What is the new HDB Flat Letter of Eligibility (HFE)? HFE vs HLE Letters, Application Process and More - MoneySmart Blog (2023)

Whether you are buyingBuild-to-Order Drawings (BTO)oneresale unitHDB, there is a slightlyHelloYou need to prepare. it's not a four letter wordabsolute value(shudder!), but one of three letters: HFE.

This means that HFEHDB eligibility, which are the most important letters you need to buy a new, new BTO floorSale of Condominium Balance, new first flooropen reserve, or resale floors. If the acronym HFE sounds a bit unfamiliar, that's probably because the letters HFE are new: it replaces the letters HFE.HDB Loan Eligibility Letter (HLE)May 9, 2023.

Why did HDB replace the letters HLE with HFE? As a condo buyer, is this good for you? In terms of lending, what is the point of the new HFE process now integrated with bank loan applications? Here's everything you need to know about the new HDB HFE letter: what it is, who needs it, when you need it and how to apply.


  1. What are the HFE letters?
  2. What is the difference between the new HFE diagram and the old HLE diagram?
  3. Is the HFE card better?
  4. How do I request an HFE letter? Preflight HFE Check, Request HFE Letter
  5. Wait...can I apply for a bank loan on HDB Flat Portal now?
  6. When will I hear from HFE?
  7. Do I need to apply for an HFE letter? When do I need to do this?
  8. Is an HFE letter required for the May 2023 BTO event?
  9. I have submitted a flat application before introducing the HFE letter. Should I apply for the HFE letter now?

1. What is an HFE letter?

The HFE letter is a comprehensive document that summarizes everything you need to know about eligibility to buy a new/resale home, gethousing allowance, and takeHDB loan.You apply at the beginning of your housing search journey, and you can then use the grant, loan and housing information in the letter when choosing an apartment.

The HFE diagram is a new and improved version of the HLE diagram, whichOfficially replaced on May 9, 2023. The HLE only assesses your eligibility for an HDB home loan, while the HFE reviews your eligibility for housing, grants and loans. Check out this sample letter from HFE to see what it covers:

What is the new HDB Flat Letter of Eligibility (HFE)? HFE vs HLE Letters, Application Process and More - MoneySmart Blog (1)

In addition to containing important information about your grant and loan eligibility, the HFE letter is essential if you are applying for a BTO condo or obtaining an option to purchase (OTP) for a resale condo during a sales event.

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2. What is the difference between the new HFE diagram and the old HLE diagram?

Here's a quick look at the similarities and differences between the new HFE and its predecessor, the HLE:

New HDB Letter of Eligibility (HFE)HDB Loan Eligibility Letter (HLE)
What information does it contain?
  • plane type: What Types of New or Resale Flooring Can You Buy?
  • subsidy: the amount of housing benefits you are eligible for, includinghousing allowance provident fund,Enhanced CPF housing allowance, yProximity Housing Allowance
  • loan: You are eligible to participateHDB loan, including loan amount and repayment period
  • loan: You are eligible to participateHDB loan, including loan amount and repayment period
When did you ask for it?At the beginning of your home buying journey, before applying to buy a home.
  • new condo buyers: Apply for HFE online prior to the BTO sales event.
  • Resale Condo Buyers: Apply before you get an option to purchase (OTP) from a reseller.
  • new condo buyersPreviously, you had to apply for HLE after receiving your queue number before proceeding to the HDB reserved floor.
  • Resale Condo Buyers: Same as the new process.
What do you need it for?
  • new condo buyers: Apply for a BTO apartment during a sales event.
  • Resale Condo Buyers: Obtain an OTP and submit a resale request to HDB.
  • new condo buyers: Book a BTO apartment after applying online during the sales event and getting a successful ticket.
  • Resale Condo Buyers: Same as the new process.
Is it integrated with the process of obtaining approval-in-principle for bank loans?You can request the IPA in the same HDB Flat Portal when you request the HFE letter.
After getting your apartment and getting your IPA, you can also check loan quotes on HDB Flat Portal.
Applying for a bank loan is a completely different process than applying for an HLE letter. You must contact the bank directly.
How long is this letter valid for?6 months from the date of issue
What is the rent assessment period?12 months, ending 2 months before the month you made your HFE letter request. So if you apply for the HFE letter in May 2023, the evaluation period is from April 2022 to March 2023.

if you haveMonthly CPF contributions and fixed salary: Last 3 months salary slip + 15 months provident fund contribution history.
if youNo monthly CPF contributions: Last 6 months salary slip + last 6 months bank statement

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3. Is the HFE letter better?

really. The best thing about the new HFE card is thatSimplify the entire valuation process for buying an apartment.By doing this, it tells you which apartments, loans and grants you are eligible for even before you start looking for an apartment. Finally, it's time for us to get up to speed!

We know HFE replaced HLE, but to say that's all it does is an understatement. The new HFE affects more than just an old letter - it facilitates the entire process of applying for apartments and evaluating housing grants and loans. Here's what the old process looked like:

Former HLE Process: When your eligibility is assessed as:
buy propertyhousing allowanceHDB loan
BTO HDB buyersin flat applicationsfixed reserveWhen requesting an HLE letter (before booking an apartment)
Resale Condo Buyersin flat applicationsin flat applicationsAs required by HLE letter (prior to obtaining purchase options)

Previously, HDB would assess your eligibility to purchaseBTO planeAt the application stage, but they will only assess you for housing grants and HDB loans after getting a queue number. Keep in mind that all of these assessments are done through separate applications, and for each application, you'll need to dig through a bunch of documentation. forresale unit, HDB will screen your flat purchase and housing grant at the flat application stage, and then require you to submit more documents to assess your loan eligibility before you can get the OTP.

All of this means a complicated process and some uncertainty for homebuyers in terms of how much grant/loan they can get, especially if they want to buy BTO condominiums. For BTO home buyers, they do not know how much housing subsidy they can get when applying for home purchase through the above-mentioned process. You will never know how many HDB loans you can apply for. How does one choose an apartment without really knowing their housing budget?

Enter the letter HFE to tell you in advance what building you can buy, how much housing allowance you can get, and how big it isMortgageyou can take. This is what the new process looks like:

New HFE process - when your eligibility is assessed as:
buy propertyhousing allowanceHDB loan
BTO HDB buyersWhat must be done before requesting any BTO during a sales event in the HFE letter request
Resale Condo BuyersOn the HFE letter application, what you can do before you start looking for a resale apartment and what you must do before you get an OTP for the apartment you want.

HFE diagrams are much simpler and more complete than HLE diagrams. It asks for all the information you need to pre-evaluate you and also gives you information about buying an apartment, grants and pre-loan eligibility. No kidding, it's pretty revolutionary. The new system prepares your home and home financing decisions from day one, which is a huge improvement over previous systems that left homebuyers asking "what now?" at every stage.

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4. How do I request an HFE letter?

Requesting an HFE letter is a two-step process.

Step 1: HFE Preflight

The first step isHFE preliminary control, which means you are eligible to buy a flat, receive housing subsidies and get a loan from HDB. All you need to do is log into HDB Flat Portal using Singpass and follow the instructions to submit your household and income details, declare any private property and indicate if you intend to apply for a home loan.

Once you click submit, it's an instant process - you'll immediately get an initial overview of your flat purchase, housing assistance and home loan eligibility. HDB's goal is to quickly share information to help you get a rough idea of ​​your household budget and see what works for you. However, this initial verification will not result in any official letter from HFE.

Step 2: Request the HFE Letter

If you think you can use what you see in the HFE preflight, the second step isRequest HFE Letter.This is the step that provides you with the actual HFE letter needed to book a BTO or resale condo. Must be completed within 30 days of the start of the initial HFE verification; if late, must return to the starting line to retake the initial HFE inspection.

To apply for the actual HFE letter, you will need to log in again to HDB Flat Portal via Singpass. Complete and report the information they ask for, such as your 15-month CPF contribution history and latest IRAS assessment notice. Don’t worry about logging into your CPF, but with the help of Myinfo via Singpass, it can be a hassle-free process for you.

At this stage, you can also compare housing loans from HDB and banks, and even apply for a bank loan through the HDB platform!

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5. Wait...can I apply for a bank loan on HDB Flat Portal now?

A very beneficial new feature of the new flat application isNow you can view and compare bank loans on HDB Flat Portal, all on one page.This is what it looks like:

What is the new HDB Flat Letter of Eligibility (HFE)? HFE vs HLE Letters, Application Process and More - MoneySmart Blog (2)

If you see a bank loan you want to get, HDB will help you. At this stage, you can instruct HDB to pass on your information and documents to the bank to applyApproval in Principle (IPA)Get a home loan from them. An IPA is a document from a bank stating that they will lend you money to buy a house. You can also think of it as the bank loan version of the old HLE letter that allows you to get a HDB loan.

Once you submit your IPA application through HDB, the bank will contact you directly to let you know if your application has been approved. Then, after booking the apartment, you can return to HDB Flats Portal to confirm the bank loan quote.

read also:HDB Loan vs Bank Loan: Which Is Better? 5 Things to Know Before Committing

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6. When will I receive my HFE letter?

If all goes well, HDB will not provide you with any additional information it needs and will send you a letter from HFE within 21 working days of receiving your request. During peak periods, such as during and before promotions, this may take longer.

Once HDB has processed your HFE letter, you will receive a text message notification that your letter is ready. You can then log into HDB Flat Portal to view and download.

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7. Do I need to apply for HFE letter? When do I need to do this?

You will need an HFE letter whenever you plan to buy an apartment. This works for:

  • New BTO Units
  • newSale of Condominium Balance
  • new flooropen reserve
  • resale unit

If you've spotted a nice new apartment, ask for the HFE letter before a sales event or if you want to book an open-booking apartment any time of the year. Technically speaking,you just needpreliminaryHFE assessment to apply for an apartment.However, if you vote successfully,then you will need the HFE letter to book the apartment.We recommend that you apply for the HFE letter as soon as possible after the initial HFE inspection so that HDB has enough time to process your HFE letter in case you are lucky enough to book an apartment. There is no real harm in applying for an HFE letter early, but keep in mind that it expires 6 months from the date it was issued.

If you want to buy a second-hand house,When you decide to buy a condo and want to get an OTP, all you need is the HFE card.However, an initial HFE assessment before you shop is a good way to gauge which type of home is best for your financial situation. If you see an apartment you really like but haven't submitted your HFE application, you will have to wait up to 21 days or so to receive your HFE letter (longer if it's peak season!). So in that sense it might be prudentApply for HFE early, even before you start looking for a resale condo to buy..The only possible downside is that the HFE expires after 6 months. So if you are unfortunate enough to be looking for an apartment for more than 6 months, you will have to apply for a new HFE letter.

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8. Is an HFE letter required for the May 2023 BTO event?

you need to get aHFE Initial EvaluationBook an apartment duringMayo 2023 BTOSales practice. To get this, completeStep 1: HFE Preflight.You don't need to apply for an actual HFE letter...yet.

If you get a queue number and go to HDB to book an apartment, you need to have the correct HFE letter. To obtain this letter, please completeStep 2: Request the HFE LetterOn the HDB Flat Portal within 30 calendar days of the start of Step 1.

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9. I submitted the flat application before submitting the HFE letter. Should I apply for the HFE letter now?

Many of you may have applied for apartments through sale or open booking before the HFE letter replaced the HLE letter on 9 May 2023. If this is you, don't worry. You can sit back and see if you are shortlisted to book a flat and apply for a housing loan from HDB.

If you are shortlisted, congratulations! Before you can book an apartment, HDB will ask you to apply for an HLE letter in the traditional way. This is only a temporary measure used by HDB to accommodate the transition to the HFE Charter.

If you weren't shortlisted, gosh! Good luck next time. Speaking of next time, before you even want to book an apartment, whether it's a new condo or a resale, ask for the HFE letter.

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