SINGAPORE TECHNOLOGY

This calculator tells you right away if you qualify for a housing loan

New measures set by Monetary Authority of Singapore can be confusing for home buyers. SmartLoans’s new service might solve their woes

By Elaine Huang

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In response to the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) measures introduced by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on June 29, 2013, local loan comparison site SmartLoans.sg has launched a new web product called Loan Affordability Calculator.

TDSR, to put it simply, makes sure that borrowers looking to financial institutions for a loan aren’t “over-leveraged”. This is does by calculating the percentage of the income used for servicing the debt. Currently, it cannot go over 60 per cent – a financial institute cannot allow over it. An official press release noted, “This means your housing loan repayments, after adding all your repayment obligations (student loans, credit card debts, car loans, personal loans, etc.), cannot exceed 60 per cent of your income.”

The newly launched Loan Affordability Calculator aims to help home buyers know within minutes whether they qualify for a loan. At present, potential home buyers have to blaze through a long trail of preparing documents and wait two to four weeks in order to get an ‘In-principle approval’ from banks. Not to forget, the confusion that the new changes have caused among buyers.

Read also: A year in, and short-term rental is still illegal in Singapore

Vinod Nair, CEO, SmartLoans.sg, said, “The SmartLoans Loan Affordability Calculator removes much of the frustration by automatically computing the home buyer’s true home affordability, taking into account all existing MAS regulations. We believe this will help users make smarter financial decisions confidently.”

The calculator has been programmed to adhere to the current TDSR framework and other regulations, and will compute all other costs such as stamp duty and legal or valuation fees.

Access to the calculator costs S$9.99 (US$7.90) for 14 days of unlimited use. Furthermore, users can also download a customised report which explains the effects of the TDSR framework, and other relevant financing regulations on their home buying process.