Jan 08, 2018 04:27 PM IST | MoneyControl.com
The following article is an initiative of BankBazaar.com and is intended to create awareness among the readers
Applying for a loan can be nerve-racking, with a number of formalities expected to be completed. Most of us think that our job is done once the loan is sanctioned, but this is not the case. The real story, in most cases, begins once the loan is disbursed, for this is when we encounter problems with the repayment.
So if you are someone who has recently applied for a loan, (be it a home loan, a personal loan, car loan, medical loan, or any other loan), you should consider these 5 rules to ensure that you get the most out of the money.
1. Never miss your EMI – Taking a loan is a huge financial responsibility. Banks sanction loans for a specific time period (the tenure), charging interest rates on the amount loaned. The borrowed money is expected to be repaid within the given time, with the entire sum and the interest component split into EMIs. Paying the EMI on a monthly basis is not merely a requisite with regards to the legalities, it also helps in building a good credit score.
A missed payment is reflected on the credit report, which could make it difficult to get a loan sanctioned in the future. Missing successive payments could result in lenders blacklisting one, which could ultimately lead to the borrower being labelled a defaulter.
A borrower should ensure that he/she has sufficient funds to repay the loan on time. In certain cases, banks can charge a fine for late payment, which can be a considerable sum in case of high loan amounts (for example a home loan).
2. Never use your savings to repay the loan – Most of us invest in certain saving schemes like PPF, fixed deposits, mutual funds, etc. These funds are ideally designed to help us during emergencies. Utilising them to repay a loan is an absolute NO-NO. Similarly, digging into your retirement fund to meet your EMI obligations should be avoided at all costs, for this can have a huge impact on your future, where you might find it hard to have a regular source of income.
3. Take an insurance cover for the loan amount – Certain loans can be of extremely high values. This is especially true in the case of home loans, where the loan amount is typically in excess of Rs.10 lakh. This can be a significant sum for most people, with it taking years to repay it. Given the unpredictability surrounding life, one should always take an insurance policy which covers the loan liability in case of the borrower’s death. A number of life insurance policies come with this option, wherein the outstanding loan amount (in case the insured passes away) is paid by the insurer. This can limit the financial strain on the family members of the borrower. One could also consider taking an insurance policy in case of other loans, if the repayment amount is significant.
4. Avoid taking additional loans while a current loan is active – Banks and NBFCs often come up with attractive offers to promote borrowing. A number of us can often give in to the lure of extra money, applying for additional loans even when we don’t need them. This should be avoided at all costs, for any additional loan increases the financial burden when it comes to repayment. Also, applying for multiple unsecured loans like personal loan or travel loan while already paying EMIs can come across as sketchy, in addition to having an impact on the credit score. Banks would be wary of offering loans in the future in such instances. If one truly is in the need of additional financial resources, he/she should first close an existing loan before taking a new one.
5. Make prepayments when you have extra money – There are a number of times when we come across additional income. Returns from investments, a bonus from the office, an increase in your salary, etc. can be used to prepay a loan. This can help one save money on the interest payable, in addition to offering peace of mind, knowing that one’s liability is reduced.
A loan, when used effectively can help us out during financial emergencies, but being frivolous once it is sanctioned could lead us towards additional turmoil.