The Ultimate Refinancing Checklist: Key Documents To Prepare, Fine Print to Read and More

Home loan refinancing made easy with this checklist from PropertyGuru

If you’re thinking about refinancing your home loan, chances are that you’re not quite sure where to begin or what to expect during the refinancing process. Or maybe you’re wondering whether refinancing is even worth the time and effort. 

 

Singapore home loan refinancing checklist 

If some of these questions have come to mind, then you’re at the right place. Learn all about home loan refinancing with this step-by-step refinancing checklist. 

 

1. Check that your lock-in period is over. 

Most home loans come with a lock-in period. In other words, once you accept the home loan, you’ll be ‘locked-in’ and won’t have the option to switch to a better rate. So, if you’d like to refinance, the first thing to do is to check whether your lock-in period has already expired

If your lock-in period has passed, you can move on to the next step in this checklist. If it hasn’t, make a note of the expiration date and only consider refinancing after the lock-in period to avoid penalty fees.

 

2. Do the math and make sure refinancing will save you money. 

Refinancing makes sense only if you’re getting a lower interest rate and saving more money over the entire course of the home loan. 

For example, you could adjust the duration of your home loan by extending your loan term. While this would reduce your monthly payment in the short-term, it could lead to you paying more interest over the duration of the entire loan

Not sure whether refinancing is the right decision? Use PropertyGuru’s home loan refinancing calculator to estimate how much you could save by refinancing. 

 

3. Don't forget to factor in refinancing costs.

Refinancing comes with costs like the legal fee and valuation fee, which can add up to S$3,000. The good news is that these costs are usually subsidised by the bank. However, if your bank won’t cover these refinancing costs, you’ll need to pay for them upfront. Better make sure you can afford it before you commit to refinancing. 

 

4. Read the fine print, and then read it again. 

Just like every other financial product, home loans also come with fine print. 

For example, your current home loan might come with a 3-year clawback clause stating that if you refinance during the clawback period, you will need to pay back any subsidies the bank previously gave you. This clawback period is separate from the lock-in period, so even if you are no longer under the lock-in period, the clawback provision might still be active. It's wise to double-check. 

You’ll also want to look out for the undisbursed loan amount. Did you know that 15% of the loan amount is held back from the developer until a Title Deed is issued for the property? If you decide to refinance before the bank has paid the developer in full, you’ll need to pay 15% towards the undisbursed loan. In addition, the undisbursed loan comes with a 0.75% to 1.5% cancellation fee.

Apart from fees highlighted in the fine print, be sure to check whether you qualify for cashback or any valuation subsidies.

If the mortgage jargon is boggling you, read this article: Housing Loans Guide: "Chim" Mortgage Jargon, Compiled and Explained for Beginners

 

5. Do your research and compare home loan packages.

You wouldn’t buy the first apartment you view, so why should refinance packages be any different? Shop around and compare your options to make sure you’re getting the most suitable package for your home financing needs. 

To save you time, you can use PropertyGuru's refinance comparison toolAs a general rule of thumb, the process of refinancing can take up to 5 months. This gives you 3 to 4 months (prior to the expiration of your lock-in period) to do your research and find the best home loan package.

If you prefer more guidance on picking the best package for you, PropertyGuru Finance also offers free advice via our Home Finance Advisors

 

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Want to save more on your existing mortgage? Compare the best home loan rates in town or check out PropertyGuru Finance for more personalised advice and recommendations:

 

6. Prepare all the required documents for refinancing. 

The entire process of refinancing is now digital. The moment you apply for a home loan package online, you’ll be expected to submit documents before your application can be processed. 

To be approved for refinancing, you’ll need to show financial stability. Some of the documents you’ll need to submit as part of your application will include IRAS tax returns and a CPF contribution statement.

Here is a more detailed list of the documents you’ll need for your refinance application, and how to extract them. 

 

Documents to prepare when refinancing your home loan

Refinancing Documents To Refinance Your Home Loan

1. HDB flat information (for HDB flat owners only)

To refinance your HDB flat, you will need information about the flat as well as your current financial situation. The flat information includes details of when you purchased your HDB, the purchase price and your flat’s occupiers. The financial information contains information about your account balance on your mortgage loan, whether that’s from HDB or from another financial institution.

To access this information: 

  • Login to MyHDBPage via SingPass
  • Select ‘My Flat’ on the menu 
  • Choose ‘Purchased Flat’ 
  • Click ‘Financial Info’ and ‘Flat Details’ to download a copy

MyHDBPage’s Purchase Flat Segment To Download ‘Flat Details’ And ‘Financial Info’

2. IRAS My Property Tax information

When you refinance your home loan, the financial institution will want to know whether the property is owner occupied for the purpose of TDSR exemption. If the property is occupied by the owner, TDSR requirements become less stringent. That’s why you need to download the information from your IRAS MyTax portal as one of the documents for submission to the financial institution. 

To download the My Property Tax Page:

  • Login into the IRAS MyTax portal 
  • Select the ‘Property’ tab 
  • Click ‘View Property Portfolio’
  • View and download the details of your property portfolio

IRAS MyTax Portal To Download Your ‘Property Portfolio’

3. Latest IRAS Notice Of Assessment (NOA)

In order to extend a home loan to you, the financial institution needs to know whether you have the financial capability of repaying the loan. The financial institution uses your income as a gauge of your financial capability of repayment. This is why you also need to submit your latest IRAS notice of assessment when you are applying to refinance. The Notice of Assessment contains your annual income for the latest financial year and how much tax you were subjected to.

To download your Notice of Assessment from IRAS:

  • Login into the IRAS MyTax portal
  • Select ‘Notice’ tab and then ‘Individual’ 
  • Download the latest ‘Notice of Assessment'

IRAS MyTax Portal To Download Your Latest ‘Notice Of Assessment’

4. CPF contribution statement for the past 12 months

Apart from your IRAS Notice of Assessment, you will also need to provide 12 months of CPF contribution statements.

To download 12 months of CPF contribution statements: 

  • Login to your CPF account via SingPass
  • Under ‘Section B’, select ‘Contribution History’
  • Choose 12 months as period of contribution
  • View and download the statements of CPF contribution 

12 Months CPF Contribution History Statement

 

Need help refinancing your home loan?

Our Home finance Advisors can help you: 

  • Save time - Discover the latest property market trends and insights
  • Save money - Access personalised home refinance advice based on your goals
  • Make smarter property decisions - Explore and compare bank packages

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. PropertyGuru recommends that you seek professional financial advice before acting on any information in this article.

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