Freelancers prepare for the worst as moratorium ends

Individuals who are not eligible for moratorium extension have to restructure their finances and loans upon consultation with the banks


FREELANCERS across the country are bracing for financial stress as the six-month moratorium on loan repayments come to an end this month.

With no fixed income, freelancers or self-employed individuals who are not eligible for moratorium extension have to restructure their finances and loans upon consultation with the banks.

A freelance student recruiter, who only wishes to be known as Bee, said she had to ask the bank to restructure her car loan as it is obvious that she may not be able to meet the monthly repayment.

“With many universities stepping up its digital recruiting presence to attract students during the pandemic, I don’t have much to do and currently, I’m on multiple freelance jobs such as telemarketing.

“I am not eligible for a loan moratorium extension, so I went to the bank to discuss restructuring and rescheduling plans for my car loan,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Bee admitted that she is concerned about her financial status and credit worthiness, especially when the moratorium is lifted on Sept 30.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on July 29 announced that banks will offer a three-month loan moratorium extension to targeted groups in view of the current tough economic times.

The move is expected to benefit some three million individuals and businesses, particularly those who suffer pay cuts and are unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The value of the moratorium on loan repayments by financial institutions stood at RM78.14 billion as at Aug 21, 2020.

Meanwhile, a freelance babysitter Diyanah Amin is taking a pragmatic approach on her spending to ensure she is able to meet her monthly commitments.

Following the resumption of economic activities since June, Diyanah said she does not need the moratorium extension, but she is adopting a more frugal lifestyle.

Based on an analysis prepared by her financial consultant, Diyanah is not to breach the threshold limit of her savings and expenditure.

She also pared her spending, cancelling monthly entertainment subscription and gym membership.

“Since it’s getting better, I don’t see a need for a moratorium extension, so I will continue my payment next month in order to be debt free faster.

“In my opinion, freelancers or those who are struggling to look for a job need to avoid costly mistakes,” she told TMR.

The Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency continuously encourages borrowers to prepare ahead while there is still time for those who start their repayment in October.