Can a foreign citizen get a state-guaranteed housing loan?
To be eligible for a state-guaranteed housing loan, foreign citizen must have a Finnish social security number. The borrower must reside permanently in Finland and have a residence permit. The residence permit need not be permanent; however, it cannot be too short-term. The bank or other financial institution granting the state-guaranteed mortgage decides whether the residency is considered long enough. The apartment or house purchased with the mortgage must be located in Finland and purchased for owner-occupied use.
Can I get a government-guaranteed housing loan even if I am not purchasing my first home?
Yes. You do not need to be a first-home buyer to get a government guarantee for you housing loan. The use of the government guarantee is agreed upon with the bank granting the loan.
How can I apply for a government guarantee?
You do not need to apply for the government guarantee separately. Instead, it is granted at the bank in connection with granting the housing loan. There are no statutory restrictions on income or assets related to the government guarantee. However, the bank granting the loan decides whether the borrower’s solvency is sufficient in relation to the housing loan they are applying for. You only need to agree on applying the guarantee to the housing loan together with the bank in connection with drafting the loan documents.
Can the government guarantee be applied to the entire loan?
The amount of the loan with a government guarantee may be up to 85 per cent of the purchase price of a home. The share of the government guarantee is up to 20 per cent of the home ownership loan and up to 60,000 euros per home.
For ASP interest subsidy loans, the proportion of the government-guaranteed loan may be up to 90 per cent of the purchase price of a home, and the share of the government guarantee may be up to 25 per cent of the loan, but no more than 60,000 euros.
Is the government guarantee subject to a fee?
A guarantee fee for the government guarantee is charged in connection with withdrawing the loan or the first instalment of the loan. The fee is 2.5 per cent of the amount of the government guarantee. The government shall charge the guarantee fee via the bank.
No guarantee fee is charged for ASP interest subsidy loans.
An example of the guarantee fee:
Purchase price of the home EUR 100,000 Home ownership loan (85% of the purchase price) EUR 85,000 Amount of the government guarantee (up to 20% of the amount of the loan) EUR 17,000 Guarantee fee (2.5% x EUR 17,000) EUR 425
How can I apply for a change to terms of the loan, such as instalment-free periods, for a loan guaranteed by the government?
Changes to the terms of a loan guaranteed by the government are always agreed upon with the bank that granted the loan. Please contact your bank if you need an instalment-free period or want to apply for another change to the terms of the loan.
Can a government-guaranteed loan be transferred entirely to another borrower in case of divorce?
In the event of divorce, one of the spouses may take over the loan in full. The loan will remain valid as is and one of the spouses will simply be removed from the loan. However, in such a situation, the credit institution must reassess the solvency of the borrower who takes over the loan alone and determine whether the borrower will be able to manage the loan alone also in the future. The prepared facility statement must be attached to the loan documents for future use, for example in case of a guarantee compensation situation.
My housing loan includes a government guarantee. Can I rent out my home?
The home acquired with a government-guaranteed loan must be used by the borrower. The home must serve as the primary dwelling for the borrower or their family. Thus, a government-guaranteed loan cannot be used to acquire an investment apartment, for example. However, if, after acquiring a home, there is a need to rent out the home, for example because of studies or work in another locality, the home may be freely rented to a person outside the family.
Can a government-guaranteed loan be used for building a detached house?
Yes. In this case, the amount of the government-guaranteed loan is based on a cost estimate for the construction of the detached house. The cost estimate must be calculated as realistically as possible, as it cannot be changed afterwards. If the need for a loan increases during the construction period, the portion exceeding the cost estimate must be financed by other means. You must therefore prepare for the construction project with sufficient savings of your own and possibly other loans. The bank granting the loan monitors the progress of the construction project and the withdrawal of new instalments is tied to the progress of the construction work.
Can I include the plot in the cost estimate for construction?
The purchase price of the plot may be approved as part of the cost estimate for the detached house, if the plot is acquired as part of the construction project and funded with a loan that is both withdrawn at the same time and has a government guarantee. In this event, construction must start without delay after purchasing the plot.
Can a government-guarantee loan have instalment-free periods?
The maximum loan period of a government-guaranteed loan is 25 years from the date that the loan or its first instalment is withdrawn. The duration of instalment-free periods for a government-guaranteed loan is not limited as long as the total loan period is no more than 25 years. Within the total loan period, the bank and the borrower may freely agree on instalment-free periods. However, the instalment plan must be realistic.
At the borrower’s request during the loan period, the bank may also extend the loan period to a maximum of 27 years if the borrower’s ability to manage the loan has significantly deteriorated due to illness, unemployment or other comparable reasons.
If the total amount of the borrower’s housing loan is greater than the share of the home ownership loan covered by the government liability, i.e., they have an additional loan, the government-guaranteed loan must be repaid first. Therefore, instalment-free periods cannot be granted for government-guaranteed loans in such a way that only the “additional loan” (which does not involve a government guarantee) is repaid.
Can interest rate hedging be applied to loans including a government guarantee?
An interest rate ceiling may be attached to a loan including a government guarantee if the interest rate ceiling fee is not attached to the margin nor added to the principal. In other words, the interest rate ceiling fee must be completely separate from the principal of the loan, nor can it be attached to the margin.
The interest rate ceiling fee may be a one-time payment, or it may be paid in instalments, but the fee must be separate from the monthly instalment of the housing loan. The government guarantee will not cover any of the costs of an interest rate ceiling.
Government-guaranteed loans may also have a fixed interest. However, loans with government guarantees cannot have interest rate collars.