Personal Finance

How To Check Your HDB Loan Eligibility

December 28, 2022

In Singapore, when buying a HDB flat, you need a valid HDB loan eligibility (HLE) letter. This document serves as official confirmation that you meet HDB’s criteria to get an HDB loan. You cannot purchase or take ownership of a HDB flat without a HLE letter.

The HLE letter is required if you wish to borrow money to purchase a HDB flat. But what does HDB loan eligibility entail?

We’ll discuss HDB loan eligibility requirements, the HLE application process, and everything you need to know about HDB loans.

What Are The Eligibility Conditions?

When it comes to a HDB loan, there are a few considerations you should be aware of.

For instance, acquiring an Option to Purchase (OTP) to buy a resale flat or applying for a new HDB flat or to transfer ownership of a HDB flat all require a valid HLE letter.

If you wish to apply for an HDB concessionary housing loan, you also need the HLE letter.

With a HLE letter, you will know the loan amount you qualify for and your monthly payment. This way, you can avoid taking on a mortgage payment that you won’t be able to afford for very long.

However, you’ll need to these HDB loan eligibility conditions before you’re granted the loan:

Citizenship

At least one buyer must be a Singapore citizen
Household Status

  • Have not taken two or more HDB loans
  • Have taken one HDB loan, and the last owned property is not a private residential property. This includes HDB properties acquired by gift, inheritance, or owned and disposed of through nominees

Income Ceiling

  • For singles, $7,000 average monthly income when buying under the Single Singapore Citizen (SSC) Scheme
  • For a family, $14,000 average monthly income
  • For extended families, $21,000 average monthly income

Ownership

  • Must not have owned or disposed of any property within 30 months of applying for an HDB HLE letter
  • Must not own more than one market/hawker stall* property or commercial*/industrial property
  • If you own a hawker stall/commercial property, you must be operating a business there and must not have any other source of income

Remaining Lease

  • The loan amount you’ll be granted depends on the extent to which the remaining lease of the flat covers the youngest buyer up to 95 years

HLE Letter And Validity Period

You can find out how much money you are eligible to borrow from HDB by looking at your HLE letter. The following will be included:

  • Maximum HDB loan amount you are eligible for
  • Interest rate
  • Repayment period
  • Flat type
  • Flat lease
  • Other terms and conditions

You can determine the maximum amount to spend on the apartment by doing some calculations with regard to your HDB housing loan, CPF, and cash savings.

HDB will evaluate your ability to repay the HDB loan based on these three criteria:

  • Age
  • Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio
  • Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR)
  • Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)

Note that the HDB HLE letter is only valid for six months. If you’re planning to purchase a BTO flat from HDB, you’ll need the HDB HLE letter. That’s before you can reserve a new HDB unit or sign an OTP for a resale unit.

When the estimated completion date of your BTO flat nears, HDB will conduct another eligibility check to ensure you have the financial means to fulfill your housing loan obligations.

Be aware of the date your HLE will no longer be valid. You can apply for a new HLE letter one week before the current one expires.

Credit Assessment Criteria

HDB issues HLE eligibility letters to applicants based on their employment status. This is because it’s impossible to save up for a downpayment on a house if you don’t have a reliable income.

HDB doesn’t consider the following as part of your monthly income sources:

  • Director’s fees
  • Claims/reimbursement/expenses
  • Bonuses
  • Dividend income or interest from deposit accounts
  • Income from ad-hoc overtime work
  • Overseas cost of living allowance
  • National Service allowance
  • Alimony or maintenance fees
  • Occupier’s income
  • Scholarship overseas allowance
  • Rental income
  • Pension

How, Where, And When To Apply For A HDB Housing Loan

Get an HLE letter in advance of purchasing a unit. The card has a validity period of six months, beginning on the day of issuance.
Here are the documents you’ll need.
Employee With CPF Contributions

  • Three months’ worth of recent payslips
  • CPF contribution history of latest 15 months

Employee Without CPF Contributions

  • Most recent six months’ payslips or letter from employer certifying job designation, commencement date, and six months’ salary before the application
  • Report from the Credit Bureau
  • Most recent six months’ passbook/bank statement

Self-Employed Individuals

  • Report from the Credit Bureau
  • Latest six months’ bank statements
  • Annual statement of account that is certified by an auditing firm or the latest notice of assessment from the IRAS

Commission-Based And Part-Time Workers

  • Six months’ worth of payslips or commission statements
  • Most recent six months’ passbook/bank statements
  • CPF history for the latest 15 months
  • Report from the Credit Bureau

Odd Job Workers

  • IRAS Latest Notice of Assessment, or a letter from your employer that certifies job designation, date of commencement, salaries/commission for the latest six months
  • CPF history of the latest 15 months
  • Latest six months’ bank/passbook statements
  • Report from the Credit Bureau

Unemployed

  • Proof of income for preceding months from last employer showing your monthly income and last work day
  • CPF history of last 15 months

Send In Your Application Online

Once you have prepared your documents, log in to the HDB portal to submit your application. HDB will only review applications with accurate and complete documents.

It will take up to 14 days to receive feedback from the HDB on your application status. You can check the status of your HLE letter by logging in to the HDB portal with your NRIC and HLE reference number.

Factors That Determine How Much Housing Loan You Can Get

Lenders consider several criteria before approving a HDB loan so that Singaporeans do not end up carrying too much debt.

Your age, as well as the LTV ratio, MSR, and TDSR determine the maximum HDB loan you can qualify for.

Age

The older you are, the lower the loan amount you can qualify for. This is because you’re closer to retirement age.

Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR)

The MSR refers to the proportion of your monthly take-home that you use to pay for mortgage costs. The monthly payment on your HDB or EC loans cannot exceed 30% of your gross income.
MSR = Monthly Mortgage Repayments / Gross Monthly Income

Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)

The proportion of your monthly gross income that goes toward paying off all of your monthly debt obligations is measured by the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR).

Extra debts such as car payments or credit card payments can lower your TDSR. The amount of debt that you have should not exceed 55% of your monthly income. There’s also an income ceiling to qualify for an HDB loan with regard to this ratio.
TDSR = All Monthly Debt Repayments / Gross Monthly Income

Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio

The LTV ratio (LTV = Loan amount / The Property’s Purchase Price) is the maximum loan amount you can be given for a property. The maximum LTV for a HDB loan is currently 80%.

The remaining 20% is the downpayment which you can finance with CPF, cash or a combination of both.

For instance, if the price of the home you want to acquire is $800,000, the maximum loan amount you will get is $640,000. The remaining $160,000 is the downpayment.

A bank will also consider the total amount you owe to determine your HDB housing loan eligibility. This includes any other mortgages and any other loans you may have. You’ll need to disclose your current debt load to the lender so it can adjust the maximum loan amount.

Lenders will consider not just your credit history, but also the remaining lease term. That also includes your age and the loan term.

Can You Use Your CPF?

Your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) can be used to purchase most types of housing in Singapore, including HDB flats, private housing, and resale and new flats. You should know when and how to access your CPF funds.

Your CPF savings can be used for paying for a new flat, or taking ownership of an existing flat.

The maximum amount you can use in your CPF depends on:

  • The extent to which the remaining lease of the flat covers the youngest buyer up to 95 years
  • The CPF housing loan limit for new flats and resale flats

You can use your CPF savings to pay for:

  • Your downpayment
  • Stamp fees
  • Registration fees
  • Legal fees
  • Premiums for the CPF Home Protection Insurance (if applicable)

Get Your Documents Ready For Your HLE Letter

To obtain a HDB housing loan, you need to apply for a HLE letter on the HDB portal.

Your application will be reviewed within 14 days after receiving all required materials. The HDB website allows you to track the progression of your application for a HLE letter.

If you don’t quite meet the requirements for HDB loan eligibility, visit GS Credit.

We are a reputable licensed money lender in Singapore, offering some of the most affordable interest rates and no hidden fees.

Call us now or apply for a loan today.

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