COVID-19 - How to apply for a mortgage repayment deferral or switch to interest-only

Lifestyle Written by John Bolton, Mar 26 2020

We note that the Mortgage Repayment Holiday is being referred to more appropriately as a Mortgage Repayment Deferral. This is a better descriptor as interest is still added to the loan over that period and you simply don’t need to make repayments.

When it comes to COVID19 and applying for the relief packages there has been a mixture of responses from Lenders. In some cases we can help you directly and in some cases we have to direct you to the Lender. The easiest thing to do is get in touch with us and talk through what options are right for you. We’ll help as much as we can.

The banks understand the pressure their clients are under and are coming up with solutions to help so that their customers can stay in their homes without worrying about defaulting on their loan payments while jobs/incomes may be uncertain.

Try not to stress, and have faith that we are all in this together. My guiding principle is that the right decisions will be made and the processes for this will get easier.

At the moment it can take hours to get through to ‘essential services’ on the phone but it will get easier.

If you can’t get hold of your bank don’t panic. Even the banks are struggling to adapt for this unprecedented shut-down.

Banks are considered essential service organisations so even during lockdown, they will continue to operate. They are mobilizing more of their staff to help with mortgage restructures as a result of COVID-19.

Once they are through the immediate issue of going into lock-down, it will become easier to get in touch with them. Where possible I’d recommend using online forms and even emailing them through secure email within internet banking.

Tips for filling in Bank Forms

If you are emailing the bank directly or filling in an online form he are some tips to help you:

  1. Be clear on what you want. Do you want to go on to [interest-only for 6 months] or do you want a [mortgage repayment holiday] (no payments over six months with interest simply added to the mortgage.)
  2. How is your income being affected by COVID-19? For example you might be getting a 20% reduction in wages/hours or you could have been made redundant. Just be honest.

The current bank assistance packages are only being offered for clients that have been affected by the fallout from COVID-19 so can’t be accessed for other purposes.

Lenders where you need to do it yourself

Kiwibank

With Kiwibank you need to complete a simple online form here.

Once completed you will get a call back to confirm everything. Just be aware that might take a couple of days. Use our tips above for completing the form and feel free to get in contact with us if you want to discuss the options and get some advice. 

ASB

ASB require clients to complete an online application process that you can find here:

Lenders where we can help you and manage the process:

These lenders have recognised the importance of getting goof financial advice through a time like this and are trusting us to manage the process for them. With that trust comes some responsibility.

ANZ

ANZ has come out with a new COVID-19 process that allows Squirrel to apply for you which will likely speed up the process and mean less time on the phone trying to get hold of someone at ANZ.

We will need to call you and discuss your situation. We cannot help if you are already in arrears or hardship. In this situation you need to call the ANZ Call Centre on 0800 240 438.

For ANZ email our client services team clientservices@squirrel.co.nz or email your adviser directly.

BNZ

With BNZ, we can complete the process for you but that does involve us having a discussion and making sure you understand your options. Email your adviser directly or our client services team on clientservices@squirrel.co.nz. Alternatively you can use the BNZ online form and BNZ will contact you directly.

Westpac

With Westpac, if Squirrel arranged your mortgage then we can complete the mortgage repayment deferral request on your behalf. Email clientservices@squirrel.co.nz or email your adviser directly and we will sort that for you.

If we aren’t your mortgage adviser then you will need to call 0800 606 606. Note that the level of call activity is high so there may be delays.

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We can help. Have a chat to one of our advisers.