Almost half of deferred loans are now being repaid again as Australians recover from the pandemic.

In late June, the number of loans deferred by Australian home owners and businesses peaked, with 493,000 mortgages and 198,000 small business loans having paused repayments.

The Australian Banking Association, which released the figures on Thursday, said it meant around one in 11 mortgage holders and one in eight small business owners were given some breathing space as the coronavirus hammered the economy.

Six months after the deferrals, repayments have resumed on almost half of the deferred loans.

Based on data collected by the ABA from seven of Australia’s largest banks, as of last week, the number of deferred mortgages had dropped to 270,000, meaning repayments had resumed on at least 224,000 loans.

Almost half (45 per cent) of deferred mortgages are back to making regular loan repayments.

Repayments have resumed on at least 82,000 small and medium sized business loans, meaning two in five such loans that had been deferred are now being repaid again.

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“This is a good sign for the economy,” ABA CEO Anna Bligh said.

“It shows that more Australians are getting back on their feet and resuming their loan repayments.”

She said it was important that customers contacted their bank to work out a path forward, rather than trying to tough it out by themselves.

“Banks will work with customers to figure out a tailor-made solution. That might include restructuring a loan, or in some cases, granting an additional four month deferral.”

AAP

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