The Foundation for Affordable Housing and APS Bank have introduced a new home loan that allows middle-income households to borrow 15% more than they otherwise could. 

But there's a catch: you must be under 30 years old to apply.

"We wanted to focus on the areas where we could have a greater impact," said Foundation for Affordable Housing CEO Jake Azzopardi.  "Circumstances in the market do not allow an increasing rate of people who have to be over 30 to enter the property market." 

Citing Eurostat figures, Azzopardi noted that many people aged under 30 are finding it difficult to leave their parents' homes. One reason for that is the price of property. Another reason might be that people are studying for longer, he said. 

Around €1 million has been allocated to the scheme, with that funding expected to help finance at least €65 million worth of loans, Azzopardi said.  

Who is eligible for the funding scheme? 

Apart from being under 30, applicants for the 'LoanUp' scheme must also earn under €30,000 yearly. 

Video: Daniel Ellul

Successful applicants will receive a larger loan sum because they will pay a lower interest rate. 

APS Bank CEO Marcel Cassar said that at current rates, the bank would be able to offer interest rates as low as 1.95%, which is significantly lower than the going interest rate of regular clients. 

Currently, the base rate for residential loans stands at 2.25%. Typically, lenders pay a 3% interest rate on their home loans.  

How will funds be allocated?

The 'LoanUp' scheme will be split into two strands, with applicants qualifying for one or the other based on their age, income and whether they have children or dependents.  

Applicants with dependents will be given priority. 

Individuals and couples with dependents are given priority. Photo: Foundation for Affordable HousingIndividuals and couples with dependents are given priority. Photo: Foundation for Affordable Housing

Those who qualify for the 'high benefit' strand will be eligible for a loan with a fixed 1.95% interest rate for seven years. After that, its interest rate will be variable but remain 0.3% lower than the base rate. 

'Mid benefit' applicants will have a fixed interest rate of 2.75% for seven years, after which the interest rate will be variable but remain 0.3%  lower than the base rate.

Azzopardi said there are "definitely plans" to introduce schemes to help those over 30 get onto the property ladder, though he stopped short of providing details.  

LoanUp is the first initiative being offered by the Foundation for Affordable Housing, which was established jointly by the government and the Church in 2022.

In November, it said it was preparing to launch new banking products to help people who do not qualify for government-funded apartments but also cannot afford to buy a home. 

Housing Minister Roderick Galdes said those applying for the scheme will still benefit from other initiatives offered by the government. 

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