Banking royal commission: Westpac’s ‘unacceptable’ car loan policies under spotlight
Westpac has told the banking royal commission a Bank of Melbourne car loan granted to a carer in 2012 which she could not afford to pay back would not have been approved today.
Nalini Thiruvangadam told the commission she had wanted to buy a new car for her job looking after elderly people because her old car caught fire while she was driving, but she could not get a bank loan because of an unpaid credit card.
The personal care attendant found a car dealer about 50 kilometres from where she lived who agreed to give her a car loan despite her fortnightly income of $350 from her job as a personal care attendant and $600 from Centrelink benefits.
She also paid rent of about $1,000 a month.
Ms Thiruvangadam said she was kept at the car dealership for about two hours into the night while she waited to sign the loan documents.
The mother of two did not realise until she got home and read the loan documents that she had bought a used car, a demonstration model Ford Focus, with lots of mileage and which stalled regularly.
The car dealer refused to cancel the loan, saying Ms Thiruvangadam had already signed the documents even though she said she could not afford the payments of $259 a fortnight.