The Nuts And Bolts Of MSR And TDSR

Guest Post: By iCompareLoan Editorial Team


TDSR, or Total Debt Servicing Ratio, is a relatively new regulation in Singapore’s real estate market. Introduced only on 28 June 2013 after seven rounds of property cooling measures had been implemented since 14 September 2009, nonetheless the Government did not regard it as yet another series of cooling measure. Rather it was hailed as long-term measure to ensure that financial institutions practise prudence when disbursing property loans.

In contrast, MSR, or Mortgage Servicing Ratio, was mandated for MAS-regulated financial institutions (FIs) for the first time, during the seventh round of cooling measures in January 2013. Before only mortgages by HDB have to follow a MSR.

Given that TDSR and MSR are likely here to stay, let us set the record straight between the two.



Table 1: Comparing MSR And TDSR



The monthly repayment of a mortgage do not exceed 30% of the borrower’s gross income

All monthly debt obligations, inclusive of the mortgage repayment, do not exceed 60% of the borrower’s gross monthly income

Applies to all mortgages, whether by FIs or HDB, granted for the purchase of a HDB flat or an EC

Applies to all property loans, whether residential properties or otherwise, granted by FIs

Hence HDB concessionary loans are exempted from it

When computing the MSR, the FI has to use a specified medium-term rate (3.5%), or the existing market rate, whichever is higher.

For the HDB concessionary loan, the rate to be used is the prevailing rate of the loan which has remained at 2.60% p.a. since July 1999.

When computing the TDSR, the FI has to use a specified medium-term rate, or the existing market rate, whichever is higher.

The specified rate:

  • 3.5% for housing loans

  • 4.5% for non-residential property loans

For refinancing,

the MSR will not apply to loans for HDB flats and ECs that are

  • owner-occupied, AND
  • were purchased before their respective MSR implementation dates

For refinancing,

the TDSR will not apply if

  • the residential property is owner-occupied, AND

  • the Option to Purchase (OTP) of the residential property was granted before 29 June 2013

Source: HDB, MAS, MND


For advice on a new home loan.

For refinancing advice.

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