BEIJING, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Major Chinese lenders are expanding a preferential policy on house loan interests to cut the burden of the country's home buyers hit by the spreading financial crisis.
For individuals who bought houses on mortgage lending before Oct. 27, 2008 and have not paid off the loans, their credit interest rates could be reduced to 70 percent of the benchmark rate from the previous 85 percent, customer service staff of several banks told Xinhua on Sunday.
The discount will be available for Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao clients of the China Construction Bank after their applications go through default record checks.
The Bank of China branch in Shanghai is also providing the preference but the Beijing branch keeps the rate unchanged.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's largest lender, and the Agricultural Bank of China are also making specific rules for similar rate discounts.
China's central bank announced in October it would reduce the lower limit of interest rates on individual house loans to 70 percent of the benchmark credit rate from 85 percent, starting from Oct. 27 last year.
The move was viewed as a stimulus to the flagging property market but it has been unclear whether house mortgage deals before that date can enjoy the favor.
Under the rate discount, home buyers with a 500,000-yuan (73,500 U.S. dollars) bank loan to be paid off within 20 years can save nearly 60,000 yuan of interest, analysts estimate.