Singapore

Frequently Asked Questions (Mortgages and Unsecured)

Extended Credit Support Measures for Individuals (ESS)

Individual
Property Loans
  • A reduced 60% instalment payment plan for property loan borrowers for up to 9 months, but not exceeding 31 Dec 2021, regardless of whether the borrower has previously taken up relief;
  • Option to extend the loan tenure up to a cumulative 3 years (inclusive of any deferred period under SFRP)
Renovation & Student LoansOption to extend the loan tenure up to a cumulative 3 years (inclusive of any deferred period under SFRP)
Personal Unsecured CreditExtension of the SFRP (Unsecured) application window to 30 June 2021

1. What is the Extended Credit Support Measures for Individual all about?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and Finance Houses Association of Singapore (FHAS) announced an extension of support measures to help individuals and SMEs facing cashflow difficulties transition gradually to full loan repayments. These extended measures will progressively expire over 2021.

The payment deferrals (Special Financial Relief program (SFRP) for individuals and SMEs provided by banks and finance companies since April are set to expire by 31 December 2020. While MAS expects borrowers to resume paying their loan instalments in full from 1 January 2021 if they are able to do so, the extension will allow individuals and SMEs who continue to experience cashflow pressures more time to resume repayments.

2. How can credit support measures help me?

Individuals with Singapore residential, commercial and industrial property loans who are unable to resume full loan repayments may apply to their respective lenders to make reduced instalment payments pegged at 60 percent of their monthly instalments, for a period of up to 9 months. Those with renovation and student (Education) loans may apply to extend their loan tenures by up to 3 years (inclusive of any loan deferment period already consumed under SFRP).

To be eligible, individuals should be able to provide proof of income impact (i.e. at least 25% loss of income or loss of employment after 1 Feb 2020) and must not be more than 90 days past due on their loan payments. Applications will be open from 9 November 2020 until 30 June 2021.

Individuals facing difficulties repaying unsecured revolving credit facilities i.e. Preferred Credit likewise have up until 30 June 2021 to convert their outstanding balances to term loans, capped at an 8 percent effective rate for a period of 5 years.

3. Is the ESS only applicable to property loans? What about other scope of loans covered under the transition measures?

The ESS is also extended to:

  • Property Loans
  • Renovation and Student Loans
  • Personal Unsecured Credit

4. Can I put in my application with RHB for ESS now?

Applications will be open from 9 November 2020 until 30 June 2021.

5. I prefer not to wait until 9 November. Can I be on the assisted program now?

The application for the ESS is only open from 9 November 2020 onwards until 30 June 2021. However, if you would like to be part of the assisted program now, you may want to consider the Special Financial Relief Programme (SFRP) for the moment, and contact us again to apply for the ESS from 9 November 2020 onwards. All applications are subject to the bank’s approval.

6. How do I know if I am eligible to apply for ESS?

The ESS is introduced to assist customers with cashflow difficulties regardless of whether they are already on the SFRP. To be eligible, individuals should be able to provide proof of income impact (i.e. at least 25% loss of income or loss of employment after 1 Feb 2020) and must not be more than 90 days past due on their loan payments.

7. I have taken up payment deferments under SFRP and need help with resuming loan repayments, can I apply for ESS?

The payment deferments granted under the Special Financial Relief Programme (SFRP) are due to expire on 31 December 2020.

If you have deferred repayments for your Singapore property, renovation and student loans under the SFRP, and need help with resuming loan repayments, you can consider applying to make reduced payments under the Extended Support Scheme (ESS) if you meet the eligibility criteria.

All applications are subject to the bank’s approval

The ESS measures are as follows:
For Mortgage loans

  • A reduced 60% instalment payment plan for property loan borrowers for up to 9 months, but not exceeding 31 Dec 2021, regardless of whether the borrower has previously taken up relief
  • Option to extend the loan tenure up to a cumulative 3 years (inclusive of any deferred period under SFRP)
  • For Unsecured Loans (Renovation and Study (Education) loans)
  • Option to extend the loan tenure up to a cumulative 3 years (inclusive of any deferred period under SFRP).
  • For Unsecured Preferred Credit Extension of the SFRP (Unsecured) application window to 30 June 2021

8. Do I need to meet TDSR/MSR in order to get a repayment deferment?

No. You do not need to meet TDSR/MSR to be eligible for the repayment deferment. However, the bank will review your credit conduct at the time of application and all applications are subjected to bank’s approval.

9. My monthly income is variable. How is the 25% loss in income computed?

The 25% loss in income is computed based on your income before and after 1 Feb 2020. We could ask you for your payslip, letters from the employers, CPF statements or bank statements to compute this.

10. If I have existing loan arrears and accrued interests on my loan, will I have to repay all these before I apply for the reduced instalment payments?

Ideally, you should repay the loan arrears and accrued interest on your loan prior to incepting the ESS as loan capitalisation comes with a higher interest cost. You should repay as much arrears and accrued interest as you can before opting to capitalize the outstanding amounts into your loan principal.

11. How do I apply for a repayment deferment? Do I need to visit the branch to sign the documents after approval?

The application period is from 9 November 2020 onwards until 30 June 2021 and we do not expect you to visit the Branches. More details on the mechanics of the application by Nov 9, 2020 via our website www.rhbgroup.com.sg.

12. If I apply on 9 November 2020, when will my application be approved?

The actual approval process will differ from customer to customers as well as the volume of applications received. Nevertheless, we will approve your application expeditiously as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

13. Will taking up a repayment deferment affect my credit score?

No, it will not affect your credit score as the deferment will not result in your loan being classified as a restructured loan to the Credit Bureau. Do note that you should make the reduced payments under ESS promptly so that your credit score will not be affected. If you do not make repayments on time, you would incur late payment fees and interest charges.

14. Can I apply for ESS for my overseas property loan?

You can discuss other types of suitable debt restructuring plans for your overseas properties.

15. My loan is already past 90 days due. Can I appeal to be placed on ESS?

You can discuss other types of suitable debt restructuring plans for your loan or approach the Credit Counselling of Singapore for help.

16. If I apply for ESS for my unsecured loans, will it affect my ability to take up new personal line of credit from your bank in future?

If you take up ESS for your unsecured loans, you will need to pay off your unsecured loans under ESS before you can take up new lines of credit from the bank. Note that prevailing rules for unsecured consumer credit including the industry-wide borrowing limit of 12 times monthly income will continue to apply.

17. What will happen if the Covid-19 situation does not improve by 30 June 2021? Will banks and finance companies extend the period of the repayment deferment?

MAS and the financial industry are monitoring the situation closely, and will assess if any additional measures are needed then.