As the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, including in Singapore, many people are being affected physically by the disease, but also financially, amidst the economic uncertainty. 

Some employees are now facing salary reductions from companies which are struggling as a result of COVID-19, and it's clear that the pandemic is already starting to affect the livelihoods of workers. 

One main concern for those affected is refinancing existing loans, given that disposable incomes of some have been reduced for the foreseeable future. 

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If any or all of the above applies to you and your financial situation, there may be some relief available to assist you in this very difficult time.

Certain banks have recently introduced payment relief programmes for employees whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19. This includes assistance in managing loan repayments or deferring repayments over a fixed duration of time.  

Payment relief programmes for COVID-19

If you're in need of assistance with managing your property or home loans due to COVID-19, here are two possible payment relief programmes which may help you get back on track. 

UOB Property Loan Payment Relief Programme

If you have an existing UOB property loan for a residential or commercial property in Singapore, the bank is now offering its UOB Property Loan Payment Relief Programme which offers a 6-month principal repayment deferment period.

In other words, for 6 months from the time of starting the programme, you will need to make payments only for the interest accumulated on your property loan. The principal payments for 6 months will be deferred. 

For a private property loan, your six-month monthly interest-only payment scheme will take effect on the following month if the date of UOB's letter is on or before the 10th of the month.

Example 1

Date of letter: 6 March 2020

Your first interest payment: 1 April 2020

Example 2

Date of letter: 20 March 2020

Your first interest payment: 1 May 2020

On the other hand, if you hold an HDB loan, your six-month monthly interest-only payment scheme will take effect on the following month if the date of UOB's letter is on or before the 15th of the month.

Example 1

Date of letter: 12 March 2020

Your first interest payment: 15 April 2020

Example 2

Date of letter: 20 March 2020

Your first interest payment: 15 May 2020

In order to be eligible for this programme, you'll need to fulfil the following:

  • You are a Singaporean or a hold a PR in Singapore
  • You have an existing UOB property loan for residential or commercial property in Singapore
  • You have a good loan repayment history
  • You are employed in one of the following industries:
    • Aviation
    • Food and Beverage
    • Hospitality
    • Retail
    • Transportation
    • Tourism
  • Your monthly income has been reduced due to COVID-19

However, if you need assistance but don't meet all of the criteria above, you can still reach out to UOB at [email protected] A representative from UOB will get in touch with you within 7 working days to discuss and to review your available options for your property loan. 

DBS Home Loan Payment Relief

If you currently have a home loan with DBS which you're in the process of refinancing, you might qualify for the DBS Home Loan Payment Relief programme which is specifically for workers whose monthly salaries have been reduced because of COVID-19. 

If you belong to an industry impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and are experiencing a decline in your monthly income, DBS would like to help you manage your home loan repayment.

Taking into consideration the financial challenges that you may be facing, the DBS/POSB Home Loan Payment Relief allows you to:

  • Defer repayment of your principal amount for 6 months, which reduces your monthly repayment amount. Over the 6-month period, you will be paying the interest amount only.
  • Re-amortise the principal repayment amount deferred over the remaining loan period. Your monthly repayment amount, after the 6-month period, could be higher. 

The new monthly repayment amount will take effect on the 2nd month after your application is approved.

Example: DBS Home Loan Payment Relief is approved on 20 Feb 2020.

For private property, the new monthly repayment amount will take effect from 1 Apr 2020. For HDB the new monthly repayment amount will take effect from 15 Apr 2020.

Here's what you need to be eligible for this programme: 

  • You must be employed in one of the following industries
    • Food & Beverages
    • Hospitality
    • Retail
    • Tourism (including taxi drivers, aviation, travel agency)
    • Transportation
  • Your monthly income has been reduced due to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • You have a good loan repayment history

However, if you need assistance but don't meet all of the criteria above, you can still reach out to DBS at [email protected] A representative from DBS will get in touch with you to discuss and review your home loan. 

While it's no doubt a difficult time for a lot of employees and employers alike, we hope these relief programmes will be of some help if you're facing a hard time financially. Meanwhile, if you're looking into refinancing options for your home, have a look at our reliable comparison tool at GoBear.

Take care and stay safe! 

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Susanna Lim

Susanna Lim

Susanna is an experienced writer on topics such as personal finance, business and lifestyle. In her spare time, she's into reading and watching random documentaries.

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