Homeownership is an increasingly feasible goal for many Singaporeans because they can use their CPF savings to pay for housing.
The CPF was designed to cater to retirement, healthcare, education, and housing needs, but despite the ongoing economic changes, without housing, all other needs are compromised.
So many Singaporeans are now drawing from their CPF savings to pay off their mortgage loans, mainly through monthly installments.
But just as is the case when paying the installments from your income, different situations may arise that may necessitate you to adjust the amounts you’re drawing from your CPF account.
In this article, we discuss how to adjust your CPF payment for your housing loan, and the reasons that would require an adjustment of your CPF payments.
Read on to see how to adjust your CPF payment for your housing loan, and how that would make your home purchase process easier.
Before we delve into how to use your CPF to pay monthly installments, do note that the law allows you to use your CPF savings to purchase a HDB flat, a residential home, or to build your residential property from the ground up.
You could also draw from your CPF savings when making a downpayment for a housing loan, so long as you’re acquiring it for residential use.
The money can also cover stamp and legal fees, as well as Home Protection Scheme premiums for those looking to purchase HDB flats.
To start using your CPF savings to make the monthly installments for your home loan, you need to make an online application.
The application process varies depending on the type of property you are looking to own and the type of loan you are repaying.
a) Paying for a HDB flat using an HDB loan
For this type, there are two options.
i. Apply directly through the HDB website.
It takes three business days to receive the status of your request from HDB.
ii. Fill out a CPF withdrawal form at a HDB branch. The branches only attend to persons who have booked an appointment.
iii. Place your appointment on the e-appointment system.
After submitting your completed application, expect to hear from HDB within three to five working days.
Note that in either of these cases that you must be insured under the Home Protection Scheme to be able to draw from your CPF savings.
b) Paying for a HDB flat using a bank loan
To request this, you must make an online application using your Singpass to log in to your profile. You must have been insured under the Home Protection Scheme.
Ensure that you make your application more than five working days before the installment payment date.
c) Paying for private property with a bank loan
Begin your application by inputting your details in the eService online application.
d) Paying for a private property without a loan
For this application, you will need to contact a lawyer who will fill and submit the application on your behalf.
Authorise the lawyer by signing the Letter of Authorisation, Declaration, Contract, and Agreement. But even so, there are conditions for releasing your CPF savings. They include:
Many people feel stranded, and others get flagged for bad credit because they don’t know that it’s possible or don’t know how to adjust their CPF payment for a housing loan.
But the process of adjusting your monthly CPF deductions for your home loan is fairly straightforward. Here are the steps to take:
Visit the CPF website and on the upper right side of the interface, choose to log in.
Use your Singpass to gain access, either using your mobile phone to scan the QR code or inputting your Singpass password.
After your successful login, the system will direct you to your portal.
Check the left side of your screen and click on my CPF, and then on Home Ownership.
A new page will pop up, and on it, input your property address.
At the bottom of that page, find Monthly CPF Deduction and click on it.
If you’re purchasing a HDB unit, a prompt will direct you to the HDB website, and you can make the adjustments there.
If you’re buying a private residence, more on-screen prompts will follow, and you will be directed on what to do to make the changes.
After making the needed adjustments, click Confirm and then Submit.
But don’t do so before reading the terms and conditions indicated there.
You may also want to print a copy of the transaction for record-keeping, which may prove useful in the future.
The following factors may have driven your decision to adjust your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) deductions:
You Are Getting Older
From age 35 onwards, the contributions to your CPF account are reduced, and the portion of money deducted is directed to your MediSave Account and your Special Account.
This may result in your CPF account not having enough funds to cover your monthly housing loan installments.
So it’s prudent for you to lower the CPF deductions and pay the shortfall in cash. Otherwise, you may fail to make the deposits on time and have to pay late fees or other overdue charges.
You Want To Preserve Your CPF Savings
You may also want to save more of your CPF savings to use later for retirement, healthcare, or any other use.
The government already recognises the need to have a retirement cushion. When you turn 55 years old, your Special Account and Ordinary Account are merged to form your Retirement Account.
The funds are then channelled from the Retirement Account into CPF LIFE, the national annuity scheme that provides senior citizens with a lifelong income while in retirement.
But your CPF LIFE payouts are directly influenced by the amount you had in your Retirement Account.
So to ensure that you have a substantial amount, you may want to reduce the amounts withdrawn from your CPF OA every month.
The more you receive in your old age, the more comfortable you will be.
You Have Exhausted Your CPF Savings
You may find yourself in a situation where the deductions to pay your loans have completely depleted your CPF OA.
When this happens, you would still have to make your monthly installments, albeit directly from your income, in cash.
But it’s essential to address the issue early by knowing how to adjust your CPF payment for a housing loan, rather than waiting for the system to flag you.
So ensure that you check your CPF balance regularly, and if the savings are wiped out, address the situation fast.
One thing to note is that legal representation is crucial in the entire CPF mortgage payment process.
You will not only need it when purchasing a private residence, but also for your HDB loan repayment in order to make the HDB monthly installments.
This being a legally binding process, you need legal representation, and the counsel will make the application on your behalf.
It is the lawyer who will apply to the CPF Board and request access to your CPF funds.
This process of using a third party to transact is called conveyancing. It is a professional service whose costs add to your purchasing costs.
So just like other costs, you must work to keep the conveyancing cost as low as possible by shopping around for various legal firms and comparing their quotes to see how much it will cost you.
You may also use HBD’s conveyancing fees as a guide.
If you’re looking to pay a HDB loan using CPF, you may want to hire HDB to represent you through the legal forms it appoints.
But if that’s not for you, you may still opt to hire your counsel.
Note that if you’re buying a private residential property, the HDB cannot help you.
You would need to hire a conveyancing lawyer, which you should do even before you submit your mortgage application.
Your CPF savings account can make purchasing your home an easier process, and circumstances may require you to know how to adjust CPF payments for housing loans.
It becomes imperative to make the adjustments early because the quality of your life in retirement will depend on what’s left of your CPF savings, among other factors.
For this reason, even before you apply to use your CPF savings to pay your housing loan, you need to have sought a loan with reasonable terms, one that won’t sap your savings.
Katong Credit offers housing loans that you can repay without strain so you still have something in your CPF OA to keep you comfortable during your retirement.
Contact Katong Credit via its website.
Visit us at 304 Orchard Rd #02-30/31 Lucky Plaza, Singapore 238863. You can also call +65 6291 2210 for more information or to book an appointment.
Or apply for a loan with us now – it just takes minutes.