Banks confirm six-month mortgage payment deferral due to coronavirus - but interest still accrues

New Zealand banks are to offer to defer payments on all residential mortgages for up to six months due to people being financially affected by Covid-19.

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Grant Robertson also announced a business guarantee scheme. Source: 1 NEWS

In a release today, New Zealand Bankers' Association chief executive Roger Beaumont said it was clear that some people are already affected and have an immediate need for financial relief.

"That's why the banking industry as a whole is stepping up with this further package," Mr Beaumont said.

"Anyone opting into a mortgage deferral needs to be clear about what this means for them - while there are obvious advantages for people in need, repayment deferrals may extend the time it takes to repay the loan and will add interest cost.

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"It's important to know that interest on these loans will still accrue, and deferred interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan.

"Banks will assess the suitability for each customer who is asking for a deferral.

"Banks will have different approaches to how they manage the process for customers to opt into a mortgage deferral - those details, including eligibility criteria, will be available on bank websites.

"Importantly, we'd like to acknowledge the government's support for this package.

"At such an extraordinary time we must all stand together to get through this unprecedented challenge to New Zealand."