Home Loan Mistakes to Avoid

Taking out a home loan the biggest step you’ll take towards getting a place of your own. But if you rush into buying a home without proper planning, you could end up paying more than you imagined. Even worse, you could make a home loan mistake that increases your long-term costs.

Here are several home loan mistakes that can have expensive consequences:

  • Don’t blindly follow a friend’s recommendation: Just because a friend got a good home loan deal 6 months ago doesn’t mean you’ll get the same. That’s because a bank offering the “best” rate one month could be offering the worst two month later. So check with the banks to find to find the best home loan interest rates available, or visit MoneySmart.
  • Don’t blindly follow a property agent’s recommendation: Property agents are another source of “advice” to watch out for. While many agents have your interests in mind, others might steer you towards taking a home loan from a bank that’s offering the agent a bigger referral fee.
  • Don’t take out other loans before applying for a home loan: Banks will check your financial history and outstanding debt to work out your Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR), which cannot exceed 60% of your income. So if you buy a car or take out a personal loan before applying for a home loan, you might be putting yourself over the 60% TDSR.
  • Don’t go with a bank just because it pre-approves you: Just because a bank pre-approves you doesn’t mean you need to go with it, especially if that bank has a high interest rate. Instead, seek pre-approval from multiple banks and remember that amount you can borrow will typically be the same for every bank.
  • IBR (Internal Board Rate) Loans: With no transparency on how the internal board rate fluctuates, you’ll be paying whatever interest rate the bank decides.