5 Things You Must Ensure Your Used Car Has

by Vinaya HS on April 24, 2017

in Finance

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Ishant decided to buy a used car, but was worried because a few years back, his father had a bad experience while buying a pre-owned vehicle. Mr Roy had bought the car from a friend, and based the transaction on trust. So, he did not carry out any checks. His friend had hidden many facts during the sale. In a few months, Mr Roy had an unusable vehicle. So, Ishant made sure to take some precautions. He carried out five essential checks when buying a used-car.

Are you also planning to buy a used car? Then make sure you check it properly before making the purchase.

Five essential used-car checks

Ensure that the car you are buying ticks the following boxes:

1. Tyres in good condition:
Conduct a thorough check on all four tyres before buying the car. Check for punctures and the quality of the threads; you should also check the age of the tyres. If possible, owners should change the tyres every two to three years. Make a note if the present tyres are older. Conduct these same checks on the spare tyre too.

2. Engine without flaws:

The used car must have a good engine in working condition. Check the engine carefully. Listen for strange noises or rattling; look for fluid leaks, and unusual vibrations. Find out if the engine has given trouble in the past. The car engine must be working in a smooth way before you buy the vehicle.

3. A sturdy chassis:

The chassis is the frame of the car. A good way to inspect the chassis is to crawl under the car. Check for rust, dents, cracks, and more. The chassis must be as strong and well-shaped as possible. This can give you a fair idea of the general condition of the car and its suspension. So, it is an important factor to consider.

4. Brakes you can rely on:

The brakes of the car must be in perfect condition. Under no circumstance should you drive a car that has faulty brakes. Take the car on a test drive to check just how responsive the brakes are. Drive slowly at first to check how well the brakes work. You can increase the speed if you are happy with the brakes. Check whether the car brakes smoothly when braking abruptly. Go ahead with the purchase only if you are completely sure.

5. Proper documentation and insurance:

All documents related to the car must be in order. Check the tax documents and insurance papers to ensure everything is up-to-date. Make sure there are no discrepancies or unresolved legal matters associated with the car or its registration papers. Then, you need to make sure if the current owner has paid all the premiums. At this point, try to transfer the no-claim bonus to your name.


If you are not confident of carrying out these checks yourself, take a trusted mechanic with you. The mechanic should be able to assess the car and its components in a correct manner. Wait for him to give you a proper report. Buy the car only if you are satisfied with all the checks. Few people buy the first car they see and not regret it. So, prepare to look around. Do not make a deal until you are happy on all counts.


5 Myths About Women and Car Loans Busted

by Vinaya HS on April 24, 2017

in Finance

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Karan and Nitya were thinking of buying a car for their family. Karan tried to talk Nitya into buying a car that looked fashionable. But, Nitya was particular that the car was for family use. She wanted it to have good safety features. So, they finally settled on a used car that was high on quality and easy to use, though it was not so fashionable.

Car manufacturers are now designing vehicles to match women’s preferences. A Nielsen study looked into gender-specific auto needs and found that women play a crucial role in decision-making nowadays. Here are some myths about car purchases related to women:

1. Very few women drive in this country:

One of the many myths in India about women drivers is that they are few in number. The gender gap is reducing on Indian roads. This may be because women have access to better career opportunities now. More women are buying used cars and new cars and availing loans. For instance, Patna, saw an increase of about 37% women drivers in 2010 2011 from the previous year. The number of car registrations by women too doubled between 2008 and 2011.

2. Women do not buy cars for independent use:

This is another myth surrounding women and cars. The fact is that auto companies are now designing their products keeping women in mind. More women are buying cars, as they have more control over their finances. Unlike before, they are more involved in decision-making. Women are buying more passenger vehicles, including sedans. Maruti, India’s largest car manufacturer reported that it made 11% of its sales across brands to women, and expect women to buy more cars in future.

3. Very few women drive to earn a living:

This is another myth. The number of professional female drivers is not as low as people believe. The number of woman cabbies in India is growing. Online taxi services in the country are also welcome to the idea of woman cabbies. These services have boosted the number of female commercial drivers. Uber has partnered with UN Women to create 10 lakh jobs for female drivers by 2020. This will only increase the number of women applying for auto loans.

4. Car loans for women are more expensive:

Many lenders have specific loan options for women which are comparatively inexpensive. Some institutions even cut the interest rate on car loans for women. So, the idea that car loans are more expensive for women is incorrect.

5. Women do not influence car buying decisions:

This myth no longer holds true. About 50% of the women respondents in a Nielsen study had played an important role in influencing car-buying decisions. About 25% had decided on key features of the vehicle including the make and the kind of car. Around 75% of them were the sole decision-makers when they bought a car.

The bottom line

Things are not the same as they were before. Rising incomes are enabling more women to buy cars. Thus, they are also more likely to avail auto loans to finance their car purchases.


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Owning a home is a dream, dear to both man and woman alike. It gives a great sense of security financially as well as personally. But, at the same time, it is a huge investment too. And, that’s why most of us seek for a home loan to fulfill this dream. Though the basic factors and eligibility criterions remain same, but women have an upper hand compared to her male counterpart while applying for home loans. Governments and banks have taken several steps and introduced various policies and schemes to empower women and make her financially independent. Initiatives like special accounts for women and the girl child, concessional rates on home loans, and other women specific special schemes provides an extra edge to women folk to apply home loans.

So, as a woman, if you are looking to purchase a house, here are the four major benefits you will be entitled to as against your male counterpart:

1. Concessions on interest rates – Interest rates are one of the most crucial considerations while availing a home loan. Even a small variation in the interest rates has a huge impact on the monthly EMIs. And, since a home loan is a long-term financial affair, lower rates of interest or concessional rates can help you save a considerable amount of money over the entire loan period. This is where women applicants are at an advantageous side because they get preferential or lower interest rates. However, this is true only when the woman is a primary applicant or a co-applicant for a home loan.

2. Lower stamp duty rates – Despite being a part of the loan amount, no concessions are provided by lenders. Instead, stamp duty rates are decided by respective state governments and thus differ from state to state. Though there is no universal rule, yet, many states offer lower stamp duty for women property buyers. Usually, a concession of 1%-2% is given to women property buyers in some states, and it is a huge relief on the loan amount. For example, it could mean a straight price cut of Rs. 1-lakh for a house that costs Rs. 50-lakh.

3. Higher chances of loan approval – Lenders and banks have a pre-defined eligibility and loan acceptance criterions, and it is important for the applicant to meet those criterions to avail a loan. A credit score is an important consideration as it determines the risk potential of the applicant. This holds good for both men and women applicants. However, there is a general perception that women pay their dues on time and are less risky borrowers compared to men. Hence, though all the terms and conditions are taken into consideration, women applicants have higher chances of getting their loan application approved.

4. Special schemes by banks and builders – When a woman is a sole applicant or the primary applicant in case of a co-applicant, different banks offer different home loan packages and schemes. These schemes will have lower interest rates on the loan availed. The concessional home loan rates are a great boost for women to buy properties. In addition to the special packages offered by financial companies, some property developers and builders also offer time bound schemes to encourage women to buy houses. Offers like discounted rates, waiving of on miscellaneous charges and the like are certain privilege points for women property buyers.

The above-mentioned factors are crucial benefits while availing home loan. So, for all the women out to there, make the most of these benefits. It’s time you own your dream home and embark on the next level of financial security and personal independence.


Home Loan Interest Rates Guide For Women

by Vinaya HS on April 24, 2017

in Finance

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Call it a move towards women empowerment or term it as benefits for less risky borrowers; the fact is women enjoy a handful of crucial benefits pertaining to home loans, as compared to their male counterparts. Yes, you read that right. Some banks and non-banking financial companies offer benefits like low home loan interest rates, higher chances of loan approval, and women special schemes. Many states also provide lower stamp duty rates for women property buyers. In addition, builders and developers also offer time bound special schemes to encourage women folk to buy properties.

Interest rate of home loans is one of the major considerations while availing a loan. It decides the total repayment amount at the end of the loan tenure and also affects the monthly pay-out in the form of EMIs. Even a slight variation in the rate of interest can make a huge difference on the repayment amount. As home loans are a long-term financial commitment, low-interest rates are always an advantage. Hence, in this regard, women are more beneficial than male home loan applicants. Though the rate of interest varies from bank to bank, in general, it is observed that banks offer women home loan applicants at least a minimum of 5 bps lower than the normal home loan rate. For example, if the normal home loan rate is 8.60%, then the home loan rate for women applicants will be 8.55%. The difference may appear minimal, but it saves a considerable amount of money on the whole.

The provision of the low rate of interest for a home loan can be availed only if the woman is the sole applicant or she is the primary applicant in the case of being a co-applicant. Also, the property for which the loan application has been filed should be either in the sole name of the woman applicant or she should be the primary owner in case of joint ownership of the property. In the instance where these mandatory criterions are not met, the women will not be eligible to avail any concession on the home loan interest rate. For example, in the case of a husband-wife applying for a home loan jointly, the wife has to be the primary applicant to avail the benefit of low-interest rate. In case they apply for a home loan with the husband being the primary applicant, they will not qualify to avail the stated benefit. The same reasoning applies in the case of ownership of the property for which the home loan is being sought.

Generally, government banks and financial institutions offer better home loan rates when compared to private banks and financial institutions. A comparative analysis shows that the interest rate offered by government financial institutions range from 8.50% to 8.65%; whereas the interest rate offered by private financial institutions range from 8.65% to 10.05%. However, private financial institutions like Tata Capital Finance Limited offer quite competitive and attractive home loan rates for women at 8.65%. So, as we see that there is certainly a variation in the home loan rates, there is also a possibility of variations related to other terms and conditions. Thus, it is always recommended to do a thorough market research before applying for a home loan. After all, even a minimal difference in interest rate can make a huge difference to your loan repayment amount.

In conclusion, to make the most of the available benefit of low home loan interest rates, women applicants must have a thorough know-how of updated home loan rates – normal and women-specific, of various banks and non-banking finance companies, along with related terms and conditions.


A look at India’s new tax structure under GST

by Vinaya HS on April 24, 2017

in Finance

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Despite pleas from various industry bodies to delay the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), the government is determined to see through one of India’s most ambitious economic reforms on July 1st.

The long-awaited move is meant to supplant and streamline a web of indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments. This complex framework has been blamed for stifling economic output, alienating foreign companies and causing an administrative nightmare for inter-state business.

What state and central taxes will GST subsume?

At the moment, there is a clear separation of powers between the Centre and states when it comes to taxation. GST will subsume indirect taxes currently imposed by the Centre, such as central excise duty, customs duties, service tax and certain cesses and surcharges.

At the state level, GST will absorb value-added tax (VAT), central sales tax, luxury tax, entry tax and entertainment tax, among others.

Instead, central GST and state GST will replace these myriad indirect taxes. An integrated GST will also apply to cross-border or interstate sales and purchases and will be collected by the Centre. Barring those items exempt from GST, tax rates for goods will fall into four brackets (5%, 12%, 18% and 28%). The Centre will have authority to levy excise duty on certain goods over and above GST (e.g. tobacco).

What positive impact will GST have on Indian business?

Corporate India has generally reacted favourably to GST, as it will rationalize India’s cumbersome tax system. Both domestic and multinational companies have singled out India’s opaque and unpredictable tax regime as a barrier to operating here.

Creating a uniform economic zone with an overarching national sales tax will also make it easier to transport goods within the country and improve supply chain processes by eliminating internal borders and checks. This should reduce the cost of production and boost competitiveness on a local and global scale.

The government has said that indirect tax revenues will decline in the short term on account of GST introduction, but in the long run it’s expected to widen the tax base.

One reason for the immediate hit to indirect tax revenue is that taxpayers with an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh (Rs 10 lakh in special categories) are exempt from GST, and small taxpayers (those with an annual turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh) have the option to pay a flat tax rate.

What about the drawbacks of GST on industry and individuals?

The government maintains that GST will reduce the overall tax burden on goods, which is between 25%-30%. However, the various cesses meant to compensate states for lost tax revenue within the first five years may lead to a marginally higher tax liability.

According to the latest news on GST, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia suggested the standard tax rate for services may rise from the current 15% to 18%. If this happens, this may squeeze consumer demand in the short-term.

While the finance minister has tried to allay fears of inflation due to a higher service tax, analysts predict some short-term disruption from such a monumental event. The GST Council has yet to assign rates to each category of goods, but the finance ministry has speculated that essential food items will remain outside the bounds of GST.

The timing of GST implementation coincides with the onset of the monsoon. If weather patterns are unfavourable, this could serve as a double whammy that affects corporate earnings.

For more legal news in India, visit BloombergQuint.


Are Credit Card Reward Programs Worth?

by Vinaya HS on April 11, 2017

in Finance

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Credit card reward programs are the often the biggest reason why people apply for them and many card issuers provide exciting reward programs to attract potential customers and offer several incentives for choosing credit cards as the preferred mode of payment.

While many users who are savvy know that the primary purpose of credit cards is to use the interest free revolving credit that they offer to help manage your finances better. However, while this basic functionality is offered by all card issuers, it is the reward programs and allied benefits that come with using a credit card to make major expenses that really make them a compelling proposition.

It is not just a card that banks and card issuers are trying to sell, it more of a lifestyle that they believe will entice users and these benefits are real. Card issuers offer many rewards and incentives like discounts at major ecommerce portals, lifestyle brands and fine dining restaurants in order to attract high earning members who are salaried and make big spends on a regular basis.

Some premium cards also come with benefits like golf lessons and concierge assistance for high net worth individuals but these cards come with high annual membership charges. So for the most part, credit card providers had been watering down rewards programs for non-premium cards with low credit limits and making it harder to earn points or adding caps.

Consumers have also become smarter with their credit card use, using interest free days and balance transfers to reduce the interest they pay. This means banks are carrying more costs, which results in fewer benefits to customers. However, credit card rewards are still the most lucrative way to earn rewards like air miles and earn free travel opportunities thanks to your credit card!


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Home loans can be tricky creatures. No doubt they help you achieve your long-standing goal of owning a house. But they cost a lot. And at times, many of the costs are not obvious initially.

Most people focus on factors like EMI, loan tenure and interest rate. But as already mentioned, there are several other hidden charges that can miss the eye of the borrower.

Let’s have a look at these easily missed charges so that you can be better prepared for these in future:

Valuation Fees – This is the cost of physical inspection and valuation of the property. When a loan application is submitted with the lender, they conduct various inspections to understand whether the amount of loan applied for is justified or not. The lenders don’t want to over lend.

Legal Fees – This is similar to valuation fees. At times, lenders just to be sure hire external legal consultants to validate the legal status of the property. This legal cost is to be borne by the loan applicants and at times, is clubbed with the valuation fees only and not charged separately.

These fees are to be paid at the time of taking a new loan. But there are others that are to be borne during the tenure itself:

Conversion Fees – This fee is charged if you want to switch to lower interest rates. If you had borrowed originally at 11% and now the rate is 9%, it makes sense to shift your loan to lower rate and save extra interest. A similar fee is charged if one is shifting from fixed to floating loan type or vice versa.

Loan Tenure Change Fee – as your income increases, you might want to pay more EMI and reduce your loan tenure. This can be done by paying a small fee to the lender for change in loan tenure.

Penal Charges for Late Payment – Any delay in EMI payment and lenders have the option to levy a Late Payment Charges.


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In the recent budget announcement, the finance minister has proposed to reduce the definition of ‘long term’ with respect to real estate from 3 to 2 years. This means that property seller will now benefit more from the tax deduction options available for long-term capital gains from sale of property.

Earlier, if you made capital gains on sale of property that was held for less than 3 years, then it will be termed as short-term capital gains.

Now this has been changed to 2 years. So capital gains made on sale of property held for more than 2 years will be termed as long-term capital gains. Such gains are taxed at 20% with indexation benefits.

That is not all. One can even avail tax exemption on long-term capital gains by either investing in another residential house or by investing in capital gains bonds issued by PSU companies.

It must be noted that if you decide to sell a property that is taken on loan, within 5 years from taking possession, then you will be required to treat the deductions claimed in earlier years too as income of the year in which you sell the property. So technically, all the tax benefits of previous years will stand reversed.

This is why a lot of people selling property in a hurry end up paying huge taxes. They are not careful and do not fully understand that repercussions of selling the property from tax angles. So in general, one should avoid selling the property that has been acquired just a few years ago as it will result in a lot of taxation (on your capital gains) and also, there is a possibility that your tax benefits of previous years will be reversed. So before deciding to sell a property, make sure you discuss it with your tax advisors.


Be Smart and Prepay your Home Loans Faster

by Vinaya HS on March 25, 2017

in Finance

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If you had the option, you would never take loans. Isn’t it? After all, why would you want to pay extra interest? But in reality, we need to take financial help time and again. And more so for things that cost a lot, like houses.

But even when you have taken the loan, you would naturally want to clear it as soon as possible. And you can actually do that if you act smartly. Here are some tips that help you prepay your home loans quickly:

1 – Salary Hiked? Increase your EMI.

If you really want to clear your loan quickly, make sure that you increase the EMI with every salary increase. So suppose your original EMI at the start of loan was Rs 20,000 and your monthly salary was Rs 60,000. Now after few years, your salary would have increased. Let’s say it has increased to Rs 1.2 lac. At that time, it doesn’t make sense to just keep paying the same old EMI of Rs 20,000. You can easily manage to pay more. So with each salary hike, try to increase your EMIs.

2 – Prepay using some of your Annual Bonus.

Smart borrowers make sure that whenever they get their annual bonuses, they don’t spend it on unnecessary expenditures. They use a major part of the bonus to prepay the home loan.

3 – Be sensible about choosing between investing or prepaying loan.

Whenever you have surplus funds, you will find yourself taking the decision whether to invest or to prepay the loan. If the investment assures you of return that are more than loan rates, then you should invest. Else, it’s better to use that money (assuming it is not required elsewhere) to repay the loan and reduce the outstanding amount.


Understanding The Various Factors Of A Car Loan

by Vinaya HS on March 25, 2017

in Finance

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Who wouldn’t want to own a car? But, the high price and maintenance aspect of the vehicle compels us to keep our dream on hold. However, the good news is, you can always opt to purchase a pre-owned car. So, let’s shed the myths attached to pre-owned cars. Pre-owned cars are not any more tinkered and polished pieces of metal. They are very much alike new cars. All credits to the changing trend of buyers. It has been observed that new-age buyers prefer to use a car just for a couple of years or three. And, with the increase in an offer from automakers, these buyers have a tendency to liven up their garage with new models of cars. Hence, for someone who is opting to but a pre-owned car must be rest assured that he is in for a good deal in departments like – price, quality, newness, warranty, and of course brand. Moreover, alike for a new car, you can also get a car loan for pre-owned cars.

A car loan or an auto loan is a loan taken to purchase a car – new or pre-owned – that could range from a small car to an SUV or an MUV. This loan can be applied online or offline and can be availed from different banks. The tenure of a car loan can be anywhere between one year to five years. However, some banks offer car loan up to seven years for the purchase of new cars. The amount of loan you can avail depends on your income, type, and cost of the car you are purchasing, and the percentage of finance your bank is offering. Usually, banks provide a loan of 80% to 90% of car price depending on the on-road price of the car. But, this percentage of loan amount may vary from one bank to another. Once you take a loan, you will have to do a monthly pay-out known as EMI. The EMI will be calculated based on the amount of loan that gets sanctioned. You can pay the EMI through an auto-debit facility if the bank you are taking the car loan and the bank you have a savings account is the same. Here, your EMI will get debited automatically at the end of every cycle. The other way to pay your EMI is by giving post-dated cheques to the bank, and you must ensure that your account has sufficient funds to avoid check bounce.

Though the basic formalities of applying for car loan remain same; there could be slight variations when it comes to taking a used car loan. Alike for new cars, there are many banks that offer used car loan. However, in the case of pre-owned cars, the amount of finance, loan tenure and rate of interest and such other terms and conditions will depend on the model and the resale value of the car you are planning to purchase. In addition, banks prefer and typically approve a loan if you are purchasing from an authorized used car dealer. It is seen that in most cases, lenders would not be willing to give a loan for a car that is older than five years. Hence, the model of the car is an important criterion when you apply used car loan.

The other aspects of car loan are you cannot sell your car until you pay off your loan completely. In order to sell your car, you must get an NOC from the bank which can be availed only after you pay your last EMI. Next, there are no tax benefits attached to a car loan. So, whether you are applying for a new car loan or a used car loan, in both the cases you will not be eligible for any tax benefits, unlike other loans like home loans. So, remember these aspects before you apply used car loan.


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Buying a car is one of the biggest decisions that one takes in one’s lifetime. In most cases, buyers apply for a car loan through credit companies or banks. However, due to circumstances or any other unavoidable situation, if you don’t want to continue with the car loan, you can always look at transferring the car loan. However, before you take this step, it is important to check a few things. Even if you have applied for a car loan online, you just need to keep all the documents handy, while making the transfer.

Transferable Loan

Even before you zero down on this idea of transferring the car loan, it is important to understand from your leasing company whether the loan can be transferred in the first place or not.

In order to understand the transfer conditions, you first need to understand whether you have leased the car or have taken an auto loan. In the case of leasing, the transfer procedure is fairly simple and easy process. However, if you have taken an auto loan, the process isn’t that simple.

You first need to understand your loan agreement. There will be options in the agreement that cater to selling off your car and paying the remaining loan amount that you owe. You might find an agreement where you can trade the current car for another model and the loan will be adjusted accordingly.

One of the better options to consider is to discuss your idea of selling your car to a new owner with the credit company. They can also help you with some legal help that is needed to complete this entire process. With the credit company helping you out with all the dealings, it is less likely that you will need to do a background check or check the credibility of the buyer, as the credit company will take care of all these checks. Hence, you are saved from fraudsters and cheaters and will be sure of receiving your money on time.

You can ask the new owner to take a loan to buy the car from you, and in turn, the money that he pays you can be used to pay off the existing auto loan that you have. You are in turn now, transferring the existing loan to the new owner, alongside the outstanding payments. You also need to make sure the insurance of the car is also transferred to the new owner. However, check all the documentation before you finally transfer the insurance of the car. Also, to be on a safer side, you can formally inform the insurance company that you no longer possess the ownership of the car.

Talking to the experts

There are chances that if you set out to look for a new owner, all by yourself, then you might take a little longer to find a suitable buyer. However, if you don’t want to wait that long or aren’t looking to put in so many efforts to find a suitable buyer, then you might want to consider talking to the experts.

There are a lot of reputed companies in the market that connects sellers with buyers who are willing to buy out a car on loan from the existing owners. You can search for such car loan swap companies and take care of the entire legal process as well. You just need to check the fees that these companies ask for, and weigh if it is worth getting a company involved for the said costs. With a company involved, you are less likely to come across fraudsters.

You can also list your loan offer on online car portals, instead of hiring an expert to do the same. If you wish to go for this option, you will have to deal with the negotiations and the other work, all by yourself. Also, keep in mind to check the background of the potential buyer, before finalizing the deal.

Though it is a fairly less complicated process to transfer the car loan, you need to thoroughly check the buyer’s profile and also make sure to check all the documents before finalizing the deal.


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A Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is a disciplined way to save. Under an SIP, you choose to invest a certain amount at regular intervals with the objective of earning profits. Regular investing allows you to accumulate your capital over a period of time. You may use an SIP for any financial instrument, such as mutual funds, equities, or bank deposits.

Difference between equity and mutual fund

1. Equity

Equity provides you ownership of the company. For example, if you hold 100 shares in a company that has issued 10,000 shares, you are the owner of 1% of this company. As a part owner of the company, you are entitled to receive benefits through dividends. However, if the company does not perform well, there is a risk of losing your capital investment.

2. Mutual funds

Mutual funds pool money from several investors to invest in different financial instruments. The corpus may be invested in equities, debt instruments, or other types of securities. There are different types of funds, such as equity-related schemes, debt funds, and balanced funds. Each of these fund types invests in financial products based on its investment objectives and philosophy. A major advantage of investing in mutual funds is that you are able to diversify your portfolio and reduce the risks. Furthermore, you may be able to generate regular income through debt funds. Compared to interest earned on a savings account and fixed deposit, you may be able to earn higher returns through mutual fund investing.

When you choose to invest a fixed amount in shares through a SIP, it is known as equity SIP. On the other hand, when you choose to regularly invest in mutual funds, it is referred to as mutual fund SIP. Opting for an SIP allows you to avoid timing the market and helps decrease the volatility due to fluctuating market conditions.


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Marriage is a huge event in an individual’s life. Couples make several commitments when they are married and financial responsibility is one such commitment. Both spouses must avail of life coverage to protect themselves from future uncertainties. A crisp knowledge of income tax slabs would help one to avail maximum tax benefits via life insurance.

Although you may find it unpleasant to think about death just when you commence the new journey of your life, it is important to consider the same. Purchasing a policy earlier helps you reduce the premium, which may save a significant amount during the entire tenure of the policy.

Insurance is beneficial for you and your spouse to meet various financial goals during your lives. This financial product is useful when you decide to buy a home, start a family, plan for your children education, and retirement.

However, if you, unfortunately, were to get divorced, it would impact your finances. In the western countries, it is common for couples to lay down the terms and conditions in case they are divorced in the future. However, this is not common amongst Indian couples where marriage is considered as a sacred union of two people.

Here are three situations you must consider while discussing the divorce terms.

1. Divorce settlement

When your divorce is mutual, both would agree on the terms including the financial aspects of your separation. Divorce settlements may or may not include assets and monetary terms. While discussing the terms, you must not let your emotions take over. It is recommended you list down all your assets, such as retirement plans, life insurance policies, home, and vehicles. After agreeing to all the settlement terms, you must reaffirm these separation details in the court of law.

2. Handling nominations

There is a high possibility that you have included your spouse’s name as the nominee in your insurance cover. The first thing when you are divorced is to remove your former partner’s name as the nominee. You may include any blood relative as the new nominee in your insurance plan. To make this modification, you would have to submit a letter mentioning the name of the new nominee to the insurance provider.

3. Spouse as an assignee

If the new nominee is a minor, you would require an appointee. This individual is the caretaker of the nominee in case you pass away within the policy tenure or at the time of maturity. Furthermore, complications may arise if you have chosen your spouse as an assignee. Assignment implies transferring the liabilities and rights provided by the life insurance plan to the assignee. When your spouse is an assignee, he will exclusively receive all the rights. In case you need to make any modifications to the insurance policy, you would need approval from the current assignee. Therefore, to avoid any difficulties, it is advisable for your spouse to reassign the plan in your favor before the divorce is finalized.
If you hold joint plans, you may have to surrender the policy or allow it to lapse because insurers do not allow splitting these types of insurance plans. Policies that comprise some investment component (like endowment plans) are often settled on the basis of each partner’s contribution. Divorce is emotionally difficult; however, certain difficulties are avoidable with the help of a little pre-planning.

About HDFC Life

HDFC Life, one of India’s leading private life insurance companies promoted by HDFC Ltd. & Standard Life Ltd., offers a range of individual and group insurance solutions. HDFC Life’s product portfolio comprises solutions, which meet various customer needs such as Protection, Pension, Savings, Investment and Health.


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In March 2014, months before the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) would establish government after the 16th Lok Sabha elections, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced grim news. Bad Debts in India were rapidly on the rise, so much so that banks had reported Non Performing Assets worth INR 1,73,800 crore. Fast forward three years and we have moved from the frying pan into the fire.

Bad loans have escalated by 135 per cent i.e they have risen from INR 1,73,800 crore in 2014 to INR 2,61,843 crore in just two years. Not only have the amount of NPAs increased, the recovery rate from these bad debts is merely 18.4 per cent, i.e banks have managed to recover around INR 32,000 crore as of January 2017. Earlier this year, bank credit growth hit an all time low, perhaps the lowest in nearly two decades. Recent reports in business news have confirmed that there is still a whopping outstanding of INR 6.8 lakh crore (this figure could have even crossed INR 7 lakh crore) in NPAs. We’re talking about a 56.4 per cent surge in NPAs in 2016 alone and this is likely to follow an upward trajectory. NPAs of public sector banks stand at a 70:30 ratio with 70 per cent bad debts belonging to large corporate houses and the remaining 30 per cent belonging to small and medium scale enterprises.

While the RBI has been chalking out a plethora of restructuring schemes, there haven’t been any drastic improvements to curtail this situation. Additionally, banks are blaming the pressure set by the demonetisation drive for their delay in clearing balance sheets. It is predicted that most banks will miss the March 2017 deadline set by the RBI.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley’s brainstorming session with RBI governor, Urjit Patel, RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya and S S Mundra, besides Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, Principal Economic Advisor Sanjiv Sanyal, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal and Corporate Affairs Secretary Tapan Ray has left business news publications abuzz. The meeting held on Friday, 10th March discussed options for resolution stressed assets in the banking sector including the twin concept of Private Asset Management Company (PAMC) and National Asset Management Company (NAMC).

Though the RBI is not in favour of extending timelines of large loan defaulters, it has suggested various schemes for tackling bad loans, including Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A), Corporate debt restructuring (CDR), Joint Lenders Forum (JLR) and Strategic Debt restructuring (SDR). Although nothing is concrete yet, there is definite hope for recovery to pick up pace once RBI reforms are put in place.

In other business news, Chief of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), K.V Thomas in a statement last week said that he hoped Public Sector Banks would consider publicly shaming large corporations by revealing their names (a common practice undertaken by banks to shame small scale defaulters).


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Your first car helps you learn a lot about various aspects and technicalities pertaining to an automobile. You get to learn, to begin with, how to drive and park a car, how to prep your car for an oil change, how to change a flat tyre, motor insurance, and the list goes on. Ever wondered what the sticker on the car that reads “BS Compliant” or just “BS IV” implicates or what it translates to? Let’s find out.

What are BS norms?

BS is an acronym that stands for Bharat Stage. It is typically followed by a numerical, say three or four, depending on the car manufacturing date and model. BS norms are basically a set of regulatory standards concerning the emissions from automobiles or four wheelers in India. These norms are conveyed and regulated by the Central Government as needed, from time to time. This is an exercise that is implemented by the Central Pollution Control Board as a measure to curb air pollution from car emissions. This board comes under the purview of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. With the increased sale of private cars causing the number of cars on Indian roads to rise greatly, the air pollution levels have reached a record high. Hence, the BS norms and standards have acquired a lot of importance in the hope of tackling this issue.

Difference in BS-IV and BS-VI standards

As mentioned earlier, the number followed by ‘BS’ is the stage number that indicates the version of BS norm compliance. The latest one that is employed with the current crop of car models is BS IV. The number keeps ascending as and when the new norms are enforced according to the government’s directive. Till now the BS norms have been based upon its European counterparts and the trend is expected to continue with BS VI. The BS IV will enforce tighter regulations which will force the oil companies to produce fuel i.e. both, petrol and diesel that is compliant with the new regulations.

Impact of BS VI norms on car insurance

As per a directive by the central government, it will be mandatory for all four wheelers to be BS VI compliant by 2020. This has created quite a stir in the industry since this entails skipping a number, going directly to BS-VI from BS-IV. This is because it will cost a lot to both, the oil as well as the car manufacturing companies to produce fuel and cars that meet the new BS VI standards. This new standard is slated to affect your vehicle insurance premium too! Here’s why. In order to make the cars BS VI compatible, car manufacturers will increase their prices. Due to the increased price tag, the sum insured of the car will increase in tandem. Since the automobile insurance premium is directly proportional to the sum insured, the premium amount is bound to rise. As per industry experts, a rise of around 20% is expected. Because of this, the leading players of the automobile industry are trying hard to extend the deadline for BS IV to 2023.


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Two-wheelers are popular among individuals across all age groups. The demand for motorbikes in the country is increasing due to their fuel-efficiency and easy-to-handle capability.

There are many aspects that need to be taken into consideration before purchasing a two-wheeler. It is important to conduct extensive research on various brands and models available in the market.

One of the most important factors to be considered is finance. If financial constraints are preventing you from making your dream bike purchase, you may avail of a two-wheeler loan. Many financiers offer benefits like minimal documentation, extended loan tenure, instant loan approval, flexible repayment schemes, as well as competitive two-wheeler loan interest rates.

Here is the mandatory checklist you must consider while buying a two-wheeler.

1. Budget
If you spend more than your budget it will cause a huge strain on your finances. Hence, analyze your financial position and select the model according to your budget.

2. Brand and model

There are numerous brands in the market offering bikes with a unique set of features. Select a brand carefully as the brand value decides the resale value of the bike. Decide the model based on your needs and budget.

3. Mileage

The mileage of a two-wheeler is one of the important factors to consider. Choose a bike that offers a mileage of at least 35 to 40 kmpl. It is also important to consider the city traffic and small roads while calculating the same.

4. Finance

If you do not have the outright cash to finance your dream bike, you may avail of a loan and repay the same through Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs). Buying the bike on EMI is light on the pocket, thereby making loans a great finance option. You must conduct extensive research and opt for a well-known financial institution like Capital First that offers extended loan tenure, minimal documentation and attractive bike loan interest rates.

5. Location of service centers

Ensure that the service centers of the bike’s company are located near your residence. In the case of an emergency, you may visit the nearby service center for repairs, instead of traveling long distances.
You must consider the aforementioned checklist before purchasing the bike. This will ensure you ride home your dream bike without facing any difficulties.


The Best Time to Buy a New Bike in 2017

by Vinaya HS on March 4, 2017

in Finance

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Do you want to buy a new motorcycle? Do you want to know the best month to make your purchase in order to maximize your benefits? Predicting the best time may be difficult however you should try not to purchase a bike before it gets discounted.

Most dealers offer discounts during the festive season, which makes it a good time to purchase a bike. Also, you may purchase one during the year-end as dealers may offer attractive schemes to clear their current stock. These discounts may also be available at the beginning of the year as dealer’s last year’s inventories may still be unsold. Purchasing a bike manufactured in the previous year is not a concern especially if you do not plan to resell it. You may also get discounts in the month of March as the financial year comes to an end. However, the choice may be limited during this period.

Companies may also offer excellent discounts prior to the launch of new models. Manufacturers often release new models at the same time each year. Therefore, you must stay abreast during the release of the latest models from your preferred brands to enjoy discounted prices.

You may avail of a bike loan to ensure you do not face financial constraints while purchasing your dream bike. Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and banks provide such loans at attractive interest rates, thereby making it easier for you to purchase the latest bike without facing any difficulties.

Here are three benefits of availing a two-wheeler loan.

1. Simple documentation

Lenders require minimal documentation to provide such loans. You simply have to submit basic documents like residence, identity, and income proof as well as bank statements. Furthermore, the processing time of such loans is short and therefore you will be able to ride your dream bike within a few days.

2. Affordability

The bike loan interest rate is not high, thereby making it affordable for you to avail of these facilities. Furthermore, the processing fees are nominal with no hidden charges and therefore you may easily borrow the loan amount.

3. Repayment flexibility

The lenders generally offer up to five years to repay the borrowed amount through Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs). This ensures you do not face any financial constraints in repaying the loan.

When you purchase a bike on EMI, you may enjoy the freedom of traveling as per your convenience, without weighing down your budget. Therefore, you should conduct extensive research to purchase your dream bike at the right time and avail of a loan to enjoy affordable two-wheeler loan interest rates.


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Before you plan to have children, preparation for their financial needs seems easy. You visualize about how you will open their first account, teach them all the tips and tricks of saving money right from the age of 2, and imagine that they will be financially independent by the age of 15. But then the bubble bursts, you go ahead and have a kid and realize how expensive it’s to raise a child. Your planning and budgeting skills require an upgrade and you start wondering as to when should you open a savings account for your kid, the answer to that depends on the end goal of the account.

Education Savings

Savings for education is a must and for this you need the most amount of time possible. Compounding interest is on your side, ensure that you open a savings account as soon as the baby is born. An important lesson while saving for your kid’s education is to start early and make systematic deposits into the account.

Long-Term Savings

There are several ways that you can help your kids with long-term savings, and most of those depend on if your children will be contributing by putting any money into the savings account. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a whole life insurance policy. Most banks and companies will issue these long-term saving options any time after the child is 30 days old, it also helps to choose a company that is financially strong as it ensures maximum growth.

All of the would-be parents and the ones that are planning for a kid wonder about when to open a savings account for their child. The right answer is as soon as they are born. Be smart and make systematic deposits to avail the maximum benefits.


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Manufacturers across the country are releasing new scooter models to increase their market share and reach. The demand for gearless scooters is also rising because these are easier to maneuver and more comfortable when compared to motorcycles.

Manufacturing companies are launching new models for potential buyers belonging to various age groups. Here are the top three gearless scooters that were popular in 2016.

1. Honda Activa

This is the company’s flagship model and has been popular since its launch. It is equipped with a 109.2 four-stroke single cylinder HET engine. This model comes in three stylish variants; Activa 3G, Activa 125, and Activa-i.

2. TVS Jupiter

This gearless scooter is primarily aimed at young riders. It offers advanced features, such as wide comfortable seat, bigger headlight and arrow shaped air-intake in the front. The Jupiter is equipped with 109 CC single cylinder and air-cooled engine. Furthermore, it comes with two modes, Eco mode and Power mode, thereby ensuring optimal performance. It is available in three variants; the Jupiter, Jupiter ZX, and Jupiter MillionR Edition.

3. Hero Maestro Edge

It is an automatic scooter with an attractive look and graphics. You can enjoy a comfortable ride with the combined braking system. This scooter comes with a 110.9 CC four-stroke and air-cooled engine for greater power. This scooter comes in two variants; the Maestro Edge LX and VX.

The high prices of the top three gearless scooters may make it difficult for you to buy one. However, financial institutions across the country offer affordable two-wheeler loan interest rates. The entire process is quick and you need to submit simple documentation before you receive approval. Lenders fund up to 95% of the on-the-road price, which makes your down payment affordable. Moreover, you may repay the money through Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs). The maximum tenure for a bike on EMI is five years. Longer repayment tenure ensures you do not have to face any difficulties in repaying the loan on time.

Several banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) offer attractive bike loan interest rates. However, you must consider other factors to make the right decision. Some of these factors are loan inclusions, processing fees, other charges and prepayment penalties. Comparing the terms and conditions online from various financial institutions is recommended. This will help you understand two-wheeler loans in detail and make an accurate decision.


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Two-wheelers have become one of the most preferred modes of transport. Bikes have a lower maintenance cost and are also a great solution to traffic woes.

Due to such advantages, the sale of two-wheelers is increasing at a rapid rate. However, due to lack of adequate funds, you may not be able to afford your dream bike.

At such times, availing of a two-wheeler loan helps you to purchase your dream bike without any hassles. Financiers these days offer a plethora of benefits on loans, like minimal documentation, extended loan tenure, simplified documentation process, attractive bike loan interest rates, and quick disbursals. You may also avail of an instant loan if you wish to purchase the bike in minutes.

About instant loans
Loans that are approved instantly, without any delay, are known as instant loans. The loan is approved on the basis of the information you provide on the application form. After successful submission of the duly filled application form, it is reviewed. The lender then instantly approves the loan and disburses the amount into the preferred account. The loan amount has to then be repaid through Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) over a period of time known as loan tenure.

Tips to obtain instant loans

1. Compare two-wheeler loan interest rates offered by various lenders before selecting one. Capital First, a leading financial institution, offers competitive interest rates and is also known for providing instantaneous loan approvals.

2. Apply for an instant loan online, through the lender’s website or mobile app. Such interfaces are convenient and user-friendly.

3. Provide complete details on the online application form. As the application is reviewed solely on the basis of the information provided, it is imperative to submit a duly filled form with correct details.

Now, you do not have to worry about accumulating money and utilizing your savings to purchase the bike. You may apply for an instant loan, purchase the bike, and then repay the loan amount easily through EMIs. Purchasing a bike on EMI ensures you do not face any financial constraints while purchasing your dream bike.