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A set of measures is in place until 31 December 2023 to mitigate the effects of the rise in interest rates on variable rate loans for the purchase or construction of permanent residential property with an outstanding value of €300,000 or less.
Such measures require credit institutions to:
Measures to facilitate the early repayment of credit agreements will also be in place until 31 December 2023, including:
Institutions are required to assess the impact of the interest rate rise on the DSTI of customers within 45 days after the entry into force of these measures and thereafter at least 60 days before each date the contractual interest rate is scheduled to be set.
The DSTI is the proportion of the customers’ income earmarked to pay all their financial commitments, such as home loans or consumer credit.
Monitoring developments in the DSTI should enable institutions to identify customers whose DSTI has risen to 50% (‘significant DSTI’) and also customers who have a ‘significant worsening of the DSTI’, i.e. situations where customers’ debt service to income ratio:
The institution may ask the customer for information and documents to assess their creditworthiness, such as proof of income. The customer must provide the requested data within ten days.
The institution is required to implement the procedures set out in the Pre-Arrears Action Plan (PRAP) if:
In the application of PRAP, the institution must monitor the customer’s creditworthiness to assess whether there is actually a risk of arrears on the credit agreement.
If the risk of arrears is confirmed, and where institutions conclude that the bank customer is credit worthy, institutions should make proposals to renegotiate the loan. Such proposals must be submitted no later than 15 days after the customer provided the information and documents requested by the institution.
The proposals made by institutions may include one or more of the following changes to the terms and conditions of the loan agreement:
Where the renegotiation of the agreement provides for the extension of the repayment period, bank customers may resume the period previously agreed. Customers wishing to do so should contact the institutions while the extension of the repayment period is in effect. Institutions are required to inform customers about the financial impact of resuming the original repayment period and to implement the customers’ request within ten days.
Institutions are required to inform customers once a year, for five years following the decision to extend the loan repayment period, of their right to resume the original repayment period.
Credit institutions may not charge fees nor rise the loan interest rate as a result of renegotiating the terms of the loan agreement. Customers are also exempt from payments to registry offices and notaries, particularly in relation to property registration.
Institutions may also propose the consolidation of several credit agreements or entering into a new credit agreement to refinance the debt of the existing credit agreement.
Customers are not obliged to accept the proposals made by institutions.
From 26 November 2022 until 31 December 2023, customers are exempted from paying the partial or full early repayment fee on variable rate loans for the purchase or construction of permanent residential property, regardless of the amount outstanding.
If borrowers wish to repay only part of the debt (partial early repayment), they should do so on the date that coincides with the payment of the instalment and give the credit institutions at least seven working days’ notice that they will make such repayment.
Customers may also repay the outstanding amount of the loan in full at any time (full early repayment). In that case, they must give at least ten working days’ notice to the credit institution. If customers choose to exercise this right, institutions must issue a statement for mortgage extinction free of charge within 14 business days of the date of termination of the agreement.
Since no fees are charged, no taxes on such fees apply.
Until 31 December 2023, customers may redeem retirement, education and retirement/education savings plans early.
The amount of the early redemption is determined in accordance with the conditions applicable to each savings plan, up to the monthly limit of the Social Support Index (IAS). The value of the IAS in 2023 is set at €480.43.
The funds redeemed from the savings plans under this temporary regime can only be used for the purposes provided by law, among which is the payment of instalments of loans for the purchase, construction, or improvement of permanent residential property.
Law No 19/2022 (in Portuguese only)
Law No 24-D/2022 (in Portuguese only)
Decree-Law No 80-A/2022
Home loans – Interest rates
Home loans – How to repay and transfer
Managing debts – Arrears prevention
Frequently asked questions > Loans > Impact of interest rate rises