QUESTION: I would like to apply for a loan from the National Housing Trust, but I am not sure what the first step is. I earn an income of J$7,000 per week. It sometimes goes up to J$9,000. What should I do?
FINANCIAL ADVISER: The first step is to determine if you are eligible. To qualify for a loan from the National Housing Trust (NHT), you must be a contributor at the time the application is being made; must have made 52 weekly contributions - 13 of the 26 weeks just before the date of application; and must have paid up with interest all outstanding contributions due for the last three years, or for one year if you earn less than J$7,500 per week.
Applicants should be between the ages of 18 and 65 and should be earning an income which allows the applicant to repay the loan.
If you are eligible, you will need to secure the following documents and contact the NHT to schedule an appointment for a pre-qualification check to be done:
Your NIS card;
Your TRN card as well as that of the persons whose names are on the title;
A letter of verification of gross income and contributions (valid for up to three months) from your employer;
The two most recent pay slips from your present employer, but if you are self-employed, you should visit or contact the Customer Service Department prior to the interview and request that a certificate of contributions memorandum be placed on your account;
Proof of age (a certified copy of a birth certificate or a valid passport);
Acceptable means of identification, such as a valid driver's licence, passport or National Voter's Registration Card, bearing your photograph and an identification number with a future expiry date;
One current passport-sized photograph;
Certified marriage certificate, where applicable, or relevant documents in the case of divorce.
Copy of the title of the property being purchased;
Certificate of payment of taxes for the property;
Surveyor's ID report.
The surveyor's ID report should not be more than one year old and must be prepared by a commissioned land surveyor and obtained by you, the purchaser/applicant.
You should take all the above documents to the interview. The rate of interest is dependent on your income, as you can see from the following salary bands and rates:
|J$20,001 & more||7%|
I wish you well.
Oran A. Hall, a member of the Caribbean Financial Planning Association and principal author of "The Handbook of Personal Financial Planning", offers free counsel and advice on personal financial planning. Email email@example.com