Are you thinking of buying a HDB flat?
HDB loans are an affordable way to buy your dream home. With downpayments as low as 20% and the option to use your CPF, you can save thousands of dollars on your purchase.
But first, you have to ensure you meet the HDB loan eligibility criteria.
Read the article below to check what those eligibility conditions are, as well as the credit assessment criteria, maximum sums, and more.
We’ll also explain the step-by-step process of applying for a HDB housing loan.
HDB loan eligibility conditions for a housing loan comprise:
- If you are the sole applicant, you must be a Singapore citizen.
- If you are applying with your spouse or a group of friends, at least one buyer must be a Singaporean.
Your HDB loan eligibility depends on your household status as follows:
- The maximum number of HDB loans you can have is one.
- If you have taken another housing loan before, that must not have been for residential property in Singapore or abroad.
Your buyer profile matters too:
- If you are 55 years old or above: You must not apply for a short-lease two-room Flexi Flat or Community Care Apartment
- If you are single: You must be at least 35 years old and purchase –
- A two-room Flexi flat with a 99-year lease in non-mature estates
- A HDB resale flat with five rooms or smaller
Your household’s monthly income also dictates your eligibility for home loans. The various caps are:
- $7,000: Singles
- $14,000: Families
- $21,000: Extended families
The HDB loan eligibility criteria state that the applicants and essential occupiers must not:
- Own or have an interest in any private residential property in Singapore or abroad
- Have owned and disposed of such property during the past 30 months before applying for the HDB loan
- Own more than one hawker/market stall or commercial/ industrial property. If you do have one such property, it should be your place of business and your sole income source.
Home Loan Eligibility For Second HDB Housing Loan
Things get even trickier if you are looking at a second HDB housing loan.
First, note that the maximum HDB loan amount you can get is lower because you will have to do a full CPF refund and return some of the cash proceeds after selling your previous HDB flat.
That said, your HDB loan eligibility criteria depends on whether you have:
- Sold your previous HDB apartment: You need at least 50% of the cash proceeds from this sale, and you can keep a maximum of $20,000 in your CPF Ordinary Account (OA).
- Not sold your previous HDB apartment yet: You will get a HDB loan with a commercial interest rate for your next flat. You will benefit from the concessionary rate only after selling your apartment, using the CPF refund and up to half of the cash proceeds as a downpayment for this new housing loan.
Credit Assessment Criteria
Your HDB loan eligibility does not end with the conditions outlined above. You will also have to undergo the credit assessment criteria below:
If you have income, monthly CPF contributions, and a:
- Fixed basic salary: You must be in continuous employment for the past three months.
- Variable basic salary: You must be in continuous employment for the past six months.
If you have income but no monthly CPF contributions, you need:
- Continuous employment or trade for at least six months
- Good credit standing
- Consistent positive cashflow
Unsure whether you meet these conditions? Read the section below.
HLE Letter And Validity Period
After checking these HDB housing loan eligibility by yourself, you must apply for an HDB loan eligibility (HLE) letter. This document is the official confirmation from the HDB that you, indeed, meet all the criteria to get an HDB loan.
Remember: You cannot purchase or otherwise take ownership of a HDB flat without the HLE letter.
Also note: The HLE letter is valid for just six months after being issued. If you have not used this letter to purchase a flat yet, you may apply for a new one the week before it expires.
How, Where And When To Apply For A HDB Housing Loan
The first step is applying for your HLE eligibility letter and awaiting confirmation.
To apply for an HLE letter, you will need:
- Your Singpass
- Income and supportive documents:
- Employed with monthly CPF contributions: Three months’ payslips for fixed income; six months’ payslips for variable income; 15 months’ CPF statements
- Employed without monthly CPF contributions: Six months’ payslips or letter from your employer; Credit Bureau report; latest six months’ bank statements
- Self-employed: Last Notice of Assessment from IRAS or Certified Annual Statement of Accounts from an audit firm; Credit Bureau Report; latest six months bank statements/passbook
- Commission-based/ part-time/ odd job workers: Six months’ commission statements/ payslips; latest 15 months’ CPF contribution history; Credit Bureau report; latest six months bank statements/passbook
- Unemployed full-time students: Student Pass or letter from the education institution
- Unemployed for over three months: Income proof for the preceding month(s) from the previous employer; latest 15 months’ CPF contribution history
Note: The documents above refer to applicants, but occupiers should prepare similar paperwork to submit the HLE letter.
After getting the documents in order, you can apply on the HDB website here. All you have to do is use your Singpass and upload the paperwork.
HDB will then review your application. You can check your application status on MyHDBPage, but you will also receive a text message from HDB within 14 days once they approve your letter.
Next, wait for HDB to get in touch, and you will finalise your loan details.
Factors That Determine How Much Housing Loan You Can Get
The variables determining the income ceiling for HDB loans are:
- The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio: The maximum loan amount is up to 80% of your property’s value as of 30 Sep 2022.
- The Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR): The total amount of your mortgage installments (including this one) cannot represent more than 30% of your monthly income. The MSR limit is valid only for HDB apartments and executive condos (ECs).
- The Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR): The total amount of all your loan installments (including this one) cannot represent more than 55% of your gross monthly income.
- The remaining lease of the flat: This period should be over 20 years and cover the youngest buyer to the age of:
- 95 years or more
- HDB resale loan: Up to 80% of the resale price or value (whichever is lowest)
- HDB new flat loan: Up to 80% of the buying price
- Less than 95 years:
- A lower loan limit pro-rated from 80%
- 95 years or more
Warning: The tenure you are eligible for influences the monthly installments and, therefore, the MSR and TDSR limits outlined above. The loan period is capped at the shortest of:
- 25 years
- 65 years minus the average buyers’ age
- Remaining lease at the point of flat application minus 20 years
Can You Use Your CPF?
Yes, you can use your CPF for the:
- Stamp fee
- Registration fee
- Legal charges
- Premium for the CPF Home Protection Insurance
You can also use your CPF account to disburse the required downpayment and even HDB loan installments.
However, this amount depends on two factors:
- The period of the remaining lease between the youngest buyer to the age of 95 years
- Specific limits for new and resale HDB loans
After using your CPF OA, you will have to pay for these things using cash.
Remember: You have the option to keep a maximum of $20,000 of your available savings in your CPF OA.
Your New Home Awaits
Once you have tackled all this paperwork and completed the purchase, it will be time to collect your keys and move into your dream home.
However, you may soon find out that this home needs improvements.
From sanitary renovations to building a baby room, purchasing functional furniture, or helping with your installments, Lending Bee is by your side.
Our years of experience on the market allow us to craft customised loan packages for every one of our customers.
After buying that HDB apartment, we will become part of the family that helps you turn it into a real home.
About Ashley Sim
Calling herself a “professional multi-tasker”, Ashley worked as a relationship manager in a bank for five years. She left her job just before the pandemic happened and became a freelance writer for about a year. Now, she’s making the most of her love for writing and knowledge of the banking and financial industry in her role as a content marketing lead. She hopes to help people make better financial decisions through her content and campaigns.