The new HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter replaced the HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter from 9 May, 2023. The HFE letter streamlines various HDB flat purchase steps that such as eligibility assessments and housing grants. With the change, flat buyers can know upfront their eligibility for a new or resale flat purchase.
Flat buyers can also find upfront their CPF Housing Grants, HDB housing loan, and the respective grant and loan amounts.
How Is The HFE Different From The HLE
The HDB previously assessed flat buyers’ eligibility for flat purchases, CPF housing grants, and HDB housing loans at different stages of the home-buying journey.
Assess Eligibility for:
|1. Flat Purchase||2. Housing Grants||3. HDB Housing Loan|
|New flat||At flat application||At flat booking||At HLE letter application (before booking a flat)|
|Resale flat||At flat application||At flat application||At HLE letter application (before obtaining an Option to Purchase)|
With the HFE letter, the flat buying process is streamlined as the different eligibility assessments for HDB flat purchases, housing grants, and HDB housing loans are in a single application through the HDB Flat Portal.
Prior to the rollout of the HFE, flat buyers must provide relevant supporting documents to HDB for verification at each assessment. This may lead to some uncertainty among flat buyers on their housing budget, especially when they apply for a purchase and their eligibility for the housing grants and flat purchase have yet been confirmed.
How Will This Benefit Applicants
Flat buyers will be able to experience more certainty and convenience when applying to buy a flat, in terms of greater clarity at the start on their housing budget and financing options.
Flat buyers need to have a valid HFE when applying for a flat from HDB during a sales launch or open booking of flats or when they obtain an Option to Purchase (OTP) from a flat seller, and when they submit a resale application to HDB.
How To Apply For An HFE Letter
Flat buyers need to take a few steps to apply for the HFE letter, which must be completed within 30 calendar days.
Preliminary HFE Check
- Log in to the HDB Flat Portal using your Singpass to retrieve your particulars and declare information, including household income and ownership of private properties.
- HDB will provide applicants with an instant preliminary outcome, which gives you a quick overview of your household’s eligibility to purchase a flat, receive CPF housing grants and take up an HDB housing loan.
- If you have a firm intent to buy a flat, you may proceed to the next step to apply for an HFE letter.
- Note that you can apply for the HFE letter immediately or within 30 calendar days.
Apply for an HFE letter
- To apply for the letter, all applicants need to log in to the HDB Flat Portal using your Singpass to retrieve your particulars to fill up the application.
- You will be guided to upload the supporting documents
- You will receive the HFE letter informing you of your eligibility to purchase a new or resale flat, as well as the CPF housing grants amount and HDB housing loan you are eligible for. (This will be notified within 21 working days of HDB’s receipt of the completed application).
- When the HFE is ready, applicants will be notified via SMS to log in to HDB Flat Portal.
- The HFE letter is valid for six months from the date of issue.
Image Credit: HDB
What Should I Do If I Want To Buy A New Flat During May 2023 Sales Launch
For applicants in this category, you will need to complete the Preliminary HFE Check portion as written above and obtain a preliminary HFE assessment before you can submit a new flat application.
Within 30 calendar days of starting the Preliminary HFE check, you will need to apply for an HFE letter and submit the required information to HDB. If you are shortlisted to book a flat, you must have a valid HFE letter before you book a flat.
For flat buyers gunning for the August 2023 sales launch and new flat buyers looking at future open booking of flats, you must have a valid HFE letter before submitting a new flat application.
How About If You Plan To Buy A Resale Flat
Flat buyers must have a valid HFE letter before you obtain an OTP from a flat seller, and when you submit your resale application to HDB.
If You Are Thinking Of Taking A Loan From A Financial Institution
You should concurrently obtain an indicative loan assessment when you apply for an HFE letter, by requesting an In-Principal Approval (IPA) from the participating Financial Institutions (FIs). The FIs will inform you of the outcome of your IPA application.
This will provide you with an indicative assessment of your eligibility for a housing loan from the FI.
Additional Information About The HFE
If you wish to make any changes, such as changes in household members, you must submit a fresh application for an HFE letter. This is on the condition that you have not used the earlier HFE letter to apply for a new flat or obtain an OTP from a resale flat seller.
Eligible first-timer couples who are full-time students or National Servicemen, or have completed their studies or National Service in the last 12 months before their flat application may qualify to defer the income assessment for an HDB housing loan and the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant till about 3 months before keys collection.
Featured Image Credit: HDB
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