San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Banco de Costa Rica loans millions to would-be homebuyers

Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) reported on Thursday the release of more than ¢100 billion (nearly $18 million) in housing credit loans this week, money that could ultimately help as many as 6,000 families who wish to build or buy a home.

Home-buyers can apply for the loans at any BCR branch nationwide, and applications will take an average of 15 days to be processed, said a BCR statement released this week.

The measure is part of the Mano Solidaria (“helping hand”) program created after President Oscar Arias in January requested a yearlong 2 percent decrease in interest rates for loans for buying houses and for small, medium and big companies, as well as personal credit.

For a ¢20 million (about $35,736) loan, a person would have to make payments of ¢250,000 ($447) a month. Prior to this program, loan recipients had to make payments of a little more than ¢300,000 ($536).

Basic requirements for an application include photocopies of both sides of the national identification card, proof of address (a utility bill receipt) and a statement verifying the applicant´s monthly income.

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