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Where Can I Go for Help with My Car Loan Payments and Arrears during the COVID-19 Crisis?

Controversial  ·  May 12, 2020

Where Can I Go for Help with My Car Loan Payments and Arrears during the COVID-19 Crisis?

As we struggle with uncertain income, loan payment defaults, and increased health concerns, it’s about time we start looking for ways to manage our finances. Straightaway, we see two options for people with car loans. We will look at car loan reprieves, interest rate freezes, and other forms of support that are available to car owners in Australia and New Zealand during this time.

Contact the bank where you have a car loan

Since it’s the bank or finance provider that has control over your loan, the answer to your problems also lies in their hands. Yes, we know, under ordinary circumstances, you can’t expect them to relax their terms, but this isn’t one of those times. 

According to the Australian Banking Association (ABA), they have taken sympathetic measures for borrowers who are finding it hard to meet monthly car amortisations. They know fully well that loan defaults are not isolated cases and that they need to exercise flexibility. By offering win-win mechanisms, borrowers will be able to pay their loans, maybe not during this period but in some future time. 

What remedies can I expect from the bank for my car loan defaults?

Lending banks may arrange for any or a combination of the following solutions:

  1. Debt consolidation or restructuring
  2. Deferment of monthly payments 
  3. Freeze on the interest rate (no increase in interest rate)
  4. Option for interest-only payment (pay interest only during the period)
  5. Waiving of interest (no interest during the period)
  6. Waiving of penalties and fees for late/non-payment, restructuring, or consolidation
  7. Waiving of fees for early access to term-deposited funds

The terms on reprieves may differ from one bank to another. Some lenders may allow you to repay your arrears under a flexible arrangement, extend the payment period by the same number of months that you were let off or relieved, or pay smaller amounts to settle the default when your financial situation normalises. 

In a statement given by Anna Bligh, ABA CEO, she said that banks are even offering financial packages for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. They have also fast-tracked the approval process to ensure timely release of funds. That’s how supportive banks can be at this time of crisis.

Is my bank among those offering loan deferrals and other supports to customers?

As we’ve mentioned, the best way to know would be to call your bank. Some of the banks that have offered repayment relief are Bank Australia, Bank of Queensland, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, CUA, HSBC, IMB Bank, Macquarie Bank, Suncorp, St. George Bank, and Westpac.

You may also contact banks not mentioned here. Banks like the ANZ, Australian Military Bank, CommBank, ING, and NAB have specified other forms of aids and relief to depositors and borrowers. They have hotlines to discuss their support programs to customers experiencing hardships. 

Ask your car dealership for easing of loan payments 

If you have acquired your car through a dealership’s inhouse financing, then the best way would be to approach them for possible relief. We have listed some below, but we know that most, if not all, automakers have rolled out some measures to assist customers. 


The financial services division of VW reassured car loan customers that they are not oblivious to this world crisis. They have responded with compassion and have offered to help by softening loan terms to members who are burdened with unemployment, illness or injury, reduced income, business failure, and over-commitment. You may need to fill out a hardship application form from the website and submit some supporting documents to begin the process. Alternatively, you may also enquire through email or call them at 1300 734 567.


Toyota Finance Australia Ltd has extended similar hardship assistance, including payment deferrals, reduced monthly payments, and possibly a moratorium. You may contact Toyota’s Hardship Team, Toyota Finance at or


You will find BMW Finance’s hardship assistance page on its website, and you may contact the hardship consultants for the extension of loan terms or other temporary arrangements. You may send them an email to or call them at 03 9264 4118.

These are rough times, no doubt. The good thing is that it has impacted everyone, so lending institutions are more open to loan forbearance. In fact, before you even make that call, they have already set in place the necessary programs to accommodate similarly-affected clients. All you need to do is contact them and explain your situation. Your banks and dealerships are only too willing to help you find that extra financial wiggle room to survive this storm. 

We at CarPart are with you during these rough times till the end, so keep yourself posted for more guides to see you through. And while you have more time at home now, make the most of it by learning more about your car and accessing our other free car part resources!


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