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Many South Africans religiously pay rent each month, but would rather be paying off a loan.


Many South Africans religiously pay rent each month, but would rather be paying off a loan.

Naturally, they ask why they cannot be approved for a home loan when their rental payments prove that they can actually afford to pay one off. 

But do banks even consider the rent one pays when accepting or rejecting home loan applications?

The answer, say property specialists and Estate Agency Managers in South Africa, is yes - to a certain extent

"Any positive credit profile is an advantage to applicants. However the fact that you pay higher rent doesn't necessarily mean you can qualify for a home loan with the same minimum repayment. This is because, when doing home loan affordability, a lot of factors are taken into account, not just disposable income."

Echoing this, Angela Glover, product head at FNB Secured Lending Cluster, says: "Consistent and full payments across all your credit or financial obligations will always count in one's favour when applying for credit, and is hugely important.

" However, it is important to remember that owning a home comes with a lot of extra expenses that renting doesn't have.

"As the owner of the home, you are responsible for maintaining it, fixing things that are broken, covering extras like insurance, and rates and taxes. We recommend having extra disposable income to help with these unforeseen expenses and some savings to act as a buffer to maintain your home.

"You will also need access to some savings upfront to help you to cover the costs of a new home loan, relocation, and maybe a deposit."

It is generally agreed among Real Estate Managers: "When one is applying for a rental property, the emphasis is much more on disposable income and their credit repayment profile. Furthermore, when a person is renting, there are some house-related expenses that are not met by them, but the owner of the property."

Furthermore, when applying for a home loan, the recommended threshold is 30% of your gross income available towards repaying the loan.

"Having said this, the issue of disposable cash after meeting all other financial obligations would be taken into account."

While you may "easily show" a higher gross income that would allow for 30% to be used to repay a bond, if your expenses are much higher that would have an impact on the size of a home loan you can qualify for, Real Estate Managers explain.

"Therefore, showing a track record of paying higher rental wouldn't necessarily mean a client can qualify for a higher bond"

More than half of the country's tenants pay R3 000 to R7 000 a month for their rental homes, and if these same renters have to spend that amount on a bond repayment each month, the home loan value they would be granted - if the affordability criteria are met - would be R315 000 and R738 000 respectively, say Real Estate Managers.

The rental bracket of R7 000 to R12 000 has long been known as the 'sweet spot' as these tenants are the most reliable when it comes to paying their rent in full and on time. But if they had to use that money and pay off a home loan with that same amount each month, he says the bonds they would qualify for - based on the prime rate and repaid over 20 years - will be:

R7 000 rent - R738 000 home loan

R7 800 rent - R823 000 home loan

R10 000 rent - R1.054 million home loan

R12 000 rent - R1.265 million home loan

R15 000 rent - R1.58 million home loan

R20 000 rent - R2.108 million home loan

As a general rule of thumb, Glover says your repayment is about 1% of your home loan, meaning that a R500 000 home loan will need a monthly repayment of R5000 over 20 years.

"Of course this varies depending on your interest rate and the prime lending rate at any point in time. You can use online mortgage calculators to get to an exact amount using different interest rates, repayment terms and deposit amounts."

You will also need to consider that a home loan repayment of the same amount you pay in rent may not get you the same type of property. For example, while you may be paying R7 000 rent for your three-bedroom home with a garden, paying that same amount on your bond means you have qualified for a home loan for what may only buy a two-bedroom apartment.

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Author iol
Published 13 Nov 2022 / Views -

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