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May 9, 2024

How Moratoriums Help You Manage Debts in India

Shebi Sharma



Have you ever encountered a situation where you needed a temporary break from a financial obligation? This is where the concept of a moratorium comes in. In simpler terms, a moratorium is like hitting a pause button on an activity or obligation. But how does this translate to the world of finance and accounting?

In the financial sector, moratoriums are temporary suspensions of specific activities or obligations, often implemented by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or financial institutions themselves.

These pauses can provide much-needed relief during financial hardships, impacting everything from loan repayments to the application of accounting standards.

In this blog, we'll dive into various types of financial pauses, their perks, what to think about, and other options you might like. Get ready as we explore the world of temporary breaks in the ever-changing world of money and numbers!

Types of Moratoriums in Finance and Accounting: Pausing the Pressure

Now that we understand the core concept of moratoriums, let's explore the different types encountered in the financial and accounting sectors. Here in India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) plays a crucial role in overseeing these temporary pauses.

1. Loan Repayment Moratoriums:

This is perhaps the most common type of moratorium, offering a lifeline to borrowers facing unexpected financial difficulties. During these periods, banks or financial institutions temporarily suspend your loan repayments, providing much-needed breathing room.


In response to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the RBI announced a loan repayment moratorium for a specific period. This allowed individuals who lost income or businesses facing temporary closures to defer their loan repayments on mortgages, car loans, and other debts.

2. Debt Moratoriums:

While less frequent, governments can also declare moratoriums on specific types of debt. This can encompass student loans, mortgages, or other forms of government-backed debt. The goal is to provide wider relief to a large number of debtors facing financial hardship across the nation.


While not as common as loan repayment moratoriums in India, some countries have implemented government debt moratoriums on student loans during economic downturns. This can provide temporary relief to graduates struggling to find employment and make loan repayments.

3. Accounting Standards Moratoriums:

The world of accounting also utilizes moratoriums. In certain situations, regulatory bodies might grant companies a temporary pause on applying specific accounting standards. This can be due to unforeseen circumstances that significantly impact financial reporting or during the implementation of new regulations. The aim is to allow companies additional time to adjust their accounting practices without jeopardizing the accuracy of their financial statements.


Imagine a natural disaster significantly disrupts a company's supply chain, making it difficult to accurately value inventory according to standard accounting practices. In such a scenario, a regulatory body might grant a moratorium on the specific inventory valuation standard, allowing the company additional time to develop alternative methods for the period.

These are the primary types of moratoriums encountered in finance and accounting. Each type serves a specific purpose, offering temporary relief during challenging times. However, it's important to understand the implications of each moratorium before utilizing them.

Benefits of Moratoriums: A Temporary Lifeline

Moratoriums aren't implemented on a fancy basis. They offer a range of advantages for both individuals and businesses in the finance and accounting sectors. Let's explore some key benefits:

Provides Relief During Hardship:

During times of economic downturn, natural disasters, or unforeseen circumstances, moratoriums offer a crucial safety net. Loan repayment moratoriums, for instance, can significantly reduce the financial burden on individuals and businesses struggling to make ends meet. This temporary pause allows them to focus on regaining financial stability without the fear of loan defaults or repossessions.


Imagine a small business owner in India whose shop was severely damaged during a monsoon flood. A loan repayment moratorium offered by their bank would provide them with some breathing room to manage immediate repairs and get the business back on its feet, without the added stress of looming loan payments.

Prevents Defaults and Business Closures:

When faced with financial hardship, borrowers might be pushed towards defaults. Moratoriums can prevent such scenarios by offering a temporary break. This, in turn, protects lenders from bad debts and helps businesses stay afloat during challenging times.


During the COVID-19 lockdown, many small businesses in India faced a steep decline in revenue. The loan repayment moratorium announced by the RBI prevented a wave of defaults on business loans. This, combined with government schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, provided much-needed financial assistance and helped businesses weather the economic storm.

Allows for Adjustment to New Regulations:

In accounting, moratoriums on specific standards can be beneficial for companies. When new accounting regulations are implemented, companies might require additional time to adjust their accounting practices and internal controls. A moratorium on applying the new standards provides this crucial buffer period, ensuring the accuracy and consistency of financial reporting in the long run.

While these benefits are significant for individuals and businesses in India, it's important to remember that moratoriums are not a permanent solution. They offer a temporary pause, and the underlying financial obligations eventually resurface.

Considerations and Implications: Understanding the Other Side of the Coin

While moratoriums offer a temporary helping hand, it's important to understand their implications before availing yourself of one.

Here are some key points to consider:

Impact on Credit Score:

This is a crucial aspect, particularly for loan repayment moratoriums. While a moratorium provides temporary relief from repayments, it might harm your credit score. In India, loan defaults and delays in repayments can significantly lower your credit score. This can make it difficult to secure loans or credit cards in the future, and might even lead to higher interest rates when you do qualify.

Interest Continues to Accrue:

It's important to remember that interest on your loan continues to accumulate even during a moratorium. This means that while you might not be making monthly payments, the total amount owed will increase over time. Carefully evaluate if you can manage the increased loan amount after the moratorium period ends.

Potential Delays in Financial Reporting (Accounting Standards Moratoriums):

In the case of accounting standards moratoriums, companies need to be aware of potential delays in financial reporting. While a moratorium provides additional time to implement new standards, it can also lead to delays in filing financial statements. This can impact transparency and communication with investors and other stakeholders. Companies should ensure proper communication and manage expectations during such periods.

It's important to weigh the benefits of a moratorium against these potential drawbacks. Consider consulting with a financial advisor (for loan situations) or a Chartered Accountant (for accounting standards) to understand the specific implications of your situation. They can help you explore alternative solutions that might be better suited to your needs.

Alternatives to Moratoriums: Exploring Other Avenues

While moratoriums offer a valuable safety net, they aren't the only solution for those facing financial hardship or needing more time with accounting standards. Here are some alternatives to consider:

1. Loan Changes:

  • Loan Restructuring: Banks may adjust your loan terms, like making payments easier.
  • Debt Consolidation: Combine multiple debts into one with lower interest to make repayment simpler and cheaper.
  • Government Aid (India): Check out government programs like Mudra loans for businesses or targeted loan waivers for certain sectors.

2. Dealing with Accounting Rules:

  • Extension Requests: Ask regulators for more time to follow accounting rules, if needed.
  • Phased Changes: Introduce new rules gradually to avoid big disruptions.
  • Get Expert Advice: Talk to a Chartered Accountant for help understanding and following accounting rules correctly.

Remember, exploring these options might give you better long-term solutions than just pausing things with a moratorium. Always chat with a financial expert to figure out what's best for you.

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