COVID-19 financial relief packages and support to directly help both their personal and business customers.
If your employment, income situation, or business has been affected by the pandemic, your financial provider may be able to provide financial support to help you during this uncertain time. While the appropriate relief arrangement will be based on your individual circumstances, below is a snapshot of some of the measures that may be available to you:
- Emergency limit increase for credit card holders
- Deferring credit card & loan repayments
- Debt consolidation
- Waiving penalty fees for early withdrawal of your term deposit
- Deferring home loan repayments for up to 3 months or 6 months (with interest capitalised)
- Fixed and variable home loan interest rate reductions
- Direct debit repayment reductions
- Fee-free redraws on loans
- Waiving certain fees or charges
Look out for interest capitalisation: If you plan to defer your home loan repayments for the duration of the support period, no repayments are required. However, interest and charges will still be added to your loan balance. This means at the end of the support period, your required repayment amount will increase. You’ll then have to repay the new total balance (which includes the interest and charges added to your balance during the support period) over the remaining loan term.
- Deferring business loan repayments for up to 3 months or 6 months
- Interest-free periods, interest rate reductions or no interest rate increases
- Loan restructuring or consolidating
- Fee-free redraws on loans
- Waiving certain fees or charges, such as application fees or penalty fees
Additionally, to help with the economic downturn, the Australian Government recently introduced stimulus packages to help businesses and individuals in need. The Government’s first two economic stimulus support package snapshot can be found below:
Individuals & Households
- Income support for individuals
- Payments to support households
- Temporary early release of superannuation
- Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates to support retirees
- Reducing social security deeming rates to support retirees
You can find more information on the different individual & household support plans here.
- Boosting cash flow for employers
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Increasing the instant asset write-off
- Backing business investment
- Supporting apprentices and trainees
You can find more information on the different business support plans here.
Remember, if you’re experiencing financial hardship, get in touch with your financial provider as a priority, as they’ll have dedicated teams to support you through these tough times. You can also check out a range of resources in our Key Resources article.
As we all come to terms with the growing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus at Credit Savvy remains to support you with your free credit score and credit file information.
If you have concerns about how your credit score could be affected as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, we encourage you to be proactive, stay on top of your finances, your credit accounts and monitor your credit history. Log into your Credit Savvy dashboard to track the changes on your credit report today.
Want to know more information about COVID-19?
The COVID-19 & your finances series contains tips and support information to help you manage your finances during this difficult time.