The Infocus Lending Advisory team have put together a quick note to provide you with an update on lending operations and measures that have been put in place for mortgage holders, specifically those who may have been financially impacted by the Coronavirus.

The RBA & APRA have worked with lenders to create an environment where lenders can work with their borrowers to help clients through COVID-19 related financial issues, without penalising borrowers for doing so.

Some of these are the basic hardship measures that are currently in play for any client no matter what leads to them entering financial hardship, and some additional measures are also being offered by many lenders which we will expand upon below.

A very large part of the efforts are being directed to business customers, both by additional hardship measures lenders are putting into action combined with the stimulus measures being offered by the governments.


The team remains fully operational and ready to assist you and your clients during this time, and for all the clients who require purchase or refinance loans everything is moving ahead business as usual.

The team are here to help and we urge you to contact us with any lending related queries or issue yourself or your clients might be experiencing, whether that be financial hardship or someone who would like to talk through possible ways they can mitigate their expected financial stress.

Importantly, we are available to help any of your clients, not only the clients who have a current loan organised by us.


All personal mortgage customers financially affected by the Coronavirus will be able to apply for an initial three month repayment holiday, with the option to apply a further three months extension at the conclusion of the initial three months period.

While the current maximum period amounts to six months, we believe that this could be extended if the Coronavirus impact lasts longer than six months. This will be determined later in the year.

Overall, we believe that in this environment the above process will be simplified with a lot of the red tape removed, and a repayment holiday should be fairly easy for affected clients to organise.


  • Interest will accumulate as normal during the repayment holiday period, but this will be the most immediate and effective way for clients to obtain some short term cashflow relief.
  • This action will not show on a client credit report and will not impact their credit rating, though a potential future refinance lender will notice the payment holiday when they review loan statements.
  • As part of the APRA exemption to responsible lending policies any repayment holiday period will not be treated as an arrears period by a lender and the loan will not be regarded as having been re-structured.
  • Some lenders will require a form to apply for a repayment holiday whilst others may only require a phone call. Financial evidence may also be required to support a claim.
  • Similar arrangements could also be put into place on motor vehicle loans, personal loans and credit card debt. These are of a less formal nature though and are not as certain as the above mortgage relief measures.


Additional measures are now being released by some lenders. The below instances do not apply to every lender so it is highly recommended that we talk to affected clients to ascertain their current lending and personal situations. We will then work out individually what their current lender might be offered and how best to re-structure things for them.

Clients could potentially apply for one or more of the following additional measures:

Break fixed rates without penalty
This has the potential to save a significant amount of money for those clients who are stuck with old fixed rates that are now above market. The ability to break fixed rates and move down to a cheaper variable rate could reduce client cashflow substantially. The ability to break without penalty could also potentially save many thousands of dollars in costs.

It is unknown at this time whether clients will be allowed to move to a variable rate or simply receive a reduction to their current rate without changing the fixed expiry period. Either way it could save a lot of money for clients and put them in a far more flexible position moving forward.

Waive selected fees
Those fees associated with missed payments and arrears are likely to be waived by most lenders.

Extend interest only periods
For clients with an interest only period maturing, the move to principal and interest payments could be crippling to their cashflow. Some lenders will now allow for a simple extension to their interest only period.

Debt negotiation
For the most serious of cases, especially for clients who have been struggling for some time, there exists a debt renegotiation service that clients can engage in relation to unsecured debt (such as personal loans, credit cards etc.). Depending on the circumstances, a financial mediator could potentially arrange for the establishment of an interest free loan amortisation schedule, or in the most extreme of cases potentially arrange for unsecured debt to be partially or wholly written off.


This is where a lot of the new government stimulus support is being directed in an effort to keep business’ afloat and people employed.

All business banking clients can apply for the above noted relief on their personal debt facilities, and most lenders will now also allow them similar arrangements (i.e. defer repayments for up to six months) on their business loans (commercial loans, overdraft, car loans, credit cards etc.).

Some lenders have also announced interest rate cuts for business clients, though this varies more between lenders and will be worked out on a case by case basis. As you would be aware the government has also announced a range of measures to support business through this time, additional detail on those measures can be found at here.

No matter what the situation we are here to help you and your clients through this difficult period. Start the process with a conversation with one of our team and we will investigate personalised solutions.

If you are affected and want to do something, you can contact your bank directly, or click here to have one of the Infocus Lending team contact you to help