• Major banks in SA are offering various options to assist consumers impacted by the Covid-19 disaster.
  • Most of the assistance comes in the form of a debt repayment holiday on all kinds of loans.
  • All the assistance is, however, subject to whether a client is in good standing with the bank, and has kept up with debt repayments. 
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South Africa’s major banks have introduced various measures to assist consumers who are impacted financially by the coronavirus disaster and the 21-day lockdown intended to curb its spread. 

Most of the assistance comes in the form of  three-month debt holidays on loans ranging from mortgages to credit card balances. Some consumers will automatically receive these payment holidays, while others have to apply to their banks.

Also read: All the financial help available to South Africans during the corona crisis

All of the financial assistance, however, is subject to whether a consumer is in good standing with the bank and has kept up with monthly payments. 

Here is the financial assistance on offer at South Africa’s major banks during the Covid-19 disaster

Absa 

Individual customers who owe Absa money will be invited to take an up to three-month repayment holiday, regardless of the kind of loan or how much money those customers earn. There will also be an option to reduce repayments instead. Individual clients will automatically qualify for the relief, but business and corporate clients are encouraged to contact the bank for case-by-case arrangements on their debt.

Read: Absa customers (in good standing) are about to be invited to a 3-month Covid-19 debt holiday


Standard Bank 

Standard Bank is offering all of its personal banking customers, and business clients who earn less than R20 million a year, a three-month debt holiday until the end of June. Clients earning R7 500 or less and students will automatically receive the three-month holiday, while other banking clients can apply for the relief by contacting the bank. 

Read: Coronavirus: Standard Bank extends payment holidays to personal accounts too


FNB 

First National Bank (FNB) will be offering debt repayment holidays of up to three months to its customers, but strict terms and conditions apply. Clients will need to contact the bank, and have a letter from their employer to show loss of income due to the novel coronavirus. Those who are self-employed would need to submit financial statements.

Also read: FNB may offer a Covid-19 debt break – if you prove loss of income and have good credit


Nedbank 

Nedbank is offering clients “individual solutions to cashflow challenges” due to the coronavirus, which includes halting debt repayments (or part thereof) for a “suitable” period. Alternatively, clients loan periods may be extended or they could get more credit to manage short term cashflow shortfalls. Clients are encouraged to contact Nedbank telephonically to enquire if they qualify for the assistance. 

Also read: Coronavirus: Nedbank offers to help struggling clients, with debt holidays or more credit


Capitec 

Capitec has not introduced any special initiatives to help consumers during the pandemic, but said it will instead be handling credit defaults on a case-by-case basis. Capitec urged clients who may be facing a crisis as a result of the coronavirus to not delay contacting the bank, the bank’s head of communications Charl Nel said. 


WesBank 

WesBank is offering clients payment relief plans from the 1 April to the end of June. These include relief on financial services products such as its vehicle and asset financing, full maintenance leasing and vehicle stock funding. Clients can contact the bank to receive the assistance.