What is the process of securing a home loan in India? What are the things I should check before opting for a home loan provider? And what are the various kinds of home loan schemes available in the Indian market?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter 

In the previous post, we discussed about the dilemma of renting versus owning. However, after an in depth analysis of various elements described in the post, Sumit Sharma decided to go ahead with the purchase of the apartment. Now, the next step for him was to arrange for the mortgage loan to finance his purchase. Without a doubt, there are numerous lenders (mostly banks) in the market willing to lend money at competitive prices. Which lender (bank) to choose? What type of home loan to avail? And what are the things to remember during the loan process? These are some of the serious questions Sumit Sharma was confronted with. Lets Break It Down to smaller elements (L BID) and hope Sumit Sharma makes an informed decision based on the understanding of following elements:

Things to check during a mortgage loan process:
Interest Rates:
As per the RBI guidelines, home loan interest rates are linked to bank’s base rate. Base rate tends to move up and down depending upon the interest rate movement in the economy. As a buyer, check the interest rates from various banks that are offering the similar mortgage loans. Usually premium charged by banks can be negotiated with the chosen bank; however, it depends on your credit history. Since, banks are in the business of lending money, therefore being a customer one must exercise the customer power and negotiate a best possible interest rate with the bank.

Processing fee:
Normally processing fees include statutory costs, third party charges, and additional finance charges. Because of problems involving loan fees and the potential abuse by some lenders of charging high fees to borrowers, a legislation requires lenders to show annual percentage rate (APR) being charged on the loan to the borrower. For example, if the fixed interest rate charged by a bank is 12% and processing fee is 2%, then normally APR would be 12.25%. Processing fee charges can also be negotiated with the bank.

Prepayment penalties:
Many borrowers mistakenly take for granted that a loan can be prepaid in part or in full anytime before the maturity date. This is not the case; if the mortgage note is silent on this matter, the borrower may have to negotiate the privilege of early repayment with the lender. However, many mortgages provide explicitly that the borrower can pay a prepayment penalty should the borrower desire to prepay the loan. Prepayment penalties are not included in APR.

Types of mortgage loan:
Fixed Rate Mortgages – Constant Amortization Mortgage Loan (CAM):
In this type of loan, the interest rate remains fixed during the tenure of the loan. Here, constant principal amount is amortized (reduced) in each installment. The user has to pay the sum of constant principal amount and interest that is charged on the principal. For example, on a loan of say 12 lacs rupees for 10 years at an interest rate of 12% per year, the constant principal amount that will be reduced every month is 12000 rupees (12lacs/120). In addition, for the first month, interest will be 12000 rupees. However, the interest charge will keep on reducing as the principal is amortized every month by constant amount. Therefore, in constant amortized mortgage loan (CAM), the monthly installment keeps on reducing.

Fixed Rate Mortgages – Constant Payment Mortgage Loan (CPM):
In this type of loan, the interest rate remains fixed during the tenure of loan. In this type of loan, monthly installments are constant. Here, principal amount reduced (amortized) in the starting months is less as compared to the principal amount in later months. However, the interest payment is more during the starting months and then reduces in later months. For example, on a loan of say 12 lacs rupees for 10 years at an interest rate of 12% per year, the monthly constant installment will be 17216.51 rupees.

Fixed Rate Mortgages – Graduated Payment Mortgages (GPM):
Some individuals have less income in starting years of their careers; those individuals are not considered for loan. To overcome this effect, lenders have designed a mortgage loan that retains a fixed rate of interest but includes a series of stepped up payments that are lower in earlier years, thereby better matching borrower’s incomes, and then rising over time. These loans are known as graduated payment mortgages (GPMs)

Adjustable (Floating) Rate Mortgages (ARM):
These mortgages provide an alternative method of financing through which lenders and borrowers share the risk of interest rate changes. In this type of loan, since interest rates are adjustable, they are indexed to say wholesale price index (WPI) or other market interest rates. For example, someone who applied for ARM indexed to WPI in year 1 at 5% interest rate might be paying 12% interest rate in 2nd year because inflation has increased by 7%.

Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgages:
This is the most common type of mortgage loan used these days. Hybrid ARMs combines elements of fixed rate mortgages for periods of 3, 5, or 7 years, after which interest rates are reset and the loan becomes an ARM. Subsequent payments are usually reset every year for the remaining maturity period. For example, a 3/1 hybrid would mean a three year fixed rate after which the interest rate would become adjustable, tied to an index, and would be reset each year thereafter.

So friends, before going to a bank for home loan, take a look at this blog or even take a print because even if one saves or negotiates .25% on interest rates, processing fee, or prepayment penalties, then it’s worth the effort. Don’t overlook that 🙂