Fri | Nov 24, 2017

Keep the credit bureau out of the NHT!

Published:Thursday | August 10, 2017 | 12:07 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Government must be losing their minds if they expect us to sit by and allow them to take away a benefit some of us work so hard for. The National Housing Trust (NHT) should not use credit bureaus as a qualifying factor in order for us to access loans our own money, mind you. Since the inception of credit bureaus in Jamaica, many Jamaicans have suffered not only because some were careless to run themselves into bad debt, but because our economic climate, in some cases, makes it so hard to live a balanced life financially. The financial institutions so quickly use the credit bureau as their guiding lights to chase borrowers away, not taking any extenuating factors into consideration, leaving many worse off, suffering through financial turmoil with no help in sight.

Then we wonder how loan sharks and small loans companies thrive even though their interest rates are set by the devil himself, at times being 50 per cent and higher.

To now hear that a national institution that we have no option but to contribute to once we are employed is now going to join the line to decline many Jamaicans the opportunity to own a home is heartbreaking. The NHT cannot and should not operate like commercial banks or organisations that operate to make a profit.

That was not the intent of the institution at inception. The organisation has, however, morphed into a big cash cow, and I assume that the current Government, in order to keep the cow filled with cash, must start to take steps to ensure that only a select few qualify and access services. I totally repudiate this new move. I am not defending individuals who wantonly borrow and refuse to pay back their loans; I am defending those persons who genuinely fell on hard times and have a record that in some cases they are working assiduously to clear. Many, many Jamaicans can hardly access a mortgage from the NHT without the albatross of a credit bureau, so what will happen when this is introduced?

I say NO to the NHT sharing or accessing credit bureaus in order for Jamaicans who own the Trust to access same mortgage loans.

JAVID BROWN

Westmoreland

javidbrown@gmail.com