Tagged: PLR

ATM :: 7 home loan repayment options to choose from

By Sunil Dhawan | ET Online | Updated: May 05, 2018, 12.32 PM IST | Economic Times

ATM

Buying that dream home can be rather tedious process that involves a lot of research and running around.

First of all you will have to visit several builders across various locations around the city to zero in on a house you want to buy. After that comes the time to finance the purchase of your house, for which you will most probably borrow a portion of the total cost from a lender like a bank or a home finance company.

However, scouting for a home loan is generally not a well thought-out process and most of us will typically consider the home loan interest rate, processing fees, and the documentary trail that will get us the required financing with minimum effort. There is one more important factor you should consider while taking a home loan and that is the type of loan. There are different options that come with various repayment options.

Other than the plain vanilla home loan scheme, here are a few other repayment options you can consider.

I. Home loan with delayed start of EMI payments
Banks like the State Bank of India (SBI) offer this option to its home loan borrowers where the payment of equated monthly instalments (EMIs) begins at a later date. SBI’s Flexipay home loan comes with an option to go for a moratorium period (time during the loan term when the borrower is not required to make any repayment) of anywhere between 36 months and 60 months during which the borrower need not pay any EMI but only the pre-EMI interest is to be paid. Once the moratorium period ends, the EMI begins and will be increased during the subsequent years at a pre- agreed rate.

Compared to a normal home loan, in this loan one can also get a higher loan amount of up to 20 percent. This kind of loan is available only to salaried and working professionals aged between 21 years and 45 years.

Watch outs: Although initially the burden is lower, servicing an increasing EMI in the later years, especially during middle age or nearing retirement, requires a highly secure job along with decent annual increments. Therefore, you should carefully opt for such a repayment option only if there’s a need as the major portion of the EMI in the initial years represents the interest.

II. Home loan by linking idle savings in bank account
Few home loan offers such as SBI Maxgain, ICICI Bank’s home loan ‘Overdraft Facility’ and IDBI Bank’s ‘Home Loan Interest Saver’ allows you to link your home loan account with your current account that is opened along with. The interest liability of your home loan comes down to the extent of surplus funds parked in the current account. You will be allowed to withdraw or deposit funds from the current account as and when required. The interest rate on the home loan will be calculated on the outstanding balance of loan minus balance in the current account.

For example, on a Rs 50 lakh loan at 8.5 percent interest rate for 20 years, with a monthly take home income of say Rs 1.5 lakh, the total interest outgo for a plain vanilla loan is about Rs 54,13,875. Whereas, for a loan linked to your bank account, it will be about Rs 52,61,242, translating into a savings of about Rs 1.53 lakh during the tenure of the loan.

Watch outs: Although the interest burden gets reduced considerably, banks will ask you to pay that extra interest rate for such loans, which translates into higher EMIs.

III. Home loan with increasing EMIs
If one is looking for a home loan in which the EMI keeps increasing after the initial few years, then you can consider something like the Housing Development Finance Corporation’s (HDFC) Step Up Repayment Facility (SURF) or ICICI Bank’s Step Up Home Loans.

In such loans, you can avail a higher loan amount and pay lower EMIs in the initial years. Subsequently, the repayment is accelerated proportionately with the assumed increase in your income. There is no moratorium period in this loan and the actual EMI begins from the first day. Paying increasing EMI helps in reducing the interest burden as the loan gets closed earlier.

Watch outs: The repayment schedule is linked to the expected growth in one’s income. If the salary increase falters in the years ahead, the repayment may become difficult.

IV. Home loan with decreasing EMIs
HDFC’s Flexible Loan Installments Plan (FLIP) is one such plan in which the loan is structured in a way that the EMI is higher during the initial years and subsequently decreases in the later years.

Watch outs: Interest portion in EMI is as it is higher in the initial years. Higher EMI means more interest outgo in the initial years. Have a prepayment plan ready to clear the loan as early as possible once the EMI starts decreasing.

V. Home loan with lump sum payment in under-construction property
If you purchase an under construction property, you are generally required to service only the interest on the loan amount drawn till the final disbursement and pay the EMIs thereafter. In case you wish to start principal repayment immediately, you can opt to start paying EMIs on the cumulative amounts disbursed. The amount paid will be first adjusted for interest and the balance will go towards principal repayment. HDFC’s Tranche Based EMI plan is one such offering.

For example, on a Rs 50 lakh loan, if the EMI is xx, by starting to pay the EMI, the total outstanding will stand reduced to about Rs 36 lakh by the time the property gets completed after 36 months. The new EMI will be lower than what you had paid over previous 36 months.

Watch outs: There is no tax benefit on principal paid during the construction period. However, interest paid gets the tax benefit post occupancy of the home.

VI. Home loan with longer repayment tenure
ICICI Bank’s home loan product called ‘Extraa Home Loans’ allows borrowers to enhance their loan eligibility amount up to 20 per cent and also provide an option to extend the repayment period up to 67 years of age (as against normal retirement age) and are for loans up to Rs 75 lakh.

These are the three variants of ‘Extraa’.

a) For middle aged, salaried customers: This variant is suitable for salaried borrowers up to 48 years of age. While in a regular home loan, the borrowers will get a repayment schedule till their age of retirement, with this facility they can extend their loan tenure till 65 years of age.

b) For young, salaried customers: The salaried borrowers up to 37 years of age are eligible to avail a 30 year home loan with repayment tenure till 67 years of age.

c) Self-employed or freelancers : There are many self-employed customers who earn higher income in some months of the year, given the seasonality of the business they are in. This variant will take the borrower’s higher seasonal income into account while sanctioning those loans.

Watch outs: The enhancement of loan limit and the extension of age come at a cost. The bank will charge a fee of 1-2 per cent of total loan amount as the loan guarantee is provided by India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC). The risk of enhanced limit and of increasing the tenure essentially is taken over by IMGC.

VII. Home loan with waiver of EMI
Axis Bank offers a repayment option called ‘Fast Forward Home Loans’ where 12 EMIs can be waived off if all other instalments have been paid regularly. Here. six months EMIs are waived on completion of 10 years, and another 6 months on completion of 15 years from the first disbursement. The interest rate is the same as that for a normal loan but the loan tenure has to be 20 years in this scheme. The minimum loan amount is fixed at Rs 30 lakh.

The bank also offers ‘Shubh Aarambh Home Loan’ with a maximum loan amount of Rs 30 lakh, in which 12 EMIs are waived off at no extra cost on regular payment of EMIs – 4 EMIs waived off at the end of the 4th, 8th and 12th year. The interest rate is the same as normal loan but the loan tenure has to be 20 years in this loan scheme.

Watch outs: Keep a tab on any specific conditions and the processing fee and see if it’s in line with other lenders. Keep a prepayment plan ready and try to finish the loan as early as possible.

Nature of home loans
Effective from April 1, 2016, all loans including home loans are linked to a bank’s marginal cost-based lending rate (MCLR). Someone looking to get a home loan should keep in mind that MCLR is only one part of the story. As a home loan borrower, there are three other important factors you need to evaluate when choosing a bank to take the loan from – interest rate on the loan, the markup, and the reset period.

What you should do
It’s better to opt for a plain-vanilla home loan as they don’t come with any strings attached. However, if you are facing a specific financial situation that may require a different approach, then you could consider any of the above variants. Sit with your banker, discuss your financial position, make a reasonable forecast of income over the next few years and decide on the loan type. Don’t forget to look at the total interest burden over the loan tenure. Whichever loan you finally decide on, make sure you have a plan to repay the entire outstanding amount as early as possible. After all, a home with 100 per cent of your own equity is a place you can call your own.

Source: https://bit.ly/2wjnSId

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ATM :: Home loan from bank or NBFC: Which one should you opt for?

Banks and NBFCs follow different guidelines when it comes to lending and, thus, home loans disbursed by them are also done on certain different parameters. Here’s all you need to know.
By: Adhil Shetty | Published: May 3, 2018 1:03 PM | Financial Express

ATM

When buying a house, we all want to get the best deal on the home loan we avail as it is probably the longest financial commitment we will make impacting our overall portfolio and expenses. However, deciding on the right financial institution to avail the loan from is a rather tricky task, given the market is competitive.

With the rise of non-banking financial corporations (NBFCs) in India, the choice has only gotten wider as customers can now choose not only among banks, but also NBFCs. But did you know that availing a home loan from a bank and an NBFC may seem similar, but work in very different ways?

Banks and NBFCs follow different guidelines when it comes to lending and, thus, home loans disbursed by them are also done on certain different parameters. Find out how these two differ when it comes to assessing an individual for a home loan and which one can you resort to for your home loan.

1. Interest Rates: MCLR vs PLR

Banks operate their housing loan interest rates based on Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR), which serves as their lending benchmark and is closely monitored by the RBI. On the other hand, loans by Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) and NBFCs are not linked to the MCLR. They are linked to the Prime Lending Rate (PLR), which is outside the ambit of the RBI. So while banks can’t lend at rates below the MCLR, PLR-linked loans do not have such restrictions.

Banks have both floating and fixed rates, of which before only floating rates felt the occasional impact of MCLR. But in February this year it was announced by the RBI that all new loans whether with floating interest rates or base rates will be linked to the MCLR.

An MCLR-linked loan clearly mentions the intervals at which its interest rate will automatically change. In a falling interest rate scenario, this allows customers to receive RBI-mandated rate cuts in a transparent, time-bound manner.

As NBFCs and HFCs are free to set their PLR, it gives them greater freedom to increase or decrease their loan rates as per their selling requirements. This sometimes suits customers and provides them more options, especially when they fail to meet the loan eligibility criteria of banks. But in many cases, for those who easily meet the criteria this may also result in inflated interest rates compared to banks.

2. Loan Eligibility via Credit Score

As paperless financial technology takes prominence, more and more lenders are depending on credit scores to determine loan eligibility. While there are upper caps set on interest rates through MCLR and PLR, the actual interest rate you pay on your loan is linked to your credit score. Leading lenders are known to offer their best rates to customers with a CIBIL score of 750 or more.

While both banks and NBFCs consider credit scores carefully, NBFCs tend to have more relaxed policies towards customers with low credit scores. However, with a very low score, both banks and NBFCs will likely charge you a higher interest rate. In some cases, banks may ask to convert the home loan into a secured loan by mortgaging some asset if the credit criteria is not met, but you still need the loan.

A customer with a low score can in fact start with a loan from an NBFC. Through timely repayment, s/he can improve his credit score. After this, once the bank’s eligibility criteria is met, the loan balance can be transferred to a bank.

To keep yourself ready, make sure to access credit reports by CIBIL or Experian. This will allow you to be ready even before you approach a lender. Since credit scores change every quarter, you can take your time to improve it before you decide to avail the loan in order to get a better rate of interest and disbursal amount.

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3. Loan Amount

The actual cost of property is never just the selling price promoted by developers and builders. During acquisition it typically goes up as other costs like stamp duty, registration, an assortment of payments towards brokerage, furnishing, repairs and more always add up. Based on where you are in India, you may have to pay between 3 and 11 per cent of the property value as registration cost alone.

Banks are allowed to fund up to 80% of a property’s value. For example, if you are buying a property worth Rs 50 lakh, you may receive a loan of Rs 40 lakh from banks excluding the registration cost and associated charges of course. The rest of the fund requirements would have to be met by you and often these last mile costs weigh heavily on the final decision to buy a property.

Although both NBFCs and banks are not allowed to fund stamp duty and registration costs, NBFCs can include these costs as part of a property’s market valuation. This allows the customer to borrow a larger amount as per his eligibility.

4. Pre-Payment, Foreclosure and Late Payment Charges

Just like other loans, home loans also have associated charges attached. Both banks and NBFCs will have charges for pre-payment and foreclosure but NBFCs tend to charge much higher. In addition, late payment charges by NBFCs may sometimes be close to 10 or 20% of your monthly EMI, giving you no respite in case you default on any payment. NBFCs also tend to have higher processing fees, although some banks may charge similar amounts.

Whoever the lender may be, make sure to calculate you future interests and factor in additional costs associated with your repayment as home loans range between 10 and 30 years and you may have to bear such high charges in future.

(The writer is CEO at Bankbazaar.com)

Source: https://bit.ly/2rhfZOE

ATM :: HFC Vs Bank: Where To Get That Home Loan

By Kavya Balaji | July 18, 2017 | Bank Bazaar

ATM

You have chosen your dream home and the project is approved by both banks and Housing Finance Companies (HFC). You need a Home Loan. Which lender should you go for? Are HFCs genuine? Are HFCs well regulated? Do they have fair loan practices? Will they provide standard services? All these questions might be playing in your mind. Here, we try to answer some of those questions for you.

Who supervises HFCs?

Unlike popular perception, HFCs are not unregulated. They are regulated by the National Housing Bank (NHB). HFCs need to register with NHB and the latter regulates and supervises them. There have been talks about the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) taking over but nothing is on the ground till now. However, NHB has been quite proactive in ensuring that Home Loan borrowers rest easy. These include steps like abolishing prepayment charges for floating rate loans, putting a cap on Loan To Value (LTV) ratio and making sure that HFCs have done proper provisioning for their bad loans. So, it is not right to say that HFCs are unregulated and are free to fix their own interest rates. They are well regulated and have standard industry practices when it comes to services.

What about their interest rates?

HFCs follow what is known as ‘Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR)’ model. They will fix an interest rate based on their average cost of funds. The loan rate that is fixed by HFCs will be at a discount to the BPLR.

There are two issues here. The BPLR is based on past cost of funds/interest rates and is not forward looking. Therefore, HFCs might be slow in passing on interest rate cuts to customers. Another point is that some of the HFCs might not be transparent with their BPLR.

Now, do banks offer better interest rates than HFCs? Sometimes, they do. This is because banks follow the Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR). Here, RBI ensures that the interest rate cuts made by the central bank are passed on to bank customers through the bank’s MCLR as quickly as possible.

However, note that there are HFCs that are competitive and do offer interest rates comparable to banks. Consider this: HDFC limited, one of the most popular HFCs, offers Home Loans starting at 8.5% while State Bank of India, the most popular bank, provides Home Loans that start at 8.65% unless you’re a woman. For women, SBI offers loans at 8.5%. HDFC has a standard loan process and the interest rates are transparent too.

So, HFC or bank?

You might think that at the end of the day, what matters is how quickly the firm/bank is able to pass on interest rate cuts as we are now on a downward interest rate cycle. Dies that mean you should choose a bank? Wrong!

Understand Home Loan is a long tenure loan. Most Home Loans stretch beyond 10 years. Given this scenario, when interest rates start increasing some years down the line, both banks and HFCs will pass on interest rate hikes quickly. Also, you might have to pay a heavy conversion fee for getting the lower rates now. Some HFCs actually charge a lower conversion fee than a bank.

Another important point that you need to understand is that interest rate cuts are passed on more quickly to new borrowers rather than existing ones. In case there are interest rate hikes, these will be passed on quickly to both new as well as old borrowers. So, passing on interest rates won’t matter as much in the long run. Then?

How expensive is that loan?

It doesn’t matter whether you take a loan from a HFC or a bank as long as you get competitive interest rates and terms. What would matter are the processing fees, prepayment fees and the foreclosure fees.

Typically Home Loans are taken by people in their 30s and are closed within 10 to 12 years. There are hardly a handful of people who let their Home Loan run till 20 years. This is because as people grow in their career, their salaries go up over a period of time and the EMIs seem smaller. So, they would rather repay the loan quickly then have a higher outgo in the form of interest. That is precisely why you need to check the prepayment and foreclosure fee. Heavy prepayment fees will mean an expensive loan. Same goes for foreclosure. There are several HFCs and banks that don’t charge fees for prepayment or foreclosure, even for a fixed rate loan. Consider this factor before zeroing in on a Home Loan provider. Some lenders have a waiting period before which you cannot prepay. Check this too, in case you want to use your yearly bonuses to prepay your Home Loan.

Most of the times, fixed rate loans become floating rate loans after a period of time. You have to go through the terms and conditions of the loan to see how interest rates might change. Another important point to note is whether a top up loan facility is available. Since a Home Loan is with collateral and the value of your home tends to go up over time, it is easy to get a top up loan on your Home Loan. They work out cheaper than Personal Loans. If your Home Loan provider is able to give you a top up loan on your Home Loan, it will be very useful if you need funds many years down the line.

So, there are multiple factors that you need to consider before choosing a Home Loan provider. Here’s a list:

  • Interest rate offered
  • Fixed or floating
  • Processing fee
  • Part-payment charges
  • Foreclosure fee
  • Conversion fee
  • Top-up loan facility
  • Service standards

Source : https://goo.gl/qf6Ypo

ATM :: Should you take a home loan from a bank or an NBFC?

Should you take a home loan from a bank or an NBFC?You would find NBFCs more willing to lend even if you have a poor credit score

Adhil Shetty | June 10, 2017 Last Updated at 22:13 IST | Business Standard

ATM
Lending rates have trended downwards over the last two years. Currently, several lenders are offering home loans at an interest rate of 8.35 per cent, way lower than the 10-11 per cent rate that prevailed four years ago. For customers this translates into a lower Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) on an existing loan, or allows them to borrow more to finance a bigger home. As they begin the process of short listing a loan provider, customers may find themselves wondering whether they should borrow from a bank or an NBFC (non-banking financial company). Here’s a look at some of the key criteria that will help you make this decision.
MCLR vs PLR

All new loans with floating interest rates offered by banks are now linked to the Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR). This departure from the base rate regime began on April 1, 2016. The MCLR serves as a bank’s lending benchmark, upon which they charge an interest rate spread. For example, for home loans up to Rs 30 lakh, a leading bank has a spread of 35-40 basis points above its one-year MCLR of 8 per cent. An MCLR-linked loan clearly mentions the intervals at which its interest rate will automatically change. In a falling interest rate scenario, this allows customers to receive RBI-mandated rate cuts in a transparent, time-bound manner. This wasn’t the case with the base rate-linked loans where transmission of rate cuts was weaker.

On the other hand, loans by Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) and NBFCs are not linked to the MCLR. They are linked to the Prime Lending Rate (PLR), which is outside the ambit of the RBI. While banks can’t lend at rates below the MCLR, PLR-linked loans do not have such restrictions. NBFCs and HFCs are free to set their PLR. This allows NBFCs greater freedom to increase or decrease their loan rates as per their selling requirements. This suits customers and provides them more options, especially when they fail to meet the loan eligibility criteria of banks. This also needs to be understood in context of a customer’s credit score, explained below.

Loan to value ratio

The actual cost of property acquisition typically goes up to 105-110 per cent of the property value, including cost of stamp duty, registration, and an assortment of payments towards brokerage, furnishing, repairs, etc. Based on where you are in India, you may pay between 3 and 11 per cent of the property value as registration cost. Banks are allowed to fund up to 80 per cent of a property’s value. For example, if you are buying a property worth Rs 50 lakh, you may receive a loan of Rs 40 lakh from banks. The other 25-30 per cent of your fund requirements would have to be met by you. Often, these last mile costs weigh heavily on the final decision to buy a property. Both NBFCs and banks are not allowed to fund stamp duty and registration costs. However, NBFCs can include these costs as part of a property’s market valuation. This allows the customer to borrow a larger amount as per his eligibility, thus giving the NBFC an edge over competition.

Should you take a home loan from a bank or an NBFC?

Product bundling

Both banks and NBFCs may bundle products. For example, it’s not unusual for lenders to sell a loan protection insurance plan along with a home loan. The insurance plan helps settle the loan in case the borrower were to pass away during the tenure. Both banks and NBFCs have cross-selling targets. While banks have a much larger range of products to sell, NBFCs push more aggressively to sell third-party products like insurance to bring in more profitability per customer. Compared to banks, NBFCs have a smaller customer base. They have fewer branches and operate in fewer locations. As a result, there is an increased focus on profitability per customer. Customers need to evaluate whether the bundled products are useful to them. If not, they can refuse them and save costs.

Credit scores

Today, there is heightened focus on customers’ credit scores. Increasingly, the interest rate you pay on your loan is linked to your credit score. For example, a leading bank had recently offered its best rates to customers with a CIBIL score of 750 or more. You needn’t wait to apply for a loan to find out your score. You can access one free report a year by visiting the websites of credit rating agencies such as CIBIL or through third-party credit report generators.

If you scan the loan market, you will see that NBFCs have more relaxed policies towards customers with low credit scores. However, with a low score, both banks and NBFCs will likely charge you a higher interest rate. Loan seekers can make the best of both these options. A customer with a low score may start with a loan from an NBFC. Through timely repayment, he can improve his credit score. After this, he may meet a bank’s eligibility criteria and may transfer the loan balance to the bank. If the outstanding loan amount at this point is small, it’s better to continue with the NBFC.

Overdraft facility

A home loan is typically a long-term commitment with significant interest costs. If you borrowed Rs 50 lakh at 8.6 per cent for 20 years, your total interest paid over the loan tenure will be Rs 54.89 lakh, which is more than the principal borrowed. Therefore, loan holders look to reduce their interest outgo through timely pre-payments. An overdraft (OD) loan facility helps in this regard. An OD loan is linked to the customer’s bank account in which he can park surplus funds. The surplus over the EMI amount is treated as pre-payment towards the home loan, thus bringing down the overall loan liability and interest charged on the balance. Moreover, the customer can still withdraw the surplus as and when he requires it. At present, only banks provide the OD loan facility and NBFCs don’t. This facility is useful to families with the ability to generate regular surplus income, such as a working couple. It is also useful for someone who may be in frequent need of short-term funds, such as a businessman who can withdraw this surplus based on his needs.

Paperwork and processing

Banks have more stringent paperwork requirements for home loans. This is not necessarily a bad thing for the loan seeker. In lieu of the greater scrutiny, he stands to receive an attractive interest rate. NBFCs are known for relaxed paperwork policies and faster processing. For example, in Bengaluru banks will not finance properties that do not have a ‘B’ Khata, but NBFCs will.

The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com

Source: https://goo.gl/RzrnDg

NTH :: Need leeway to price home loans below benchmark rates: SBI chairman

State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya has said that there should be a level-playing field between banks and housing finance companies (HFCs) over pegging interest rates below benchmark rates.
Mayur Shetty | TNN | 02 November 2015, 8:07 AM IST | ET Realty

NTH

MUMBAI: State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya has said that there should be a level-playing field between banks and housing finance companies (HFCs) over pegging interest rates below benchmark rates.

According to RBI guidelines, bank loans are priced above the benchmark rate, which is the ‘base rate’. In the case of HFCs, the benchmark is their prime lending rate. However, HFCs face no restrictions on lending below their prime lending rates. As a result when rates change, banks have less freedom to re-price loans selectively compared to HFCs, which can vary the spreads over or below the benchmark to any extent.

“I don’t think there should be any regulatory arbitrage (between banks and HFCs). Regulatory arbitrage always makes for an uneven-playing field, and in any area that you are operating it is important to have a level-playing field so that the most efficient of them do the best job,” said Bhattacharya.

According to her, the regulator had spoken of the difference between cost of funds for banks and HFCs as the reason for the discrepancy. “The regulator says that they also have to get their resources at higher cost compared to what the banks pay. So there are pros and cons for everyone and, therefore, how do you create equity so that everyone has a level-playing field? It is difficult to opine on this,” she said.

Explaining her earlier demand for more flexibility in home loans, Bhattacharya said that the bank was not seeking introduction of teaser loans. Rather, it was keen on introducing step-up loans where EMIs rise after initial years. “I believe that there is a place for this. When people take a loan, they go right up to the top. But over time, repayment becomes easier as salaries go up and lifestyle changes to adjust to the instalments, and within two or three years the EMI does not hurt as much as it did in the initial years. Therefore, a variable EMI is something that makes repayment easier,” she said.

She added that there are also some borrowers who do not immediately shift into the house and have an additional burden of rental in the initial two-three years. “There are difficulties in the first two-three years, which we feel if there is a step-up EMI, then that definitely addresses stretched budgeting for first-time home loan borrowers,” she said. On a proposal by the National Housing Bank to reintroduce prepayment charges on floating rate loans if loans are prepaid in the first two years, Bhattacharya said, “In case of floating rate loans, The loans are anyway floating downwards. In that case, is there any case for a prepayment penalty? We have not put our mind to it.”

Source : http://goo.gl/AIQdzr

ATM :: Financial hardship? Shift to lower home loan rate

Brijesh Parnami | Posted at: Jan 12 2015 1:20AM | Tribune India
ATM
A home loan repayment, as we all know, is a major liability that often takes several years of your earning life. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances such as a medical emergency in the family or a job layoff may turn out to be a heavy drain on your resources and may offset your calculations of repaying the loan in the scheduled phased manner. For a person who has a 10-year repaying timeline, a sudden layoff and downturn in the industry, may mean he or she may find it difficult to keep making the same repayment every month. Refinancing to a lower mortgage interest or a facility that enables you restructure your monthly instalments can come to your rescue in such situations.

It can also be to your advantage to refinance to a lower mortgage interest rate even when you are managing your finances well. This can enable you to invest in another lucrative venture or buy another property by sparing a greater monthly income at your disposal.

Qualifying for a lower interest rate on your home loan will save you money over the long haul. A lower rate of interest can also lower your monthly payments, which may help get you out of a financial bind if unexpected hardship strikes. If you find yourself falling behind in making your mortgage payments, being honest with your bank or financial institution may get you a lower interest rate without you having to refinance a new loan.

Often, in the absence of awareness about the facility of restructuring interest rates or lack of good advisors, people struggle with financial strains and continue to suffer hardships. Some, even default on their payments, or have to sell major assets to make ends meet.

All you need to do is gather your documents and speak to your bank. Most banks are ready to help create more congenial conditions that will allow you to pay back their loans successfully over the long run. As much as you do not desire to default on your payments, your bank too would be keen to ensure that the loan repayment is made smoothly.

Banks are also keen to make you stay with their services, rather than force you out to another lender.

Talk and negotiate with your bank

Speak to your bank executives and inquire about provisions to reduce your interest rate or make other adjustments to your loan terms as a way to decrease your monthly payment. Discuss your financial constraints and explain how you plan to go about the new repayment arrangements. Be prepared before entering into a discussion by making inquiries with other banks about current mortgage rates they are offering to individuals applying for home loans. This will help you be aware of the market rates and give you a negotiating handle.

Provide evidence of financial constraints

Meet your bank executives and provide them information and evidence about the financial problems you are facing lately. In case of a medical emergency, provide your medical bills to make evident the financial drain you are experiencing. Keep your documentation complete and write to the bank formally, if required with the request.

Not just proof of the additional financial burden, also keep ready the evidence of all your payments and expenses you incur every month vis-a-vis your monthly income to make your case. In case you have suffered a layoff or job loss, also provide proof of the same.

Check all options available

You bank may offer more than one restructuring offer after taking into account the problems being faced by you. If your bank is willing to modify the conditions of your loan, seek all details and terms of conditions in writing. Your lender might offer to lower your interest rate temporarily until you regain your financial abilities and catch up with your payments. Ask for all the conditions in writing at the time of negotiation.

Cite your payment history

If the borrower has a good repayment history, banks are more often than not willing to negotiate the terms of repayment when confronted with a financial situation. Cite your positive repayment history and if needed, also indicate to the bank that you might be willing to shift to another lender if the restructuring doesn’t work out here. In most cases, this will be enough to convince the bank to work out an alternative.

Be proactive about checking rates

Keeping yourself informed pays. Even if your finances are going all smooth, you should be proactive in keeping informed about the prevailing interest rates. Many banks continue to discriminate between old and new customers, charging the existing ones a higher rate than that being offered to new borrowers. If you are being charged a higher rate, ask your bank to convert it to the rate applicable to new borrowers. With the RBI abolishing the prepayment charges that were levied by banks, institutions or NBFCs, switching from one bank to another is not at all costlier now. It has boosted the spirit of the borrowers for going ahead with the negotiation discussion with their existing lenders.

The author is CEO, Destimoney Advisors. The views expressed in this article are his own

Source : http://goo.gl/8ZTetx