COVID Support Hub
VIC brokers are open for business
I may not be able to meet you in person but my business is digitally enabled and COVID-capable. I am turbo-charged with technology and our platforms allow us to do everything online from our own homes.
I can meet you via Skype or Zoom, sign documents electronically, collect bank statements and verify your ID - every part of the process can be done online, without a face-to-face appointment.
I am here to help you navigate your options in these uncertain times. Get in touch today!
Here are some key updates on support available to you.
In June, the federal government announced a housing package for Australians to access $25,000 grants to build a new home or start a major renovation.
This HomeBuilder Grant is available to eligible first home buyers and owner-occupiers. You must be entering into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 and construction must be with a licensed builder, and start within 3 months of the contract date.
In order to provide some certainty to Victorian applicants and builders, as Melbourne goes into lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions tighten throughout the state, the construction commencement timeframe will be extended to six months for all Victorians.
COVID-19 Worker Support Payment
If you are self-isolating or quarantining in Victoria but do not have adequate sick leave to cover the isolation period, you may be eligible to receive a $1,500 support payment.
The payment is available to those currently living in Victoria (including people on Temporary Visas 457 and 482). You must not be receiving any income from work or Government income support, and you must have exhausted sick leave entitlements.
You can apply for the payment through the Disaster Recovery Payment number 180 22 66.
Your broker can help you navigate these uncertain times.
Has COVID-19 impacted your financial situation? Are you concerned about your mortgage? Are you thinking about refinancing?
Get in touch with me today and I can help you understand your options.
I am digitally enabled so we can do it all online; from meeting via Skype, Zoom or Google Hangout to collating all details via an Online Fact Find and signing documentation using e-sign.
We are open for business, and are here to support you through these difficult times.
Lender Financial Hardship Details
You can of course go to your bank directly - each lender has a dedicated phone line for Hardship relief support.
I urge you not to panic - reach out to me and I can discuss all options available to you. Here at Loan Market we have access to a panel of over 60 banks and lenders. Brokers are across a large range of lender's policies and products so we can find and negotiate a more competitive deal on your behalf.
Let’s look into your options first, I can help you navigate these uncertain times.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a payment deferral?
This is also known as a mortgage holiday but don’t let the name fool you, this is no holiday. If you've been stood down, lost your job and cannot afford to pay mortgage repayments, you have the ability to enact a payment deferral. This is when a lender defers your repayments for a period of time.
Every lender has their own rules and requirements on these payment deferrals. It’s important to know that at some point you will be required to pay the interest that accrued while the loan was deferred. For example, some lenders will add the amount you owe to the end of your loan and some will charge immediately after the payment deferral is off hold.
Also, after the deferral, your balance and your repayments could be higher to make up for the interest accrued deferred repayments.
What happens to the principal if repayments are frozen?
When a payment deferral on an existing mortgage is activated, it means that a lender will defer your required mortgage repayments for a specific period of time. Although your repayments are deferred, the interest on your loan is still calculated and added to the balance. In effect you're paying interest on interest.
So, when you recommence repayments your lender will recalculate your repayments so you repay the loan in the original term. This ultimately means your repayments will rise. However, there are options available to refinance after the payment deferral period, which could help to reduce repayments and increase the term of your loan, giving you a bit more flexibility.
How do I get hardship assistance?
First things first, while it’s important to understand what your options are in these difficult times, I urge you not to panic and spend hours on hold to your lender. Let’s look into your options first, I can help you navigate and understand what your options are during this time of financial hardship that many Australians are facing.
Why refinance?* Is it complicated?
There are many factors that you need to consider when looking to refinance. A few reasons you might want to refinance are:
Take advantage of the recent RBA cut
Now might be the right time to see if we can find a more competitive rate that is suited to your current needs. A lower interest rate could result in lower interest costs and might just save you a heap of savings over the life of your loan.
After some new loan features?
There could be a bundle of features that could give you more power over your finances when you refinance your mortgage. It might be the new rates that could save you money or the option to repay your loan faster without having to pay penalty charges. Some loans won’t charge you a monthly account fee or a fee for withdrawing money when you need it.
Keen to tap into your home equity?
If you need some extra funds but don’t want to dip into your emergency funds or savings account you could tap into your home equity instead. Now, the line of credit your equity can get you depends on two things - The amount you’ve repaid on your mortgage and the value of your home. The benefits? You might be able to save on costs compared to other types of loans, start your home renovation or use the extra funds to help with your current circumstances.
Refinance vs payment deferral?
A common question I get asked is whether to refinance or if a payment deferral is the way to go. There are a few different options which all depend on your current situation and financial needs. I can help answer any questions you may have around this to see what the right option is for you
Is now a good time to fix my rate?
There is no easy answer to this question, as it depends on your situation and your financial goals. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of fixing your rate:
- Pros: Fixed rates prevent the risk of your repayments increasing due to a rise in interest rates and your repayments will stay the same for a set period.
- Cons: Fixed rates are usually higher than variable rates, but now as rates are continuing to decrease, there could be associated fees and costs for breaking your fixed rate if you chose to refinance.
Have lenders' turnaround times been impacted?
Some lenders’ turnaround times are still very good and sit at about 2 days between lodgement and decision. Other lenders’ turnarounds have blown out and are now measured in weeks. However for those lenders, the increase has more to do with losing capacity and capabilities in offshore teams to do documentation than the availability of money.
I have up to date turnarounds for all 62 lenders on the Loan Market panel so I can share those with you as we discuss what your options are for your current situation.
What are the options as a landlord?
Your tenants may be going through some financial hardship at the moment and may not be able to afford paying their rent, I can help:
- Negotiate payment deferral options for your mortgage
- Discuss hardship options
- Refinance or reprice to get a more competitive rate
- Outline the costs of switching and not switching
What are the options if I’m a small business owner?
The JobKeeper Payment, has been set up by the Australian Government to provide a temporary wage subsidy available to eligible employers. This subsidy relates to current employees who were employed by the employer on 1 March 2020.
It will allow businesses impacted by COVID-19 to access a fortnightly wage subsidy of $1,500 for a maximum of 6 months. Generally, to qualify businesses will need to demonstrate a drop in revenue by at least 30 percent.