Nedbank launches USSD home-loan calculator for low-income households
- Nedbank can now calculate a home loan and affordability package through a new USSD code service, cutting the admin and costs associated with using apps.
- The service is aimed at low income earners.
- Users are able to speak to a consultant who will guide them through the application process.
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Aspirant homebuyers can now calculate their home loan repayment plans by dialing Nedbank’s new USSD code on their phone, a move that opens access to homeownership for low income earners, the bank said.
The bank’s move coincides with the low interest rate environment in the property market that has provided a boost for the local housing market and has seen applications for bonds rise.
The USSD Home Loan affordability calculator is taking advantage of the convenience of USSD communication by forgoing the need to install an app on your phone or go online.
According to Nedbank’s Bruno Ching’andu, home loans head of consumer strategy, most consumers in the LSM groups from 1 to 5 do not believe owning a home is within their reach.
“What we found is that they are either inadequately informed, or uncomfortable to use mobile apps which require data, where affordability tools usually reside,” Ching’andu said.
He said many entry level consumers find that the bond they qualify for is cheaper compared to what they would pay in rent for the same property.
“Over time, the money they put into their property, whether it’s their primary home or a buy-to-let investment for first time buyers, is accumulated and helps grow long-term wealth,” he said.
The USSD service allows homebuyers to explore exactly what they qualify for as well as the benefits of owning their own home.
The calculator can be accessed by dialing *120*001*123# and following the prompts. The applicant then receives an indication of the maximum loan amount they qualify for and can afford.
Users also have the option of speaking to a consultant who will take them through the process including cost saving, getting full pre-approval, to applying and securing the home loan.
“With this year’s Government announcement of the total waiver of transfer fees for properties priced under R1 million, FLISP subsidy ranging between R27 000 - R127 000 for first time buyers earning below R22000 as well as interest rates being at their lowest level in over 50 years, more South Africans can now use this digital tool as their first step to home ownership,” said Ching’andu.
Compiled by Ntando Thukwana.
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