How to get a leg up on your home financing and refinancing journey

With step-by-step guidance from Citi's mortgage experts, youíll have a trusted partner when it comes to purchasing your dream home

Jan 18, 2022

Buying a home is never a one-off journey Ė itís a long-term purchase that follows you through life.

After reaching a decision on the property youíd like to call home, the next step is to work out the details of how youíll pay for your purchase for the decades to come. And through the years, there will often be plenty of opportunities to save on your instalments by refinancing your home.

Whether youíre buying a new property or refinancing an existing one, having a trusted mortgage adviser can help you navigate this experience smoothly. Hereís how:

Get expert answers to all your burning questions

It can be very daunting to have to figure out all the intricacies of home financing on your own, especially if you are a first-time homeowner. Even for personal finance whizzes or seasoned property buyers, itís always helpful to have a second opinion.

Having a mortgage adviser like Citi can help cut through the fog of confusion, save you time and give you peace of mind when making such a major financial decision.

First, its website offers a mortgage calculator that helps you work out with considerable precision what you can afford in terms of your new home and what your projected payments will look like.

That allows you a greater degree of certainty before you make a decision about the total mortgage youíre willing to take up.

Given the expertise of Citiís experienced mortgage advisory team, you can be assured of receiving the necessary advice on your property purchase process from start to end, as they guide you step by step through the entire experience of purchasing a home.

Whether youíre an existing Citi customer or new to the bank, youíll be able to access expert advice on your financing options any time throughout your journey as a homeowner. You may also get help through Citiís Mortgage Client Care, which comprises a team of experienced personnel committed to taking care of all your mortgage queries and requests.

As the market evolves and your needs change, rest assured that youíll always have access to dedicated assistance.

Unlock new possibilities with home refinancing

Through your homeownership journey, youíll cross many milestones which often present good opportunities to refinance your home. These may encourage you to replace your existing home loan with a new one, often at the lower prevailing, lower market interest rate.

Catalysts can include reaching the end of your lock-in period (which penalises borrowers for refinancing), the start of increased interest rates under your original home loan agreement (which often happens after a few years), and expectations that interest rates in the macro economy might be less favourable in the future than it is currently.

These serve as gateways for many homeowners to shop around other banks on the market for sweeter arrangements. And that can yield huge savings Ė for example, refinancing a Housing Board flat with a $300,000 outstanding loan amount at a fixed rate of 1.5 per cent, down from 2 per cent, with 10 years left, could save you $96 a month or a total of $17,373.51.

Citi offers many ways for the customer to save during this process. These include a legal fee subsidy, amounting to 0.4 per cent of the total loan amount, to help you defray the upfront costs.

In the above example, that could save you $1,200.

Pick from a wide range of mortgage solutions

Moreover, Citiís mortgage interest offset scheme can help you save more over the years. That means that if you take up a floating interest rate package, you can use interest earned from your Citi deposits to offset your mortgage loan interest payable. With Citi, you can choose from a range of mortgage packages, including variable, fixed or hybrid loans (a mix of fixed and floating rates).

In particular, hybrid loans can be the best of both worlds. They often offer you a fixed rate for the first few years, before transitioning to a variable interest rate for the next few years.

This arrangement allows you to benefit from more stability in planning (especially helpful for the risk-averse or for young families) while still enjoying the potential upsides from the changing interest rate environment.

Citi is also the only bank in Singapore that offers customers a choice of both one-month and three-month Compounded SORA as a benchmark Ė which is often seen as a more stable and transparent option.

You can also speak to your adviser about using eligible financial assets, such as investment funds, to improve your loan eligibility. This may vastly increase options for professionals who have a significant investment portfolio in addition to their salary, or those who are enjoying their golden years but have built up a nest egg of investments over their lifetime. Citigold and Citigold Private Client customers can enjoy preferential mortgage interest rates. Further benefits are available to the latter, who can also enjoy exclusive benefits such as no lock-in mortgage packages.

Whether you have a mortgage with Citi, or are a Citi customer, you are eligible to participate in Citi's Chinese New Year mortgage referral programme, where you can receive up to $880 worth of shopping vouchers for every successful mortgage referral.