Tagged: Life Insurance

ATM :: Why it makes more sense to switch your home loan after this interest rate cut

By Sunil Dhawan | ECONOMICTIMES.COM| Updated: Jan 04, 2017, 11.23 AM IST

ATM

The start of the new year may have something to cheer for the home loan borrowers. Several banks have significantly reduced the interest rates charged on these loans.

The State Bank of India (SBI) has lowered its home loan rate from 9.10 per cent to 8.60 per cent and ICICI Bank from 9.10 percent to 8.65 percent, HDFC at 8.7 per cent, with other banks set to follow suit. Effectively, home loan rate has come down by an average of about 0.4-0.5 per cent after these announcements.

Noticeably, SBI’s one-year MCLR is at 8 per cent which makes the spread on its home loan 0.6 per cent. So, even though the MCLR of banks have fallen, the actual home loans are not at MCLR. Still, the writing on the wall is clear – there is more room to cut home loan rates by the banks.

Borrowers on base rate should switch now
If not all then at least the old borrowers who have been servicing their EMI’s based on the erstwhile base rate system of lending, stand to benefit. Even though bank’s base rate hasn’t come down as much, they now have a stronger reason to switch to the current MCLR-based lending. With the recent interest rate cuts on loans by banks the differential between base rate at which old borrowers are servicing their loan and the current MCLR is widening.

For those who had taken loans after July 1, 2010, but before April 1, 2016, the loans are linked to the bank’s base rate. And for most of these borrowers, the home loan interest rate is around 10 per cent. After the recent rate cuts announced by banks, the average MCLR has fallen to about 8.75 percent or even lower. This differential of 1-1.25 percent in base rate and MCLR will help old borrowers to switch to MCLR and save on total interest outgo.

Why to switch now
The primary reason to switch from base rate to MCLR has to be the sluggishness seen in banks’ passing on the benefits of RBI rate cuts to borrowers. RBI’s repo rate cuts were not reflecting in the bank’s base rate but are a part of the factors that goes into calculating the bank’s MCLR so, the moment repo rate changed, MCLR was impacted.

Further, the MCLR takes into account the marginal cost of funds which includes the rate at which the bank raises deposits and other cost of borrowings. With banks flush with funds post demonetisation, the bank’s CASA deposits (current account-savings account) have swelled and have given the banks the leeway to go for such major rate cuts.

The base rate, on the other hand, has seen only marginal reduction since last 24 months. Post demonetisation, banks are expected to wait and see the impact once the restrictions on cash withdrawals are removed. If the funds don’t move out from the banking system in significant amounts, further rate cut is expected.

MCLR based borrowers
For the new home loan borrowers who have taken loan after April 1, 2016, there’s not much immediate benefit from the recent rate cuts. For most MCLR-linked home loan contracts, the banks reset the interest rate after 12 months for their home loan borrowers. So, if someone has taken home loan from a bank say in May, 2016, the next re-set date will be in May, 2017. Any revisions by RBI or banks will not impact their EMIs or the loan till the reset date

What’s MCLR mode of lending
A new method of bank lending called marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) was put in place for all loans, including home loans, given after April 1, 2016. Under the MCLR mode, the banks have to review and declare overnight, one month, three months, six months, one year, two years, three years rates each month.

Watchouts
In a falling interest rate scenario, quarterly or half-yearly could be a better option, provided the bank agrees. But when the interest rate cycle turns, the borrower will be at a disadvantage. After moving to the MCLR system, there is always the risk of any upward movement of interest rates before you reach the reset period. If the RBI raises repo rates, MCLR too, will move up.

Options for base rate borrowers
When the interest rate on your loan goes down banks, on their own, typically reduce the tenure automatically (instead of reducing EMI amount) and thereby, transfer the benefit of lower rate to the customers.

The base rate borrowers now have two options – switch to MCLR based lending with the same bank or else transfer i.e. get the loan refinanced from another bank on MCLR mode. One may also continue the loan on base rate, especially if the loan term is nearing the end.

The RBI has made it clear that banks should allow base rate borrowers to switch to MCLR. The existing loans can run till maturity or borrowers can switch to MCLR on mutually agreed terms.

Switching from base rate to MCLR within the same bank
It makes sense to switch if the difference between what you are paying and what the bank is offering now as MCLR is significant. And also in cases where the time for the home loan to finish is not near.

Switching loan from base rate to MCLR with another bank (refinancing)
If your bank is offering a high home loan interest rate (MCLR plus spread) then look for refinancing. Get the loan refinanced from a bank offering a lower interest rate. You may have to incur processing fees. However, banks are not allowed to charge foreclosure or full repayment charges. Other charges may include lawyer’s fees, mortgage charges, etc. Remember, the bank may ask you to buy a home loan insurance cover plan, which is not mandatory. Get the loan insured through a pure term insurance instead, in addition to any insurance that you already have.

Conclusion
Switching to MCLR in itself should help you save a substantial amount. In addition to switching the loan from base rate-linked to MCLR and thereby saving interest, prepare a systematic partial prepayment plan to further reduce the interest burden. It’s after all better to up your home-equity rather than making it a highly leveraged buy-out.

Source: https://goo.gl/6R5mh0

ATM :: Three must have add-ons with your term life insurance plan

Santosh Agarwal – PolicyBazaar | Dec 08, 2016,12.35 IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

ATM

Did your insurance agent discourage you from buying a term life insurance plan just because you will get no benefit unless you die? If you trust him blindly, you will only help him earn a better commission, by going over budget for a plan that may not cover you sufficiently. The agent was right when he said that a term plan offers the sum assured only if the policyholder dies during the policy tenure. But, what he may not have pointed out to you is:

1. Insurance plans that offer benefits on maturity are more expensive than term plans.
2. By opting for a TROP (Term with Return Of Premium) plan, you can get back all the premiums you paid, on the maturity of the policy.
3. By purchasing add-ons or riders, you can enhance the protection offered by your term plan.

Riders are purchased additionally with a basic life insurance plan for getting additional benefits. Term plans are the simplest and the most cost-effective life insurance plans. But a term plan alone may not be sufficient in certain cases. For instance, if you get severely injured in an accident, or get diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, a term plan will not help you bear the major expenses of your prolonged treatment. In such cases, the add-ons come in handy. When you buy a life insurance plan, the available riders may vary with the insurance provider and the policy.

Here, we will discuss the three most important add-ons that you must have with your basic term insurance plan.

1) Accidental disability rider

Accidents are unfortunate and unpredictable. An accident may leave you disabled for life. If you have dependents in your family, they will be in a crisis to manage their living and paying for your treatment simultaneously while you are not earning. Such unfortunate instances are covered by accidental disability rider. If you suffer from disability due to an accident, the rider will offer the sum assured by which your family will be able to maintain a livelihood and bear the cost of your treatments as well.

Cost estimates: If you are a 30-year-old, opting for a base cover of Rs. 1 crore over a 35-year time period, an accidental disability rider will cost you around Rs. 300 to Rs. 500 annually for a cover of Rs 10-30 lakh.

2) Critical illness rider

Today’s fast-pacing life is taking a toll on our health. Consequently, several life-threatening diseases are on the rise. The diseases like cancer, stroke, organ failure call for prolonged treatments that can be quite expensive. Critical illness riders ease off the burden of expensive medical treatments by offering a lump sum assured to the policyholder in case he is diagnosed with any of the medical conditions pre-specified under the plan. However, pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered by this rider.

Cost estimates: If you are a 30-year-old, opting for a base cover of Rs. 1 crore over a 35-year time period, a critical illness rider will cost you around Rs. 5,000 to Rs 10,000 annually for a cover of Rs 25-50 lakh.

3) Waiver of premium rider

When you buy a term plan, you get into a contract of paying on a regular basis for a certain period of time (unless it is a single pay plan). But what will happen if you are unable to work due to some unfortunate accident in your life? How are you going to pay for the rest of the policy term if you are left disabled by the accident and there is no other earning member in your family? The waiver of premium rider comes with the solution. In case you are unable to pay your premiums due to some disability or diseases leading to the loss of your job, all your future premiums will be waived off. You will no longer have to pay the premiums but your basic term plan will still continue till the date of maturity. Typically, this rider comes included as part of a term cover, however if that’s not the case, it’s recommended to opt for this must have rider.

Cost estimates: If you are a 30-year-old, opting for a base cover of Rs. 1 crore over a 35-year time period, the waiver of premium rider will cost you around Rs. 400 to Rs 600 annually.

The cost of a rider may vary from one insurance provider to another. Both expensive and low-cost riders are available and they also depend on the base sum assured. However, riders are, undoubtedly, the most important tools to strengthen your basic term insurance cover. Riders come in handy in certain eventualities in life. So, if you want comprehensive life coverage for you and your family, a term plan with the three riders mentioned above are worth considering.

Source: https://goo.gl/ew4OWS

ATM :: Young earner? Five financial mistakes you may regret later

By Sanjiv Singhal | Jun 20, 2016, 07.00 AM IST | Economic Times

ATM

Interact with a lot of young earners on a daily basis. These are men and women in the first 5-6 years of their working lives, with dreams and hopes that require money to achieve. Some of them are already saving, while others are not, but all are full of questions and want to know how to do it better. It doesn’t matter what job they have and how much they earn; there are mistakes that run through all their stories. Here are some of the most common ones:

“I bought a life insurance policy to save tax.”
The good thing about this confession is that the person understands he made a mistake. For most, it starts at the end of the year when they needed to submit their investment proof to the HR. They scramble around to figure out how and blindly buy an insurance policy (after all, insurance is a good thing to have, no?). Almost every other tax-saving option is better than life insurance. Tax-saving (ELSS) funds are the best option for young earners.

“I wasn’t sure where to invest, so I didn’t.”
When you don’t set aside money regularly, it sits in your bank account and often gets spent. This hurts in two ways. One, it doesn’t create wealth for you, which investing early does. Second, it forms unsustainable spending habits. Start by setting aside 5-10% of your salary every month in a debt fund or in a recurring deposit if you don’t know enough about mutual funds.

“I bought stocks to double my money because my friend did.”
This is a mistake often made due to lack of understanding about how stock investment works and a false sense of knowledge. Greed and stories of exceptional returns also spur one on. The best way to resist this is to check with friends and colleagues about how many actually earned such fantastic returns and how many lost money. Stock investing requires deep knowledge and time. As a young professional, you are better off committing this time to your job.

“I change jobs every year to increase my salary.”
This is not an investing mistake, but one of not investing in yourself. Sticking with a job gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in a specific area. It also gives you the time to learn softer skills – of working with people and managing them. This leads to better career prospects and more wealth.

“I forgot about my education loan.”
A lot of young earners are starting their financial lives with an education loan taken for an MBA or MTech. As they mostly work away from home, they may not get the communication from the bank, or choose to ignore it. The interest mounts up and they are left with a bigger repayment amount. Focus on education loan repayment in a disciplined manner. When you are done with the with the repayment, direct this amount to long-term investments. Avoiding these common mistakes is easy once you know about them. Spending time learning about the principles of money and investing is a good investment to begin with.

(The author is Founder & Head, Product Strategy at Scripbox)

Source: http://goo.gl/O7HPqf

ATM :: Risk cover for your home loan

BALAJI RAO | The Hindu
A term assurance provides financial stability in case of unforeseen events and ensures that EMIs are paid.

ATM
Rangan is 35 years old, married, has twins aged three years. His wife, Ragini, is a home-maker. She teaches music to a few young aspirants and earns a small amount of money every month that takes care of her personal expenses. But Rangan is the main earning member of the family. He works for an IT company, earns well, has a home loan which still has another 17 years of repayment (Rs.50 lakh more to be paid including principal and interest), has a car loan to be paid for another three years, and has to take care of his children’s education over the next 20 years.

Rangan is bit worried about unforeseen events such as accidents, illness, loss of job and premature death. He has a beautiful house on which he had spent quite a bit of his savings and also taken a hefty loan. He also wants to secure his family financially.

What could Rangan do that ensures his family is not into any financial mess if some unforeseen event occurs? The one solution for all these is insuring the risks adequately. There is a general confusion due to lack of financial education and awareness that insurance plans are purchased to meet life’s events, whereas the purpose of insurance is to protect against unforeseen events leading to financial risk. Financial goals and risks should not be mixed; it would be a bad marriage.

Segregate goals, risks

Rangan should segregate his financial goals and financial risks. His goals are to meet his children’s education expenses, their marriage, expenses upon retirement some 25 years from today, vacations, upgrading of house, upgrading of car, pre-closing his home loan, etc. His financial risks are losing his job, health scare leading to hospitalisation, and premature death that could risk his house (not being able to pay the EMIs).

While Rangan is investing in financial instruments such as debt and equity to meet his financial goals he has inadequate cover to meet his financial risks. He should split his risks in such a way that he manages them diligently with low investments. Let’s see how Rangan can do it.

Three elements

He should buy three separate pure risk covers by way of term assurances. For the home loan outstanding, he should buy a term assurance which could cost him Rs.5,000 per annum (approx.) for a period of 17 years. In case of premature death the insurance company would pay his legal successor the sum assured which could be utilised to repay the home loan and retain the house.

For the children’s education he should buy another term assurance plan for Rs.1 crore for a period of 20 years which could cost him Rs.6,500 per annum (approx.). In case of his untimely death, the sum assured would be paid by the insurance company to cover the children’s education-related expenses.

For his life risk until retirement, he can choose another Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1 crore as sum assured under term assurance for 25 years which could cost him Rs.5,500 to Rs.6,500 per annum (approx.) that would take care of all other financial risks.

In case no untoward incident (such as his untimely death) happens, at the end of 17 years during the repayment of his home loan the premium payment will stop. Similarly, 20 years from today the premium payment for education too stops; only the overall risk-related premium payment would continue till he is 60 years old.

This is by far the best method of addressing financial risks. People make the mistake of buying traditional plans such as endowment, money back and whole-life policies which are highly expensive and impractical to cover the entire financial risks across different stages and requirements of life.

Health insurance

Rangan should also buy health insurance. Though he argues that his company has medically covered him and he will not need another insurance cover, this has no rationale because if he quits his job, his company-covered insurance would become invalid. Even if he works till his retirement, post-retirement his insurance cover would cease to exist. Hence, he should buy a health cover worth at least Rs.15 lakh which could cost him approx. Rs.15,000 per annum.

Source : http://goo.gl/xXVEqh

ATM :: Financial planning in new year: Start it now

Don’t tinker with your long-term investment plan. But it is always better to make some critical changes, based on new tax laws and instruments
Sanjay Kumar Singh | April 3, 2016 Last Updated at 22:10 IST | Business Standard

ATM

The start of a new financial year is a good time to review your financial plan and take stock of where you stand in relation to your goals. If new goals have emerged, this is the time to make fresh investments for these. While having a steady approach is a virtue here, make some adjustments in the light of developments that have occurred over the past year.

Equity funds
Large-cap funds have fared worse than mid-cap and small-cap ones over the past one year (see table). Over this period at least, the conventional wisdom that large-cap funds tend to be more resilient than mid-cap and small-cap ones in a declining market was overturned. Nilesh Shah, managing director, Kotak Mahindra AMC, offers three reasons. “For the bulk of the previous year, FIIs were sellers of large-cap stocks, whereas domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were buyers of mid- and small-caps. Large-cap stocks are also more linked to global sectors like metal and oil, whereas mid- and small-caps are linked to domestic sectors. The latter has done better than the former, leading to stronger performance by mid- and small-cap stocks. Large-cap stocks’ earning growth decelerated or remained subdued throughout last year while mid- and small-caps delivered better growth,” he says.

Despite last year’s anomalous performance, investors should continue to have the bulk of their core portfolio, 70-75 per cent, in large-cap funds for stability, and only 20-25 per cent in mid-cap and small-cap funds. Large-caps could also fare better in the near future. Says Ashish Shankar, head of investment advisory, Motilal Oswal Private Wealth Management: “IT, pharma and private banks, whose earnings have been growing, will continue to do so. Public sector banks and commodity companies, whose earnings have been bleeding, will not bleed as much. Many might even turn profitable. FII flows turned positive this month and FIIs prefer large-caps. With the US Fed saying it won’t hike interest rates aggressively, global liquidity should improve. If FII flows continue to be stable, large-caps should do better.” Valuations of large-caps are also more attractive.

Financial planning in new year: Start it now

Debt funds
Among debt funds, the category average return of income funds and dynamic bond funds was lower than that of short-term, ultra short-term and liquid funds (see table). Explains Shah: “Last year, while Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut policy rates, market yields didn’t soften as much. The yield curve became steeper. The short end of the curve came down more than the long end, which is why shorter-term bonds did better than longer-term gilts.”

Stick to funds that invest in high-quality debt paper, in view of the worsening credit environment. Shankar suggests investing in triple ‘A’ corporate bond funds. “Today, you can build a triple ‘A’ corporate bond portfolio with an expected return of 8.5 per cent. Many of these have expense ratios of 40-50 basis points, so you can expect annual return of around eight per cent. If bond yields come down, you could end up with returns of 8.5-9 per cent. If you redeem in April 2019, you will get three indexation benefits, lowering the tax incidence considerably.” Investors who have invested in dynamic bond funds should hold on to these. “A rate cut is expected in April. Yields will drop and there may be a rally in the bond market,” says Arvind Rao, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Arvind Rao Associates.

CHANGES YOU NEED TO MAKE
Investment

  • Fixed deposit rates from banks will be better than returns from the post office deposits in the new financial year
  • Choose your tenure first and then, do a comparison of bank fixed deposit rates before making the final choice
  • Invest in the yellow metal via gold bonds

Insurance

  • If your liabilities have increased, revise term cover upward
  • Revise health cover every three-five years to deal with medical and lifestyle inflation
  • Revise sum assured on home insurance if you have added to household assets

Tax planning

  • Conservative investors should invest in PPF at the earliest
  • Those who can take some risk should bet on ELSS funds via SIP
  • Invest Rs 50,000 in NPS

Traditional fixed income
The recent cut in small savings has jolted conservative investors. The rates on these have been linked to the average 10-year bond yield for the past three months. These will be revised every quarter now, make them more volatile. “People who want to invest in debt and want sovereign security should continue to invest in Public Provident Fund (PPF). No other instrument gives a tax-free return of 8.1 per cent with government security,” says Rao.

As for time deposits, financial planner Arnav Pandya suggests, “From April, fixed deposits of banks will give better returns than those of the post office. Decide on your investment tenure, see which bank is offering the best rate for that tenure, and invest in its deposit.” Lock into current rates fast, as even banks are expected to cut their deposit rates.

Tax-free bonds are another good option. Nabard’s recent issue carried a coupon of 7.29 per cent for 10 years and 7.64 per cent for 15 years. Beside getting tax-free income, investors stand to get the benefit of capital appreciation if interest rates are cut.

“People who have some risk appetite may also look at debt mutual funds and fixed deposits of stable companies,” adds Rao.

Gold
The sharp run-up in gold prices over three months, owing to the rise in risk aversion globally, took most people by surprise. The sudden spurt emphasises the need to stay diversified and have a 10 per cent allocation to the yellow metal in your portfolio. However, instead of using gold Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which carry an expense ratio of 0.75-1 per cent, invest via gold bonds, which offer an annual interest rate of 2.75 per cent. The Budget made gold bonds more attractive by exempting these from capital gains tax at redemption.

Tax planning
Start investing in tax-saving instruments from the beginning of the year. “Don’t leave tax planning for the end of the year, otherwise you may have to scramble for funds,” says financial planner Ankur Kapur of ankurkapur.in. For those with the money, Pandya suggests: “Invest the entire amount you need to in PPF before the April 5. That will take care of tax planning for the year and you will also earn interest on your investment.”

Investors with a higher risk appetite could start a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) in an Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) fund, which can give higher returns. “If you invest early in the year via an SIP, you will reap the benefit of rupee cost averaging,” says Dinesh Rohira, founder and Chief Executive Officer, 5nance.com. Pankaj Mathpal, MD, Optima Money Managers suggests linking all tax-related investments to financial goals.

If you live in your parents’ house and pay rent to them to claim House Rent Allowance benefits, which is perfectly legal, get a rent agreement prepared.

With 40 per cent of the National Pension System (NPS) corpus having been made tax-free at withdrawal in this Budget (the entire corpus was taxed earlier), this has become more attractive. “Open an NPS account if you have not done so already and enjoy the additional tax deduction of Rs 50,000,” says Anil Rego, CEO & founder, Right Horizons. In view of the low returns from annuities, into which 60 per cent of the final corpus must be compulsorily invested, don’t invest more than Rs 50,000.

Tax deduction under Section 24 is available on the interest repaid on a home loan. “Buying a property to avail of the benefit is not advisable if the family has a primary residence,” says Rego.

Insurance
While reviewing your financial plan, check if the term cover is adequate. A family’s insurance cover should be able to replace the breadwinner’s income stream. Financial planners take into account household expenses, goals like children’s education and marriage, and liabilities like home loans when deciding on a person’s insurance requirement. “If goals have changed or liabilities have increased, raise the amount of cover,” suggests Mathpal. Kapur says the premium rate is likely to be lower if you buy the term plan before your birthday.

Your health insurance cover might also need to be raised to take care of medical inflation. The same holds true for household insurance if you have reconstructed your house and the structure has become more expensive, or if you have added expensive assets. Rohira suggests buying add-on covers like accidental insurance and critical health insurance for comprehensive protection.

Source: http://goo.gl/iZ3KSx

ATM :: All you need to know about single premium life insurance

By Gargi Banerjee | May 21, 2015, 11.14 AM IST | Economic Times

ATM

Want to get over with buying an insurance policy at one go because you have some money lying idle? A single premium insurance policy is just the thing for you then. As compared to a traditional or a regular premium insurance policy where you pay insurance premiums at periodic intervals, this is a onetime payment solution for those who do not want to get into the hassle of periodic payments.

Once the premium payment has been made, you become the owner of a policy with a specific death benefit. It is literally a “fill it, shut it and forget it” kind of a policy, as you do not have to worry about paying any further payments or the lapse of your policy in case in forget to make any payments. All major insurers provide single premium life insurance policies for the benefit of their customers and you can use the help of a policy aggregator website to find out which one works best for you.

When should you buy a single premium policy?

Most people prefer to buy a single premium life insurance policy when they have a lump sum available with themselves. It may be a hefty tax fund, a cash gift from a relative an inheritance or some windfall gains in case of business owners. If you do not wish to spend this money right away and are wary of investing it in the markets, or you think there is some more insurance cover you could do with, you can certainly opt for a single premium life insurance policy.

Protect your wealth against taxation

A single premium life insurance policy provides you protection against the axe of taxes. You are given exemption of upto R 1.5 lakhs when you invest in a single premium life insurance policy. Further the sum assured is also tax free in the hands of the receiver. God forbid if something were to happen to you, your beneficiary would receive the money completely tax free. However do bear in mind, that on a single premium life insrance policy you will get the benfit of tax exemption only once, as you are investing in it for a single time only.

Forget about lapses

Since the policy is paid up in full upfront you never have to worry again about the policy getting lapsed in case you forget to pay the premium. It is valid till the entire term of the policy and renders the sum assured after the policy term comes to an end. Creates cash value.

When you make the payment of single premium on a policy you are creating an asset for yourself. In case you need to avail of a loan facility, this can come in handy and can be used as a collateral against your loan. Besides, the cash value of the investment you have made accumulates every year, without you having to invest year after year.

Thus as you can see, single premium life insurance policies, though usually not the preffered vehicle for securing one’s life, can certainly offer some benefits. But the largest factor you should keep in mind is the affordability part of it. So if you can think of sparing the lump sum and locking it away to take care of your insurance needs, go ahead and get yourself that single premium insurance policy.

Source: http://goo.gl/1nL5We

ATM :: Beware of these hidden charges on your home loan

HARSH ROONGTA | Tue, 29 Mar 2016-09:22am | dna
Shrinking interest rate margins have made several lenders to insert hidden charges to increase their margins by stealth.

ATM

The home loan industry has come a long way from the time when the only charges that you had to watch out for were the processing charges taken under various heads and pre-payment charges. Regulation has ensured that there are no pre-payment charges and competition has ensured that there is a greater degree of transparency around the processing fee, legal fee, valuation fee or technical charges. Competition has also ensured that there is hardly any difference in the interest rates charged by various home loan lenders. Unfortunately, the shrinking interest rate margins have made several lenders to insert hidden charges to increase this margin by stealth.

Here is a list of these charges:

Charge interest on the loan which is disbursed late – This is a common practice. The lender prepares a cheque, but it is not to be handed over till certain documents are received from the borrower and/or the seller. These documents normally may take a few days to a few weeks, and meanwhile, the interest meter is ticking for the borrower. This is not as small as it looks. On a loan of Rs 1 crore, the interest @9.50% works out to Rs 2,600 daily.

The cost of a 10-day delay in handing over the cheque (which is pretty common) means an additional cost of Rs 26,000 or 0.26% of the loan amount. You should negotiate with the lender that you will only pay interest from the day the cheque is actually handed over to the seller and not from the date mentioned on the cheque.

Advancing the EMI payment date – The EMI amount is calculated assuming that the payment will be made at the end of 30 days from the date of disbursement. If this EMI is paid earlier than 30 days, the cost becomes much higher than the stated cost. An example will illustrate this. If the disbursement is made on February 15, 2016, and the EMI is payable on the first of every month then typically you should pay interest equivalent to 15 days’ interest (from February 15, 2016, to March 1, 2016) and the EMI should start from April 1, 2016, only. However, most lenders will start off the EMI from March 1, 201, and still charge you for a full month’s interest. Again, the difference is not as small as it sounds. 15 days’ extra interest for a Rs 1 crore loan @9.50% works out to Rs 39,000 or 0.39% of the loan amount. Again, you can negotiate with the lender to make sure that this additional hidden interest is not charged to you. Unlike the first point which is easily understood, this point is technical and the lender can run loops through the borrower while explaining how the EMI is calculated.

Forcing borrowers to buy expensive insurance products – Lenders have tied up with life and general insurance companies to provide life, disability and property insurance to borrowers and they force you to take these policies. The lenders earn fat commissions on the sale of these insurance policies and even though officially not permitted, they force the borrowers to sign up for these policies. It is a good practise to have such type of insurance policies when you take a loan, but the problem is that the policies being hawked by the lenders are hugely overpriced, reflecting the captive base of borrowers and the fat commissions for the lender inbuilt in such policies. To avoid having to pay for these overpriced policies, you can negotiate with the lender that you will buy these policies on your own. In all probability, you will get the exact same policy from the same insurance provider as what the lender is pushing at a fraction of the cost that the lender will charge.

Forcing borrowers to take a credit card or some other add-on products – In most cases this is offered for free while not stating that it is free only for the first year and would have an annual fee every year after that. You can easily negotiate your way out of this one.

Whilst these are the “extra” charges that lenders take from borrowers, there is a charge that they are unfairly accused of taking. For example, in Maharashtra, you have to pay a stamp duty of 0.20% of the loan amount on the document creating the security in favour of the lender. It is obvious that this charge will be recovered from the borrower (it is also mentioned in the loan agreement as recoverable from the borrower), but I have heard many borrowers complain that this is a hidden charge sprung upon them. This document is in favour of the borrower as it is conclusive proof that documents have been handed over to the lender. This is extremely useful when the loan period ends because there have been increasing the number of cases where the lenders have misplaced the title deeds and claim that these were never deposited with them in the first place. A stamped and registered document will prevent the lender from making any such claims.

In this new age, the lenders depend on the borrowers lack of attention to slip in the extra charges. It makes eminent sense for the borrowers to take the help of professionals to help them navigate through this process. The fee payable to such professionals will be more than made up by the savings in these “extra” charges.

Source : http://goo.gl/ImwYEb