Business

VMBS targets the self-employed with new mortgage offer

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 31, 2019

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VICTORIA Mutual Building Society, known for its financial solutions to assist Jamaicans in acquiring a house, has rolled out a mortgage product that allows self-employed individuals within the microbusiness sector to access 100 per cent financing for home ownership.

The solution, which the company describes as “revolutionary” is targeted at 100,000 contract workers, self-employed people and employees of the construction, beauty, public transportation sectors who have not previously accessed housing benefit.

“This group includes ambitious self-employed persons such as electricians, hairdressers, plumbers and taxi drivers who are now paying rent,” President and CEO of the VM Group, Courtney Campbell said during the launch of the specialised group mortgage solution last Friday.

In looking at the existing offerings, Campbell said VMBS identified a core group which was not being catered to, despite their ability and the discipline to service a mortgage loan.

“Maya Angelou wrote, 'The ache of home lives in all of us...'. These words accurately reflect on our belief at VM that home ownership is for everyone. It's not only for the privileged, and it's not only for those who can tick a specific set of boxes on a form…,” he continued.

VMBS has set aside a pool of $1.4 billion for the mortgage solution. Effective immediately, borrowers will be able to access up to $15 million to buy residential property and up to $3 million to purchase land. The funds will be disbursed at an interest rate of 8.5 per cent per annum over a 30-year period.

It means that a borrower looking to access $12 million for a house will be required to pay approximately $92,000 per month or $23,000 per week.

“Victoria Mutual will partner with members along their journey, providing the financial education and guidance they need,” Vice-President for sales and service, Paul Elliot, said. “This is in keeping with VM's key differentiator of empowering our members through education because we care.”

Today, the National Housing Trust requires an individual to be a contributor to the Trust for at least a year to access its benefits. On the other hand, VM has stipulated that individuals looking to partake in its loan offering be:

• an active VM member, or saver for six months or more, with all accounts in active status

• a Jamaican national permanently residing in Jamaica

• have a reliable source of income

• have a demonstrable savings discipline pattern

• have good bill payment record

• have an identified property for purchase

• and lastly, not be a beneficiary of a prior mortgage or housing benefit.

VMBS' decision to provide 100 per cent financing on the specialised groups mortgage product is a step up from the 97 per cent mortgage financing for first-time house buyers the institution launched two years ago.


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