“I have issues paying my mortgage.”

 

If you are facing problems paying your mortgage, check if you are out of the lock-in period for your loan. If you are able to, consider refinancing or repricing your mortgage to lower your interest costs, which will bring down your monthly instalment.

 

Tip

Refinancing means switching from your existing home loan to a new lender with lower interest rates. Repricing (or conversion) means refinancing at your current bank.

 

Note: HDB flat buyers are not allowed to refinance their existing bank loan with an HDB loan.

Take note of these tips when refinancing or repricing your mortgage loan

Shop around for the best deal. Make sure you understand the implications of choosing between fixed and floating rates. Learn more about the key things to note about borrowing here :

 


  

Ask your current bank whether:

 

  • you will incur a penalty fee for terminating your current housing loan package;

  • you can convert the loan to one which is more attractively priced, and the fees and charges involved;

  • there will be a lock-in period for the new housing loan package and if so, what is the length of the lock-in period, and fees and charges involved.

When considering a re-financing package, ask the bank to work out the figures to show you how the new loan will be cheaper for you.

In particular, look out for and compare:

 

  • The total sum of interest that will be payable

  • The advertised rates and Effective Interest Rate (EIR)

If you are unable to meet your monthly mortgage instalments

From 9 Nov 2020 till 30 September 2021, you may apply to reduce your monthly instalments temporarily and extend your loan tenure. For the period you are not making payment, you will be charged interest only on the principal amount, and not on the interest due. Check with your lender for details.

 

Note

Payment deferments and reduced instalment plans are a last resort to provide temporary cashflow relief. This is because you will be paying more in interest when you take longer to clear your loan.

Resume mortgage payments as soon as your financial situation allows.

 

Example:

   
 

If you really have to take a loan…

Before you take a personal loan, consider alternatives such as financial assistance schemes offered by various government agencies or social service agencies.

 

If you really have to take a loan, take note of these tips:

 

  • Borrow only what you need and are able to repay. Understand the details of the payment plan (e.g. how much interest you need to pay and how long it will take to clear the loan). Be mindful that if you cannot meet the contractual terms of the loan, it may result in more interest and fees, which will lead to further financial strain.

  • Do not take up loan offers through SMS or messaging apps like WhatsApp. They are either scams or unlicensed moneylenders – licensed moneylenders are not allowed to make any cold calls or send any unsolicited text messages to advertise their services. Refer to the Ministry of Law’s website  for a list of licensed moneylenders.

Tip

Use our calculator to estimate your monthly repayments and how long it will take to clear your debt.

Note

There are other avenues to get help beyond the relief schemes and payouts that the Government has announced.

 

The Courage Fund has a scheme for lower-income households affected by COVID-19. (Apply here). You may approach a social service office near you.

 

You can check out the full list of government payouts that you are eligible for here.

 

Seek help for debt matters early if you feel overwhelmed

Do not borrow from other sources to pay off your debt without first comparing the interest charges and fees.

 

Discuss your options with your lender(s) early to find out if there is any form of assistance that may be useful to ease your financial difficulties.

 

Approach Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) for assistance with restructuring your loans. CCS assists individuals to address their unsecured debts problems (e.g. debts from banks, credit card companies, and licensed moneylenders).

 

You can contact CCS via the following modes:

 

A Debt Consolidation Plan could be an option if your unsecured debt is more than 12 times your monthly income, among other criteria.

 

 

You can check out the full list of government payouts that you are eligible for here.

 

 

Find out more

 

DOWNLOAD:

 

Tips on budgeting during COVID-19

 

Managing debt during COVID-19

 

 

BACK TO "FINANCIAL RESILIENCE" HOME PAGE

 

OTHER ARTICLES IN OUR "FINANCIAL RESILIENCE" SERIES:

 

“My finances have taken a hit. How should I manage?”

 

“I want to know how to prioritise and manage my debt.”

 

“I have problems paying my insurance premiums.”

 

“My income has been affected because of COVID-19. What financial support is there for me?”

 

“Where should I go to look for a job or upskill myself?”

 

“Should I invest now?”

 

“How do I protect myself from scams?”

Nearly there...

Please verify that you are not a robot.