The Indian immovable property has come of ages. Consumer is the King now and gone are the days of monopolistic behavior. And definitely, if you are the one with sound financial background and impeccable credit record you can strike a better deal with the banks in terms of interest rates and other payment conditions and purchase your dream property without any hassle.
Interestingly, the same criteria is equally applicable on those, as well, who have already availed a loan from a bank. Near about all the major public and private sector banks in the Indian banking system are now offering the option of ‘Balance Transfer’ on housing finance. Often, banks in the housing finance sector tend to increase the interest rates when the benchmark interest rates increase. But, such alacrity is not shown by them in decreasing rates whether the Repo rate comes down or not. In such circumstances, balance transfer help the customer a lot. He can replace the higher rate loan and avail a lower rate one by paying some extra charges. These charges are lower compared to the total payable interest.
What is Balance Transfer and how is it relevant in the housing finance?
There are times you find that the interest rate on your home loan is at a higher level. Take an example. Suppose you were paying at the rate of 10.5 per cent per annum. This rate is quite high in comparison of 9 per cent offered by some other bank. In such cases balance transfer of housing finance comes into rescue. You can trigger off the balance transfer option with your existing bank or lending institution, under which the unpaid portion of your housing finance would get transferred to your desired bank, thereby taking benefit of the difference in the housing loan interest rate.
Things to take care of at the time of balance transfer:
* Tenure of loan amount should be taken care: Ideally, you should consider taking the balance transfer option when the remaining part of your payment period is more than 5-years and in such a case you have the time for speculative gains. There is no profit in transferring the home loan from one bank to another if you end up paying early payment penalty and other processing charges even more than the difference of housing loan interest rate and the amount you had to pay towards interest in the normal condition.
* Early Payment Charges associated with the housing finance scheme: Banks like State Bank of India, IDBI and ICICI offer benefits like exemption of the early payment charges to your existing bank if you transfer the balance. So you must confirm the same with the new lending institution that are they ready to deal with this matter. Otherwise, the deal is not profitable.
* Additional charges involved with the loan amount: You must confirm that the desired amount for your home purchase loan is perfectly at par with the balance you had in your previous bank. It may be the case that that your new bank pays all early payment penalties and processing charges on your behalf and later add the amount to the principal of your housing loan. So, in such case your total owing remain the same and the transfer is not profitable. In this situation, you have to suffer the impact of debt compounding, which does not favour you in the long run.
Seeking balance transfer as a burden reduction option needs the similar degree of caution and study that you undertake while taking housing finance. Definitely with balance transfer, you can save a considerable amount of interest charges under this option once you strike the right chord!