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Moratorium: Don’t wait until last minute, plan your finances now - AKPK

11 Jul 2020 / 09:30 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The remaining moratorium or loan repayment period to help individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises facing financial constraints following the outbreak of the Covid-19 is only about three months away.

However, are borrowers ready to face the post moratorium financial challenges after Sept 30 when they have to pay back their debts as usual, or are hoping that the financial institutions will further extend the moratorium?

Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) general manager (Operations Division) Nor Fazleen Zakaria said borrowers need to understand that the moratorium is only given by the government as a ‘breathing space’ in light of the unprecedented situation, following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

With the moratorium to expire soon, she said borrowers need to start planning their finances as early as from now.

“No need to wait until last minute, even though the installment repayments will only resume in October. By planning early means that they need to look at their finances, whether they will be able to recommence their repayments in October after the moratorium ends,“ she said when contacted by Bernama.

For borrowers who feel they are unable to pay their monthly installments, she said, the first thing they need to do is to consult with their respective financial Institutions on the possibility of rescheduling or restructuring the loan repayments.

“Financial institutions as lenders, they want their borrowers to pay back the loans, but if the borrowers are unable to pay, they need to contact their financial institutions and tell them their problems.

“As a responsible borrower, you can seek advice from the respective financial institutions as they can look into considering to reschedule or restructure your loans,“ she said.

However, consumers can also seek advice from AKPK through its holistic Debt Management Programme (DMP) which aims to assist borrowers to regain control of their finances.

“Through AKPK’s DMP, our counselors will work with you to develop a personalised debt repayment plan in consultation with your financial Institutions. Our DMP services are offered free for individuals.

“Remember to contact the financial institutions for information on the latest monthly installments to be paid after the moratorium expires. There may be a change in monthly loan repayments,“ she said.

Nor Fazleen also said reviewing the post moratorium monthly budget is important to ensure borrowers are able to repay the debt after the moratorium expires.

Borrowers should prioritise important expenses such as debt payments, bills and rental payment, and to avoid unnecessary expenses, she added.

On March 25, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a six-month moratorium, conversion of credit card balance to term loans and restructuring of corporate loans in an initiative estimated to be worth at least RM100 billion.

AKPK is an agency wholly owned by Bank Negara Malaysia set up in April 2006 to help individuals take control of their financial situation and gain peace of mind that comes from the wise use of credit facilities.

Since its inception in 2006 until May 2020, over one million individuals have attended AKPK’s counselling services and from that, approx 330,000 participants have enrolled into AKPK’s DMP.

Nor Fazleen said 27,091 debt cases had exited from the DMP, with total outstanding of RM1,184.4 million.

Those interested to know the latest tips on prudent financial management and learning online financial management can visit the website power.akpk.org.my or AKPK’s official Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. — Bernama

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