Aussie COVID-19 Customer FAQs

26 March 2020|20 minutes read

 

We've covered a range of topics for different types of customers below. Use the links to jump to the answers relevant to you or scroll to find an answer to your question:

General FAQs

What steps can I take to look after my current situation?

During this unsettling period, it might be a good idea to review your home loan arrangements and make changes required to prepare for any challenges that may come up later.Steps you can take, might include:

  • Reducing your home loan repayments to the minimum contractual amount
  • Using your available redraw to repay your home loan
  • Speaking with an Aussie Broker to review your home loan and assess if a better loan option or structure might be available

What questions should I ask my Aussie Broker when reviewing my home loan?

There are many questions but here are some starters:

  • Are there savings to be made by switching to another loan with a lower or fixed rate, taking into account other fees and charges and cashback offers?
  • Am I better off lowering my current repayments and pocketing short-term savings or staying with my existing repayments and shortening the life of the loan? 
  • What should I consider if I enter a loan deferral arrangement?
  • What are the benefits of a Variable versus a Fixed home loan?
  • Should I switch from Principal and Interest to an Interest Only loan to save? 

I have experienced an impact to my health or my income due to COVID-19 and am concerned about meeting my mortgage repayments, what should I do?

We’re sorry to hear about your situation and want to reassure you that we’re here to help you during this challenging time. There are ways to manage your home loan to reduce the risk of hardship. Lenders on our panel are offering a range of solutions to support their customers who are affected by COVID-19. Reach out to your Aussie Broker or your lender through the below contact list for what help you can access.

Customer Hardship Contact List

 

What does a loan deferral mean?

A loan deferral or repayment holiday means pausing your repayments for an agreed period of time. The length of time will depend on what your lender is able to offer. It may be accessible as an automatically available offer or might be offered on a case by case basis.

During the deferral period, interest will continue to accrue on your loan balance and will still need to be repaid. When considering a loan deferral, it’s a good idea to ask your lender about what to expect when the deferral period finishes. Your repayments may increase, or your loan term may be extended to repay the deferred principal and interest amounts.

I am currently in the process of buying a property or refinancing. Has anything changed with my pre-approval or application?

Currently, the government has put measures in place to prevent gatherings including open houses and indoor auctions, which may affect customers looking to purchase a property. It’s also important to follow guidelines on social distancing measures to keep yourself and others safe.

There may be changes to the application process or to your individual application and it’s best to contact your Aussie Broker over the phone, video chat or email to understand how these changes may affect you.

What if I can’t physically visit an Aussie Broker for an appointment?

Our Aussie Brokers are still hard at work providing home loan services for customers. Although they can’t assist in person, they’re available over the phone, via video chat or on email.

If you aren’t already in touch with an Aussie Broker, you can call us on 13 13 33 or submit an enquiry on our website and we’ll be able to connect you with an Aussie Broker from your local area. 

What happens if JPs and other ‘authorised people’ are not accessible to verify IDs

As a business, we’re working on providing more options to enable us to continue providing home loans services while maintaining the social distancing guidelines put in place by the Australian government.

Please get in touch with your Aussie Broker, who can provide you with more information about what actions you can take according to the policy of your lender. If you don’t have an Aussie Broker, contact us on 13 13 33 and we’ll connect you with a local Aussie Broker. 

I have mortgage insurance with Aussie. How should I activate it?

If you have an ALI Group Mortgage Protection Plan policy through Aussie, benefits may be payable in relation to COVID-19, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy and your individual circumstances. To discuss your policy or to make a claim, please call 1300 33 55 98.

I am currently in the processing of buying a property, has anything changed with my pre-approval?

The first step to take is to check in with your Aussie Broker. You don’t need to leave your home to get help - our brokers are available over the phone, by email or via a video chat, and they’ll be able to discuss your pre-approval based on your personal circumstances.

There are a few things to be mindful of during this time:

  • Health advice from the Australian Government, which limits public gatherings including open houses and auctions.
  • Changes to your personal circumstances that might affect your ability to proceed with a full home loan application. Each lender will have a different approach to assessing your loan application, so it’s best to work with your broker to understand what options will be available based on your scenario before going ahead with a purchase.

Are lenders going to change credit policies that will make it harder for borrowers in impacted industries like travel and entertainment to get a loan?

Aussie is working closely with lenders on our panel to understand any changes and ensure Aussie Brokers are armed with the information they need to help you with your home loan needs during this uncertain time.

Every customer’s situation is different, and we recommend speaking to your Aussie Broker to discuss your personal situation. While there may be changes to lender credit policies, we’d like you to know that we’re here to help, and your Aussie Broker can discuss what options are available to you so that you can move forward with your plans. If you don’t already have an Aussie Broker, please call us on 13 13 33 or request a free appointment online so we can help you get in touch with a broker from your local area. 

Are Aussie stores and broker still open for business?

While we can’t meet with you physically, we will continue to support you through your home loan journey virtually. Our Aussie stores remain closed at this time, but our dedicated Aussie Broker’s around the country are still available, via phone, email or video call, whatever works for your best. 

How does a virtual meeting with an Aussie Broker work?

You won’t need to leave your home to discuss your home loan with an Aussie Broker. We’ve made it easy for you to ‘meet’ with your broker virtually, whether it’s over a phone call, email or a video chat on your phone or computer. Contact your Aussie Broker to book an appointment and they’ll arrange a virtual meeting that works best for you.

Information for Aussie's Home Loan customers

I have experienced impacts to my health or income due to COVID-19. What assistance is available to me?

If you have an ALI Group Mortgage Protection Plan policy through Aussie, benefits may be payable in relation to COVID-19, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy and your individual circumstances. To discuss your policy or to make a claim, please call 1300 33 55 98.

Aussie Select

Contact number: 13 13 33

Available assisstance: We can offer you the option to defer home loan repayments for up to 6 months, with interest capitalised. For further details about how we can help, please call us on 13 13 33. In addition to this support package, you could consider accessing your redraw facility, reducing repayments to the minimum monthly repayment amount, or applying to change your repayments to interest only payments.

Aussie Activate

Contact number: 1800 184 260
Available assisstance: If you’re impacted by COVID-19, you should get in touch with us as soon as you’re aware that you may require assistance. We can discuss personalised options to support you, including: Accessing extra repayments made on a loan Adjusting monthly repayments Temporary postponement or reduction of loan repayments Longer term variations where required

Aussie Elevate

Contact number: 1300 650 259
Available assisstance: There are several options for extra assistance if you’re impacted by COVID-19. Depending on your personal situation we may be able to help with: Relief on loans for up to six months Waiver of fees for restructuring or consolidation of loans Credit card customers can apply for an emergency credit card limit increase.

Aussie IQ, Optimizer or other Aussie Home Loans

Available assisstance: We can offer you the option to defer home loan repayments for up to 6 months, with interest capitalised. To access assistance, please complete this online form through Macquarie Bank. 

I recently requested to change my existing Aussie Home Loan and I'm concerned that the impact of COVID-19 may prevent my request from being processed. What should I do?

Although circumstances have changed, our business is still open to assist you. You can make changes to your loan account through Aussie Online or by calling our customer support team about your home loan. Visit our contact page to find the best number to call for your home loan product.

Please note that due to customers looking for information regarding assistance in relation to impacts of COVID-19, we’re currently experiencing higher than usual processing times for some requests. We thank you for your patience.

Information for customers with an Aussie Select home loan product

What do I need to know about deferring my Aussie Select home loan?

For the 6 month deferral period no repayments are required. However during this time, interest and fees will add to the loan balance and your loan balance will progressively increase. Your loan term will be extended so your repayments do not increase as a result of the deferral period but may increase for other reasons such as a change in interest rate or accessing redraw.

If you would like to go ahead with deferring your home loan repayments, request assistance through the Aussie Select repayments deferral form.

Please note: Any available redraw you have will be drawn on first during the 6 month deferral period. If you need to access your redraw during the deferral period, transfer your available redraw to another account now. 

What additional information do I need to provide at the time I submit the deferral request?

No additional information is required to request the deferral, however we will ask you to declare that you have been impacted by coronavirus (e.g. loss of job or income).

We may, at our discretion, ask for further supporting information or documentation to confirm your eligibility, if we require this information you will be notified.

If there is more than one borrower on your Aussie Select home loan account, all borrowers will need to provide consent to the deferral. 

What is the duration of the deferral?

The deferral period is 6 months for all Aussie Select home loan customers. During this period you can continue to make your own manual repayments. Any manual repayments you make will reduce interest payable and the length of time your loan term is extended for. 

What happens after the 6 months?

At the end of the 6 month deferral period your repayments including your direct debit will recommence and your loan term will be extended so your repayments do not increase as a result of the deferral period.

Note: your repayments may increase for other reasons, for example, like accessing redraw, a change in interest rate and/or upon expiry of a fixed rate or interest only term.

Does this deferral impact my redraw?

Any available redraw you have will be drawn on first during the 6 month deferral period. If you need to access your redraw during the deferral period, transfer your available redraw to another account now. 

Can I still make repayments during my deferral period?

Yes. You can make manual repayments at any time during the deferral period and all repayments will help reduce the interest charged and the duration your loan term will be extended by at the end of the deferral period. 

Are all home loans eligible?

All Aussie Select home loans are eligible. 

During my home loan repayment deferral period my loan balance is showing an arrears balance – why is this?

Please don’t be concerned. Interest will still be charged to your loan account and an arrears balance may accrue during the deferral period which you may see on Aussie Online. This will be corrected by us, without adversely affecting you. It will not be reported to credit reporting agencies. 

Does this deferral impact the Interest Only period of my loan?

There is no change to the Interest Only period of your loan. Interest Only will end on the contracted end date, even if this occurs during the deferral period. 

Does this deferral impact my Fixed Rate loan?

There is no change to your Fixed Rate loan. The fixed rate term will expire on the contracted end date, even if this occurs during the deferral period. 

Will deferring my home loan repayments be reported to credit reporting agencies?

Any arrears during the deferral period will not be reported to credit reporting agencies. 

Will I be informed of the changes made to my home loan at the end of the deferral period?

Yes, you will be contacted before the end of the deferral period to provide you details on how much your loan term will be extended by and your new repayment and direct debit amount at the end of 6 months.

Information for customers with an Aussie Activate home loan product

If I request assistance with my Aussie Activate home loan due to my changing circumstances, what will happen?

We understand that the impacts of COVID-19 has been significant, and it is an extremely tough time for many people. If you notify us of your changing circumstances, we aim to work with you side by side to help you understand your options.

To do this, we will need to understand your unique situation to be able to consider your hardship request and discuss your options.This may include asking you:

  • The reasons why you are in financial hardship
  • An explanation of how and when your situation will improve.
  • Whether you can make any repayments to your loan and over what period
  • To provide a statement of financial position, which sets out your income and expenses, as well as relevant supporting documents. 

I have an Aussie Activate investment home loan, and my tenant is late with their rent. What are my options?

If your tenant is a day or two late with rent, your real estate agent or property manager should be helping you throughout this process. We recommend they have an open dialogue with your tenant, understand their situation, see what they can afford to pay and whether they have looked into financial assistance.

Depending on the circumstances, if you find that due to a decrease in your rental income you are unable to meet your home loan repayments please contact us on 1800 184 260 to discuss your situation and the options which may be available to you. 

What is a “payment holiday”, and can I access it?

Typically, a “payment holiday” is a temporary suspension to your loan repayments because of temporary financial stress.

With Aussie Activate, you can apply to us for either a reduction to your loan repayment amount for a set period or a repayment break which involves putting a pause on making scheduled repayments on your home loan for a set period of time.

If you have applied for assistance for your Aussie Activate home loan and we agree to pause your repayments, your scheduled repayments will likely increase once the repayment break has ended to ensure that your loan is repaid within the remaining loan term. 

What if I can only pay a portion of my loan repayments?

If your income has been reduced temporarily, such as one spouse losing a job and leaving you with only one income, you may be able to apply for a temporary reduction in your scheduled repayments.

In this situation, we will ask you to confirm a repayment amount that you can comfortably repay during the temporary reduction in your scheduled repayments. You can apply for a reduction to your scheduled repayments by calling us on1800 184 260.

I have been “stood down” or lost my job, do I qualify for hardship assistance?

We want you to know that we’re here to help. If you have been “stood down” and are experiencing any of the situations below, please call us on 1800 184 260 to discuss how we can assist:

  • You are unable to make your loan repayments
  • You are finding it difficult to make your loan repayments
  • Your financial situation will be changing, and you may be unable to meet your loan repayments at that time
  • You have received a default notice from Aussie Activate or another lender. 

Will my credit score be impacted as a result of any financial assistance I request?

If you are eligible for financial assistance for your Aussie Activate loan due to COVID-19, this will not negatively impact your credit history during this period. 

Instead of paying principal and interest repayments, can I request to change to interest-only repayments?

You may have the option of varying all or part of your loan account from principal & interest repayments to interest-only repayments for a specified period as agreed with us.

This will reduce your repayments, as you don’t have to pay the principal of the loan for a specified period, only the interest portion.

It’s important to understand that the principal amount of your account isn’t being paid off during this period. Your monthly repayments will increase once your loan account converts back to principal and interest to ensure that the remaining principal and interest balance is paid off over the remaining loan term.

Information for customers with an Aussie Home Loans MSL product

If I request assistance with my Aussie IQ, Optimizer or other Macquarie funded home loan due to my changing circumstances, what will happen?

We’re here to help and we’re committed to supporting Aussies through what we know is an uncertain time.

All Aussie Home Loans customers with a Macquarie funded loan who are experiencing financial difficulty can apply to defer their loan repayments for six months by requesting a payment pause online at macquarie.com/au/personal/forms/payment-pause.

What do I need to know about deferring my home loan?

During the payment pause, no repayments are required for 6 months. Interest will continue to be calculated and charged to your loan over this period. At the end of the payment pause your repayment amount will be recalculated to adjust for the missed payments and any outstanding payments (past due) to ensure that your loan can be repaid over the remaining term of the loan. This may increase your repayment amount and we’ll let you know before the payments are due to resume. To support you in this payment pause period, you won’t be charged any arrears or over limit fees. Other fees like your annual account maintenance fee/package fee will continue to be charged. 

Can I make any payments during the 6-month payment pause?

Yes, you can still make payments, however you’ll need to make them manually by electronic funds transfer or by direct debit payments which can be set up by calling us on 1300 653 039

Will my credit score be impacted if I go on a payment pause?

No. During your payment pause, we won’t report to the credit bureau that you are missing your repayments. This means your credit score will not be negatively impacted during this period.

Please note this is the approach being adopted by us but it’s important you check with any other lenders you have products with to confirm their approach.