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Lender resumes lending to hardest-hit industries

Bluestone has announced that it will resume lending to some of the industries hardest hit by COVID-19, following a six-month hiatus.

In March of this year, the non-bank lender repriced its offerings, revised its serviceability policy and withdrew a product in response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

At the time, the lender overhauled its product and service offering amid a “rise in funding costs”.

While several of these changes have already been reversed, the hiatus on lending to borrowers working in industries “highly impacted” by the coronavirus outbreak had remained in place. These industries were: tourism, hospitality, entertainment and retail.

However, Bluestone has now announced that it has resumed lending to both self-employed and PAYG borrowers working in the following industries: retail, tourism, entertainment and hospitality across all products. The reinstatement applies to all states other than Victoria, where the lockdown persists.

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The non-bank also revealed that it will now accept PAYG and self-employed income where JobKeeper is recorded in payslips or on bank statements. However, JobKeeper payments will be excluded from serviceability calculations. The move will also exclude applicants who are working for, or operating, a business responsible for new residential or commercial developments/buildings.

From Monday, 21 September, the lender will once again start accepting bonus income when provided with two years’ worth of employer evidence. Bonus income will be calculated using the lower of the two annual figures shaded at 80 per cent.

Bluestone also said that customers who were on hardship arrangements or paused repayments due to COVID-19, will now qualify for prime loans as long as they can prove at least three months of full repayments at time of submission and a variation letter provided from the existing lender shows agreement has been met. If less than three months’ repayments have been made, then the standard conduct review will apply. 

[Related:

>In March of this year, the non-bank lender repriced its offerings, revised its serviceability policy and withdrew a product in response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

At the time, the lender overhauled its product and service offering amid a “rise in funding costs”.

While several of these changes have already been reversed, the hiatus on lending to borrowers working in industries “highly impacted” by the coronavirus outbreak had remained in place. These industries were: tourism, hospitality, entertainment and retail.

However, Bluestone has now announced that it has resumed lending to both self-employed and PAYG borrowers working in the following industries: retail, tourism, entertainment and hospitality across all products. The reinstatement applies to all states other than Victoria, where the lockdown persists.

The non-bank also revealed that it will now accept PAYG and self-employed income where JobKeeper is recorded in payslips or on bank statements. However, JobKeeper payments will be excluded from serviceability calculations. The move will also exclude applicants who are working for, or operating, a business responsible for new residential or commercial developments/buildings.

From Monday, 21 September, the lender will once again start accepting bonus income when provided with two years’ worth of employer evidence. Bonus income will be calculated using the lower of the two annual figures shaded at 80 per cent.

Bluestone also said that customers who were on hardship arrangements or paused repayments due to COVID-19, will now qualify for prime loans as long as they can prove at least three months of full repayments at time of submission and a variation letter provided from the existing lender shows agreement has been met. If less than three months’ repayments have been made, then the standard conduct review will apply. 

[Related: Non-bank winds back lending restrictions]

Lender resumes lending to hardest-hit industries
Lender resumes lending to hardest-hit industries
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Annie Kane

Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts. 

Contact Annie at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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