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JIS News

The National Housing Trust (NHT) is advising that the one to two per cent reduction in interest rates will be available to current mortgagers by this October.Senior General Manager of Finance and Operations at the NHT, Hugh Reid told JIS News that the reduction in interest rates would be introduced in two phases. He said under the arrangement, new mortgagers began benefiting from more attractive payment terms on August 15, while existing mortgagers would benefit retroactively come October.
He explained that changes were currently being made to the entity’s computer systems with respect to existing mortgagers to effect the reduction in interest rates.
“We anticipate that in another two months or so, we would have done all the necessary changes and testing of our systems to enable us to implement the reduced interest rates for our existing mortgagers,” he told JIS News.
Mr. Reid said once the NHT had completed its adjustments to determine the revised amounts to be paid by mortgagers, persons whose accounts were serviced by salary deductions would also be required to make changes.
“These salary amounts will have to be adjusted to effect the reductions and as soon as that has been done, those persons who are paying their mortgages by way of salary deductions will see the impact in terms of their payroll payments,” he added.
Meanwhile, for mortgagers who wish to continue paying the previous amounts, the excess sum will be credited to their principal. This, Mr. Reid noted would result in the mortgagers completing their mortgage payments earlier and reducing the total amount of interest to be paid on the loan.
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson in July announced the reduction in interest rates, as well as an increase in the amount of money beneficiaries can access from the NHT to acquire a home, effective August 15. NHT contributors can now access $1.5 million from the Trust, while joint applicants can now get $3 million to purchase a house.
Serviced lot loans have also been increased from $450,000 to $600,000 per single applicant and from $700,000 to $800,000 for co-applicants.
Income bands have also been widened to allow persons earning a higher weekly income to pay lower interest rates.