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Business News/ Money / Considering taking a personal loan? Here's how to choose the best lender

Considering taking a personal loan? Here's how to choose the best lender

Selecting the ideal personal loan provider is essential for a straightforward and economical borrowing process.

Many non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in India provide personal loans with minimal eligibility requirements and low interest rates. Premium
Many non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in India provide personal loans with minimal eligibility requirements and low interest rates.

Selecting the right personal loan lender is essential for a smooth and cost-effective borrowing experience. Consider these key factors when making your decision:

Interest rates and fees

  • Shop around and compare: Don't accept the first offer you receive. Obtain quotes from multiple lenders to compare interest rates (APR) and associated fees, such as origination fees, late payment fees, and prepayment penalties.
  • Consider your creditworthiness: Typically, borrowers with higher credit scores qualify for lower interest rates.

Terms of loan and eligibility

  • Loan amount and purpose: Verify with the lender that you will be able to use the funds for the purpose you have in mind, as some lenders may have restrictions.
  • Flexibility of term: Make sure the lender offers a variety of term options and select a payback term that aligns with your financial objectives and budget.
  • Qualification standards: Examine the lender's qualifying requirements, which include requirements for income verification and a minimum credit score.

Customer service and reputation

  • Research the lender's reputation: Check reviews and feedback from other borrowers to understand the lender's customer service, communication practices, and overall transparency.
  • Consider online reviews: Utilise online resources and review platforms to gain insights into borrower experiences with various lenders.
  • Ease of application and communication: Opt for a lender with a straightforward application process and clear communication channels for customer service inquiries.

Additional considerations

  • Prepayment options: If you anticipate being able to pay off the loan early, check if the lender allows prepayment without penalties.
  • Available resources: Some lenders offer financial tools and resources to help borrowers manage their loans and budget effectively.

By thoroughly evaluating these factors, you can narrow down your choices and select a personal loan lender that provides competitive rates, flexible terms, and a positive customer experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How can I determine if I meet the eligibility criteria for a personal loan application?

Lenders generally disclose loan eligibility conditions on their websites. You can also use the personal loan eligibility calculator found on bank and financial institution websites, as well as third-party financial services sites.

Q. What are the benefits of applying for a personal loan online?

Applying for a personal loan online offers significant time and effort savings, as you can complete it from the convenience of your home. Some third-party financial services websites even provide paperless approval, eliminating the need to submit physical paperwork to the lender. Moreover, the online application process is entirely secure.

Q. What paperwork do I need to provide when applying for a personal loan?

While the specific documents needed may differ among lenders, below are some general documents that most banks and financial institutions typically request from applicants:

  • Proof of identity
  • Address proof
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of business (if self-employed)
  • Any additional documents requested by the lender

Q. How can I lower the EMI for a personal loan?

Here are some ideas for reducing your monthly personal loan EMI:

Reduce the loan principal

  • Make additional payments: Any unexpected income, such as bonuses or tax returns, should be applied to the principal of your loan. Even small amounts contributed straight to the principal can dramatically cut interest payments and shorten the loan term, resulting in a lower EMI over time.
  • Refinance for a cheaper rate (when applicable): If your credit score has improved since you took out the loan, you may be eligible for a reduced interest rate through a refinance. This will directly cut your EMI payment. However, remember to account for any prepayment penalties and refinancing fees to ensure that it is financially beneficial.

Extend the loan duration if you can

Talk to your lender about extending the term of your loan to spread out the remaining amount over a longer period. Some lenders may be open to this. This could lead to a lower EMI payment, but it also means paying interest over a longer period, which drives up the cost of the loan overall. Take a close look at this decision and its ramifications.

Examine other choices

- Debt consolidation: You may be able to reduce your total monthly payment burden and simplify repayments by consolidating multiple high-interest loans into a single personal loan with a lower interest rate. If the interest rate on the combined loan is significantly lower, your EMI will be reduced.

Programs for hardship: Speak with your lender about options for hardship relief if you are having trouble making payments due to a financial setback. These programs might offer short-term solutions that let you pause or cut back on payments for a while, like deferment or forbearance. This may offer some short-term respite and even lower your EMI during the difficult period.

Other recommendations

  • Analyse your spending: Find areas where you can save expenses so that you have money to pay back your loan. This enables you to make larger debt payments, which in turn lowers the cost of your EMI.
  • Enroll in autopay: This will guarantee that your loans are paid on time, maintain a good credit score, and possibly even help you get better terms on loans down the road, like lower interest rates on refinancing options.

The most efficient way to reduce your EMI is determined by your financial situation and the terms of your loan. Before making any selections, conduct a comprehensive review of each alternative and consult with your lender.

Q. What is the typical timeframe for lenders to release the loan funds?

For pre-approved customers, the loan amount is disbursed swiftly. Offline applicants need to submit the necessary documents and wait for loan approval, after which the amount is released. Third-party financial service websites also ensure timely disbursement upon application approval.







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Published: 23 May 2024, 11:11 AM IST
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