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That depends on where you are right now into the tenure of your loan, but the general answer is “as early as possible into the tenure of the loan.”
EMIs for personal loans — or any loan in general — are structured such that the interest component of the EMI forms a significant portion of the EMI early into the tenure of the loan. For example: in the first EMI for a personal loan of INR 300,000 at 18% over 36-months, the interest component constitutes nearly 41.50% of the EMI amount! At the end of 12- and 24-months, the figures are 31% and 17.60% respectively.
For this loan, at the end of 12-months, you’ve already paid 52.40% of the total interest payable (if the loan were to be serviced over its full tenure). Since there’s a significant amount of the interest yet to be paid, it would make financial sense to pre-close the loan at this point (even after including the pre-closure penalty).
However, at the end of 24-months, you’ve already paid 86.90% of the total interest payable. It would therefore make little sense to close the loan at this point — you have no significant financial advantage in doing so.
Look at these factors when you’re thinking of pre-closing your personal loan and decide appropriately. You might find this Personal Loan EMI Calculator handy.
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