GH Bank may double soft loan amount
THE GOVERNMENT Housing Bank is considering doubling the amount of soft loans set aside for low- and medium-income earners to Bt20 billion as part of the government's economic stimulus campaign, after witnessing high demand for the loans on the first day o
Yesterday, there were around 2,000 applications for Bt2 billion in loans, said GH Bank president Angkana Chaimanat.
GH Bank will take at least two weeks to evaluate whether to increase the amount, she said.
Chatchai Sirilai, GH Bank senior executive vice president, said soft loans of Bt10 billion would help around 7,000 people borrow money and the Bt10 billion in loans should be approved this year.
The bank’s board of directors will consider doubling that amount, Chatchai said.
Angkana said the number of applications from Bangkok and the provinces was about the same.
GH Bank expects to receive applications for about Bt1 billion per day. The bank will consider each application within three days, she said.
She said the bank would allow borrowers who had been approved for soft loans to delay signing loan contracts in order to reduce their worries over their financial burden in the case of those waiting for the new mortgage fees to be announced by the Interior Ministry.
Under GH Bank’s soft-loan scheme and its new-loan criteria, people who have a monthly salary of Bt30,000 can borrow as much as Bt3 million.
Those interested have one year to submit their applications to get an interest rate of 3.5 per cent for the first year and 4.25 per cent for the second year. From the third year until the end of the contract, customers will receive a rate of MRR (minimum retail rate) less 0.75 percentage point. The maximum repayment period is 30 years.
Angkana said GH Bank was not worried about the scheme resulting in a spate of non-performing loans (NPLs) because there was real demand for this money – for purchase of homes to live in, not speculate on – and the loan conditions included a special tax benefit designed for first-home buyers. The bank’s NPLs equate to 5 per cent of its total loans.
She said the bank would talk with real-estate developers on Thursday about the possibility of offering loans to buyers who can afford a Bt500,000-Bt600,000 home.
The government has asked housing developers to offer homes to low-income earners price no higher than Bt600,000.