Major to allow customers to extend interest only

by Madison Utley25 May 2020

A major bank has announced several changes in order to provide its home loan customers more flexibility with repayments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Westpac will now allow eligible customers with interest only home loan repayments to apply to extend their term for up to 12 months, while those with principal and interest repayments can switch to interest only for the same period.

According to Will Ranken, Westpac GM of home loans, the changes have been introduced in response to the continued customer demand for support with mortgage repayments.

“We have had more than 115,000 customers defer mortgage repayments as part of our COVID19 consumer support package,” he explained.

“However, we recognise that many customers who have been financially impacted by COVID19 still want the option of making some repayments during this time.

“These changes mean it is now simpler for customers to apply to extend their interest only loan term, or switch their repayments to interest only.”  

Westpac is also among the number of banks who have allowed customers experiencing financial stress due to COVID-19 to have their home loan repayments deferred for three months, with a further three months available on review.

The bank has also launched a home loan repayment deferral calculator to help customers understand the potential impact of opting to temporarily suspend repayments.