Interest-free home loans

First come first served, 25 billion baht of home loans free of interest for two years.

prospective homeowners

In the photo prospective home owners above queued at the National Housing Bank head office yesterday to apply for loans for first time buyers. Loans will be interest free for two years. The bank is making available 25 billion baht for the loan scheme. Sirilak Suanburi, the first person to file a loan application, shows the documentation. (Photo by THITI WANNAMONTHA)

Click button to listen to Interest Free Loans and rightclick to download

HOUSING: First-home buyers flock to interest-free loan offer by Wichit Chantanusornsiri and Kanana Katharangsiporn

Almost 5,900 people have lodged applications for special loans worth a combined 8.88 billion baht at the Government Housing Bank in the first day of the loan launch yesterday.

The programme, with a total credit line of 25 billion baht, targets first-time homebuyers. GH Bank accepts applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

About 200 people queued to apply for loans before the bank opened for business at 8.30am.

At the top of the queue was a 47-year-old man who arrived at the bank at 4am. He had travelled from Buri Ram on Sunday night to apply for the loan. GH Bank started handing out queue cards for loan applicants at 7am.

The programme offers first-time homebuyers a mortgage loan at zero interest rate for the first two years for houses priced below three million baht with a full term of 30 years. The rate for subsequent years will be based on the bank's conditions.

The bank will also pay the 1% mortgage fee and 2% transfer fee for customers.

Applications will be accepted until the end of the year or until the credit line is used up.

The programme attracted a large number of homebuyers because of the two-year waiver of interest. A customer borrowing 1.5 million baht can save about 100,000 baht on the interest in the first year of instalments based on GHB's present minimum repayment rate of 6.75%.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said an average loan application is 1.5 million baht. Sixty percent of applications came from outside Bangkok. Initial approval may take up to three weeks and all applications are expected to be approved within two months by the bank.

Mr Korn said GH Bank must operate this programme transparently for all people on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants to the programme must be buyers themselves. The programme is aimed at helping low-and-medium income-earners in light of rising interest rates and the cost of living.

The government will not compensate the bank for any income loss from its two-year interest free policy, which is estimated at 450 million to 500 million baht.

Although the programme was better and more attractive for homebuyers than the property tax incentives which expired last year, the number of homebuyers applying for loans under the programme on the first day was not as high as expected. It is speculated home buyers had limited time to prepare documents given that the cabinet had approved the programme less than a week before its launch.

Other reasons for the lower than expected number of applicants might include the condition that the loans are for first-time home buyers only and not for other people who may exploit the programme for speculative buying.

(Source: Bangkok Post, HOUSING, First-home buyers flock to interest-free loan offer, 10/05/2011, Wichit Chantanusornsiri and Kanana Katharangsiporn, link

prospective home owners - may become home owners

for loans - make a formal request for a loan from a bank
(noun) - the documents that provide your personal  information when you apply for something
file a loan application 

interest - payments made for the use of another's money for a period of time
loan - an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank เงินกู้

scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
documentation - pieces of paper containing official information; documents used for proving that something is true เอกสารที่ใช้ในการพิสูจน์, เอกสารที่ใช้ในการอ้างอิง

flock - when many people go to a place in large numbers แห่กันไป
launch - an event to celebrate or introduce something new การเริ่มปฏิบัติการ, การออกตัวของสินค้า
launch - to start selling a new product or service to the public เริ่มวางขาย

credit - loans เครดิต เงินกู  money that you owe someone (a bill that grows until you pay it off at the end of the month, for example)
line - position; a way of dealing with or thinking about something or someone
targets - goals or levels you plan to achieve

queue (noun) - a line of people waiting for something คิว
queue (verb) - to wait in line for some service (example: queue to buy a plane
hand out - to give things to each person in a group แจกจ่าย
mortgage - a legal agreement in which you borrow money from a bank in order to buy a house, build something, develop a piece of land, etc.การจำนอง
interest rate - the percentage a loan paid as a charge for borrowing this money each year อัตราดอกเบี้ย
full term - for the full length of the loan (people sometimes pay the loan back early or refinance their home with a lower rate)
subsequent - happening afterwards

fee - an amount of money that you pay to be allowed to do something ค่าธรรมเนียม, ค่าตอบแทน, ค่าบริการ
transfer - to official arrange for someone else to be the owner of something โอน
transfer fee - the fee the government charges for changing the owner of a home after it is bought

approval - official permission การอนุมัต
expected - believe something will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)

transparently - openly; having nothing hidden or secret อย่างโปร่งใส

First Come First Served (FCFS) - the way a normal line operates, have to wait for people who entered line before you to be served  (See Wikipedia)
on a Y basis - using rule Y, following rule Y in its operation
on a first-come, first-served basis - the first person there, is the first person to get served (to get the offer)

income - money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
cost of living - the amount of money that is needed to live in a place, compared to other places, the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living in a place ค่าครองชีพ (See Wikipedia)
compensate - pay money to someone after they have been harmed or damaged by an event
policy - a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย (See Wikipedia)

attractive - worth having or doing
property tax - tax paid on land, home or buildings owned ภาษีโรงเรือนและที่ดิน
incentives - a reward to encourage people to do something, rewards for behaving in a certain manner สิ่งกระตุ้น รางวัล ผลตอบแทน
expired - ended, finished, used up, no longer valid หมดอายุ สิ้นสุด
condition - something that must be true or most be done before another thing can happen เงื่อนไข
exploit - use unfairly for one's own gain and benefit (See glossary) ตักตวงผลประโยชน์ เอาเปรียบ, หาประโยชน์ใส่ตัว