The message sent by the Hungarian National Bank (MNB) regarding the amortization of debt – who can afford to do so should strive to pay their debt back as soon as possible – agrees with the communication of the central bank, involving a stoppage of amortization. In the last one and a half year, the best solutions were provided for the consumers by the MNB for not only the ongoing health but the economic crisis situation, too. In addition, the central banks communication of consumer protection regarding the moratorium is also attributable to the conditions and timeframe set by the current legislative body. The rational step in the first good year of the pandemic – in Hungary as well as throughout the whole European Union – was adopting a moratorium. The development of the severity of the pandemic, vaccines, counteractions of Hungary all seemed quite uncertain. In order to prevent a loss of workplace – and as a result, loss of income – for the families involved, as well as the debt of people worsening, the debtors entered a moratorium. From the MNB’s press release in the spring of 2020, the professional articles of the leading media portals states, that
During the moratorium, an interest and a charge is placed on the capital of the unpaid loan which can increase the amount to be paid back and entire repayment period.
These interests and charges, however, are not spontaneously added to the outstanding capital (it will not turn into a compound interest) and repayment will be possible in equal installments after the moratorium has ended. Also, no additional charge will be added to the monthly amount that is expected of the client, it will remain the same as before the moratorium. The exception is loans with variable interest rates, in which case, the amount could potentially change over time. This could be compared to an example that is currently a relevant as well with the ongoing health crisis: in case of some medicine, the use of it for the right amount of time can have great results, but if one exceeds the recommended time and continues to use it it could have harmful effects.
By now, at the end of the pandemics third wave, with the number of people vaccinated rising and the rapid resumption of the economy, for the clients who possess the ability to repay their debt that remain in moratorium, the short-term advantages could easily turn into disadvantages in the long run. Their repayment period and debt toward the bank unnecessarily rises.
In conjunction with this, the National Bank earlier repeatedly refuted claims by the debtors that said their debt unexpectedly increased with the expiry of the moratorium and that those who leave moratorium experience a rise in their installment amount.