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Frequently Asked Questions
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The amount of the loan depends on the tenure of the loan and the rate of interest also as these variables determine your monthly outgo / outflow which in turn depends on your disposable income. Banks generally fix an upper age limit for home loan applicants.
Do not be in a hurry to seal the deal quickly.
Please do discuss and seek more information on any waivers in terms and conditions provided by the commercial bank in this regard. For example some banks insist on submission of Life Insurance Policies of the borrower / guarantor equal to the loan amount assigned in favour of the commercial bank. There are usually amount ceilings for this condition which can also be waived by appropriate authority. Please read the fine print of the bank's scheme carefully and seek clarifications.
Hence, the EMI of a fixed rate loan is known in advance. This is the cash outflow that can be planned for at the outset of the loan. If the inflation and the interest rate in the economy move up over the years, a fixed EMI is attractively stagnant and is easier to plan for. However, if you have fixed EMI, any reduction interest rates in the market, will not benefit you.
Determinants of floating rate:
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. The floating interest rate is made up of two parts: the index and the spread. The index is a measure of interest rates generally (based on say, government securities prices), and the spread is an extra amount that the banker adds to cover credit risk, profit mark-up etc. The amount of the spread may differ from one lender to another, but it is usually constant over the life of the loan. If the index rate moves up, so does your interest rate in most circumstances and you will have to pay a higher EMI. Conversely, if the interest rate moves down, your EMI amount should be lower.
Also, sometimes banks make some adjustments so that your EMI remains constant. In such cases, when a lender increases the floating interest rate, the tenure of the loan is increased (and EMI kept constant).
Some lenders also base their floating rates on their Benchmark Prime Lending Rates (BPLR). You should ask what index will be used for setting the floating rate, how it has generally fluctuated in the past, and where it is published/disclosed. However, the past fluctuation of any index is not a guarantee for its future behavior.
Flexibility in EMI:
Some banks also offer their customers flexible repayment options. Here the EMIs are unequal. In step-up loans, the EMI is low initially and increases as years roll by (balloon repayment). In step-down loans, EMI is high initially and decreases as years roll by
Step-up option is convenient for borrowers who are in the beginning of their careers Step-down loan option is useful for borrowers who are close to their retirement years and currently make good money.
However, many banks offer a special facility whereby customers can choose the installments they wish to pay for under construction properties till the time the property is ready for possession. Anything paid over and above the interest by the customer goes towards Principal repayment. The customer benefits by starting EMI payment earlier and hence repays the loan faster. Please check with your banker whether this facility is available before availing of the loan.
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. (i.e., there should not be any existing mortgage, loan or litigation, which is likely to affect the title to the property adversely).
Get the no encumbrance certificate to find the true title holder and if it is mortgaged to any financier. Obtain all tax papers to ensure that all documents are up to date.
Obtain information from several banks
Home loans are available from mainly two types of lenders-commercial banks and housing finance companies. Different lenders may quote you different rates of interest and other terms and conditions, so you should contact several lenders to make sure you're getting the best value for money.
Find out how much of a down payment you are required to pay, and find out all the costs involved in the loan (including processing fees, administrative charges and prepayment charges levied by banks). Knowing just the amount of the EMI or the interest rate is not good enough. Similarly, ask for information on loan amount, loan term, and type of loan (fixed or floating) so that you can compare the information and take an informed decision.
Ask your lender about its current home loan interest rates and whether the rate is fixed or floating. Remember that when interest rates in the economy go up so does the floating rates and hence the monthly re-payment.
If the rate quoted is a floating rate, ask how your rate and loan payment will vary, including the extent to which your loan payment will be reduced when rates go down by a certain percentage. Ask your lender to what index your floating home loan is referenced / linked and the periodicity of updation of that index. Also ask your bank whether the index is internal or external and how and where it is published.
Ask about the loan's annual percentage rates (APR). The APR takes into account not only the interest rate but also fees and certain other charges that you may be required to pay, expressed as a yearly rate. Banks are obliged to reveal the APR if requested for by the customer.
ii) Reset Clause
Check the reset clause, especially in the case of fixed interest rate loan as the rates will not be fixed throughout the tenure of the loan.
iii) Spread/Mark up
Check if the margin the case of the floating rate is fixed or variable. The rate of interest you have to pay will vary accordingly.
A home loan often requires payment of various fees, such as loan origination or processing charges, administrative charges, documentation, late payment, changing the loan tenure, switching to different loan package during the loan tenure, restructuring of loan, changing from fixed to floating interest rate loan and vice versa, legal fee, technical inspection fee, recurring annual service fee, document retrieval charges and pre-payment charges, if you want to prepay the loan. Every lender should be able to give you an estimate of its fees. Many of these fees are negotiable / can be waived also.
Ask what each fee includes. Sometimes several components are lumped into one fee. Ask for an explanation of any fee you do not understand. Also, remember that most of these fees are perhaps negotiable! Do negotiate with your bank before agreeing to a particular fee. See how the all inclusive rate compares with the all inclusive rates offered by other banks. While planning your finances, don't forget to include the costs of stamp duty and registration.
v) Down Payments / Margin
Some lenders require 20/30 percent of the home's purchase price as a down payment from you. However, many lenders also offer loans that require less than 20/30 percent down payment, sometimes as little as 5 percent .Ask about the lender's requirements for a down payment and also negotiate with him to reduce the down payments.
b) Obtain the best deal
Once you know what each bank has to offer in terms of rates, fees and down payments, negotiate for the best deal. Ask the lender to write down all the costs associated with the loan. Then ask if the bank will waive or reduce one or more of its fees or agree to a lower rate. Do make sure that the bank is not agreeing to lower one fee while raising another or to lower the rate while raising the fees. Ask for clarification in case you do not understand any particular term. All banks are obliged to explain the most important terms and conditions of the home loan in detail.
Once you are satisfied with the terms you have negotiated, please do obtain a written offer letter from the lender and keep a copy with you. Read the offer letter carefully before signing.
Keep up-dating yourself on various changes in the home loan market. Visit the branch, discuss with the officials to get the best out of any changes in the home loan scenario.
2. The banks will supply you authenticated copies of all the loan documents executed by you at their cost along with a copy each of all enclosures quoted in the loan document on request.
A bank cannot reject your loan application without furnishing valid reason(s) for the same.
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 authorised 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.
REVERSE MORTGAGE LOAN
- A homeowner who is above 60 years of age is eligible for reverse mortgage loan. It allows him to turn the equity in his home into one lump sum or periodic payments mutually agreed by the borrower and the banker.
- The property should be clear from encumbrances and should have clear title of the borrower.
- NO REPAYMENT is required as long as the borrower lives, Borrower should pay all taxes relating to the house and maintain the property as his primary residence.
- The amount of loan is based on several factors: borrower's age, value of the property, current interest rates and the specific plan chosen. Generally speaking, the higher the age, higher the value of the home, the more money is available.
- The valuation of the residential property is done at periodic intervals and it shall be clearly specified to the borrowers upfront. The banks shall have the option to revise the periodic / lump sum amount at such frequency or intervals based on revaluation of property.
- Married couples will be eligible as joint borrowers for financial assistance. In such a case, the age criteria for the couple would be at the discretion of the lending institution, subject to at least one of them being above 60 years of age.
- The loan shall become due and payable only when the last surviving borrower dies or would like to sell the home, or permanently moves out.
- On death of the home owner, the legal heirs have the choice of keeping or selling the house. If they decide to sell the house, the proceeds of the sale would be used to repay the mortgage, with the remainder going to the heirs.
- As per the scheme formulated by National Housing Bank (NHB), the maximum period of the loan period is 15 years The residual life of the property should be at least 20 years Where the borrower lives longer than 15 years, periodic payments will not be made by lender. However, the borrower can continue to occupy.
- From FY 2008-09, the lump sum amount or periodic payments received on reverse mortgage loan will not attract income tax or capital gains tax.
Note- Reverse mortgage is a fixed interest discounted product in reverse. It does not take into account the changes interest rates as yet.
a) check the "reset clause" incorporated by some banks in their home loan agreements that allows them to change the interest rate in the future, even on fixed rate loans. Banks may set their reset clauses for 3 or 2 year intervals. They say a lender cannot have an agreement that a fixed rate is set for the entire tenure of 15 to 20 years as this will cause an asset-liability mismatch. Talk to your bank.
b) Please seek clarifications on the term "exceptional circumstances" (if stated in the loan agreement) under which loan rates can be unilaterally changed by your bank.
c) A common person thinks that default ideally means non-payment of one or more loan installments. In some loan documentation it can include divorce and death (individual case) and even involvement in civil litigation or criminal offence.
d) Does the loan agreement say that disbursement of the loan may be made directly to the builder or developer and in the case of a ready-built property to the vendor thereof and/or in such other manner as may be decided solely by bank? It is the borrower whose original property papers are retained with the bank, so why disburse to the builder. Possession of property has been delayed in some cases when the cheque was issued in the name of the builder and the builder refused to pay delay penalty to the borrower.
e) Does the agreement enable assignment of your loan to a third party? You take into account reputation and credibility of the bank before entering into a loan agreement with it. Are you comfortable with third party takes over or should you also be allowed to move your home loan from one bank to another in that case? Look for ambiguous clauses and discuss with the banker. Some agreements say changes in employment etc. have to be informed well in advance without quantifying the term "well in advance".
f) In one case the loan documentation says "issuance of pre-approval letter should not be construed as a commitment by the bank to grant the housing loan and processing fees is not re-fundable even if the home loan is not processed". This is never ending it seems. The above are only indicative instances of what has been observed / reported/ indicated by various sources. However, our main objective was to get you into the habit of reading the fine print. If you have read this, you would have understood the importance of reading fine print in any document and we have achieved our objective. I only wish I could have made the print smaller as in the real cases.
Disclaimer: The above information has been taken from the official site of Reserve bank of India. For any queries / doubts please visit Reserve bank of India web site.
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