Hundreds of thousands of South Africans face financial ruin after the government imposed a 21-day lockdown to limit the spread of Covid-19.
While many banks have taken the opportunity to offer some form of relief, financial experts have warned consumers and businesses to read the fine print.
Experts warn that, in the long run, the terms and conditions could place consumers in further debt.
Nedbank is offering clients’ payment holidays for up to three months, a reduction in credit card payments and a waiver on penalty fees to access fixed-term or notice investments.
Absa has urged customers who can afford to pay, to make payments, and offered those facing challenges a three-month payment relief in the form of deferred payments and reduced amounts.
Standard Bank has offered automatic instalment relief to students and those who earn less than R7 500 a month on personal loans, student loans and credit cards for up to three months.
FNB has advised customers they can apply for insurance via its banking app if they are affected by Covid-19, as well as instalment relief on all loans for three months, with a preferential interest rate and no initiation fees for personal banking customers.
The National Credit Regulator has advised consumers to use the credit insurance which allows for repayments to be paid for up to 12 months.
Chief executive officer for national debt advisors Sebastien Alexanderson warned consumers not to jump on payment holidays as interest on the loans remains and accumulates.