Navigating the Mortgage Application Process

After looking around, you have finally found your dream house, but you are unsure if you are able to afford it. Hence, you start thinking about the mortgage application process on how to finance your house.

Where do you start?

It may be confusing if you are a first timer but fret not, we have you covered with a simple guide on the mortgage application process!

Mortgage Application Process (HDB Loan)

As the process for hdb loans and bank loans differ, we will first look at hdb loans.

Step 1: Complete Preliminary Housing Flat Eligibility (HFE) Check

Firstly, login to the HDB Flat Portal using your Singpass. You will then have to:

1) provide personal information (including employment details and income) of all flat applicants and occupiers

2) declare any interest in local &/or overseas private property

3) specify that you wish to apply for a housing loan and declare any monthly financial obligations.

You will get an immediate preliminary result that provides you with an overview of your eligibility for an HDB housing loan.

Step 2: Check that you have met the credit assessment criteria

Flat applicants have to meet the credit assessment criteria on top of fulfilling the eligibility conditions. HDB loan applicants must be:

1) working when applying for the HFE letter

2) have stable work and regular income.

For those who do not have monthly CPF contributions, there is an additional criteria: having good credit standing.

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Step 3: Apply for an HFE letter

You will need to apply for an HFE letter within 30 calendar days of starting step 1.

Firstly, confirm your eligibility for an HDB housing loan and opt for it. The various loan scenarios that you are eligible for will be presented. Next, provide all required information and review before submitting your application. The processing time is 21 working days or longer during peak seasons so make sure you apply for it early! The HFE letter will tell you how much you can borrow through the HDB housing loan and it is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

Step 4: Buying your dream house

Book your BTO flat after receiving your successful ballot results or obtain the option to purchase from sellers and submit your resale flat application for resale flats. Once you have confirmed your home purchase, the HDB loan will be disbursed at key collection.

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Mortgage Application Process (Bank Loan)

Next, we will look at the mortgage application process for bank loans. If you are buying a HDB flat, you can apply for bank loans through the integrated loan application service on the HDB Flat Portal. However, do note that the current participating Financial Institutions (FIs) are DBS, Hong Leong Finance, Maybank, OCBC, Sing Investments & Finance and UOB.

Step 1: Complete Preliminary Housing Flat Eligibility (HFE) Check

You may refer to the earlier section for the details of how to do so.

Step 2: Apply for an HFE letter

When you apply for an HFE letter, you will be able to know more about the considerations in opting for a housing loan from FIs. You can compare the various loan packages with the HDB loans and apply for an In-Principle Approval (IPA) from your preferred FI(s). The IPA will tell you the housing loan amount you are eligible for and the outcome will be made known to you directly by the FIs. It is separate from the HFE letter outcome.

Step 3: Buying your dream house

You can apply for a Letter of Offer (LO) from the FIs to confirm the housing loan offer after booking your BTO flat or receiving the outcome of your Request for Value for resale flats. The FIs will notify you of the outcome of your LO applications. Do note that you should only accept 1 LO.

For housing loans made with an FI, you will need a solicitor as part of your mortgage application process. The process varies depending on whether you engage your own solicitor or HDB’s legal services. If you engage private solicitors, you will need to submit a letter from your solicitors to HDB. If you would like to engage HDB’s legal services instead, you are required to submit a signed Warrant to Act. However, do note that if your FI requires a personal guarantee to secure the housing loan, you cannot engage HDB’s legal services.

With the various legal requirements, why would you want to go through the hassle of engaging legal services yourself? Make home financing a breeze when you engage our mortgage advisors!

If you are buying private housing, you can only opt for bank loans. You will need to apply for the housing loan with the bank directly. In general, you will need to submit an application form at the branch (in-person) or digitally with the required documents. Thereafter, you will need to wait for a bank officer to be assigned to attend and follow up on the application with you.

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Common Documentation Requirements

For the application of HDB loans or bank loans through the integrated loan application service, you can use MyInfo to retrieve your CPF contribution history over the past 15 months and your latest Notice of Assessment from IRAS. Note that eligible first-timer couples who are full-time students or NSmen or have completed their studies or NS in the last 12 months before applying for their flat may be eligible to delay the income assessment till about 3 months before keys collection for HDB loans.

For application of housing loans from banks directly, the documents required may differ from bank to bank. Here is a non-exhaustive list of documents you will need to submit:

  • Copy of your NRIC/passport
  • Option to purchase
  • Latest 3 months’ pay slip
  • Latest Notice of Assessment
  • Past 12 months’ of CPF Contribution History
  • CPF Withdrawal Statement for existing property

Depending on differing bank policies, certain documents may not be sufficient to apply for your ideal loan amount depending on your profile. If anything falls through, you will need to restart the above process with another bank. And the cycle repeats, resulting in time delay, effort and potentially loss of opportunity, if the application has further hiccups.

Speak with our mortgage advisors to receive professional and independent advice personalized to your profile and property portfolio. Most importantly, with our mortgage advisor assisting on your mortgage application, you can be assured that it will be a smooth and hassle-free process.

Sandy Lim
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