Will Your Bank Give You Some Kind Of “Payment Holiday” During This COVID-19 Pandemic?

There is a load of uncertainty right now, and one of the questions on a lot of people’s minds is “Will I get loan payment relief from my bank?”. The lockdown will end at some point, but for many of us, the financial implications are going to be dire.

The answer? Well, it depends…

What exactly does it depend on? 

Simply put, it depends on your payment history and what your bank is prepared to offer you.

There is a ton of information available online, but we’ve decided to do the web trawling for you and summarize what we’ve been able to find. Remember that most of this is going to come down to a case-by-case basis, so you need to get in touch with your bank to find out what they can offer you. 

Oh, and we only focussed on the “big banks” when putting together this post. If you bank with someone else, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what they are up to. 

Standard Bank

  • Student Loan Installment Relief

Standard Bank is offering loan payment instalment relief to all qualifying clients, from 1 April to 30 June 2020, at 0% interest rate & with zero fees.

Qualifying Criteria: You are still studying full-time & your loan account was not in arrears as at 31 March 2020.

  • Relief for people earning R7 500 or less per month

Standard Bank is also offering a 90-day instalment relief, to all qualifying clients, from 1 April to 30 June 2020

Qualifying Criteria: You need to earn R7500 or less per month. You must have an access loan, credit card, home loan, personal loan, revolving credit plan or vehicle asset finance payments with them. You must have a Standard Bank current account & your account must not be in arrears as at 31 March 2020. This offer EXCLUDES overdrafts.

  • ATM Cash Withdrawals

Standard Bank will be waiving any ATM cash withdrawal Saswitch fees charged to its customers who withdraw cash from ATMs belonging to other banks. Customers will only pay standard ATM banking fees. This change will be in place until midnight on 16 April 2020.


  • Relief for retail clients with lines of credit

ABSA clients who qualify will get a 3-month non-payment period, irrespective of how much they earn. There will also be an option for them to reduce their repayments instead.

Qualifying Criteria: ABSA clients must have a home loan, personal loan, credit card, student loan or vehicle loan. Their accounts must be up to date & not in arrears &  cannot afford their current repayments.

 First National Bank

  • Relief for retail clients with lines of credit

First National Bank is offering instalment cash flow relief to their clients, either part of or no instalments/repayments will be due from 1 April to 30 June 2020.

A preferential interest rate will apply & no fees will be charged for any relief granted. They will offer individual bridge facilities for those who require it. Requests for relief need to be made via the First National Bank App and this will be available to all their clients who have a loan.

Qualifying Criteria: FNB clients will need to contact the bank and provide a letter from their employer that states that their income has reduced or been lost entirely during this time. Those clients who are self-employed will be required to provide financial statements as proof. Interest & fees will continue to accumulate on outstanding balances.


Nedbank is offering several options to their clients, based on individual circumstances, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. They are encouraging all of their clients to contact them to discuss their circumstances.


Capitec is urging clients who may be faced with a financial crisis as a result of COVID-19 to not delay in contacting them. If you are a client of theirs and are facing income or loan repayment problems, you can reach them via phone.

The most important thing you need to figure out right now is, are all your credit obligations up to date?

If all is in order with your finances, then give your bank a call and ask them if you can take 3-month relief on your repayments and repay them over the term of the loan.

However, this isn’t the case for millions of South Africans who have impaired credit records. Are you one of them?

Statistically, approximately 25 million South Africans are in debt and at least 40% of them are behind with their debt repayments. Will the banks be making any concessions for them? The answer is more than likely no, and this means that those 25 million South Africans, who are in dire need of financial assistance right now, are going to battle to find it.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Have you contacted your bank yet?

Until next time,

The Wise About Life Team

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