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Bank Loan Trend 2018

Types of Home Loan Packages offered by Banks

Fixed Rates Packages:

Currently banks are offering fixed rates for first 2 to 3 years, thereafter floating rate takes over. Banks are obligated to keep the fixed rates unchanged. Fixed rates are slightly higher as compared to floating rates. They are most favoured in a rising interest rate environment.

Floating Rates Packages (pegged to):

SIBOR: Banks are offering 1 month SIBOR and 3 month SIBOR packages. Individual banks have no control over SIBOR. Expect your monthly instalment to fluctuate on every review. Currently offered by Citibank, HSBC, Stanchart, CIMB, OCBC and UOB.

Mortgage Board Rates: These rates are internal to individual banks. Banks justify the increase to their board rates when market rates like SIBOR increases. Frequency of adjustment is at banks' discretion. Currently offered by OCBC, UOB, Maybank, RHB and Hong Leong Finance.

SGD Fixed Deposit Board Rates: These packages are often misundertood as fixed rates packages.  Frequency of adjustment is at individual banks' discretion, similar to Mortgage Board Rates. Fixed Deposit Board Rates can be referenced from banks' websites. Currently offered by DBS, Stanchart and HSBC.

Learn more about the differences.

Bank Loan Features

Lock-in/ Commitment Period:

Nowadays, most loan packages come with a lock-in period of 2 to 3 years. This means that during the lock-in period, banks will charge a penalty fee if you make partial or full redemption of outstanding loan. 

Legal Subsidy / Cash Rebates:

Banks may include legal subsidies / cash rebate in their loan packages, depending on the loan amount. Not applicable for purchase of residential properties. All subsidies/ cash rebates are subject to 3-year clawback period. 

Onetime Free Conversion:

Onetime free conversion allows you to convert your loan package with existing bank at no cost during a specified period stated in the loan contract. This is most commonly found in loan packages meant for properties under construction.

Penalty Waiver for Partial Prepayment:

There are some banks offering loan packages that allow penalty to be waived for partial prepayment up to a specified limit during lock-in period.

Penalty Waiver for Property Sale:

This is an added feature offered by some packages, to give flexibility to borrowers who may be selling their properties during lock-in period.

Interest Offset:

Interest offset feature allows borrowers to link their housing loan servicing account to their deposit account, such that the funds in the deposit account are earning deposit rate ranging from 50% to 70% of housing loan rate. Interests earned are used to offset housing instalment to reduce principal faster. This feature is only offered by HSBC, Stanchart and Citibank.

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