There are as many as 50+ lenders in India who will be willing to give you a Home Loan. But whom should you choose? Pretty easy, if you follow the simple path & do not get distracted by what your colleagues say or go by your friends’ experiences. Also remember that a credit card service with the same lender could be way different than their mortgage. So, do not tread the easy way of taking it from whosoever arrives first.
Here are the 10 tips to fetch yourself the wisest home loan deal:
1. Do not chase the cheapest rate of interest. Find out a competitive rate and focus on the other aspects of the loan. Cheapest is not the best deal. I keep repeating it in my various comments. Look beyond it.
2. Choose a floating rate of interest over Fixed, even if fixed has an attractive rate offer. There will be twists in fixed products. Many of you miss to note that there’s a foreclosure penalty applicable within the fixed term. And moreover the margin changes after the fixed period is over, if the offer rate was for teaser period.
3. Make sure you opt for a lender who offers daily reducing balance and not monthly. It will not make any difference unless you plan a partial repayment. In a monthly reducing balance plan, even if you partially close an amount in between two EMI dates, they consider the repayment only from the next EMI date, thus making you pay interest even on the repaid sum for those days! You will not know, but it will cost you heavy.
4. Do not get biased by your previous experience with another product, or what your friends & colleagues preach, or your relatives feel for. This is finance, a pure mathematical product. No emotions attached. Do your maths & decide. You experience with the lender’s credit card or your colleague’s irritation with a lender or your uncle’s comfort with certain type of lending institutes mean nothing to you. It’s your loan.
5. Read all online remarks, which you will anyways do. But 99% of them are otherwise motivated. You will find that those who are badmouthing a lender probably uses dummy ID-s like kingpin, lisahayden, bigboy, greatguns etc. funny ones. You can take their comments as seriously as their identity suggests.
6. Your wealth manager, bank relationship manager, chartered accountant, tax-planner and your finance controller or CFO in office are great. Take their help to get guided to the right mortgage broker. Since you trust them, their reference will matter. But, don’t let anyone else handle the transaction, negotiation with lenders etc. unless you find the right mortgage adviser. Mortgage is a specialised product. Ever heard a heart surgeon treating patients for skin rashes? Similarly, a mortgage broker selling mutual fund and insurance will be as good as a real estate broker selling tour-tickets and running an STD shop with photocopy machine! Chose the best in industry.
7. Try opting for a new-age product which saves you money. Standard vanilla home loan are cliche’ and won’t work for most of my clients who has surplus funds and taking the loan for tax-savings or waiting another property to be sold and pay off the loan. These days, borrowers have various requirement rather than just borrowing for the need of money. Borrowers may not identify it, but a mortgage adviser must & counsel accordingly.
8. Look at the service perspective carefully; you are getting into a long-term relationship. Don’t jump on the first lender approaching you or the lowest rate of interest or may be, what your friend’s father suggests. You will need a lot of services like- tax certificates, provisional amortisation, list of documents, part closure services, reduction in the tenure/EMI upon partial repayment. There will definitely be requirement of change of address if you are gong to continue the loan for long term. You might shift city or even country. Do not compromise on the aspect of post-sales service.
9. Always ask for a comparison between at least 6 major lenders from your mortgage adviser. And, again….. do not decide on basis of the lowest rate. Look at the base rate, the margin offered, whether any other product is being pushed, how many times the lender has reduced rate in past two years, what is the maximum tenure offered, and how is the eligibility calculated and most importantly whether your property or similar has been funded by this lender earlier.
10. Time taken for processing the loan. This may sound unimportant, but my noting it last, doesn’t indicate that at all. When the builder start sending you delay-penalty notices or the seller withdraws from the deal or increases the sale value, trust me, this becomes the top priority on the chart. What will be the point of checking out so many lenders and settle for the one who can only offer, but can not execute?
If you can look beyond cheap interest-rate, you will see an ocean of options. There is a difference between ‘price’ and ‘value’. Identify the need first.
Sukanya Kumar, Founder and Director, RetailLending.com