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Apply Your HDB HFE Letter in 5 Easy Steps: A Simplified Guide for 2023

Posted by Jayson Ang on December 18, 2023
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Since its introduction, the HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter has been causing quite a stir with frequent delays. Alongside the unveiling of the HDB Flat Portal, the HFE letter was announced in May 2023. The plan was simple – apply for it and within 21 business days, you’d have it in your hands.

But, things didn’t quite go as planned. Multiple instances of HFE status delays began to crop up. Take this one woman’s situation, for instance, an extreme case where she had been waiting for over two months without any sign of her HFE letter. HDB confessed that system hitches were the culprit, causing not just HFE delays but other issues with HDB too.

What Is the HDB HFE Letter?

The HDB HFE letter. It’s like a handy guide that tells you if you’re good to go for an HDB flat. Plus, it lets you know about your CPF housing grant – if you’re eligible and how much you can get.

And guess what? It even shows you if you qualify for an HDB loan and the amount you can borrow. So, all the important stuff in one place!

Oh, and if you’re buying an HDB flat for the second time, your HDB Flat Eligibility letter has an extra bit of info – your resale levy amount. Handy, isn’t it?

HLE vs HFE Letter: What’s the Difference?

Before, the former HLE letter only permitted potential HDB homebuyers to verify their loan qualifications and the possible amount they could borrow. Now, knowing whether you’re eligible for an HDB flat or a CPF housing grant takes place at various points throughout your home-buying adventure.

Previously with HDB HLE Application

Flat Type:

  • When should you check if you’re eligible to buy a flat?
  • When should you look at your CPF Housing Grant eligibility?
  • When is the right time to see if you qualify for an HDB home loan?

New HDB Flat:

  • Check this out during your HLE letter application, before you go ahead and book that HDB flat.

HDB Resale Flat:

  • Again, take a look during your HLE letter application, but this time before grabbing an Option to Purchase (OTP).

With the HDB HFE letter in hand, you’re actually checking all three of these eligibility criteria at once. Talk about efficiency!

All things considered, applying for the HFE letter is designed to give potential HDB flat buyers a broader view of their options, beyond just how to finance it. Dr Tan Tee Khoon, who’s the Country Manager in Singapore for PropertyGuru, totally agrees. He thinks first-time homebuyers stand to gain the most from this.

“First-time homebuyers often find it challenging to gather all the info they need right from the start to make confident, informed decisions. No one wants to get tangled up in complicated buying processes, and what HDB has done is definitely a step in the right direction,” says Dr Tan.

HDB HFE Application: Who Needs to Apply for It?

So, let’s break this down. If you threw your hat in the ring for an HDB flat before the 9th of May, 2023, the ‘old school’ way of buying an HDB home is what you’ll have to stick with. Say you’ve made it to the shortlist for bagging a flat, they’d ask you to go ahead and apply for what’s called an HLE letter, not the usual HDB Flat Eligibility letter.

Now, for everyone else who didn’t apply before that date, you need to hop on board with the HDB HFE application process. Simple as that!

If You’re Buying a New HDB Flat (BTO, SBF, OBF)

Getting ready to apply for your dream home from the September BTO 2023 launch onwards? Don’t forget, you’ll need your HDB Flat Eligibility letter all set and good to go.

If you’re thinking about applying for other new HDB flats (like BTO, SBF, OBF) following the May 2023 BTO launch, remember, you will also require a valid HDB HFE letter.

Here’s a little insider info: Do yourself a favor and avoid last-minute scrambles with the HDB HFE application. The average processing time is around 21 working days. But guess what? It could take even longer during busy times, particularly just before and during the month of a BTO launch.

So here’s the takeaway: Don’t delay. Get your HDB Flat Eligibility letter sorted out well in advance for the upcoming September BTO 2023 launch!

If You’re Buying an HDB Resale Flat

Alright, here’s the deal. Before you can get your hands on an Option to Purchase (OTP) and put in your application for an HDB resale flat, you need two things. First up, a valid HDB Flat Eligibility letter or what we call an Intent to Buy (ITB). Then, you’ll also need an HLE letter.

Got it? Great! Now, let’s dive into how you can apply for that all-important HDB HFE letter.

HFE Letter Application: How Do I Apply?

1. Log in to the HDB Flat Portal

Use your Singpass to log in to the HDB flat portal.

2. Retrieve Your Personal Information from Myinfo

This includes your household income and ownership of private property.

3. Input Information to Access Your Eligibility 

Alright, let’s break it down. This part is basically what we call an initial HDB HFE check. Here, the HDB will give you a rough idea of which type of flat you can get, how much housing grant from CPF you qualify for, and the home loan amount you can take out from HDB. They’ll also tell you about the grants and loans you can expect.

This is super useful if you’re thinking of going ahead and buying an HDB flat, or even applying for an eligibility letter. But hey, if things don’t add up, you can always rethink your plans and budget.

4. Upload Supporting Documents to Apply for Your HDB Flat Eligibility Letter 

Feeling good about the initial results of your HFE scan? Well, now is the perfect time to go for the HDB Flat Eligibility letter. The process will ask you to present some extra papers to solidify your HFE letter application. Simple as that!

5. Log in to the HDB Flat Portal to retrieve your HDB Flat Eligibility Letter 

Ready to snag that HFE letter? Let’s break down the HDB HFE application routine. Brought to you by: HDB

The moment your HDB Flat Eligibility letter is good to go, you’ll get a text message from HDB. Don’t forget, your approved letter is only valid for half a year. And just like that, you’re soaring closer to owning an HDB flat!

To pick up your HDB Flat Eligibility letter, all you got to do is pop back onto the HDB Portal. Easy peasy!

HDB HFE Application: What Happens After I Apply?

Financing Your HDB Flat with an HDB Loan

Just like that HLE letter you’re familiar with, your HDB Flat Eligibility letter does pretty much the same thing. It gives you a clear picture of whether you qualify for an HDB loan and how much they’d be willing to lend you. And if it’s a green light, you can simply toss in your application right through the HDB Flat Portal. How convenient is that?

Financing Your HDB Flat with a Bank Loan

Just a heads up if you’re thinking about getting a bank loan or borrowing from a finance company for your HDB flat.

There’s good news! You can now pop over to the HDB Flat portal and ask for something called an In-Principle Approval (IPA) or a Letter of Offer (LO). And guess what? You can do this with any financial institution that’s part of the program.

But wait, there’s more! You can also check out different loan options from these same institutions right on the portal. It’s never been easier to explore your financing choices for that dream flat of yours!

  • DBS
  • Hong Leong Finance
  • Maybank
  • OCBC
  • Sing Investments & Finance
  • UOB

Text: If you’re thinking about financing your HDB flat through a financial institution loan, just be careful. It might be tricky to figure out which is the ‘best’ loan package for you on the HDB Portal.

Look, when prospective HDB homeowners apply for In-Principle Approvals with participating financial institutions via the portal, they might miss out on crucial advice. They need someone who can objectively guide them to choose the best home loans for their needs. And it gets complicated when each financial institution advertises their packages as the best.

Moreover, this new HDB Portal could have different effects on different people. For instance, if you have unique income sources like variable or secondary income, or you get dividends, you might not get the most thorough assessment of your HDB flat eligibility.

Confused about which bank loan to go for? Don’t sweat it! You can always give me a shout. I can help you find the best mortgage deals around and make the home financing process easier. Plus, I’ll give you personalized advice, and guess what? It won’t cost you a dime!

Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?

It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.

I can help you by:

  1. Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
  2. Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.

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