Friday, 17 November 2017

When you struggle to repay the education loan!

When students take an education loan to pay for courses in various educational institutions, they do so in anticipation of securing a high paying job that would be enough to pay off the debt. But not everyone manages to get a good job after finishing their course. Many students do the courses from sub-standard institutions and end up defaulting on loans, since they do not find a suitable job. Many struggle to pay the education loan EMIs because of low salaried jobs. If you find yourself in the same boat then read on to find out what options you have to avoid getting into the bad books of the creditors.

The first thing that you need to realize is that delinquency can have serious repercussions on your financial life. If your loan payment is overdue for more than 90 days, it will be classified as an NPA by the bank. This information will be reported to the credit bureaus and it will in turn lead to a low CIBIL score. Both the borrower’s and the co-borrower’s (usually parents) credit history gets affected. Moreover such irresponsible behaviour may also put your collateral at risk. Hence it is extremely important to manage your finances well from the beginning and be responsible with your borrowings so that you achieve a high CIBIL score. A high score secures your financial life and makes it very easy to secure loans in future. A low CIBIL score will jeopardize the ability to access credit in future.


When you take an education loan, you must have a repayment strategy in place. Though you get a repayment holiday (one year after the course completes or six months after getting a job whichever is earlier) you can still choose to pay the interest on loan while you are persuing the course. This way when the loan amount is due for payment, the interest accrued during the study period will not be included in the EMIs. You may also get an interest subsidy of 1% if you pay the interest during the study period. Hence the burden of the EMI will be much less.

If you still find it difficult to pay the monthly EMIs because of low salaries, do not ignore the situation. Do not wait for the bank to issue a formal notice to you or take charge of the collateral. Such action from the bank will lead to a low CIBILscore. You should proactively approach the bank and discuss your situation. Tell them that you have every intention to pay pack the loan, but currently you are having trouble making EMI payments. They may offer you some of the following options.

Increase the tenure- Generally people take a shorter tenure loan of 5 to 7 years in the hope that they will earn better and repay the loan fast. But the situation may change after completion of course and you may struggle to find a good job. If the bank feels that your problem is genuine and temporary, they may agree to increase the tenure to 10 years. A lower EMI will become easy on your pocket. But remember a longer tenure will increase your overall outgo on interest payments.
Extend moratorium period- If you have good relations with the bank or strong negotiation skills, then the bank may even extend the moratorium period by 6 months to a year, so that you get an extended time to find a good job. Deferment of EMI payments can be a big relief when you are already struggling to meet your basic expenses. Sometimes the bank also agrees to extend the repayment holiday period if you take a top up loan to persue higher studies.
Restructure the loan- There are many relaxations that the bank may offer to make the repayments easier. Some banks allow the borrower to pay only the simple interest until they find a suitable job for themselves. The bank may also agree to lower the EMI in the initial years and then step up the EMI as the years go by.

Seek a part time job- If getting the right kind of job that matches your skills and expertise is taking time, you may think of taking up a part-time job till then so that you can meet your debt obligations in a timely manner. At the end of the day, the loan is in your name and you need to honour your commitments in whatever ways possible.
Always keep the communication channels open and inform the bank about your situation. Together you can work out an option that best suits the interests of both parties. There will be many high-ticket loans that you will be requiring later in life. Managing your education loan well will always serve in your interest. A strong credit history will always help you secure future loan approvals easily.


Friday, 3 November 2017

Your Personal Loan Eligibility Checklist, Let’s Check!

Loan is vital for modern man. You can avail a loan for all kinds of financial needs as well as for fulfilling your dreams. A loan is a sort of debt agreement between a lender and a borrower. The agreement makes it compulsory for the borrower to repay the whole loaned amount back to the lender along with some interest after some time.

Personal loans are basically unsecured loans wherein you don’t require a mortgage or do not entail a guarantor to avail the loan. But before applying for a personal loan, you are required to meet the eligibility criteria which may vary from bank to bank.
Personal Loan Eligibility Checklist
Both salaried person and self-employed can apply for personal loans. Some of the common grounds to check the eligibility are discussed below:

Age:
You should be in the age group of 21 to 61years, and if you are a self-employed person, it will be 60 years.
The Institution of the Borrower
The brand value of your organization can also be beneficial for you to apply for personal loan and you can get the loan at a good interest rate.
Income
It will be one of the important factors in this subject matter. You must earn at least Rs 4000 to Rs 20000 income per month. The maximum range of loan usually depends on the income of an individual.
Work Experience
You should have minimum 1 to 2 years work experience, and if you are working in a government sector, there will be more chances of getting the best choice loan.
Already Existing loans
If you already have these types of loans, you will obtain smaller loan amount but if your financial condition is good enough to pay for the additional loan the bank cannot decrease the loan amount. The ongoing loan reduces the repayment ability of the borrower.
Required Documents
•    ID proof
•    Residence proof
•    Bank statement
•    Job confirmation proof as well as Income proof
Role of Credit Score
The minimum credit score required for personal loans is 750. But it’s not only what you need. You must have to focus on your credit history and try to improve it as good credit score is more efficient for you.
How Banks calculate your eligibility?
The banks will calculate the applicant’s eligibility from their particular loan calculator. The loan calculator will accept your present monthly income or EMIs, your desired interest rate and repayment amount as an input. Through loan calculator, the eligibility can be considered in two different ways:-
The first one is multiplier method. In this process, you can calculate your eligible loan amount from your net salary and organization background. Usually, the bank has multipliers in between the range of 9-18 times of your net salary. You can apply the following formula for this purpose.
Loan Eligibility = (Your Net Salary) x (a number from 9 to 18)
The second method is Fixed Obligation Income Ratio (FOIR)- In this technique, your loan eligibility is determined by monthly installments (EMIs) with regards to net income. Banks usually receive 40 to75 percent of your net earnings as EMIs, current obligations and credit card outstanding debts. If your owed money goes beyond bank constraints, then the bank will decrease your loan money or raise the tenure of your loan. The overall obligations are considered before approving loan. But, if you aren't able to pay the loaned amount on your name, you can be shortlisted in loan defaulter list. So be sure before applying for the loan.
How to Enhance Loan Eligibility?
For this purpose, you need to understand few points. Firstly, stop paying for those loans which are almost on the verge of closure. Rather than paying last EMIs one by one, consider prepaying it. One time prepayment of previous loans can help you to talk with banks to acquire upper loan amount.
You can also negotiate with the existing lenders to move your current loans to a lesser rate and decrease the EMIs that might facilitate you to obtain a higher new loan.

In a nutshell, at last, you need to remember that you will own these loans only if you are sure about repaying back borrowed money.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

What Type Of Home Loan Should One Opt For?

Owning a house provides a great sense of satisfaction. In fact, one of the most important goal of every Indian household is to arrange for finances to buy a perfect dream abode. With rising property prices most middle class Indians rely on home loans to meet this goal. It is an easy finance option that has made the dream of owning a home quite attainable. Over the last decade the demand for home loans has increased many folds. In order to tap this growing opportunity in the market, banks and financial institutions have diversified their portfolio of home loans. There are many different kinds of home loans available to cater to the varying needs and expectations of customers. Some people need loan to buy land, while some need to build the house and some need to purchase a house. Let’s have a look at some of the most common type of home loans and understand what you should choose when.
1.      Land purchase loans- As the name suggests this loan is taken if you wish to buy a plot of land to construct your house. The land may be bought for residential purpose or simply for investment. Banks usually finance 85% of the price of the land. The loan tenure can extend for up to 15 years. Like any other credit, loans for purchase of land are also sanctioned after checking your CIBIL score. Expect a favourable interest rate if you have a high CIBIL score.

2.      Home purchase loans- Home purchase loans are the most commonly available and the most sought after source of financing. They provide funds for purchasing a new residential property or a second hand home from the previous owner. The interest rate can be fixed or floating. You can bargain for a good interest rate and better terms if you have a good CIBIL score. Usually banks offer 80-85% of the property price. But sometimes the bank may even sanction upto 95% of the amount required for people with an excellent CIBIL score.

3.      Home construction loans-If you wish to construct your own house on a plot of land rather than buying a prebuilt home, this loan variant is for you. You will need to make a rough estimate of the amount of funds you need to construct the house and accordingly apply for the same. If the plot of land on which you wish to build the house has been bought within an year, then the cost of land will be included while calculating the total cost of house. If it has been more than a year that you bought the plot, then its cost will not be included in the price. The loan amount may either be disbursed in one go or it may be construction linked, where you receive instalments as the construction progresses. ICICI bank home loan is available for this purpose at attractive rate of interest. Almost all leading banks offer these loans.


4.      House expansion or extension loans- Alterations in the current residence to add an extra room, floor, enclosing a balcony or any other type of expansion requires substantial amount of funds. ICICI bank home loans have another variant called home extension loans where one can arrange for finances for expansion purpose. You can also avail these exclusive loans from HDFC bank, Bank of Baroda and many others. The amount of loan that gets sanctioned depends on a number of factors like income level, repayment capacity, CIBIL score etc.
5.      Home improvement loans- If you need funds to beautify your house, renovate it, carry out major repair works, change flooring or even to paint the house, you can go for home improvement loans.

6.      Balance transfer home loans- If wish to transfer your current home loan to a different bank to get lower rate of interest or better services, you can go for balance transfer home loans.

7.      Home conversion loan-If you have already purchased a house on loan and wish to buy and move into another new house, you can opt for home conversion loan. The existing loan will get transferred for funding the new house.

There is a loan for every purpose. And almost all banks offer these different kinds of loans. Explore the different options you have and pick the best deal that suits your individual requirement.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

How to Build Credit When You are New to the Credit Card

Building credit is of utmost importance if you are looking for a stable financial life. Approval of car loans, home loans, personal loans; interest rates all depend on how strong your credit profile is. But getting started on this journey is a bit tricky. To have a credit score, you need at least one open account where the creditor has reported your activities of the past 6 months to the credit bureau. Based on this information the bureau will prepare your credit report and determine your credit score. But how do you get approved of credit and display responsible repayment behaviour in the absence of a credit history?
Well, a secured credit card can be your starting point. You do not need a credit check to get approved for a secured card. Here you make a cash deposit that serves as collateral for your credit line. Your credit limit will be determined on the basis of the amount of deposit you made. Since the lender’s risk is completely covered, the credit score is not taken into consideration before the approval. The card issuer reports the borrower’s activities to the bureau and gives him a chance to prove his creditworthiness. But possessing a card will do no good, unless you use it in the right way to build credit. If you are new to credit cards the following tips will help you to achieve your goal of an excellent credit score.
1.      Charge an expense to the card every month
 Just possessing a credit card will do no good to your credit history. You need to charge some small expenses to the card every month in order to keep your card active and demonstrate that you are responsible with the credit. Your credit profile will become strong only when positive credit activities are reported to the bureau. So make a few purchases using the card each month and pay the bill in full and on time.
2.      Keep a check on credit utilization rate
Credit utilization rate plays a significant role in determining one’s credit score. It is calculated by dividing the total balance on your card by the total credit limit. This balance can be a snapshot at any point in time when the lender reports the activity to the bureau. So even if you pay the balance in full each month, you may still have a very high credit utilization rate if you have charged several expenses in a month. A very high balance is a sign of financial instability. It gives an impression that you are desperate for credit and hence lowers your score. It is a good habit to utilize not more than 30% of available credit limit. So know your credit limits and keep a check on how much you charge each month along with the balance that you carry on the card.
3.      Make payments on time
Your payment behaviour contributes to 30% of the credit score. Making on-time payments consistently shows responsible behaviour and works in favour of your credit score. Make sure you never miss a credit card due date. Set auto pays or reminders to ensure that you are up to date with the payments.
4.      Pay the balance in full

Though you need to use your card to build credit you need not carry any balance on the card to do so. In fact paying the balance in full when the monthly statement arrives is the best practice. So live within your means and purchase only what you can afford to pay back in full. If you do proper budgeting and follow this golden rule, you can build credit without actually taking on any debt and paying interest charges.
5.      Check your credit report
Get your free credit report every year to check for any suspicious activity. Ensure that the information recorded in the credit report is correct. If you find any errors and discrepancies you can report it to the bureau and get it corrected.

Credit cards are a good way of building credit without actually taking on any debt. But you can get into a lot of trouble if it is not managed properly. Be sure to stick to your budget and not go overboard in spending just because you have available credit limit. Be responsible with the payments as it is the foundation for building good credit.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Does Getting a Divorce Hurt Credit score?

Divorce touches your life in more than one way. While it mostly brings a lot of emotional stress and trauma to the couple involved, it certainly affects financial aspects of their life. Before seeking split of relationship, the couple should thus also consider financial implications of the decision on their credit score and credit worth.
Although divorce is not something that is stated on your credit report, but a legal separation from your spouse also divides household income, assets and liabilities. Thus a relationship split is likely to affect your credit score in a very significant manner.
Let’s understand how getting a divorce hurts your credit score and worth.
When your ex fails to pay out the bills
Many couples fail to follow divorce decree as far as financial obligations are concerned. Being a couple, it is likely that you two hold several joint credit accounts, and failure of meeting any of the open accounts by anyone of you would hurt the other person’s credit history and credit score as well. It would drop the credit score to be precise and it would become difficult to borrow loan with bad CIBIL score.
Later on even if you make the missed payment, that too would make a footprint in both the CIBIL reports.
Following a divorce, it is thus recommended to keep a strict vigil on the timely payment, even if the divorce decree makes the other person responsible for the payment. As long as the account is open, there is a risk of missed payment on time. In order to keep the last minute surprises away, you should take responsibility of timely payouts. You can set a monthly reminder on your mobile and contact your ex to politely ask them for the timely payment of the dues.
Irrespective of the issues between the two of you, the point of the matter is these accounts have your name attached and if they are not met on time, your rating will suffer.
In case your ex refuses to pay out an instalment, you can consider making the payment. You can always claim the refund later on in the court.
When you find yourself struggling for payments
Divorce cases could sometimes turn dirty and may involve a lot of expenses. If you were not the bread earner or support lesser salary than your previous lifestyle, you could be feeling stretched out after paying hefty bills to attorney for court proceedings.

In such pressing times, you may find it difficult to pay on time. In order to stay on track, many splurge credit card use, but that would eventually hurt your credit score too. For, rolling over balance on card could be a very costly mistake. It attracts very high interest rate.

Also, to keep your score robust you should not use more than 30 % of limit every month.

In face of lowered income source and additional expenses, you need to make a practical budget plan that helps you save enough every month. In the meantime, keep looking for additional ways to add to your income.

3. Try to find out an amicable solution to financial disorder in your life.
Although it could be easier said than done, you should try to have a peaceful interaction with your ex. The sooner you two figure out solution to your credit issues, the better it would be for you two. Do not forget to remove each other from joint accounts wherever possible. Many a times, the change in bank account details is not reported to Credit Bureau. So after you divide the accounts, report the changes to the credit agency. This will ensure that any mistreatment of accounts by your partner would not make an impact on your credit report.
Let’s check out some quick budget tips that will help you stay afloat.
1. Being on budget is not living miserably but precisely it suggests to cut down the less important expenses and save wherever possible. You need to first of all make list of all the expenses and income sources. Study the list and mark the expenses you can do without. This would be your first step to save for improving your credit situation.
2. Also, analyze if there are better avenues to general more income. This is meant to channelize your efforts in the right direction.

3. Make lists for shopping in advance. This will help you spend only on the required items.
4. Never make impulsive buying decision. Rather read reviews and reconsider several times before bringing a new gadget or device home.

5. Bring in simple lifestyle changes such as cutting down coffee, alcohol, cigarettes and other addictions. Use public transport more often. You can use bicycle or walk down to the nearer places. This will save you enough money and bring the good health at the same time.

All in all, leading a life after Divorce could be difficult in the beginning. But with right efforts you can build a good credit health within a couple of years.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Repay Your Mortgage Early, Get Free!

Do you wish to become debt free as soon as possible? Well who does not! We all want to quickly pay off our debts to lift the strain of the monthly EMIs on our income. Moreover, if the tenure of the debt shortens we will save a huge amount of money on interest payments.  Here are some ways in which you can try and pay off your mortgage early.
1.      Make this your no. 1 priority and use whatever extra cash you get to pay down your debt faster. A rise in the pay, annual bonus and cash gifts received are some examples where lumsum cash can be used to make a large mortgage repayment in one go. Not only will you save huge amount on interest costs you will shorten your loan tenure by a few months too.  And all this can be achieved without reconfiguring your monthly budget. Before you do so, check the terms and conditions of the loan to ensure that there is no prepayment penalty. Also make sure that whatever extra payment you make goes towards the repayment of the principal and not the interest cost or the prepayment of next EMI.

2.      Make a little extra payment every month by increasing your monthly outgo of loan EMIs. Do a quick calculation on the loan EMI calculator to see exactly how much your mortgage tenure shortens if you pay off a larger EMI.

3.      Instead of paying every month, make bi-weekly payments of half the amount. This will essentially lead you to paying one extra payment every year. Without feeling too much load, you will be able to enjoy a faster pay off. With frequent payments less interest will accrue on the principal balance. This will translate into significant savings over the life of the loan.

4.      If your current loan provider is charging too much as a repayment penalty, you can get your loan refinanced by a different provider who is ready to offer you shorter loan tenure. You will have to do your maths to compare whether it is beneficial to shift to a different loan provider after paying off the early repayment fee on your current mortgage. The loan EMI calculator will help you evaluate how much you will save on interest payments if you switch to a different provider with a shorter loan term.

5.      Link your savings account with the mortgage. The money in the savings account will be deducted from the principal balance and hence lower the amount of interest charged. You can use this method to pay off the loan early.

6.      Lenders usually charge different rate of interest depending on the risk associated with the borrower’s profile. If your credit score wasn’t very impressive at the time of taking the loan, you may have been asked to pay a high rate of interest. Start working on your credit profile and pay attention to the factors that affect the CIBIL score calculation. If you are able to raise your credit score in a few years time, you may use it to your advantage and ask the current lender to lower the interest rate. If you have been diligent with your payments, your bank may agree to renegotiate the interest rates. Alternatively, you can look for other lenders who may be ready to offer you a lower rate. In this case you will be able to keep the EMI amount same and still be able to pay off your loan sooner.

The above tips will help you to pay off your mortgage faster. But before you start implementing these strategies, check your portfolio and see if you have any credit card balances or other debts. High interest debts should be paid off first to save on interest costs. Also remember that shortening the term will increase your monthly outgo. Set it at a level that you can easily afford. Use the loan EMI calculator to see what tenure and EMI amount suits you. Alternatively, keep flexibility in how you repay; by overpaying only when you have cash available. Make sure that the additional amount is applied to the principal balance and not the next month’s payment.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Is it Important to Monitor Your Credit Score on regular basis?

Why do I need to check my credit score on a regular basis? Isn’t that the job for banks or any other financial institution when I apply for a loan? I am not planning for a financial product anytime soon, so why should I? What’s in it for me? This is the perception of almost everyone when it comes to checking their credit score.

Is this perception right? Absolutely not! Consider at time of an emergency, when you think of taking a personal loan and the process getting delayed because of your low cibil score or even get denied, what would you do? It is always suggested to get the rating checked on regular intervals to avoid such problems.

Here is why you need to monitor your credit score on a regular basis, 

To know where you stand

As we all know cibil score is a three digit number which is used by the bank to consider giving you any type of financial product like loans, credit cards etc. when you check your score, you will be able to determine where you stand and how is your credit health. Is it low, average or high, if low you can start working on the same and try building a good score because when the time comes your loan taking process will be smooth and easy.

Make sure your credit information accurate

When you try checking the score, you will not only be able to see how much your score is but also will be able to see all your loans, accounts and credit cards. If you see any other information which is not yours and that particular account is causing your score to go down, you can immediately report it to the credit bureaus. 

Get insight into what actions hurt and help your credit score

Imagine you checked your score three months back and then the score was good to go. Due to some financial difficulties you did not make the payments on time and end up being in the loan defaulter list now when you check the report there is a huge decline in the score. By checking your report on a regular basis you can easily analyze where you went wrong and how you can cope up with the scores in future.

Prevent identity theft

This happens a lot, if you do not monitor your cibil report on a regular basis, some fraud might use your information for taking a loan or a credit card without you even knowing. You need to check the reports on a regular basis so that you avoid such mishaps. Majority of the time this kind of a situation is faced when a person is dead; the dead person’s details are taken for loan purpose. If you have anyone who has recently passed away, do inform your relatives about this and report the cibil authorities to avoid data theft.
To identify credit bureau errors

You always make your payments on time, no one can find errors in your financial pattern, but when you apply for a loan your loan gets rejected. This can happen because of credit bureau errors. The banks send monthly reports to the credit bureaus to update your score and to add financial history many a times there are errors, if you check the score on a regular basis you can avoid such mishaps and report it back to the bureau. Yes this process takes time, but it is always “better safe than sorry”.


You can get a free cibil report once in a year, where you can get all the information.  Do not get the cibil report every month cause that will lead you to chances of declining your score, as when applying for a loan the banks will see how many times you have requested for the report. It is suggested get the report done every three months and try keeping a track on your finances to avoid any problems in the future.