How COVID-19 has changed Australia’s lending market

COVID-19 has affected our lending markets, as well as our daily lives and the economy. Here’s how.

Interest rates

Cutting the interest rate was one of the first things the Reserve Bank did back in early March when the coronavirus threat to Australia became apparent. Our interest rates were already at record lows.

Home loans

Governments at all levels are offering a number of homebuilding incentives in an attempt to stimulate the housing and lending sectors of the economy. For example, you can access $25,000 tax-free if you’re eligible for the HomeBuilder Scheme.

Refinancing post-COVID-19

Since COVID-19 hit, there has been a major surge in people looking to refinance their home loans in Australia. Many people who were on higher rates are refinancing to lower their repayments.

It’s important to understand that even a small difference in the interest rate that you’re being charged on your loan can make a BIG difference to your repayments. This difference is best illustrated with an example.

Example
The average Australian mortgage is now $500,000. If you’re paying that amount off over 25 years at a 4% interest rate, your monthly repayments would be $2,649.

But if you were paying it off at 3%, your monthly repayments would be $2,381 (a saving of $268 per month, or $3,216 per year).[1]

Many people who are refinancing are also looking to lock in the record-low fixed interest rates that are now available. Doing that will give them home loan repayment amount certainty during these tough economic times.

Commercial lending

The federal government has announced measures designed to stimulate business borrowing and spending, including:

We’ll now look at both of these measures in turn.

The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

This Scheme makes it easier for businesses to qualify for a loan than it was before COVID-19.

The federal government is providing a 50% guarantee to lenders to support new, short-term unsecured loans to small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs). This lowers lenders’ risk, encouraging them to relax their lending criteria so that more businesses are eligible to borrow.

The instant asset write-off threshold

The federal government has also increased the instant asset write-off threshold for businesses. Eligible businesses can now claim increased tax deductions for assets that they buy (like vehicles and equipment). Before COVID-19, Australian businesses were only able to write-off assets up to the value of $30,000. This threshold has been increased to $150,000 until 31 December this year.

How we can help

At Wisebuy Investment Group in Newcastle, our experienced and licensed brokers can help you with:

We understand the post-COVID-19 lending criteria of different home loan providers, so we can recommend an appropriate lender for your situation. We can also help you with your application.

Contact us today for an obligation-free chat! We’ll take the time to understand your individual situation before providing you with appropriate advice. Our focus will be on finding the right loan for your needs from over 60 Australian lenders. And best of all, our service is free!


[1] https://moneysmart.gov.au/home-loans/mortgage-calculator

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