mortgage assistance

PHOTO: Mortgage holidays

1 NEWS asked the big banks for information on how many people have asked for help and collated that across the banks.

While it’s different at every bank, in general about one third of those have gone interest only, while another third has deferred their payments.

The remaining third have gone for other assistance, such as reducing payments.

The option of taking a repayment holiday for up to six months is not recommended.

“If it does get you through this very tricky time, then don’t worry, don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world, just do it, but if you can get by with one of the earlier options, then that’s even better,” mortgage broker Kit Jackson said.

The advice is to look at all your options, with these options offering short-term pain relief, but interest will accumulate in the meantime and of course, all loans have to be paid back.

With job losses and business failures looming, Mr Jackson says calls for help are flooding in.

“It’s the uncertainty and the unknown. I’m not sure they think it will necessarily get worse, but they certainly want to be prepared,” Mr Jackson said.

For some banks, about 10 per cent of their home loan customers have asked for relief.