Getting a personal loan? Top 7 things to consider

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Published: August 23, 2016 6:04:30 AM

Personal loan is an unsecured loan with one of the highest interest rates of all credit products. To avail one, an applicant must have a reliable credit rating. Do carefully consider the following points and assess which personal loan is the best for you.

Personal loan is an unsecured loan with one of the highest interest rates of all credit products. To avail one, an applicant must have a reliable credit rating. Do carefully consider the following points and assess which personal loan is the best for you.

Eligibility

The eligibility of a borrower varies from bank to bank. The primary criterion is the capability of loan repayment. Other criteria include your age, profile, place of work and lots more depending on the bank’s requirement.

Interest rates

In August, the interest rates of personal loans from some of the leading banks of India ranged between 11.15 and 22%. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate would likely be while obtaining a loan. A CIBIL score of 750 or more will get you a favourable interest rate. You could also go to a bank with whom you have a long-term association, based on which you could get a bargain.

Tenure of loan

Typically, such loans are of a 12-60 month tenure. Long-term loans may carry higher interest rates than shorter ones, but you can have the option of paying smaller EMIs on a longer term. Evaluate your EMI burden and arrive at an amount you are comfortable with before settling on a tenure. Have the shortest possible tenure to avoid paying a lot on interest.

Flexibility of repayment

Check out if you have the option of making principal payments on your loan at no cost. Some lenders charge a prepayment fee for settling a loan before its tenure. You may want to skip lenders who have prepayment charges since they disincentivise the quick settling of loans.

Loan amount

The amount you would receive from the lender is tied to your income. The higher your disposable income, the bigger the loan you stand to receive. Often, lenders with whom you have a relationship such as a credit card or a savings account, would approach you with a ready-made offer of a personal loan. You should take a loan according to the size of your requirement. Make sure the borrowed amount is used productively and not squandered on expenses it wasn’t meant for.

Fees and charges

Besides rate of interest, banks also charge fees on documentation, processing and pre-closing the loan. Processing fees mostly range from 2% to 3% of the loan amount. The pre-closing fees also vary from 2-3% of the loan amount. If you are good at haggling, you can get the per cent of fees and charges reduced.

Finally, don’t go overboard

Avoid the temptation of applying to too many lenders for a loan. This would reveal you as credit-hungry. Too many inquiries into your credit history could also bring down your credit score, making it tougher and more expensive for you to avail a loan.

The writer is CEO of BankBazaar.com

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