By Sunil Dhawan, ET Online | Updated: Apr 05, 2018, 06.29 PM IST | Economic Times
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may have kept the repo rate unchanged at 6 percent in its first bi-monthly review for the financial year, but it would be premature for home loan borrowers to rejoice.
This is because equated monthly instalments (EMIs) on loans may still go up as some banks have already increased their marginal cost-based lending rates (MCLR) over the last month owing to rising cost of funds. Repo rate was last cut in August 2017 when it was reduced by 0.25 percent.
“In the current interest rate cycle, we have touched the lowest level and it will come as no surprise if the cycle turns. Against this background, the impetus for stimulating housing demand does not lie on interest rate alone but on other reforms and steps taken by various stakeholders. Measures such as implementation of RERA in true letter and spirit, palatable payment plans for home buyers and relatively cheaper house prices are some of the critical determinants to revive the real estate sector. Until such time the benefits of these measures percolate across markets, the sector will continue to reel under pressure,” says Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India.
All bank loans, including home loans, taken after April 1, 2016, are linked to a bank’s MCLR and any rise in it will push the interest rate higher. As things stand today, the interest rate appears to either remain stagnant or there exists a remote possibility for them to move up in the near term. Unless liquidity in the system improves and inflation is well under RBI’s target, borrowers, both existing and new, will have to make do with a high interest rate regime.
At a home loan rate of 8.4 percent, the EMI on a Rs 1 lakh loan for 15 years comes to Rs 979. If the rate is increased by by 100 basis points (or 1 percent), the EMI will go up to Rs 1038 — a difference of Rs 59 or about 6 percent increase.
Interestingly, State Bank of India, the country’s top lender by assets, had increased its MCLR across most maturities in March. SBI also raised the 1-year MCLR to 8.15 percent from 7.95 percent, other lenders like ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank, followed suit and raised their MCLR, albeit by a slightly lower magnitude of 15 basis points. Other banks may hike their MCLR too, and thus EMIs may rise.
When base rate fails
It is important to note that several loans taken before April 1, 2016 which are still linked to base rate are still being serviced by the borrowers. They stand to benefit only when the bank will cut its base rate. Not many banks have cut their base rate in the recent past. SBI had it by 0.30 percent on Jan 1, 2018, before this it had cut it by 0.5 percent in September 2017. Effective April 1, 2018, Allahabad Bank had cut base rate to 9.15 percent from 9.6percent and even its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) has been brought down to 13.40 percent from 13.85 percent.
Taking stock of the situation, RBI in its February meet had stated that, “Since MCLR is more sensitive to policy rate signals, it has been decided to harmonize the methodology of determining benchmark rates by linking the Base Rate to the MCLR with effect from April 1, 2018.”
MCLR linked home loan
Banks, however, may or may not lend at MCLR. They may ask for a spread or a mark-up or a margin. The actual home loan interest rate can be equal to the MCLR or have a ‘mark-up’ or ‘spread’, but can never be lower than the MCLR.
Note: Loans are disbursed by HDFC Ltd.
New home loan borrowers
For new home loan borrowers, it’s only the MCLR linked loans that matter. Don’t wait any longer in the hope of an interest rate cut if you are thinking of getting a loan. Instead, if you are eligible, you can opt for the benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme. The deadline to avail the benefit under this scheme is March 31, 2019. Under the scheme, a credit-linked interest subsidy is given according to the applicant’s income level.
Existing home loan takers
a) Home loans linked with MCLR
As was no rate cut today, there is unlikely to be any downward pressure on MCLR. On the flip side, with banks increasing their MCLR, the possibility of home loan rates going up when the reset date arrives cannot be ruled out either. In MCLR-linked home loans, the rate is reset after 6/12 months as per the agreement between the borrower and the bank. The rate applicable on that date becomes the new rate for servicing the EMI’s.
b) Base rate home loans
Interest rates charged under the base rate system is relatively higher as compared to that under the MCLR regime. Still, if your home loan interest rate is linked to the base rate system, you might want to reconsider the option of switching to an MCLR based loan. As has been seen in the past, there has been a lag in the transmission of cut in repo rate by banks to the consumers after the central bank reduces rates. However, under the base rate system, whenever RBI had raised repo rates, the banks used to raise their base rates without any delays.
A prudent borrower will plan it wisely to make his home loan EMIs affordable.
Ravi Kumar Diwaker | Magicbricks | February 23, 2018, 18:21 IST
Home loan is a long-term financial commitment and it is important to ensure your EMIs are within your budget and do not impact your monthly income. It is seen as a financial burden which has to be planned very carefully.
A prudent borrower will plan it wisely to make his home loan EMIs affordable. Often, home buyers choose a long-term home loan in order to pay a lower EMI but end up paying more interest.
These easy steps can help you reduce the total interest on your home loan.
Buyers should choose a short-term for their home loans as it ensures a reduced long-term financial commitment. A 15-year loan is better than a 20-year home loan as it results in a lower interest rate on your total amount. Your monthly EMI may be higher but interest will be less. A short-term tenure means the principal amount of your loan is paid faster leads to lower interest rate because interest is calculated on the outstanding principal amount.
Reduce interest rate
You must always choose the lowest interest rate home loan and go ahead with refinancing of your loan if your interest rate is coming down.
Pay the principal
Make sure that you are paying the principal as quickly as possible as the lesser principal amount means lesser interest to be paid to the bank. If you have extra cash in hand then try to give it to the bank and get your principal amount reduced. Some buyers do that so that the EMI interest can come down.
More than one EMI
You can also pay more than one EMI every year. This will reduce your loan tenure and interest cost as well. It is very important to calculate your finances based on your income. It will make you pay more but ultimately you will be benefited.
With rise in your salary, you can choose to pay a higher amount of EMI. It is good to reduce your home loan interest burden. You can calculate the interest rate as per your home loan amount, tenure and interest to find out how much amount you are paying less by this step.
Compare interest rates
Banks will not reduce the interest rate to the existing home loan borrowers till you go there and ask them to do it and fill a form for the same. If your existing bank does not reduce the interest rate then find out which bank is offering you lower interest rate and get your loan refinanced. You must also find out the charges for switching the loan before going ahead with refinancing.
These are some tips for home loan borrowers to help them reduce the burden of home loans. The government is already giving the CLSS benefit to buyers purchasing affordable homes. You can also opt for that so you pay less amount of EMI. A short-term loan may reduce your interest payout but it will increase your EMI and may impact your monthly income. You need to choose the EMI amount that is affordable to your pocket.
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.
By Vandana Ramnani | Sep 14, 2017 03:54 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
Jaypee home buyers want interim relief from court that they should be allowed to stop paying EMIs until flats are delivered to them as they have no hope yet
More than 100 homebuyers, who have invested their hard-earned money in Jaypee projects, are planning to move court to grant them interim relief to allow them to stop paying their equated monthly instalments (EMIs) until completed residential units are delivered to them.
“Why should we pay EMI for a non-existent property? What is the monetary relief we are getting from the September 11 SC order? We are not asking for suspension of EMIs – we are only asking for deferment of our EMIs until the insolvency resolution professional (IRP) comes up with a resolution plan and preferably possession of the flat is given to us without any interest or penalty to ensure that we are not charged or penalised for the delay in paying EMIs,” says Shilpa Vij, a buyer who bought a house under the subvention scheme in 2011and started paying EMI in 2013 in the hope of getting her house in 2014.
“We want an interim relief. EMIs and monthly rents are draining us and there is no hope yet that we will get a flat,” she says.
Ramakant Rai, Trilegal, who is advising Jaypee home buyers, says that buyers have two options – one, they can write to RBI or the National Housing Bank concerning their problems and two they can file a writ petition either in the High Court or the Supreme Court concerning the issue.
“Many buyers have already sent complaints to RBI and NHB. RBI can act on the basis of these complaints. Also, in case the issue is raised through a writ petition before the Supreme Court, the SC on grounds of equity to protect the interests of home buyers can issue directions to RBI, NHB or directly to banks to allow them to hold EMIs until units are fully developed,” he says.
Homebuyers have alleged that banks did not do their due diligence and disbursed loans even when project approvals were not in place and that banks had given pre-approved loans for the project.
“We have filed RTIs with the Noida Authority and received a response from them that approvals were sanctioned only in 2012 whereas projects have been sold since 2008. The requisite permissions were not in place at the time of the project launch. There was lack of due diligence on the part of banks as they had disbursed loans even when plans were not in place,” says Pramod Rawat, a buyer.
S K Suri, a home buyer, who has filed RTIs with the authorities for information regarding dates of applications made by the developer and final approval of plans, says that he has been given copies of approval letters for seven Jaypee projects, details of the builder filing an application for approval and the date of the authority granting approval.
“Most of the approvals were received only after 2011 whereas most bookings/loan disbursements started way back in 2008,” he says, adding it took him nearly four months to get a response to his RTIs and several rounds to the authority’s office. One response is still awaited.
Most homebuyers have decided against not paying their monthly EMIs for fear that their CIBIL score and future credit history may get impacted. But legal experts say that in case the court intervenes in this matter, it can direct CIBIL to not touch their scores. “Also, buyers are not asking for a refund, they are only asking not to pay EMIs until they get possession of the flats which has been delayed by almost five to eight years,” they say.
Legal experts also say that the September 11 SC order puts a moratorium on all cases against Jaypee. ‘All suits and proceeding instituted against JIL shall in terms of Section 14(1)(a) remain stayed as we have directed the IRP to remain in Management,’ says the order. “Homebuyers can argue that this is a uni-dimensional order as homebuyers cannot file cases against the builder in other courts such as NCDRC or RERA. It should also protect home buyers and allow them to stop paying EMIs and banks should not proceed against buyers until the time homes are delivered,” they say.
“The only possible way that home buyers have recourse to the bank is if the deal has been brokered by the bank’s real estate arm or if the bank has disbursed the full amount rather than construction-linked progress payment. Even in such cases they should issue a notice to the bank first claiming damages before taking any precipitate action such as stopping pre- EMI interest payment,” says CA Harsh Roongta, a fee only investment adviser.
RoofandFloor | AUGUST 09, 2017 10:00 IST | The Hindu
Nothing compares to the joy you experience when months of patience leads to the discovery of your dream home. This is followed by a home loan application, with the final choice being governed by the interest rates on offer.
While the current home loan interest rates available in the market have seen a reduction, even a little difference between the rates offered by the lender can be the difference. You might feel like you managed to strike gold with the rate you received from your lender, but here are a few things you can look out for to reduce your interest rate even further.
While a shorter home loan tenure may increase your EMI, it ensures that your principal amount is repaid earlier. Since the rate of interest is calculated on the principal, once the bank recovers the principal amount, the absolute interest pay out decreases marginally. However one must be aware that higher EMI reduces your ability to borrow in future. With the regulator ruling prepayments on floating rate home loans should not be charged any penalty, the borrower can higher prepayments / EMIs keeping the base tenure longest.
Set EMI targets
Make it a goal to pay an extra EMI every year. This will help to get to the finish line much before than expected. Not only that, in the months your finances seem to have a better cushion, add the surplus to your EMI as it will help reduce your principal amount as well as the interest.
Increase your EMI annually
With your annual salary appraisal, get into the habit of increasing your EMI every year by at least 5%. This will allow you to repay the principal much faster and reduce your interest.
Refinance your housing loan
If you come across a financial institution whose housing loan interest rate is lower than the one being offered by your current lender, then think about switching to the other lender.
Your interest repayment burden can easily be reduced by refinancing your home loan at a lower rate of interest. However, before you take the plunge, do check the legal fee and the prepayment penalty associated with the process. It would be wise to do a cost analysis to make sure that the savings from a lower rate of interest are higher than the amount spent during the refinancing process.
Move to marginal cost of funds based lending rate
Post-April 2016, all banks moved from base rate to MCLR or marginal cost of funds based lending rate, as it allows borrowers to benefit from changes in the rate of interest.
If you took a loan before April 2016, then ask your bank to switch your loan to MCLR. Banks tend to levy taxes as well as a conversion fee of 0.5% on the outstanding amount that needs to be repaid, so a cost analysis would again be beneficial.
Though every borrower tries to avail the lowest possible rate of interest, make sure the option you settle for fits comfortably with your monthly financial budget. While your aim should be the repayment of the principal amount at the earliest, don’t set an EMI amount that starts to seem like a burden. Once that happens, you are bound to miss payments!
This article is contributed by RoofandFloor, part of KSL Digital Ventures Pvt. Ltd., from The Hindu Group
By RoofandFloor | UPDATED: JULY 17, 2017 14:00 IST | The Hindu
The thought of owing someone a debt is an uncomfortable one for most of us. When the amount owed is large, as in the case of home loans, the cognitive discomfort can be significantly greater. Additionally, the monthly financial burden of paying EMIs and housing loan interest isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea. To counter this, many homeowners choose to prepay their home loans.
There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to prepaying a home loan. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the decision must be made considering both financial and personal aspects.
Merely making the decision to prepay your property loan doesn’t solve your problem, though. Figuring out how to save up for prepayment is the key to succeeding without financial discomfort.
If prepaying your home loan is an option you’d like to consider, here’s a short guide on how you can make that happen.
Consider the decision
Determine whether prepayment is right for you. Home loans offer tax benefits that need to be taken into account. For instance, the housing loan interest (upper limit of Rs 2 lakh) can be deducted from taxable income. However, if your interest amount exceeds the upper limit, prepayment could save you the additional cost. Every individual’s situation is unique and should be assessed carefully before making the choice.
Fortify your backup
Get your financial safety net in place before committing to prepay the home loan. A general rule of thumb is to have the following taken care of:
• Emergency funds (medical or otherwise)
• Backup savings for EMIs and regular expenses in case of loss of employment
• Children’s education funds
• Other recurring financial liabilities
Plug the leaks
Scrutinise your financial records to identify where you tend to haemorrhage money. They usually show up in the form of unnecessary frills such as credit cards with additional privileges (that you don’t use), unused memberships (clubs, gyms and recreational establishments), loans with high-interest rates (here refinancing is an option) and so on. Eliminating these situations will improve your disposable income and thereby your savings.
Saving up to prepay home loans can be simplified with some thought. Consider replacing your expensive forms of entertainment and recreation with creative, cost effective solutions. Tighten the purse strings as far as possible to boost your monthly savings.
Hike up the EMIs
This is a simple yet effective option. Even marginal increases in EMI payments can help reduce the principal amount. This helps reduce the tenure of the home loan. Reduced home loan tenure then results in lower total home loan interests.
Consider partial repayments from unexpected sources of income such as bonuses, gifts from family and so on. Check with your bank regarding the number of partial repayments allowed beforehand (usually there is no such limit).
Supercharge your savings
Consider investing in a reputed mutual fund with reasonably good returns meant purely for home loan prepayment. Returns are higher than normal savings accounts while the tax payable is far lower than other forms of savings such as fixed deposits.
The choice to prepay a property loan should be made rationally and be backed by careful planning. Hasty, emotion-driven decisions could seriously hamper your overall financial wellbeing.
This article is contributed by RoofandFloor, part of KSL Digital Ventures Pvt. Ltd., from The Hindu Group
By Preeti Motiani | ECONOMICTIMES.COM | Jul 04, 2017, 03.20 PM
Going by an income tax department circular issued yesterday, it appears that you can repay your entire loan amount to any HFC (Housing finance company) or NBFC (Non-banking finance company) in cash provided each instalment is less than Rs 2 lakh. As per the new income tax rule introduced in the last budget, cash payments/receipts of or over Rs 2 lakh are illegal and will attract penalty.
This rule had created confusion as to whether the rule applied to single instalment repayment of loan or to the entire repayment amount. The finance ministry issued a circular dated July 3, 2017, clarifying that the prohibition of cash payment would only apply to repayment of a single loan instalment in cash and not to the aggregate amount.
Section 269ST was introduced in the last budget to discourage the use of large amounts of cash as a step towards controlling generation of black money.
Section 269ST prohibits any person to receive amount of Rs. 2 lakh and above in cash:
(i) In aggregate from a person in a day, or
(ii) In a single transaction, or
(iii) In respect of transactions relating to one event or occasion from a person
Though this gives clarity for determining the applicability of section 269ST, from an individual perspective, he/she has to maintain necessary supporting documents to substantiate any future request from the authorities seeking clarification on the source of cash says Amarpal Chadha, Tax Partner & India Mobility Leader, EY.
The government has also introduced penalty provisions in case of section 269ST is violated.
Section 271DA defines the penalty amount to be paid by the person who receives the amount in cash over the specified limit. The penalty amount as per the law shall be equal to the amount received in cash.
Income Tax department in its circular dated July 3, 2017 has given a clarification regarding the transactions that will fall under the purview of section 269ST in case repayment of loan is done using cash.
The circular states that receipt of repayment of loan by the Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) and Housing Finance Companies (HFC) will fall under the purview of section 269ST clause (b) if the repayment of ‘one’ loan instalment is equal to or above Rs. 2 lakh. “All the instalments paid for a loan shall not be aggregated for the purposes of determining applicability of the provisions of section 269ST.” This means that the Rs 2 lakh limit will only be applied to a single loan instalment repayment in cash and not to the total of all the instalments.
The department has received the representations from NBFCs and HFCs seeking clarification regarding the applicability of section 269ST on the repayment of loan whether it will be on one instalment or on the whole loan amount.
The circular has clarified that the NBFC or HFC will end up violating Section 269ST only if they receive a single loan instalment in cash of or over Rs 2 lakh.