Parliamentary Replies
Published Date: 14 September 2016

Reply to Parliamentary Question on the total debt servicing ratios of Singapore resident households




Date: For Parliament Sitting on 13 September 2016

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Chen Show Mao, MP, Aljunied GRC


To ask the Minister for Finance in each year from 2010 to 2015, what is the total debt-service ratio as a percentage of income for the median, 20th percentile and 90th percentile Singapore resident household.

Answer by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:

1   The debt servicing ratios1 of Singapore resident households have improved since the introduction of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework in June 2013. In particular, the debt servicing ratio for the 20th income percentile household has fallen to 17% in 2015, from 22% in 2013 (Table 1).  The debt servicing ratios for the median and 90th income percentile households have also edged down slightly to 34% and 44% respectively in 2015, from 35% and 46% respectively in 2013.





20th income percentile 




50th income percentile




90th income percentile




Source: MAS and MND estimates based on data from MAS, HDB and DOS.

2   MAS has taken a series of measures in recent years to encourage financial prudence among Singapore households. Measures like the TDSR and loan-to-value ratios aim to help borrowers avoid taking on excessive leverage for their property purchases. MAS has also introduced regulations on unsecured credit to help individuals with credit problems avoid accumulating further debt.

3   These measures have helped to moderate the annual growth in household debt to 2.5% in Q2 2016, down from about 7.4% over the last five years. Since the introduction of the industry wide borrowing limit on unsecured credit in June 2015, the number of borrowers with outstanding unsecured debt exceeding 24 times their monthly income has more than halved, to less than 1% of all unsecured credit borrowers.

4   MAS will continue to monitor debt-servicing ratios and household leverage and promote responsible borrowing.


1 The debt servicing for Singapore resident households at the 20th and 50th income percentiles comprised mainly mortgage payments on HDB housing loans since most of these households reside in HDB flats. The debt servicing for the 90th income percentile household comprised mainly mortgage payments for private properties.