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.
GST, which the government intends to roll out from July 1, 2017, will subsume central excise, service tax and state VAT among other indirect levies on manufactured goods and services
PTI | Updated: March 28, 2017, 18:29 IST | ET Realty
Home loan EMIs of under-construction houses, renting & land leasing to attract GST from July 1. Come July 1 and leasing of land, renting of buildings as well as EMIs paid for purchase of under-construction houses will start attracting the Goods and Services Tax.
Sale of land and buildings will be however out of the purview of GST, the new indirect tax regime. Such transactions will continue to attract the stamp duty, according to the legislations Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced in the Lok Sabha yesterday for approval.
Electricity has also been kept out of the GST ambit.
GST, which the government intends to roll out from July 1, 2017, will subsume central excise, service tax and state VAT among other indirect levies on manufactured goods and services.
The Central GST (CGST) bill — one of the four legislations introduced, states that any lease, tenancy, easement, licence to occupy land will be considered as supply of service.
Also, any lease or letting out of the building, including a commercial, industrial or residential complex for business or commerce, either wholly or partly, is a supply of services as per the CGST bill.
The GST bills provide that sale of land and, sale of building except the sale of under construction building will nether be treated as a supply of goods not a supply of services. Thus GST can’t be levied in those supplies.
‘Goods’ in earlier drafts of the bills were defined as every kind of movable property other than money and securities but includes actionable claim. ‘Services’ were defined as anything other than goods. It was thought that GST may be levied on supply of immovable property such as Land or building apart from levy of stamp duty.
But the bills presented in Parliament have now clarified this position.
Tax experts said that currently service tax is levied on rents paid for commercial and industrial units, although it is exempt for residential units.
Deloitte Haskins Sells LLP Senior Director M S Mani said: “While service tax is applicable at present on sale of under construction apartments, it is levied on a lower value as abatement allowed. The abatement is ostensibly to take care of the value of the land involved in the construction of apartments”.
He said the GST Rules, which will come up for discussion in the Council meeting on March 31, would help ascertain whether a lower rate of GST is proposed for such transactions or whether a similar abatement procedure would be prescribed.
“This would also be dependent on the rate fixation committee which is expected to finalise its recommendations in April,” Mani said.
Experts said service tax is currently levied on payments made for under-construction residential houses after providing abatement, which brings down the effective rate from 18 per cent to around 6 per cent.
“The government is trying its best to make GST litigation free. The bills very clearly specify that GST would be charged on any lease of land or letting out of the building or construction of a complex, building, civil structure or a part thereof, where whole or any part of consideration has been received before issuance of completion certificate or its first occupation,” Nangia & Co Director Rajat Mohan said.
Experts said the GST subsumes central levies like excise and service tax and local levies like VAT, entertainment tax, luxury tax. However, it does not subsume Electricity Duty.
Since the GST Constitution Amendment Act does not provide for subsuming ‘electricity duty’ under GST, it will continue to be levied by the respective state governments.
Certain states like Delhi exempt residential properties from electricity duty but levy it on commercial and industrial units.
Source : https://goo.gl/0mRlKH
Nina Varghese for IndiaProperty.com | Moneycontrol.com
Will the 2016 retrenchments in the e-commerce space impact home finance? This is a question on many minds especially in a place like Bangalore where a large number of e-commerce companies are headquartered.
In recent times there has been disturbing news in the daily broadsheets about the pink slips in the e-commerce space. Of course, as many would say this was a bubble that was waiting to burst, mainly because of the proliferation of e-commerce companies offering a variety of services and yet there has been no corresponding rise in internet penetration; in other words, an increase in net users.
In addition to this, the other bad news from the Middle East, where a large number of Indians work, is that companies are retrenching staff to combat the declining oil prices and the squeezed profit margins.
It is likely that a majority of the people who have lost their jobs this year would be paying equated monthly installments (EMIs) on homes, cars and other household items, and EMIs will be impacted.
The impact on the home loan EMI may not be immediate but it is likely in the next two quarters. This seems to be a persistent worry for the real estate sector, especially as surveys show that home sales in major metros are improving and a number of new launches are going up.
So how do you service the home loan if you have lost your job? At this point you must be aware that banks have the provision to restructure loans and that there are a number of ways to do this; all depending on the type of loan that you have taken.
The first option would be to extend the tenure of the loan; wherein your EMI reduces and makes it easier to manage. The bank, however, has to be convinced that the reason for restructuring the loan is a genuine one. The second option is foreclosure; where the borrower can sell the house which is most likely the collateral, to settle.
However, in most cities in India, the housing market is tight and it might be difficult to sell at this point. If you show undue haste, it is likely you will not get the price you desire. It is very important that you talk to the bank in question and remember that running away and defaulting on this loan and other financial commitments is not a wise choice. Most bankers understand if there is a serious issue such as a loss of employment and it is imperative that you make yourself open to them.
Let’s take a look at which companies are doling out the pink slips this year. According to newspaper reports, Flipkart, the e-retailer laid off 1000 employees pan India, in July. In September, Twitter, the online social networking services sent 20 people home, in Bangalore while OLA the online cab service sent out 700 pink slips across India, in August. ASKME’s 4000 employees lost their jobs when the company shut shop, in July, after their investor exited. GROFERS, the online grocery delivery service, laid off 150 to 200 employees and revoked 65 job offers, in September.
In the first quarter of 2017, CISCO, the e-commerce shopping list firm, is likely to lay off 14,000 people worldwide with 7000 of them likely to be engineers in the company’s Research & Development centre, in India.
According to the Middle East news service MEED, Abu Dhabi National Gas Co (ADNOC) plans to cut 5000 jobs by the end of the year while 2000 layoffs have already been announced. Similarly, many companies in the oil and gas industry in the United Arab Emirates have cut flab in a bid to reduce operational costs. The job cuts have affected mainly engineers and those on contracts. These job cuts are likely to have a domino effect on the hospitality and retail industries too.
The banking sector in the UAE has also been impacted by the declining oil prices. The Emirates Islamic, the Sharia compliant lending arm of the Emirates NBD, sacked 100 people because of the diminished growth in the second half of this year. Those laid off were mainly from the sales force.
Newspaper reports from Qatar said that many large multinational oil companies were downsizing because they were suspending or cancelling projects.
So it’s the right time to sit tight and fasten the belts tighter.
By Satyam Kumar – LoanTap | Sep 27, 2016, 04.34 PM | Source: Moneycontrol.com
Also known as credit card takeover loan, this can help you get rid of credit card debt.
One of the easiest ways we can choose to build a healthy financial future is to get a credit card and use it wisely and responsibly. Let’s say, for most people, a credit card offers their first opportunity to start building a credit history. While many credit card users pay off their credit bills in full every month, there are others who take the route of making minimum payments on their credit card bills and become too comfortable with the idea. But as easy as it may seem, it is just a delusion that making minimum payments is enough to prevent late fees and interest charges. Even banks and financial institutions are not likely to specify information on the damage minimum payments might cause in the long run. There are numerous consequences of failing to pay off your charges in full every month. The lack of awareness is causing credit card holders to lose money that they could easily save. Still not convinced? Here is your chance to learn more about minimum payments, how they might affect your financial health and the best possible solution available to you to undo the damage.
The minimum payment is a fraction of the total outstanding amount that is due. So, for instance, if the outstanding amount due on your credit card for a particular month is Rs 25,000, then the minimum payment would be Rs. 1,000. It is a common misconception among many people that banks will not charge interest on their credit card as long as they are making the minimum payment. Unfortunately this is not true. The only benefit that can be derived by making the minimum payment is that one will not have to pay late fees. Also, this will keep credit score in good shape but there would still be no respite from paying steep interest.
Relying on making minimum payments for an extended period can result in a huge debt that may even exceed one’s credit limit. This is because the higher the pending amount, the higher will be the interest amount. This might pose to be a challenging financial problem. This is when a credit card takeover (CCT) loan comes to the rescue. Many consumers aren’t aware of the benefits of a CCT loan and how it might help them in saving and maintaining their credit score.
Here are a few ways it can take care of a huge credit card debt:
1. A CCT loan offers low interest rates compared to credit card interest rates. The annual rate of interest is usually 18% lower than any credit card interest rate. This dramatically reduces your interest burden.
2. It is convenient for those who are financially not ready to pay the full outstanding amount that they have run up on their credit cards. One can only pay the interest amount initially and wait until they are in a better financial position to pay off the principal on quarterly or annually, which is easily affordable.
3. A CCT Loan can help in protecting your credit score. How? We all know that delayed credit card payments can have a negative impact on one’s credit score, which eventually lowers any chances of loan approvals later in life. In such cases, taking an EMI-free loan is the best way to save the CIBIL score.
4. A CCT loan can provide the opportunity to avoid late fees and penalties as the loan can be sanctioned within a small span of time. This eventually helps in saving up a lot of money in the long run.
People nowadays opt for flexibility in everything, whether it is their job or education. Loans like CCT or EMI Free is helping those sections of people by offering flexible options to repay credit card debt. Although one can use it for numerous purposes like buying a house, paying for education fees, or even for financing one’s marriage, its low interest rate makes it a viable option to pay off outstanding credit card debt that may be creeping up on your savings without your realizing its deleterious impact.
Buying a home early in life helps home buyers.
Kishor Pate CMD, Amit Enterprises | Retrived on 12 July 2016 | Moneycontrol.com
There are lots of arguments for and against buying a home early in life, but the rationale for doing so is, in fact, the strongest and most convincing.
1. In the first place, the longer the tenure of a home loan, the lower the EMIs are. EMIs are calculated on the basis of the loan amount and how long the borrower can logically repay the home loan. In India, the retirement age is 60, and banks will consider this as the age by which the borrower must under any case close the home loan if he or she has not done so already. The longer one defers the decision to avail of a home loan to buy a property, the bigger the EMIs become.
Also, it is easiest to get approved for a home loan when one is young. Lenders are eager to provide home loans to young people because they are at the beginning of their careers, and will doubtlessly grow in them over the ensuing years. Their financial viability – and therefore their future ability to service a home loan – is therefore at its highest point.
2. In fact, the eligibility for a home loan is even higher for young married couples taking out a joint home loan. This is by far the most desirable lending scenario for banks. They are assured that two instead of only one income stream will back the home loan proposal, and the fact that two instead of one borrower are involved decreases their risk. Taking a joint home loan also helps a couple to close down the financial commitment of a home loan much faster, allowing them to focus on other investments earlier in life.
3. Another advantage of purchasing a home early in life is that it becomes easier to pay off the outstanding amount on a home loan with accumulated savings later in life. This opens up the opportunity to upgrade to a bigger, better-located home is the future – which is what most Indians aspire to do at some point.
4. Today, many newly-married couples are deferring their plans to have children until they have had a chance to enjoy some unfettered years together. Such a decision also works very well for such couples from the point of view of home purchase. It means that they can make a big down payment on their home before children and their education become an additional financial responsibility. A bigger down payment reduces the EMI burden, meaning that they can close their home loans faster.
5. It is also important to note that the earlier one buys a home, the longer it has to appreciate in value. Given that the annual appreciation of a well-located residential property can be to the tune of 15-20%. This results in a huge incremental increase of the investment value of such an asset.
6. It also makes much more sense to invest one’s hard-earned money in an appreciating asset rather than pay monthly rentals for which there are no returns at all. Repayment of a home loan also brings with it the financial advantage of income tax breaks. These are an added benefit which the Indian Government has provided with the express purpose of encouraging young citizens to invest in self-owned homes and thereby safeguard their and their children’s future.
7. Finally, it makes much more sense to pay monthly EMIs on a home loan, into an investment-grade asset, rather than pay monthly rent which is nothing but an expense with absolutely no returns on investment.
The above reasons should present a convincing argument for making the important decision of buying a home early in life. The New Age ‘logic’ that it is better to live on rent simply does not hold water if one considers the multi-faceted advantages of investing in a self-owned home while one is young. It is true that it requires financial discipline to service a home loan, but this very desirable quality can never come too early.
Source : http://goo.gl/iGEZw9