(BUT… WARNING: NOTE THE FINE PRINT AT THE END)
Despite being officially announced early in the year, there are many who are still unaware of the special end-financing schemes for PR1MA homeowners being offered by four major banks: Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank).
PR1MA is government mandated plan to develop and maintain quality homes for the middle-income group, targeting urbanites with household incomes of between RM2,500 and RM15,000 per month.
Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia said the scheme “Skim Pembiayaan Fleksibel” was actually announced at the tabling of Budget 2017 in October last year and it has been made available to the public since February this year.
According to PR1MA Malaysia, the scheme is a joint-effort between Bank Negara Malaysia, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and partner financial institutions. It is exclusively for PR1MA homebuyers and it was designed to improve the chances of applicants qualifying for home loans.
The scheme also targets first-time homebuyers by providing access to a higher loan amount than they would otherwise be eligible for.
Two options are available under the scheme, the “step-up” only or the “step-up with EPF Account 2” withdrawal.
PR1MA Malaysia said that under both options, borrowers will be looking at paying interest for the first five years only. The principal sum will kick in from the sixth year onwards until the loan amount is fully paid up.
Should home buyers want to borrow a larger sum, that’s where the second option of utilising the EPF Account 2 comes into play.
According to PR1MA, there have thus far been over 265,033 units which are approved for development nationwide, of which 136,569 units are in various stages of construction.
It also said that some 1.41 million Malaysians have registered for PR1MA homes across the nation.
However, potential PR1MA buyers should be aware that utilising your EPF Account 2 does have its drawbacks.
EPF has previously cautioned that those who use the account for this end-financing scheme will not be able to withdraw during the pre-retirement period for reasons such as medical, education, the 50-year partial withdrawal or even haj until the loan amount is settled.