Your Bond Affordability ‘Score’
Is there such a thing? With research it seems that between the banks the variables are many and the absolutes are few. After working out what you can afford with your bond calculator one will have to take your chances depending very much on the bank.
ABSA Home loans singled out ‘Affordability’ as having become a key factor in the South African housing market recently. You may know what you can afford having used a bond calculator to work out what asking price you can afford but the banks have varying, between banks, criteria on which to base its decision to grant you a bond.
Affordability is a key factor in the South African housing market and banks’ lending criteria has tightened up, but in some instances applicants are reportedly still able to qualify for 100 per cent loans.
ABSA has been quoted in a previous review that the focus of demand for supply of housing is set to be on smaller-sized and higher density housing because affordability is set to remain a key factor into the future.
ABSA also said it still lends up to 100 per cent home loans to would-be home buyers even in this buyers’ market but only if they qualify.
In line with the National Credit Act, the bank’s lending criterion is informed by the customer’s affordability and credit worthiness and taking into consideration some factors as discussed below.
Bond Assessment Criteria
When a local property website asked the four major banks what the criteria are for assessing a home loan application the summarised replies were:
Standard Bank: a loan–to-value criterion plays a major role in what the customer can qualify for; documents required depend on whether the applicant is employed or self-employed, has a Standard Bank transactional relationship or not and if they earn a fixed or variable income.
Generally, document requirements are less onerous for customers that have a transaction account i.e. Employed SBSA applicant with fixed income would need to provide the latest payslip and an offer to purchase.
A non Standard Bank customer with fixed income would need to provide the latest payslip together with the latest three months consecutive bank statement reflecting three months’ salary deposits.
Nedbank: minimum income (single or joint gross monthly income) + R2500- minimum loan amount R100 000. A maximum repayment term of 25 years. An acceptable credit record. Payment by debit order. The property must be in good condition and acceptable to the bank
FNB: latest copy of applicant’s payslip. A bank statement. Self-employed applicants will need to supply a signed personal statement of assets and liabilities as well as a balance sheet and financial statement for the business from which income is derived. A commission earner will be required to submit the last six months commission earnings statement.
ABSA: Current debt repayment behaviour; credit history; affordability; net disposable income; household finances; residential property cycle and prospects; prevailing economic cycle; consumer risk profile.
Preapproval of Bonds
When asked if the bank would give pre-approval of a bond with no upfront fees: this could be worked out and adjusted using a bond calculator.
Standard Bank: A customer can apply for a pledge via the internet or through the Standard Bank Call Centre. No fees are charged for pre-approvals.
Nedbank: Does not grant pre-approvals. Customers can read through the information on the bank’s website to determine what they can afford through various calculations and thereafter use a bond calculator.
FNB: It is called a “Passport to Purchase” where no upfront fees are levied and this pre-qualification is valid for 90 days.
ABSA: According to the National Credit Act, financial services providers are prohibited from granting pre-approved finance to customers.
Sceptics may reflect that this is hardly a scientific process but at the end of the day banks are conservative for a reason. What’s best, is to ensure you have jumped through all the necessary bureaucratic hoops with the bank of your choice and ensure you are taking advantage of a bond calculator to keep the correct figures at hand.