No credit moratorium? Just call the banks


LETTER | Recently, the subject of the bank loan moratorium resurfaced following the announcement of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

There are increasing calls for an automatic extension of the bank loan moratorium to all borrowers, not just the B40 group, as the government announced earlier this month as part of the Pemerkasa Plus stimulus package.

I understand the reason the moratorium is to be extended to the M40 group. Many have also lost their jobs or cut their incomes due to the economic hardship caused by the pandemic.

Since I’m in the M40 group, I should know because I was one of them. When I was fired from my company in November last year, I too was at a loss.

My first reaction was how to pay for my home and car loan. Not to mention to support my young family.

At that time, Bank Negara’s automatic credit moratorium had just expired in September 2020. I picked up the phone and called my bank to restructure my credit.

After a few hiccups and submitting the necessary documents and correspondence, my loan restructuring application was granted.

My point is this: denying an automatic credit moratorium is not the end of the world. All you have to do is take the initiative to call the bank and ask for an extension of the moratorium or a loan restructuring.

According to the banking association, over 90 percent of such applications are approved.

With banks continuing to generate good returns despite the pandemic, I believe many of them have the buffer to offer flexibility to personal borrowers, if only as a goodwill gesture. Just pick up the phone and call the banks folks!

I was fortunate that I got a new job not long after that and since then I have been servicing my loans as before. From a financial point of view, the faster I pay off the debt, the less interest I have to pay.

For me, the question of denying an automatic credit moratorium is not an issue. Please don’t make one.

The views expressed herein are those of the author / contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Malaysiakini.

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