Explainers
Published Date: 05 July 2018

Total Debt Servicing Ratio for Property Loans

How to calculate a borrower’s total debt servicing ratio (TDSR), taking into account their monthly debt obligations and gross monthly income.

Calculating TDSR

MAS' rules set out the minimum requirements for calculating a borrower's total debt servicing ratio (TDSR). Financial institutions (FIs) can adopt more conservative practices as long as they are compliant with MAS' rules.

Situations When Monthly Loan Repayments can be Excluded

If a borrower has an existing residential property loan and is taking a second loan to buy a property, their monthly loan obligations for the existing property can be excluded from the TDSR calculation in certain situations.

For this exclusion to apply, the borrower needs to meet these conditions:

Existing property Borrower needs to provide
  • A HDB flat
  • An Executive Condominium (EC) and the minimum occupation of the EC has not expired

Both these documents:

  • A copy of a signed undertaking to the HDB committing to complete the sale of their current property within the period stipulated in the undertaking.
  • A written declaration that they will take steps, in accordance with the signed undertaking, to sell their current property.
  • An EC and the minimum occupation period of the EC has expired
  • A private property

Both these documents:

  • A sale and purchase agreement signed by both the borrower (as the seller) and the buyer of the existing property.
  • A certificate from IRAS showing that stamp duty has been paid on the signed agreement.
A HDB flat that is being sold A letter from the HDB approving the sale of the flat.

The monthly repayment instalment can also be excluded if the borrower has discharged the outstanding loan for the existing property.

TDSR Formula

To calculate a borrower’s TDSR, use the following formula:

(Borrower's total monthly debt obligations / Borrower's gross monthly income) x 100%

Monthly Debt Obligations (TDSR Numerator)

Monthly debt includes all outstanding debt obligations:

  • Property-related loans, including the loan being applied for.
  • Car loans.
  • Student loans.
  • Renovation loans.
  • Credit card loans.
  • Any other secured or unsecured loans, including revolving loans.

FIs should calculate and confirm these obligations by:

  • Collecting supporting documents from the borrower.
  • Checking with the credit bureau.

Calculating Monthly Debt Obligations

When calculating the monthly interest payable, FIs should base their calculation on a medium-term interest rate.

FIs should apply the medium-term interest rate only to the property purchase loan or loan secured by property under application. It should not be applied to all property loans (including existing ones).

Type of loan Interest rate
Residential property or secured by residential property
Not less than 3.5% or the prevailing market interest rate, whichever is higher.
Non-residential property or secured by non-residential property Not less than 4.5% or the prevailing market interest rate, whichever is higher.

Why Medium-term Interest Rates Are Used

Medium-term interest rates are used given the long-term nature of property loans. They also help ensure that borrowers are not overextended in their property purchases and are able to continue servicing their monthly repayments even when interest rates increase.

The medium-term interest rates applied to different types of properties reflect the differing risk premium associated with the types of properties.

If the Borrower has Revolving Loans

If a borrower has a revolving loan, calculate the monthly debt obligations as follows:

Type of loan Monthly debt obligation
Secured revolving loan Apply the medium term interest rate to the amount drawn down by the borrower.
Unsecured revolving loan Use the minimum due from the borrower.

Base these calculations on the latest available statement for the revolving loan. If the borrower is unable to provide a copy of the statement, apply the applicable monthly interest rate of the loan on the total credit limit instead.

Gross Monthly Income (TDSR Denominator)

Gross monthly income refers to the borrower's monthly income before tax, and excludes any CPF contribution made by the employer.

FIs are required to apply a minimum haircut of 30% to:

  • Variable income (e.g. commission, bonus and allowance).
  • Rental income.

In addition, FIs can include certain eligible financial assets. These are subject to haircuts and an amortisation schedule over 48 months.

Calculating Variable Income

For variable income, FIs should take the average of the monthly variable income earned in the preceding 12 months.

FIs must verify the rental income with a copy of the stamped tenancy agreement. The agreement must:

  • Be signed by the borrower (as the landlord) and the party who is leasing the property.
  • Have a remaining rental period of at least six months.

Eligible Financial Assets

When including "income streams" from eligible financial assets in TDSR, FIs must apply:

  • A haircut, depending on whether the eligible asset is pledged or unpledged.
  • An amortisation schedule over 48 months to convert the eligible assets into "income streams".

The types of eligible assets and respective haircuts are as follows:

Eligible financial assets Pledged for at least 4 years Unpledged, or pledged for less than 4 years
Liquid assets
  • Singapore dollars and coins, including deposits
Minimum 0% haircut
Minimum 70% haircut
Other financial assets
  • Foreign currency notes and coins, including deposits
  • Collective investment schemes
  • Business trusts
  • Debentures
  • Stocks
  • Structured deposits
  • Gold
Minimum 30% haircut Minimum 70% haircut

Note: For unpledged assets, FIs must also ensure that the assets are still accounted for in the borrower’s bank account statements before disbursing funds under the property loan. This is to ensure that the unpledged assets used in the TDSR computation do not include funds used in making the downpayment for the property loan.