HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter: Steps to Apply

Housing spaces in Singapore do not come cheap. Unless you are a millionaire, you may not afford to buy a flat in cash. The options are either to get a bank housing loan or apply for an HDB loan.

If you are interested in buying a flat for your family and do not know the best way to get the funds, this article provides you with the relevant information on HDB loan and the steps to apply.

As an alternative to bank loans, HDB aims to cater to those families who may not qualify for home loans offered by banks and other financial institutions. It is the intention of the program to provide people in Singapore access to decent homes.

Unfortunately, not all may qualify for an HDB loan, and there are very detailed eligibility requirements and the loan entails a list of obligations. HLE letter is a prerequisite for applying for a flat. To know more about these things, you may continue reading.

What is HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter

An HLE letter is given to someone qualified for a concessionary housing loan from HDB. The issuance of the letter will depend on the information submitted during the application.

The HLE letter will also contain the maximum loan amount you are allowed to take. The monthly instalments and repayment period of the loan are likewise provided in the letter.

The Letter has a validity of 6 months from the date of issue. It will remain valid for this period provided that there is no material change in the applicants’ financial situation or their family situation. A new HLE letter may be issued if you apply for one a week before your existing HLE letter expires.

Requirements For an HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter

For most people who are employed with CPF contributions, the primary documents you need to submit are:

If you are earning with monthly CPF contribution, here are your requirements:

  • Your 3 months’ payslips preceding the month of application or a recent letter from employer. The letter must contain your job designation, commencement date, and salaries for 3 months preceding the month of application.
  • Your latest 15 months’ CPF contribution history. You may check yours on the CPF Website using your SingPass. Download the document in My Statement on the dashboard.

If you are earning WITHOUT monthly CPF contribution, here are your requirements:

  • you 6+ months’ payslips preceding the month of application, or a recent letter from your employer. The letter must contain your job designation, commencement date, and salaries for 6+ months preceding the month of application; and
  • your Credit Bureau report; and
  • your latest 6+ months’ bank statements/passbook.

If you are self-employed, here are your requirements: :

  • you need to submit a Latest Notice of Assessment from IRAS or Certified Annual Statement of Accounts from an auditing firm
  • your Credit Bureau report
  • your latest 6+ months’ bank statements/passbook

If you are commission-based, or a part-time worker, here are your requirements:

  • your 6+ months’ commission statements or payslips
  • your latest 15 months’ CPF contribution history
  • your Credit Bureau report
  • your latest 6+ months’ bank statements/passbook

If you are an odd-job worker, here are your requirements:

  • you need to submit a Latest Notice of Assessment from IRAS or a recent letter from the employer certifying job designation, commencement date, and commission/salaries for 6+ months
  • your Latest 15 months’ CPF contribution history
  • your Credit Bureau report
  • your latest 6+ months’ bank statements/passbook

If you are unemployed, here are your requirements: :

  • your proof of income for the preceding month(s) from the previous employer stating your gross monthly income and last day of service
  • your latest 15 months’ CPF contribution history

Steps to Apply

Applying for HDB loans only involves two steps and nothing more. The applicant must perform the following steps in for an HDB Concessionary Loan:

Step 1: The first step is to apply for the HLE letter online via HDB InfoWEB. In doing this, you will be required to submit some financial documents for proof of income.

Step 2: Once you get an HLE letter from HDB, you’ll be instructed to upload the necessary document on the HDB portal.

After uploading the required documentation, all you have to do is wait for the HDB to process your HDB loan. This will usually take 14 days. You may track your application on the MyHDB portal. If you wish to see the complete list of documents to upload, you may view them here.

If your HDB loan application is successful, the HDB will reach you to finalise your housing loan. You will agree with the terms such as whether you plan to pay the mortgage payments in cash, or through you and/or your co-applicants CPF Ordinary Account (OA).

HDB Loans Vs Bank Loans

  • Restrictions– Proceeds of HDB housing loan should be exclusively used for HDB properties. In comparison, banks loans may be used for any property.
  • Regular loan repayment– HDB Concessionary Loan’s interest rate is set at 0.1% above the prevailing CPF rate. Today, the prevailing rate is 2.6%. Bank loan interest rates are not fixed. Bank considers different factors in setting the interest rate.
  • Leniency and late payments– Recall that the purpose of HDB is to provide the public with houses. As for banks, it intends to make profits for its shareholders/stakeholders. Thus, in terms of leniency, expect the HDB is more lenient.
  • Switching from HDB Loans to bank loans– Refinancing your HDB loan into a bank loan is allowed. This is true even after getting the initial 90% LTV. However, the same cannot be said for bank loans because you cannot refinance it into HDB loans.
  • Which is better– It will depend on your budget. If you have a small one, then should HDB loan first. It has a smaller cash outlay. If you think you cannot pay the high-interest rate, then you can always refinance your HDB loan to a bank loan later. While if you want to upgrade your property, prioritize bank loan. This will help reduce monthly payments. It will also minimize the loss of interest in your resale gains.

You can refinance from HDB loan to a bank loan, but you cannot switch from the former to the latter. In terms of leniency, HDB is more lenient, and banks are quicker to foreclose when there is the default. HDB intends to make houses affordable to the public while the bank intends to profit its stakeholders/shareholders.

Good to Know

HDB Loan Amount

The HDB loan amount will depend on three factors:

  1. Age: Usually, HDB gives higher loans to younger people because they have more years available to pay off the loan before they hit retirement age, which is the cut-off age for any HDB loan. These are your age, income, and financial standing.
  2. Financial standing: About your financial standing, there are certain sources of income that will not affect your financial standing. As such, these will not affect the amount of money HDB would be lending you. These sources of income are:
    • Rental income
    • Interest from fixed deposit/ savings account
    • Alimony allowance (divorce cases)
    • Bonuses
    • Dividend income
    • Director fees
    • Overtime income
    • National Service allowance
    • Claims/ reimbursement/ expenses
    • Overseas allowance for scholarships
  1. Income: HDB considers income into consideration before deciding the maximum loan amount that may be granted. HDB considers the following:
    • Payslip (latest 3 months) from your employer
    • Last 15 months’ worth of CPF contributions for a regular employee.

For self-employed, part-time and odd-job workers, HDB looks into other documents such as the:

    • Annual tax assessment form (IR8A).
    • There are occasions that HDB requires the applicant to make a Statutory Declaration to state what he/she declared is honest and true.

HDB Calculator

In case you are interested in knowing the probable amount that you may be granted, you can compute it using the HDB loan calculator. The calculator may be accessed here. But of course, better to wait for the HLE letter.

Nonetheless, expect that the amount is dependent on these factors:

  • Credit Assessment.
  • LTV Limit.
  • Remaining lease of flat you are buying or taking over.
  • Other HDB policies that are applicable at the point of the flat application.

Can I buy an HDB without a loan?

Yes. You can buy an HDB flat without a loan, but in this case, you have to indicate that you’re buying the flat with CPF and/or savings. As such, you will no longer need to have a loan eligibility HLE letter from HDB or the Letter of Offer from a bank.

How much loan can I get?

As a basic requirement for qualification, your gross monthly income should not be more than $14,000 ($21,000 for extended families and $7,000 for singles). Note that the maximum loan to value (LTV) limit is 90%. Aside from this, it would help if you also considered your mortgage servicing ratio (MSR) and total debt servicing ratio (TDSR), which are capped at 30% and 60% respectively.

HDB Downpayment

A list of the payments you need to make is available on HDB’s website. An HDB loan application will require you to make a downpayment of 10% of the purchase price. This may be paid through the saving in your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) and with cash.

Credit Bureau Report

HDB Concessionary Loan requires the credit bureau report for certain buyers. You may request your credit score from Singapore Credit Bureau. To do this, send a request here.

How to check your HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) status?

If you wish to check your HLE application status, you may do so at the HDB website.

Closing

HDB loan aims to address the needs of individuals to decent housing. Real properties in Singapore are expensive. With HDB housing loans, people who can’t afford bank home loans are now given a chance to own their own houses. If you need more information on HDB loan eligibility, you may visit their website.

Meanwhile, if you are in search of a loan with minimal requirements, quick application process, and fast disbursal, opt for A1 Credit licensed moneylender personal loan to fund your home-related expenses.

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