Who is ICFAL?
Islamic Co-operative Finance Australia Limited (ICFAL) was founded in 1998 as a co-operative aiming to promote Interest (Riba) free and Sharia’h compliant investment and finance opportunities in Australia. Since its inception, ICFAL has become a leading Islamic Finance provider in Australia by offering Sharia’h compliant finance & investment opportunities to the Australian communities operating in NSW, ACT, VIC, Queensland, Western and Southern Australia. ICFAL offers Shariah-compliant Islamic finance for real estate, automobile, and community infrastructure.
ICFAL’s line of Islamic finance and Halal investment is quite varied and distinct. ICFAL’s offerings include:
- General Membership Account
- Self-managed Superfund Account
- Children’s Education Fund Account
- Hajj Fund account
- Burial Expense Account
- Share Equity Rental (SER)
- Musharakah based Property Finance
- Murabaha based Car Finance
- Qard Hasan
21 years and counting
On 20th March 2018, ICFAL completed two decades of successful operation in Australia—something that resulted from the immense dedication and hard work of its founders. Everyone involved in ICFAL upholds professionalism in everything they do, winning and building trust among the members by offering Sharia’h compliant investment and financing products in the easiest way possible. Part of ICFAL’s financing options are channelled towards members by allocation of funds for building:
- Islamic institutions
- Schools, etc.
Did you know about the extensive reach of ICFAL?
By the financial year 2018-19, ICFAL boosted 3200+ members having over $34 million in Member Share Fund with a $4.25 distributable net profit per share. Currently, ICFAL has its offices in Parramatta, Western Sydney. It also employs eight staff members to operate as a professional Islamic financial institution adhering to Islamic financial guidelines and Australian laws and regulations.
Obtaining ICFAL finance takes time, but it’s worth the wait.
Let’s look at an example. Suppose you wish to invest in a property through Islamic finance. In this case, you can expect to go through the following process set by ICFAL:
Step 1: Learn and Become a Member of ICFAL
- Learn and understand how ICFAL, ICFAL membership and Musharakah Property Finance work through conversation with staff.
- Pay $100 as a membership fee and get a Lifetime membership
Step 2: Wait approximately 6 months
- You need to have a minimum of $500 (5 shares) in your membership account for six months to be eligible to apply for a property finance.
Step 3: Apply for finance Fill up the finance application form and submit the form along with your income and expense related documents (e.g. bank statement, tax return, payslip etc)
Step 4: Pre-approval
- A Pre-approval may be obtained to know approximately how much finance can be offered against the application based on income documents submitted.
- You have to have a minimum of 10% of the property price in your account after approval to enrol on the waiting list.
Step 5: Wait in Queue
- After your application is pre-approved (subject to assessments as per Responsible Lending guideline), you will be required to wait in the queue until the requested amount of funds is available.
- Currently, it takes a minimum of 6 to 12 months to get property financing from ICFAL, -depending on the availability of funds from the application date.
Step 6: Conditional-Approval
- When funds become available to ICFAL to approve your application, you will be required to provide them with the latest bank statement and previous year’s Income Tax documents along with other required documents for conditional approval. ICFAL will request you to bring an additional 10% of the estimated purchase price to the ICFAL account, making a total minimum deposit of 20% of the property price before the final approval is given.
Step 7: Final approval conference
- ICFAL will hold a meeting with you to discuss the potential monthly payments for Islamic finance and the contract process. Final approval is given after member analyse and understand individual needs.
- After the meeting, ICFAL issues you with an explanation of you how their contracts work and to ensure they are transparent about their financing process.
Step 8: Final approval
- ICFAL will grant you a final approval, after which you can purchase your home in Australia.
Currently, ICFAL is registered to operate within NSW, ACT, VIC, Queensland, Western and Southern Australia. To become a member and get Islamic finance from ICFAL, you need to be an Australian resident and have a residential address in the respective state/s where ICFAL operates.
ICFAL aims to register their co-operative in all other Australian states and territories in due course to meet the large number of applications coming from interstate customers.
Payments made to ICFAL are different from payments to conventional banks
When you apply for a home loan under a conventional banking system, the payments you make to the bank are based on the repayment of money with interest. There is no connection with the potential rise or fall in real estate and rental prices. The bank loans a certain amount of money to the customer and expects a certain amount of interest on the principal amount.
On the other hand, the payments made to ICFAL are based on the concept of trading. They reflect the real-world return on Halal investment in property and consist of three major components:
1)** Rent –** Rent paid to ICFAL are based on a market valuation conducted right at the beginning of the contract. A pre-set rental surge is calculated and applied at the start of the contract.
Share purchase – This is the original amount ICFAL contributed to buy the property. ICFAL then sells these shares to you every month with a profit throughout the set tenure (e.g. 30 years).
Profit on share purchases – This is the amount of profit ICFAL makes from selling its shares back to you. However, the rent and profit on share purchases made to ICFAL can change depending on fluctuations in the market. These rates are reviewed by ICFAL every 1/3-year interval with mutual consent. Islamic investment in Australia is a booming market, and thanks to Islamic finance providers like ICFAL that people can now fulfil their dreams of owning valuable assets, be it a house, car, or a high-return investment fund. You should, however, analyse and discuss your financial requirements in detail with ICFAL professionals to get the best scheme.