At the press conference on Thursday, March 26, 2020 Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Keith Rowley indicated that non-essential businesses will cease to operate from midnight on Sunday, March 29, 2020 to Wednesday, April 15, 2020 in the first instance, in the continued efforts to manage the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In this regard, we will be maintaining minimal operations remotely to process our customers’ requests for mortgage payment deferrals and refunds of March 2020 installments received. All other services will cease during this period.
We urge you to follow the advice of the authorities to ‘stay at home’ unless you are an essential worker in an essential business and please take the precautionary measures outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Ministry of Health and other related agencies for protecting yourself and your family against the spread of COVID-19.
Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company Limited continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and how it affects the financial circumstances of our customers.
At the post cabinet news briefing on Monday, March 23rd, 2020 the Prime Minister, through the Minister of Finance, clarified his previous request on March 18, 2020 to defer mortgage payments:
For TTMF customers he indicated the deferral would be for three months in the first instance.
For HDC customers who are in a Rent to Own (RTO) or License to Occupy (LTO) arrangement, the deferral would be for two (2) months in the first instance.
This deferral applies to customers who are unable to pay due to the impact of COVID-19. All other customers who are in a position to pay are encouraged to continue making their payments.
If you require a deferral of your payments, please complete and sign this Request for Deferral of Installments Form. You can contact us via our website or email us at email@example.com. Please note that the deferral is not a waiver of the payment. Instead, the term of your loan will be extended by the deferral period to allow for repayment of these installments. You will be required to sign a Letter of Variation confirming the extension of the term of the loan by the deferral period.
If your payment is normally remitted through a salary deduction, standing order or if we debit your account directly, then we may have already received your March payment. We will verify this and if this is indeed so, we will refund you the payment either by cheque which will be mailed to you or by direct deposit to your bank account.
While our offices are open, to minimise the spread of COVID-19, we urge you to follow the advice of the authorities to ‘stay at home’. If you must come in, we have introduced measures to ensure that proper social distancing is observed. In this regard, please note the following:
For statements, letters or other enquiries you may contact us using any of the channels stated above
All scheduled appointments will be facilitated via telephone.
If it is still necessary to visit our offices, please note that entry in any one space will be restricted to ten (10) persons. Visitors are required to use the hand sanitisers on entry and observe social distancing at all times.
Please be reminded to take the precautionary measures outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Ministry of Health and other related agencies for protecting yourself and your family against the spread of COVID-19.
Purchasing a home will probably be the biggest financial decision you will ever make in your life so you can’t afford to take the decision lightly, especially since it involves taking on long-term debt. There are a couple of very important questions that you should seek answers to before you sign on the dotted line. We thought we’d share these so you’d be better prepared at your mortgage application appointments.
Ask these questions:
What is the Interest Rate?
The interest rate on your mortgage represents the true cost of borrowing the money you need to purchase or construct your home. It is communicated as a percentage of the principal (i.e. the amount you borrow) and is one of the main elements of a mortgage that can be compared among offers by different mortgage providers. A lower interest rate is more desirable than a higher one because it means that you will be repaying less money overall on your mortgage.
Is the interest rate fixed or variable?
It’s very easy to overlook this question. You may believe that it’s a given that all loan interest rates are fixed. However, that may not be true, particularly when it comes to mortgages. If you visit a bank, they will give you a quote for an interest rate which may be attractively low, but it’s important to note that their interest rates can change every year on the anniversary date of your mortgage. This is because their interest rate is variable and is based on a Mortgage Market Reference Rate (MMRR) which fluctuates. On the other hand, our interests are stable. Our interest rates are not impacted by the MMRR so our customers are able to stay in control of their mortgage payments. On our open market rate which is currently 6%, this interest rate does change with time. However, the 2% and 5% interest rates increase over time, but, they are measured increases that homeowners can account for from the beginning of their mortgage. Therefore, they can plan for the increase in mortgage payments. For more insight, please read our previous Home Smart blog “Stable Interest Rates” where we discuss how our rates offer more stability to our customers than the banks’ rates.
What are the upfront costs?
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender isn’t the only party who would be writing a cheque. To become a homeowner, you’ll have to dip into your pocket too. Unless you are offered 100% financing, chances are you will need to make a downpayment on the home you are interested in purchasing. Additionally, there are several other closing costs that you must be prepared to pay in order to seal the deal. These are: statutory fees, legal fees and other costs to get your valuation report, property charges etc. You can learn more on closing costs here.
Can I make additional payments?
There may be times when you may want to make additional or lumpsum payments apart from your monthly payments. It’s important that you find out whether your mortgage provider would accept these. Ask about the minimum or maximum amount you could pay and how often you are allowed to pay them. Also, you should get clarity on how these lumpsum payments would impact the overall cost of your mortgage. Ideally, it should reduce the overall interest charges that you pay, and not just reduce the time that it takes you to repay your mortgage. Remember to ask whether there are penalties for early settlement of your mortgage too, such as additional interest charges.
At TTMF, you can make lumpsum payments that are equal to or more than your monthly instalment at any time. You would need to specify that you’d like your lumpsum payment to be applied to your principal balance if you want to reduce the interest charges you pay thereafter when compared to your original repayment schedule. If not, your additional payment would be considered a prepayment and therefore would only reduce the time it would take for you to pay off your mortgage; it would not save you money. Fortunately, we do not charge any penalties for paying off your mortgage earlier than expected.
Here’s a question for you: Are you ready to get started?
We’d be more than happy to help you with the answers to these questions regarding your mortgage application. Feel free to set up an interview with one of our mortgage specialists to get pre-qualified for a mortgage here: or give us a call at 623-TTMF (8863)