Monetary Authority of Singapore, Media Release, 31 March 2020
Helping Individuals with Loan and Insurance Commitments
Defer Repayment of Residential Property Loans
1. Individuals with residential property loans may apply to their respective bank or finance company to defer either (i) principal payment or (ii) both principal and interest payments up to 31 December 2020.
2. Interest will accrue only on the deferred principal amount; no interest will be charged on the deferred interest payments. Lenders will approve the request for deferment as long as the individual is not in arrears for more than 90 days as at 6 April 2020. Individuals do not need to demonstrate any impact from COVID-19 to obtain the deferment.
Lower Interest on Personal Unsecured Credit
3. Individuals with unsecured credit facilities from banks or other credit card issuers may apply to their respective lender to convert their outstanding balances to term loans at a reduced rate of interest, capped at 8% (compared to the 26% typically charged on credit cards). The term of the converted loan can be up to five years, depending on the individual’s ability to meet the minimum monthly repayment.
4. This option is available to all individuals who have suffered a loss of 25% or more of their monthly income after 1 February 2020 and are at risk of incurring substantial arrears. Individuals may apply to their lenders for conversion of their outstanding unsecured debt from 6 April till 31 December 2020.
Defer Premium Payments for Life and Health Insurance
5. Individuals with life and health insurance policies may apply to their insurer to defer premium payments for up to six months while maintaining insurance coverage during this period. Premium deferment is available for all individual life and health insurance policies with a policy renewal or premium due date between 1 April and 30 September 2020.
This measure supplements existing premium relief options available to policyholders, such as taking up a premium loan against the policy cash value or converting to a paid-up policy by reducing the sum assured.
Supporting SMEs with Access to Bank Credit and Insurance Cover
1. Banks and finance companies in Singapore have committed to help ease the financial strain on SMEs arising from the need to make principal repayments on their loans during this period, in view of the temporary cashflow constraints that many may face.
Defer Payment of Principal on Secured SME Loans
2. SMEs may opt to defer principal payments on their secured term loans up to 31 December 2020, subject to banks’ and finance companies’ assessment of the quality of the SMEs’ security. SMEs will also be able to extend the tenure of their loans by up to the corresponding principal deferment period if they wish. This relief will be available to SMEs that continue to pay interest and are in good standing with their banks and finance companies (not more than 90 days past due as of 6 April 2020).