House Loan in India

You take a home loan for buying a house or a flat, renovation, extension and repairs to your existing house. Your bank  assesses your repayment capacity while deciding the home loan eligibility. Repayment capacity is based on your monthly disposable / surplus income, and other factors like spouse’s income, assets, liabilities, stability of income etc.

The main concern of the bank is to make sure that you comfortably repay the loan on time and ensure end use.The higher the monthly disposable income, higher will be the amount you will be eligible for loan. Typically a bank assumes that about 55-60 % of your monthly disposable / surplus income is available for repayment of loan. However, some banks calculate the income available for EMI payments based on an individual’s gross income and not on his disposable income.

Documents required for a loan approval are as follows

  • All legal documents of the house being bought
  • Identity and Residence Proof
  • Latest salary slip (authenticated by the employer and self attested for employees) and Form 16 (for business persons/ self-employed) and last 6 months bank statements / Balance Sheet, as applicable.
  • Completed application form along with your photograph.
  • Please read the fine print of the bank’s scheme carefully and seek clarifications.

Loan options by bank

Banks generally offer either of the following loan options: Floating Rate Home Loans and Fixed Rate Home Loans. For a Fixed Rate Loan, the rate of interest is fixed either for the entire tenure of the loan or a certain part of the tenure of the loan. In case of a pure fixed loan, the EMI due to the bank remains constant. The EMI of a floating rate loan changes with changes in market interest rates. If market rates increase, your repayment increases. When rates fall, your dues also fall.  

Benefits to borrowers from monthly reducing balances method

Borrowers benefit more from a loan that’s calculated on a monthly reducing basis than on an annual basis. In case of monthly resets, interest is calculated on the outstanding principal balance for that month. The principal paid is deducted from the opening principal outstanding balance to arrive at the opening principal for the next month and interest is computed on the new, reduced principal outstanding. In case of annual resets, principal paid is adjusted only at the end of the year. Hence, you continue to pay interest on a portion of the principal that has been paid back to the lender.

 Tenure of loan

The longer the tenure of the loan, the lesser will be your monthly EMI outflow. Shorter tenures mean greater EMI burden, but your loan is repaid faster. If you have a short-term cash flow mismatch, your bank may increase the tenure of the loan, and your EMI burden comes down. But longer tenures mean payment of larger interest towards the loan and make it more expensive.

Security you could have to provide

The security for a housing loan is typically a first mortgage of the property, normally by way of deposit of title deeds. Banks also sometimes ask for other collateral security as may be necessary. Some banks insist on margin / down payment (borrowers contribution to the creation of an asset) to be maintained / made also.

Collateral security assigned to your bank could be life insurance policies, the surrender value of which is set at a certain percentage to the loan amount, guarantees from solvent guarantors, pledge of shares/ securities and investments like KVP/ NSC etc. that are acceptable to your banker. Banks would also require you to ensure that the title to the property is free from any encumbrance.

Tax benefit on the loan

Resident Indians are eligible for certain tax benefits on both principal and interest components of a loan under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Under the current laws, you are entitled to an income tax rebate for interest repayment up to Rs. 1,50,000 /- per annum. Moreover, you can get added tax benefits under Section 80 C on repayment of principal amount up to Rs. 1,00,000 /- per annum.

Grievance Redressal

If you have a complaint against only scheduled bank on any of the above grounds, you can lodge a complaint with the bank concerned in writing in a specific complaint register provided at the branches as per the recommendation of the Goiporia Committee or on a sheet of paper. Ask for a receipt of your complaint. The details of the official receiving your complaint may be specifically sought. If the bank fails to respond within 30 days, you can lodge a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman. (Please note that complaints pending in any other judicial forum will not be entertained by the Banking Ombudsman). No fee is levied by the office of the Banking Ombudsman for resolving the customer’s complaint. A unique complaint identification number will be given to you for tracking purpose. (A list of the Banking Ombudsmen along with their contact details is provided on the RBI website).

Complaints are to be addressed to the Banking Ombudsman within whose jurisdiction the branch or office of the bank complained against is located. Complaints can be lodged simply by writing on a plain paper or online at www.bankingombudsman.rbi.org.in or by sending an email to the Banking Ombudsman. Complaint forms are available at all bank branches also.

Complaint can also be lodged by your authorized representative (other than a lawyer) or by a consumer association / forum acting on your behalf. If you are not happy with the decision of the Banking Ombudsman, you can appeal to the Appellate Authority in the Reserve Bank of India.

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