Rights & Money

You May Be Able to Defer Your Mortgage Payment

To help customers cope during the pandemic, Canada’s big banks say they’ll let you put off making mortgage and credit-card payments.

By Erika Morris

Photo: iStock/srpphoto.

Canada’s “Big Six” banks—TD, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, and Scotiabank—have announced they will offer up to six-month deferrals on mortgages and loans.

The move is intended to provide economic relief for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The extensions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

“There are different scenarios depending on client files and loan parameters,” the National Bank said in a joint statement from the banks. “The objective is to allow clients to get back on their feet as quickly as possible, with sound advice.”

The National Bank said the banks may also offer “special loans” to cover living expenses in some cases, and the Bank of Montreal may defer credit-card payments, as well. Other mortgage lenders have offered flexibility with payments and clients are encouraged to see what options are open to them.

“These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of Canada’s financial system and the strength of our major banks,” the Big Six stated. “Banks will monitor evolving economic conditions and consider other measures if necessary.”

Groups have been urging the Canadian government to suspend all rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the outbreak. Other countries, such as Italy, France, and the United Kingdom, have also begun to implement housing-related economic relief initiatives. At the moment, it is unclear what measures will be put in place for renters.

Both the federal and provincial governments have been working on a series of economic-relief initiatives.