Hardship clients face credit issues

Clients making mortgage deferral requests during lockdown have been told their hardship status will affect their credit rating, according to an Auckland-based adviser.

Unlike last year, when the Government and Reserve Bank's loan deferral scheme granted borrowers leeway to apply for deferrals, lenders are said to be taking a harder line in this lockdown.

There is no loan deferral scheme this time around, despite Auckland remaining in alert level four for a longer period than in early 2020. 

According to Glen McLeod of Edge Mortgages, customers are being told that making changes to their mortgage will impact future borrowing.

"In most cases I am being told by clients that they are advised it will affect their credit rating," he told TMM Online

Mortgage adviser clients are being asked to go direct to the banks' hardship teams during this lockdown, though some banks, including AIA Sovereign, are allowing advisers to assist. 

McLeod called for more assistance for borrowers as Auckland's level four lockdown drags on. Current alert level settings will be reviewed on Monday. 

"It seems that this lockdown is being treated completely differently to last year," McLeod said. "Given that the lockdown is stretching on it has surprised me that more assistance has not been offered. The Government has not seemed too concerned this time either. Therefore the banks are not compelled to do anything."

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