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  • Refinance Loans Basics

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How Can I Choose the Best Home Loan Refinance Option?

Home loan interest rates are almost constantly changing, so it is difficult to determine what refinancing option is best for you. Even if you choose a cheap home loan option, the interest rate may change after a few months.

On top of that, applying for refinancing requires between 10 and 20 different documents. This is why utilizing a mortgage specialist will help you save time. You should do your own research as well, of course.

Best Refinance Home Loan in Singapore (2021)

Home LoanBest ForRate TypeLock-In Period1st Year Interest
Maybank 3-month SIBORHDB HomesFloating1 year1.29%Apply Now
Standard Chartered Bank
3-month SIBOR (2)
HDB HomesFloating2 years1.29%Apply Now
HSBC 1-month SIBOR (1)HDB HomesFloating2 years1.30%Apply Now
UOB 2yrs Fixed/FlexHDB HomesFixed2 years1.40%Apply Now
Maybank 3-month SIBORCondos & Private
Properties
Floating1 year1.29%Apply Now
CIMB 2 years Fixed
(Preferred)
Condos & Private
Properties
Fixed2 years1.30%Apply Now

Why and When Should I Refinance My Home Loan?

The Lock-In Period is Near Expiration
You can refinance at any time, but it will normally cost you a small penalty fee. If you aim to refinance at the time of your lock-in period’s expiry date, you can avoid this extra charge.
Loan Tenure Extension
If you are having trouble keeping up with payments, extending your loan tenure may help ease the strain. Refinancing is an ideal way of doing this. You can extend your home loan tenure anywhere up to 35 years in total.
Ideal Interest Rates
Sometimes, you may find your old interest rates start to climb up. Even if they don’t, finding a new deal with lower interest rates tends to be a good find.

If you are on a floating interest rate that tends to sit higher than a fixed rate that you’ve found, you should definitely swap to the fixed interest rate. On the other hand, if you find a floating rate that tends to sit below your fixed rate, you should probably go for that too.

Lower Monthly Instalments
Lower interest rates and longer tenures equal lower monthly instalments. This is especially useful if you are having trouble keeping up with the current monthly instalments.
Gain More Equity Through Cash-Out Refinancing
If you need a big loan and can’t get it in your current home loan, you can refinance for the sake of a cash-out anywhere up to 75% of your property’s value minus your remaining loan balance. You should only do this if it is absolutely necessary or you have found an amazing investment opportunity.

Home Loan Interest Expenses and Refinancing Fees

Interest rates tend to be the main thing on your mind when choosing or refinancing a home loan. You should also keep other expenses in mind. If you, like many other Singaporeans, wish to refinance your home loan every couple of years, you need to consider things like lock-in periods, legal fees, valuation fees, and so on.

Let’s take a home loan of $500,000 as an example. If you refinance from 2% annually to 1.5%, you’ll save $2,500 each year. That being said, you will have to deal with legal fees to do so, which may each $2,500 anyway. On top of that, valuation fees range between $500 and $1,000. This causes you to end up losing money.

Various Fees Involved in Refinancing

Miscellaneous Fees in RefinancingCostBanks That Provide Subsidies
Legal FeeS$2500DSB, POSB, Citi, UOB, Maybank,
OCBC, SCB, RHB
Valuation FeeS$500-S$1000SBI, HLF
Fire InsuranceS$120 per annumSBI
Partial/Full Redemption Fees1.5%Many do not charge for BUC
Cancellation Fees1.5%Only 1% @ SBI
Pricing Reset Date Penalty0.5%-1.5% of amount prepaid*Charged by Citi and Maybank

Fixed vs Floating Interest Rates

Depending on your circumstances both interest types can be beneficial. You don’t need to worry about the entire length of your loan but only the time of your lock-in period. After that, you can refinance and the current rate won’t matter.

If a floating interest rate appears to be stable enough to remain lower than the fixed rate for the next two years, go with that option. If it isn’t stable, stick with the fixed rate for safety. Again, it depends entirely on your present situation.

Choose a Floating Rate when the Rates are Flat or Declining

A stable or declining floating rate is very likely to remain below a fixed rate. This will save you money in the long run. It is still a gamble, as anything can happen over two years. However, you can generally tell when the rates will remain flat or decline, at least for a couple of years.

Choose a Fixed Rate when Current Rates are Rising

Rising rates are highly dangerous for floating rate holders. If you are locked into a floating rate and the interest rate suddenly sky-rockets, you can’t do anything about it until your lock-in period ends. In this instance, you are much better off with a safe fixed rate that you can depend on. You can always change it in the future if you find a good floating rate.

Make Sure You Understand Your Home Loan Plan

Before refinancing your home loan, make sure you have all the necessary information. This will include things like your current balance, monthly instalments, tenure, fees, and interest rates.

Compare All Refinancing Options

You can use above dashboard to easily compare current home loan refinance options or set-up a live home loan refinance auction which will connect you to lenders & brokers in real-time.

Set-up a Home Loan Refinance Auction

Via the ROSHI platform you can set-up an auctions that connects you to lenders & brokers in real-time. You’ll be able to see current markets rates and discuss all the various costs such as legal fees, valuation fees, and so on. You also be able to learn everything about possible penalty fees with your current provider.

Best Time to Refinance

You should apply for a refinance home loan around four months before your current loan lock-in period finishes up. This is because the processing time takes around three months. Applying early saves you unnecessary delays.

What is a Lock-In Period?

A lock-in period involves how long you must remain with the bank offer you are currently using. If you choose to break a home loan plan before the lock-in period ends, you will likely need to pay a fee.

What’s the Best Refinance Home Loan?

Refinance home loan rates change all the time. You need to keep up to date and compare available options to learn which is best for you and your current situation.

What is the Best Possible Home Loan Interest Rate in Singapore?

Again, interest rates are always changing. Higher interest rates provide more stability whereas lower rates tend to be more volatile. You can use above dashboard to properly examine current interest rates and work out which one is best for you.

What Costs Come with Refinancing a Home Loan?

There are two main costs to consider:

  • 1. Legal Fees Payable Directly to a Law Firm
    2. Valuation Fees Payable Directly to the Bank

If your loan is above $300,000 for HDB and $400,000 for private property, the bank will usually take full legal subsidy for the valuation fee. This causes you to save quite a bit and keep a stable repayment schedule.

Repricing vs Refinancing

  • • Repricing involves swapping to a new interest rate with the same bank. The fee tends to be around $800 to $1,000.

    • Refinancing involves changing to a new rate with a different bank. Other banks will try to offer better promotions to draw you away from your current bank.

Will My Credit Score be Affected by Refinancing?

Yes, refinancing does have a slight impact on your credit score. However, it will only be a significant difference if you refinance too often.

How Frequently Can I Refinance My Loan?

You can refinance as often as you want. However, there is a penalty fee if you refinance too often, so it is better to avoid doing so unless you have found a considerable lower offer.

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