Renovation Loans in Singapore: How They Work & How to Get One

If you made a diorama of my house, you’d get something like a Lego brick a cat chewed on. And the interior is worse; like the dungeon level of an 80′s video game. It all needs a facelift. Problem is, renovations don’t come cheap; and without cash on hand, it’s hard to make the upfront payments that contractors want. The solution? A renovation loan. These are trending in Singapore, and in this article, I examine how they works More importantly, I look at the best way to find a renovation loan package:


Multi-coloured tree mural

"You're LOOKING at the garden. How big did you think your reno loan was?"


What is a Renovation Loan?

Renovation (Reno) loans are taken for a number of reasons:

  • A change in Interior Design
  • Extensive repairs
  • Re-modelling of one or more rooms, or of the façade of the house
  • Physical extensions of the house

Reno work is either paid in steps, or upfront. Either way, home owners need cash on hand. It’s like a race between you getting money, your designer trying to spend it, and your contractor trying to embezzle everything before you notice.

Sure, there’s always credit cards, but at 24% APR, that’s a step below the local loan shark. Also, renovation costs can easily exceed $50,000, so your nickname at the bank will be “Mr. Maxed” by around week three. Reno loans, on the other hand, average 3 – 5% APR, and won’t wreck your credit score.


Two ladies looking asleep or dead at IKEA

"Call the manager, we have another case. We need to stop showing them the furniture bills in-store."


How Big is the Loan?

With most banks, the minimum loan is $10,000. Depending on your credit, this can be extended to eight times (8 x) your monthly income, to a maximum of $30,000.

Some banks, such as RHB, also provide furnishing loans. If you want the loan to cover every aspect of your renovation, including the furniture, it’s usual to take a Reno loan and a furnishing loan. This separate furnishing loan is usually capped at $120,000.

So the maximum loan is typically $30,000 (the Reno loan) + $120,000 (furnishing loan) = $150,000. Interior Designers and contractors are familiar with this amount, and this is the budget for range for most designer apartments.

Standard loan tenure is between one to five years.


coloured abacus beads

"Charming? I'm using this because my calculator ran out of space for zeroes!"


How Do I Get a Renovation Loan?

You have to:

  • Be a Singaporean or Permanent Resident
  • Be between 21 – 55 years of age
  • Have a minimum income of $24,000 per annum
  • Have a fair credit score

This loan is easy to negotiate, so you can sometimes get it even with bad credit. If you’re rejected, either appeal, or try again in six months. And if you can’t meet the minimum income, get a co-signatory. As long as they’re a relative, you’ll get your loan.


Aren’t All Reno Loans the Same?

No. While Reno loans have less variety than home loans, you should still do your homework.

Different banks offer varying interest rates, which hover between 3 – 5% per annum. Some banks also offer perks, such as free insurance protection for your loan.

Shop around and find the lowest loan, via websites like Remember, the best Reno loan in March 2012 may not be the best in June 2012; so make sure your sources are current.


Two guys laughing

A sign you may be over-estimating your credit score.


General Tips on Renovation Loans

Points to note about Reno loans are:

1. Keep the Tenure as Short as You Can -

Unlike home loans, Reno loans can’t be refinanced. If you pick a five year loan, you’re stuck with the same bank for all five years. Also, unlike property, the value of the renovations won’t appreciate. A Reno loan is effectively borrowing money for consumption, and you want to repay the debt quickly.

2. Stretch the Loan to Cover Everything -

Because renovations involve multiple suppliers, it’s easy for the budget to go wrong. When that happens, many home owners end up with credit card debts on top of the Reno loan. You can save money by making sure everything is covered under a single, low-interest Reno loan.

Whatever budget the contractor comes up with, don’t match the loan to it exactly. Make allowances of up to 10%. While the repayments may go up a bit, it’s better than having to open another credit line later.


Some women standing in a half-built house

"Well, the loan's used up, so…thanks for building this fantastic half."


3. Crunch Numbers First -

Before you get the Reno loan, try to quantify what the improvements will do for you. If you’re a landlord, how will the renovation increase your yield? Is it enough to cover the new repayments?

If you’re just doing it for a more comfortable home, make sure it’s worth renovating instead of just moving. How many years are left on the lease? Are you intending to sell within the next 10 years? If so, remember the renovations may add nothing to your valuation.

Have you ever gotten a Reno loan? Comment and let us know how it went!

Image Credits:
Danielle BlueFoxtongueansiktinuSenator Kate LundyPiddleville

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
  • Weekend guide (26-28 Aug): Singapore Night Festival, Tanjong Goodman Weekend Market and Singapore Rhapsodies The Concert 2016
    Weekend guide (26-28 Aug): Singapore Night Festival, Tanjong Goodman Weekend Market and Singapore Rhapsodies The Concert 2016 Yahoo Newsroom - 10 minutes ago

    Do everything from planet-gazing at the Science Centre, attending the Singapore Night Festival, shopping at the Tanjong Goodman Weekend Market to catching a concert by Mando pop-rock duo Power Station and more fun events this weekend. … More »

  • Malaysia's closing tin prices for Aug 25 Reuters - 25 minutes ago

    KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Following is a table of Kuala Lumpur tin market prices provided by a Malaysian trader. (Prices in $/tonne, and volumes in tonnes unless stated) Date KL Premium/ Spot Bid ... … More »

  • Why It Makes Sense To Own A Credit Card From Young - 25 minutes ago

    Being financially responsible starts from a young age. The post Why It Makes Sense To Own A Credit Card From Young appeared first on … More »

  • Dollar edges lower as market awaits Yellen speech AFP - 27 minutes ago

    The dollar was barely moved Thursday ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen that could shed light on whether a 2016 rate hike is still on the cards. With the economic calendar relatively ... … More »

  • Gabon's Bongo finds new pep on the campaign trail
    Gabon's Bongo finds new pep on the campaign trail AFP News - 55 minutes ago

    Ali Bongo of Gabon, who is running for a second seven-year term in Saturday's presidential election, has spent more than half his 57 years cruising the corridors of power. Known variously by his initials ABO, Ali B and less flatteringly as … More »

  • Asia energy firms extend losses as oil falls
    Asia energy firms extend losses as oil falls AFP News - 59 minutes ago

    Asian energy firms fell further on Thursday as oil extended losses, while currency traders moved cautiously the day before a key speech by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen. World markets have struggled to gain traction this week with few catalysts … More »

  • Indonesia finds ship that was taken by disgruntled crew Associated Press - 1 hour 8 minutes ago

    Indonesia's navy said Thursday it has located a fuel tanker that was missing for a week after being taken from port by its disgruntled crew. The navy said in a statement that the MT Vier Harmoni with 10 ... … More »

  • China's CNOOC reports $1.16 bn net loss
    China's CNOOC reports $1.16 bn net loss AFP News - 1 hour 14 minutes ago

    China's main offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC saw its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange fall on Thursday, after it reported a $1.16 billion net loss for the first half of 2016. It was the company's first half-year loss since it started … More »

  • Marketing solutions company CtrlShift names new CEO, CFO and Malaysia Country Head
    Marketing solutions company CtrlShift names new CEO, CFO and Malaysia Country Head e27 - 1 hour 16 minutes ago

    Team to take on Southeast Asia’s digital advertising industry, expected to hit US$9.9 billion by 2025 CtrlShift, a data-driven audience-focussed marketing solutions company, has announced three new appointments to its management team. Deepika … More »

  • Asia stocks mark time before Yellen speech; dollar firm
    Asia stocks mark time before Yellen speech; dollar firm Reuters - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    Asian stocks edged higher on Thursday but clung to recent well-worn trading ranges while the greenback held firm against regional currencies ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at a global central bankers' meeting. MSCI's … More »

  • PBOC Money-Market Tactic Has Traders Trying to Decode Signal (2) Bloomberg - 1 hour 24 minutes ago

    The People’s Bank of China sold 50 billion yuan ($7.5 billion) of 14-day reverse-repurchase agreements on Wednesday, its first offering of anything with a tenor other than seven days since February. Officials are signaling they’re ready to curb … More »

  • Asian shares waver in thin trading after Wall Street decline
    Asian shares waver in thin trading after Wall Street decline Associated Press - 1 hour 27 minutes ago

    Shares wavered in thin but volatile trading in Asia on Thursday, following a bleak day on Wall Street led by declines in health-care stocks as outrage mounts over steep price hikes for Mylan's EpiPens. ... … More »

  • This is what the world of finance really thinks of Donald Trump
    This is what the world of finance really thinks of Donald Trump Truewealth Publishing - 1 hour 30 minutes ago

    The chances are slim – somewhere between 4 and 21 percent, depending on the source – that Donald Trump will become the next president of the U.S. But as long as there’s any chance at all that he’ll become the American president (and as long as he’s … More »

  • Mobius Says Helicopter Money Will Be Japan’s Next Big Experiment Bloomberg - 1 hour 32 minutes ago

    Haruhiko Kuroda decides to act. Helicopter money is coming, says Mark Mobius, even as soon as next month. For Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, traditional easing measures have just made people save instead of spend … More »

  • Dollar Rally Fades as Markets Calm Before Yellen; Kiwi Advances Bloomberg - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index snapped a four-day winning streak that was fueled by hawkish comments from Fed officials. Fluctuations in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index over the past two weeks have been the most muted since 2012 and gauges of expected … More »

  • High-Speed Trader IMC Under China Stock-Index Futures Probe Bloomberg - 2 hours 5 minutes ago

    The firm has received inquiries from the China Securities Regulatory Commission related to futures trading at its Shanghai-based affiliate, said Ian Bickerton, a spokesman for IMC. Discussions between IMC and the regulator have been constructive … More »

  • Kuroda Money-Go-Round Undercuts Japan Negative-Rate Windfall (1) Bloomberg - 2 hours 17 minutes ago

    Japan’s Ministry of Finance made about 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion) more in the year to April than it would have if yields had been zero, according to Bloomberg calculations. This money-go-round shows how intertwined the finances of the BOJ and … More »

  • Oil prices fall as market focus returns to global supply overhang
    Oil prices fall as market focus returns to global supply overhang Reuters - 2 hours 23 minutes ago

    Crude prices edged lower on Thursday as brimming U.S. and Asian fuel inventories returned investors' attention to a large global supply overhang, cutting short a price rally and restricting Brent crude futures to below the $50 a barrel mark. … More »

  • Two strata office floors at AXA Tower for sale from $2,550 psf
    Two strata office floors at AXA Tower for sale from $2,550 psf The Edge Property - 2 hours 28 minutes ago

    Perennial Real Estate Holdings has released two strata office floors at AXA Tower, 8 Shenton Way for sale by expression of interest (EOI). The indicative price starts from $2,550 psf, according to marketing agent JLL. … More »

  • 69 industrial units at Kaki Bukit for sale from $37.5 mil
    69 industrial units at Kaki Bukit for sale from $37.5 mil The Edge Property - 2 hours 32 minutes ago

    A portfolio of 69 strata industrial units at the Ruby Warehouse Complex has been put up for sale by public tender. According to marketing agent CBRE, the guide price for all the units combined is between $37.5 million and $38.8 million, which works … More »

  • Hong Kong’s Equity Bull Run Tires as Fed, China Concerns Return Bloomberg - 2 hours 32 minutes ago

    Speculation China’s economy is stabilized has been dashed by July data showing faltering growth. At the same time, technical indicators are signaling that the Hang Seng Index’s 25 percent ascent since February’s low was too quick. For BNP Paribas … More »

  • GCB in Dalvey Estate for sale by auction at $30 mil
    GCB in Dalvey Estate for sale by auction at $30 mil The Edge Property - 2 hours 35 minutes ago

    A 2½-storey GCB in Dalvey Estate has been put up for sale by auction. The indicative price for the house is $30 million ($1,972 psf). It is currently tenanted at a monthly rent of $26,000, with the lease expiring in August 2017.The GCB sits on … More »

  • Israeli adtech startup MassiveImpact acquired by Taiwanese GMobi
    Israeli adtech startup MassiveImpact acquired by Taiwanese GMobi e27 - 2 hours 39 minutes ago

    The Israeli company has over a billion users each month. Taiwanese sources said the acquisition price was in the tens of millions of US dollars It is not only cyber. Foreign companies also find Israeli adtech startups attractive for both investments … More »

  • China Oil Giants Unmoved by Bull Rally After Worst Earnings (1) Bloomberg - 2 hours 45 minutes ago

    PetroChina Co., the country’s biggest oil and gas company, and Cnooc Ltd., China’s main offshore explorer, reported the weakest earnings since they were both publicly listed. Oil has whipsawed this year, flipping five times between bear and bull … More »

  • DIARY-Malaysia 2016 corporate earnings Reuters - 2 hours 51 minutes ago

    Following is a list of release dates for the quarterly earnings of some top Malaysia-listed companies. To submit a date, email: TBD: To be determined Company RIC PERIOD DATE AirAsia ... … More »

Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
to view quotes in your portfolios.


  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg

Market Data

  • Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change