Owning Home a Distant Dream for the Young
While owning a house is a dream come true, especially for young people who have secured jobs, it may remain a pipe dream for many. The need and desire to own their first home for these mostly millennials has not been easy because of the high down payment they require in buying a house and also in repaying their debts - mainly credit card and PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) loans.
For Azmeer Abu Bakar, his failure in repaying both his PTPTN and car loans within the stipulated time was among the setbacks he faced when he wanted to buy his first house.
"With the loan arrears from the PTPTN and the car loan that I was not able to settle, I had to face CCRIS (Central Credit Reference Information System) with my problems."
"With a CCRIS record, I faced more obstacles in owning a home as my housing loan application could not be approved by the bank," he told Bernama.
Azmeer, 27, who works as a supervisor at a manufacturing plant in Shah Alam, had tried to get a loan to own an affordable home in Selangor but failed.
“With the restrictions, it will take several years before I can own a house.”
He said stringent banking rules and procedures also made it difficult for him to get a housing loan, although his outstanding vehicle loan repayments and PTPTN debt were not big amounts.
He added that when one had a CCRIS record, it was difficult to get a loan.
“Perhaps I should wait until my savings and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) are enough so that I can settle both my PTPTN and vehicle loans," said Azmeer who had earlier tried to book an affordable house under the Rumah Selangorku initiative by the Selangor state government.
Another private company employee, Nor, who wanted to be known by her first name, said that the credit card debt problems she had, made it difficult for her to own a home.
The 30-year-old said that although she had set her sights on buying a property two years ago, it seemed like an impossible feat.
While dismissing criticisms that young people had no qualms about spending on expensive items, she said that many like her struggled to make ends meet.
"We use the credit card not because we are consumed by a desire for better things but because of the low salaries and the high cost of daily necessities ... I have no choice but to seek other alternatives like using the credit card."
"I tried to apply for an affordable home from the state government (Selangor), but the application was rejected by the bank because of this problem (credit card debt), so for now, I am still renting," she said in the hope of buying a house and living together with her family.
Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari had earlier said that nearly 50,000 Rumah Selangorku houses for residents in the state with low and medium incomes, were approved by the Selangor Housing and Property Board (LPHS) until March.
Of the total, about 35% of those who applied for Rumah Selangorku affordable houses were facing problems in financing their housing loans because of the two main issues - PTPTN and credit card debts.
Under the circumstances, the objective of owning a home will continue to be a challenge for young people.