First Time Buyers And Home Loan Applications

South Africa’s interest rate is currently sitting at 7% thanks to Covid 19. If you were thinking of buying, now would be a good time. See below some interesting stats for Q3 2020.



Minimum income to qualify for a Home Loan

Several South African banks confirm that there is no minimum income to qualify for a bond. Banks use your income to determine the size of the bond that you do qualify for.


The general rule is that banks will offer you a bond equivalent to the repayment of (33%) of your monthly income towards monthly installments. The installments will be calculated based of the interest rate you have been offered by the bank. This is based on the “repo rate” or prime interest rate, which is set by the SA Reserve Bank.


The prime rate is 7% as at 2020/7/24, your interest might be 9% as the banks will probably charge you a slightly higher rate. As an example, if you purchase a R600 000 property, you’d pay about R5 400 a month, so you would need to earn about R16 200 a month.


How does your Credit Rating affect your Home Loan Application

Every South African citizen has a credit record whether good or bad, all your credit transactions are documented and you are given a rating. Your bank will need your permission to access these records and since you cannot get a home loan without them scouring your credit worthiness, you may as well give it to them and get it over and done with.


However you can also obtain these details yourself before submitting them to your bank so that you know what upfront what your chances are. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit record once a year. You can go to for more information or to obtain your credit report.


Your credit history can be a good thing as banks also decide which interest rate to give you based on your credit score and if it is good they will consider you a positive risk and you are more likely to get better offers from different institutions.


First Timers

As a first timer you are afforded privileges, and the basic criteria to qualify is the following:

  • Its needs to be the first time you’re applying for a home loan

  • You must be at least 18 years or older

  • You must be permanently employed for longer than 6 months/self-employed for 2 years

Some of the institutions will offer first timers a bond above 100% to cover some of the Transfer and Legal Costs. Most banks now offer a 30 year bond repayment period, making the monthly costs more affordable, created specifically for first-time buyers.


However sometimes banks will make you take out a bond protection insurance policy (covering your outstanding bond if you die), which will act as security for the loan. Make sure that you state clearly on your application that you are a first time buyer applying for a loan for the first time.


Consult the Professionals

Find someone knowledgeable to assist you through this process, it could be your Estate Agent or your bond originator or both. The more professional advice/help you can get the better. Always ensure that the Estate Agent of your choice is fully qualified and has an up to date EEAB certificate, Rogue Estate Agents can hurt you more than help you.

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