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About Keystart

Coronavirus COVID-19 update


Lindsay O'Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer

13 mins

Current as at 31 March 2020

 At Keystart, we understand many of you are concerned about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).  

We share your concern, but it’s important to remember we can do our bit to slow down the spread of this virus.   We are closely following the advice of state and federal health authorities on ways to minimise the risk to our staff, customers and stakeholders.

Assistance for those experiencing financial difficulty due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

At Keystart, we have a long history of helping customers in times of difficulty because our mission is not just to help you get into home ownership, but to keep you there. With our assistance, most of our customers experiencing financial hardship improve their position; the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help.

Our dedication to assisting Keystart customers in the unexpected crisis of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the financial hardship it’s inflicting on households is no different. 

Each customer's situation is different, so we have devised a wide range of measures to assist during these uncertain times.

If you’ve been paying more than your minimum monthly instalment, your home loan may be in an advance position. If it is, you may be able to defer one or more payments or reduce your regular payment. You can do this yourself through the Client Portal, or by giving us a call.

Beyond this, there are still a number of ways Keystart can help if you are experiencing financial hardship due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). These include:

  • Defer repayments: Any customer in financial difficulty affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) can apply for hardship assistance in the form of deferring payments completely for six months. If you prefer you may choose to defer for a shorter period of time, say for just a month or two, and in some circumstances, we will grant deferrals up to 12 months. At the completion of the period of deferred repayments, you have the option to recalculate the instalment amount so you pay off your loan within the original term, or to extend the loan term to keep the repayment amount lower.
     
  • Reduce repayments: You may be able to reduce your regular payment to a smaller amount to provide temporary relief. This could be up to six or even 12 months, depending on your circumstances. At the end of this, we will recalculate your instalment so you can still pay off your home loan within the remaining term.
     
  • Extend the term of your loan: We may look to extend your home loan to reduce your repayments.
     
  • Free, confidential counselling: We have a long-standing relationship with Relationships Australia WA, where Keystart customers can receive up to five free sessions with a Relationships Australia counsellor to discuss any matter from unemployment concerns, relationship issues and parenting to stress or grief and loss. If you have a matter you would like to discuss in a supportive, respectful and confidential environment, we can either refer you, or you can call Relationships Australia directly on 1300 364 277 and tell them you are a Keystart customer.

Waiver of interest repayments for the most vulnerable in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

In addition to deferring loan repayments under hardship, Keystart may consider waiving interest repayments on a case-by-case basis for up to six months for customers that are particularly vulnerable due to coronavirus (COVID-19). To ascertain whether a customer meets the eligibility requirements for additional assistance by way of a waiver of interest repayments, Keystart will make reasonable enquiries as to a customer’s circumstance.

Where Federal Government financial assistance is available to assist with the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), we would encourage customers to apply for that financial assistance to allow us to better assess your overall circumstance and work with you to provide a solution through our hardship process. Where no Government assistance is available or has been declined, our focus will be on the most vulnerable and at risk when assessing eligibility for  a waiver of interest repayments.

Financial hardship form

If you are experiencing difficulty meeting your loan repayments due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), please get in touch with us as soon as possible. We have a dedicated team here to help. 

As we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls from customers relating to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can apply for financial hardship assistance by filling out our financial hardship form online and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) financial hardship application form

We are reviewing and updating our website, responses and customer support measures on a daily basis. We've prepared some frequently asked questions below.

You can keep up to date with the latest health and travel alerts on these websites. 

Healthdirect

Department of Health

Healthy WA (WA Department of Health)

Frequently asked questions

Support for customers facing financial hardship

I have concerns about paying my home loan. What should I do?

Keystart has always had a program to assist any customer experiencing financial hardship. Our mission is not just to help you get into home ownership, but to keep you there. 

We have a long history of supporting customers during tough times. If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), you may have access to options such as reducing or deferring repayments. Please read our financial hardship support options above.

You can complete our online financial hardship form (see link above) and we will get in touch to go through the options available to you. We have a dedicated team here to help. 

Will Keystart be implementing a payment holiday on all home loans?

We have a long history of supporting customers during tough times. If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), you may have access to options such as reducing or deferring repayments. However, we will not be offering a payment holiday for all customers. Please read our financial hardship support options above.

You can complete our online financial hardship form (see link above) and we will get in touch to go through the options available to you. We have a dedicated team here to help. 

I’m a casual worker, what happens if I’m not able to work or my employer changes my hours?

If you are likely to experience difficulty meeting your loan repayments due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), please read our financial hardship support options above. You can complete our online financial hardship form (see link above) and we will get in touch to go through the options available to you. We have a dedicated team here to help. 

I’m self-employed. What happens if I have to change my hours?

If you are likely to experience difficulty meeting your loan repayments due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), please read our financial hardship support options above. You can complete our online financial hardship form (see link above) and we will get in touch to go through the options available to you. We have a dedicated team here to help. 

Will Keystart's interest rates be decreased?

We have announced a range of options to support our customers facing financial hardship relating to coronavirus COVID-19. We are monitoring the decisions from the big four banks very closely and are working hard to offer support for those facing difficult times. 

If I enter a hardship arrangement with Keystart, will that have an impact on my credit rating?

No. If you are in financial hardship, entering into a financial hardship arrangement with Keystart will not impact your credit rating recorded by a credit reporting agency.
 

Contacting Keystart

Is Keystart open for business?

Keystart staff are currently working remotely. We are still open for business so please call us on 1300 578 278 if you need any assistance.

I have an appointment with Keystart. What should I do?

Keystart staff are currently working remotely. We are still open for business and will be in touch to arrange a remote meeting with you.

I have to drop off or pick up documents from Keystart. What should I do?

Keystart staff are currently working remotely. We are still open for business and will be in touch to make alternative arrangements for transferring documents.

I have to visit Keystart’s office. What should I do?

Keystart staff are currently working remotely. We are still open for business so please give us a call on 1300 578 278 to arrange an alternative process.

I’m unsure if I need to contact you. What should I do?

Give us a call. If you are worried about your loan or your financial situation, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 578 278.

Support for new applicants

Will my home loan application or approval be delayed?

At this stage, we do not anticipate coronavirus (COVID-19) impacting our applications or approval processes.

We have a range of contingency plans in place, which mean we can continue to deliver the best possible service to our customers, including off-site office locations and the ability for our staff to work from home.

Will my loan settlement be delayed?

At this stage, we do not anticipate coronavirus (COVID-19) impacting our settlements process. We have a range of contingency plans in place, which mean we can continue to deliver the best possible service to our customers, including off-site office locations and the ability for our staff to work from home. We will continue to work closely with the Housing Authority who act as our settlement agent. 

Useful resources

These pdf flyers were shared with us by our partner Relationships Australia (WA). We thought you might find them useful too. 

Coping with stress

Helping children deal with stress

 

 

 

Keystart recommends that you seek your own independent financial advice prior to making any decisions about your financial needs. Any examples given in this post are provided for illustrative purposes only.