Everything you need to know about adjusting your CPF payments for your monthly housing instalments, including how to do so, and helpful alternatives to consider.
The high rate of home ownership in Singapore can be largely attributed to one policy: allowing the use of CPF savings to pay for housing needs.
Indeed, Singaporeans tend to rely on their CPF savings to pay off their monthly mortgages, and given the high cost of housing, who wouldn’t? After all, you can’t really use your CPF contributions for anything else, anyway.
However, using your CPF to pay for your housing is not always a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. You may encounter situations which might require you to make adjustments to the amount paid out from your CPF account.
Luckily, you can easily make such a change over the Internet, using the relevant websites. Here is a guide to adjusting your CPF payments for your housing loans, as well as other useful tips and things to know.
Follow these steps to adjust your CPF payments for your housing loan
Making changes to the CPF payments used for your housing loan can be quite easily done. Here are the steps you need to follow.
Step 1: Login to your CPF personal page
Go to https://www.cpf.gov.sg/member and click Login in upper right. You can login with Singpass, either by scanning the QR code with your mobile, or inputting your Singpass password.
Step 2: Navigate to the Home ownership page
Once you’ve successfully logged in, you’ll be brought to your personal portal.
On the left hand side of the screen, mouse over my cpf, then click on Home ownership. On the next page, the address of your property will be displayed.
Scroll down to Monthly CPF deduction.
Step 3: Follow the on-screen prompts
If your property is an HDB unit, you will be prompted to adjust your CPF deductions over at the HDB website. Click the appropriate link to get to that page and resume making your changes there.
If your property is a private residence, follow the on-screen prompts for further instructions and to submit your changes.
Step 4: Confirm your changes and submit
Once you’ve made the needed adjustments, confirm your changes and submit. Remember to read through any terms, conditions and important notes before you do.
It is also a good idea to print or save your transaction for your own records.
Why you might need to change your CPF housing payments
Okay, so you’ve learnt how to vary the amount of CPF funds used to pay your housing loans. However, you may be wondering why you might need to actually do so in the first place.
Well, here are three common scenarios which may warrant this action.
Changes in CPF contributions from age 35
Starting from age 35, the proportion of your CPF contributions that go into your Ordinary Account is reduced, in favour of your Special Account and your Medisave Account.
As such, you may find that your Ordinary Account contributions are no longer sufficient to fully cover your housing loan payments.
In this situation, it would be prudent to reduce your CPF deductions and make up the shortfall in cash. Otherwise, you may incur overdue charges or late fees on your mortgage.
You wish to preserve more of your CPF savings for retirement or other uses
Upon reaching your 55th birthday, your Ordinary Account and Special Account will be combined to form your Retirement Account.
The more you have in your Retirement Account, the higher your CPF Life payouts will be. Therefore, you may want to reduce the amount of CPF funds deducted from your Ordinary Account in order to have a more comfortable retirement.
Your CPF Ordinary Account has run out
Once your CPF Ordinary Account has run completely dry, you’ll have no other choice but to pay for your housing loan in cash. That’s assuming you wish to continue your ownership of your property.
So if you anticipate this happening, you might as well go ahead and make the switch on your own, instead of waiting to be flagged in the system.
Other things to know about CPF and housing loans
You need legal representation
Before you can use your CPF funds to pay for your residential property, you’ll need to appoint a legal firm to act on your behalf; your appointed legal representative will apply to the CPF Board to request the use of your CPF funds.
This is called conveyancing, and is a professional service that will require a fee. You’re encouraged to shop around and compare quotes to get an idea of how much conveyancing fees will cost for your property.
As a guide, you can refer to the conveyancing fees charged by HDB, as follows:
Please note that if you’re purchasing an HDB unit, you may opt for HDB to act on your behalf through its panel of appointed legal firms. Or, you may also appoint your own lawyer, if you wish.
If you’re purchasing a private residential property instead, you’ll need to appoint a conveyancing lawyer on your own. This should be done before submitting your mortgage application.
You can adjust your loan tenure, or make partial repayments
There are other ways to change the amount of your housing loan instalments.
One way is to adjust the tenure of your loan — lengthening it will lower your total monthly instalment, while shortening it will raise how much you have to pay each month.
Another thing you could do is to make lump-sum partial repayments towards your mortgage. This will reduce the amount outstanding in your home loan, which in turn allows you to:
1) shorten your overall loan tenure while maintaining your monthly instalment amount, or
2) reduce the instalment amount you have to pay each month, while maintaining the original tenure of the loan.
Approach your financier — either your bank, or HDB, depending on which party is handling your mortgage — for more details.
You can use your CPF savings to pay for HDB flats as well as private properties
What you cannot do, however, is use an HDB loan to finance the purchase of a private residence. HDB loans are only available for those buying an HDB flat.
For private properties, you’ll need to get a mortgage from a bank or other authorised financial institution.
Read these next:
6 Misconceptions About Using Your CPF For Housing
HDB Loan Vs Bank Loan: Which One Should You Go For?
How Much Can You Borrow For Your Home Loan?
What You Need To Know About The New Housing Loan Rules
Rising Interest Rates And The Effect On Mortgage Debt In Singapore
3 Awful Consequences Of Trying To Invest Your CPF Money
The Complete Guide To Transfer Of HDB Ownership
6 Misconceptions About Using Your CPF For Housing
How to Use CPF to Pay for a Housing Loan
How to Minimise Your Home Loan Costs?
CPF Accrued Interest On Housing: What Is It And How To Calculate
Should I Use CPF Or Cash To Finance My Home?
Know Your CPF Withdrawal Limit Before You Wreck Your Mortgage