What is a Christmas cut off date?

With the prime time of the holiday season nearing, lenders are announcing their Christmas cut off dates to give their clients a heads-up on when they will not be processing any home loans.

To make up for the absence of their employees from 24 December 2020, lenders announce deadlines for various application processes beforehand. This deadline is the cut off date.

The cut-off date set helps clients time their application accordingly or lenders to speed up the process from their end.


Why should you apply for a home loan before the cut off date?

While announcing the cut-off dates, most lenders also clarify the time frame it takes to complete different application steps.

The time taken varies from step to step and lender to lender.

If you are applying for a home loan, you need to do so ten days before Christmas.

Why?

Because most lenders will take at least that much time to process your application through settlement.

Applying anytime after the cut-off date would postpone the home loan application and assessment process.

You then have to wait until a few days after New Year to speed up your application process. As half of the lender’s employees would still be on leave until that time.

A lot of time, thus, will be spent waiting in vain.


Do not sign the contract of sale neglecting cut off dates!

Neglecting Christmas cut off dates and signing a contract of sale would be a significant mistake. Exceeding the cut off date will halt your application process for a long time.

A halt in your home loan process, will cause your cooling-off period to expire which leads to:

  • Hefty fines.
  • You may not redeem a chance to sign a new contract.
  • If your contract of sale does not have a subject to refinance clause, the seller will not return your deposit.
  • If you were on a pre-approval, you need to find a new property as soon as possible.
  • If you had received unconditional approval, you might have to re-apply for a new home loan.

When do I sign the contract of sale?

If the Christmas holidays are going to halt your application process, we recommend you sign the contract of sale after the first week of January.

The first week of January is when all lenders regain their momentum in the application process; operations resume.

Thus, starting your application process after the holidays means you do not have to pay any fines or lose your deposit on a property.


Renegotiating your loan terms

If you want to renegotiate your existing loan terms before 24 December 2020, make sure you have submitted the required documents within the following cut off dates:

Area of Action Cut off date/time frame
External refinances

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Note: Servicing level of the external bank might affect this date.

Loan increases Monday, 30th November 2020
Loan variations Friday, 4th December 2020
Servicing requests For discharge and consents requests: 5 business days
Servicing requests
  • For discharge and consents requests: 5 business days
  • For progress draws and fixed loan rollover requests: 1 business day

The dates/time frame given above are derived by taking an average of most lenders’ cut off date. The big four banks have not yet disclosed their cut off dates for loan renegotiation.


Christmas cut off schedule across lenders

Most non-major lenders do not have a rigid cut off schedule set for different loan processes. Most of them will be closed by Christmas so that is to be taken as their cut off date.

Major lenders tend to have stricter Christmas cut off dates than non-major lenders.

When it comes to the four major banks, the inflexibility has remained consistent throughout the years.

Similar to each year, the big four banks have come up with their separate Christmas cut off schedules.

The degree of information they have shared with both their existing and potential clients varies through their respective schedules.

ANZ Christmas cut off dates 2020

ANZ has come up with a schedule that confirms the number of days it takes to assess a particular loan process. By going over the indicative time to complete a loan process, you can generalize whether or not they can process your loan before Thursday, 24 December.

Loan Process Indicative time (for business days)
New application
  • Simple: 14 days
  • Complex: 22 days

Note: New applications require an additional day for pre-assessment.

Additional Documents 4 days
Dual application Need to contact Business Development Manager through a mortgage broker
Document Preparation 1 day
Document Verification 2 days (will commence on a priority basis)
Settlement As booked, but will depend on third parties, i.e., solicitor, other banks, etc.

For the new applications, they have set a cut off date of Wednesday, 16 November.

NAB Christmas cut off dates 2020

This year, NAB will be closed from Wednesday, 23 December 2020, and will reopen on Monday, 4 January 2020, with limited staff.

However, they will continue to process and work on loan applications, all business days. So, the cut off date for all loan processes is 23 December.

Any loan process halted due to the closure will resume from Tuesday, 5 January. But, there might be delays until 11 January 2020 since most of their business units will be on leave until then.

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Christmas cut off dates 2020

CBA is prioritizing customers with their settlement due before Christmas.

So, they have introduced some criteria based on their priorities.

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