Borrowers who want to take advantage of very low interest rates, access equity in their properties as a safety net and consolidate debts into their low-interest rate home loans are facing wait times of up to a month to get their loans assessed and approved.

Cash-back offers up to $4000 and advertised fixed rates in the low 2 per cent region have added to the assessment timeframes, contributing to the frustrations of borrowers and brokers.

To make matters worse, not all banks are the same, meaning that borrowers are waiting for their loans to be assessed even while the bank may have no appetite for their type of application; this may be due to the borrower being self-employed, the high number of debts to be consolidated, non-standard income, undesirable property type or location for that particular bank or myriad other reasons. The borrower may not know of the decision until weeks down the track.

Unfortunately, this may mean these borrowers miss their window of opportunity to refinance with a lender that actually wants them as customers, as lending guidelines are tightening further each day.

The banks have decided to apply ‘responsible lending guidelines’ to businesses applying for the government-guaranteed, unsecured three-year loans, which effectively means hardly any business actually qualifies as most have been detrimentally affected by COVID-19. 

Adding salt to the wounds is the fact that most businesses that do qualify for these loans could be better off with a standard overdraft due to the comparable interest rates, longer lending terms and less pressure on the business’ cash flow. An overdraft or line of credit requires only that borrowers pay for what they use and would not be obligated to pay the whole amount back in three years.

In the current state of flux, it is imperative that business owners obtain credit advice from finance brokers who are experts in the construction and finance industries – like Chocolate Money, which trades as Master Builders Financial Services.


Contact Master Builders Financial Services on (03) 9411 4555 or email the director, Harry Pontikis on for assistance with your finance and lending needs.