1. Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you can help in individuals applying for the My First Home program?

The origin of Malaysia Building Society Berhad (MBSB) can be traced back to the Federal and Colonial Building Society Limited incorporated in 1950. In 1956, it changed its name to Malaya Borneo Building Society Limited (MBBS), with the Malaysian Government as its major shareholder. MBBS was then listed on the Stock Exchange of Malaysia and Singapore in August 1963.

MBSB has evolved in its role from being the first property financier to a financial provider that offers a spectrum of innovative products and services throughout its branch network nationwide.

The My First Home Scheme first came about because we want to help young graduates and young families to own their first home in an affordable manner. So this is one of the initiative that we are going through to assist young Malaysians to own their first house.

As compared to other banks, we have added enhanced features such as increased loan amount up to RM500,000 and income limit, so long as applicants can justify this is their first home, they can go for a higher loan margin. So applicants that gets their loan approved can waive their down-payment so those money can then be used on assist in financing their loans or use to furnish the home that they are planning to get.

2. Who can apply for the My First Home program? Government servants? Individuals working for private sectors?

Target segment for MBSB is those who is under employment, regardless whether they work for the private sector or the government. For the Self-employed, normally we presume that they have better earning power so we are not exploring that group yet. There are also other programs available that can cater to the self-employed.

3. Some individuals doesn’t meet the criteria by falling short by a little in term of the salary scale, can they still get into the program or there is no margin for errors in term of the terms and conditions?

Every bank would have their own assessment criteria, so do MBSB. As long as the applicant can prove that they have the repayment capability. At the end of the day, it boils down to the documentation. This is different from banks to banks, MBSB has our own policies and guidelines we follow. As long as they can fulfill this criteria, then the loan will be approved.

4. What are the most typical mistakes individuals make when they apply for the My First Home scheme with the banks?

The most common mistake for first time house buyers is they don’t understand the mechanics like how much income and how much can they afford. First of all, the applicants need to understand what price range can they afford without burdening their finances before plunging straight into the market for their first home.

Do talk to the banks as a lot of the banks now have various channels for potential home owners to go talk to to seek advice regarding owning their first home and the price range of the home they should seek out for that will allow them to have a more comfortable refinancing without falling deep into debt. So do go talk to the bank and find out about the financial scheme before they step into the market to search for their dream house.

Another mistake applicants make is, they search for homes that is higher than what they can afford, for example, if the salary can only pay for installments for homes up to RM400,000 but the applicant go for homes that is RM500,000. Then the chances of the loan being rejected are higher. They need to check on the affordability first.

5. Is My First Home Scheme and PR1MA the same or is two different programs that is offered to the public?

My First Home Scheme is targeted to anyone who wants to own their first home while PR1MA is targeted on segments that are more towards the middle income and above. Individuals who wish to apply for their first home scheme at a PR1MA development can do so as long as this is their first house and they can afford to pay for the house.

6. What form of assistance that individual can expect from the bank to help them in applying for the scheme?

Banks have trained staff that specializes in mortgage that can help advice any potential house buyers and Bank Negara also has come up with documentations to provide the guidelines and along with the bank’s own brochures and guides, applicants can take home and read to help them in making a decision.

Just go to any bank and talk to the bankers on duties, they will be able to advice you and there is no charges involved when an individual walks in to talk to us and get advice on their loan application.

7. Is there any additional criteria that banks imposes on top of those listed by the My First Home program?

Generally, MBSB don’t have any additional criteria for applicants on top of what is given in the guidelines for the My First Home program and what Bank Negara has set down. Best way for any new home owners is to come in and talk to us for us to provide the best guide in assisting them in getting their first home.

8. Any advice for people who wish to apply for the scheme?

Always check on the eligibility first. They can come in, talk to any MBSB staff and find out whether they can apply for this scheme or any schemes that is available in the market. Don’t go shopping for a home that you want but you can’t afford and then get disappointed when your application get rejected as the bank(s) through their calculations know you can’t afford those homes. Talk to us, find out your eligibility first before stepping out into the market to find that dream home of yours within the range you can afford.

Seeking financial advice from any financial institution is free so don’t be shy. Talk to the mortgage officer and find out rather than be disappointed when you can’t get the dream home you want because it was out of your range even before you apply for loan.