4 Things to Consider Before You Apply For A Home Loan

A home sweet home is a personal asset that you have dreamt of owning for a long time now. If you are planning to buy a home, there are two things that you think of: a pretty home and a not-so-pretty usually-unavoidable home loan. However, what matters the most is qualifying for the home loan. It is very important for lenders to assess your repayment ability, which is essentially evaluated on the basis of your earnings, expenses, savings, work profile, financial capability and repayment history of loans and other dues. A bad credit score and the ghosts from the past, i.e. your credit debts or poor payment history can pose a problem while qualifying for a home loan. Here are 4 important tips to check before you go for a home loan:

1. Check Your Credit Score: A credit score lays the foundation for your easy home loan application process. This score depends on how consistent you are or how good your record is for paying your EMIs and credit card dues. The credit information report (CIR), which contains your Credit Score, is basically the credit history of your borrowings from different institutions such as banks or NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Company) or Housing Finance Companies (HFCs). A trusted credit bureau prepares and maintains your credit records and shares it with the banks/lenders whenever an enquiry is made by the loan provider. The higher the credit score, the higher the chances of the loan getting approved. And also once can expect the best rate of interest on the home loan as a bonus. Ensure you check your credit score at least six months, preferably 12 months, before you plan to buy a home.

2. Consider your budget, down payment and EMI: Define your budget for buying a home, how much money you can consider for down payment and how much of home loan would you require. Typically, you can get 80% of the value of the property as a home loan if your income seems sufficient. Identify the EMI range that you are comfortable with, as that will help you decide the tenure of the loan. You can use online EMI calculators to play with various options in helping you here. In case your income is not sufficient, you can think of adding your parents or spouse as a co-borrower.

3. Documents Required for Home Loan: Before you go and apply for a home loan, it is necessary to understand the necessary documents required and ensure they are available before you approach a bank or housing finance company. Here is a list of documents that you should be ready with:

  • Income Tax Returns or Form 16 for past 2-3 years make sure all taxes are filed
  • PAN Card – the lender would carry out a PAN Verification to know its authenticity
  • Aadhar Card – the bank would also do an Aadhaar verification to verify your identity
  • Bank Statements for past 6-12 months for a bank account where your income and expenses reflect. Make sure you maintain a reasonable balance in this account over past 6 months.
    – Last 3 Months Salary Slips if you are salaried
    – Application Form with Photograph Duly Signed

4. Identify the right banks and lenders: Avoid applying to many lenders at the same time, as many credit inquiries can negatively impact your Credit Score. It doesn’t mean that you should not compare your options. Identify the banks or housing finance companies which have pre-approved the property where you plan to buy a house as that can reduce your loan approval time. Understand the eligibility criteria of such lenders in terms of the cutoff for credit score and the loan scheme (processing fees, the rate of interest etc.). Select one or two lenders which best match your requirements and get your loan sanctioned from them before booking the property.

Taking into consideration all the above points will prepare you well for your home loan and thus, improve your chances for a quick home loan approval. If co-borrowers are being considered for, do ensure you prepare them to check their credit score and keep their documents handy.

Take the first step now towards your dream home. Check your credit score on CRIF today!

 

How I Raised My Credit Score By 250 Points

I had already unfolded the climax in my previous blog, on how I was being denied higher education due to my own credit mistakes. This blog is essentially the return of the hero who fights with bad credit and lives happily after with a great credit score.

850. That was the number printed on my latest CRIF Credit Report. Read ahead to know – How I Raised My Credit Score By 250 Points.

Credit Score = Trust?

One of the premises of a civilization or society is its need for safety. It is because of this need for safety from the wild did the early human start forming communities. Humanity has evolved and advanced a lot from them, but the basic need for safety is perennial. It is very important to have those few trustable companions or entities who make us feel safe.

Since the age of the Kings and the Landlords, the practice of lending also pivoted around the similar element of trust. Lending has transformed from being a local, personal referral based activity now into a very large industry backed by digital systems and a sense of trust emanating from the use of data sciences. The industry allows instant lending and peers to digital peer-to-peer lending on basis of data-backed trust that the person taking the credit will pay back after the pre-defined time. This data-backed trust comes from the “credit scores” provided by the Credit Bureaus by understanding behavioral patterns from the millions of records of individuals such as you and me.

I realized that I had to improve my credit score from 500 so that a bank can begin trusting upon me to repay its money. In my quest to improve, I began analyzing my credit report against the five major factors that form the basis for a credit score. And voila, I had devised a clear plan of action to seize control of my credit situation-

  • Payment History : my credit report clearly reflected my negligence around making payments towards my credit card dues. I would generally pay up money only after many follow-ups from the credit card companies, perhaps this was one of the most important factors barring me to pursue my dreams. I immediately cleared pending dues on all of my credit cards and vowed to now pay full dues at least 3 days prior to the due date.
  • Age of Credit : I had 4 credit cards. Since now I have to pay on all cards in time, I decided to close 3 of these cards. I decided to maintain the oldest credit card I had, as the higher age of credit means a better credit score.
  • Credit Utilization : The average spend on each of these 4 cards was nearly 80% of the assigned credit limit. This meant that the credit utilization ratio was 80%, which ideally should be 30-40%. The credit card I chose to retain was linked to my salary account. My banker helped me get the credit limit of this card increased. This enabled me to enjoy higher credit just with one card, but have a low utilization. I crossed my heart to not use above 25% of the allowed credit limit at any point.
  • Type of Credit : I pledged to explore a car loan (secured loan) and diversify from just having credit cards (unsecured loans). And the next year when I had a slightly better credit score, I took two additional loans, one for buying a car and the other for buying a laptop and paid them off in the same year. This allowed me to add different types of credit as well as provide better evidence of my credit behavior.
  • Number of Credit Inquiries : This did not seem to be a problem for me, however, I have since then avoided unnecessarily applying for credit cards or loans.

12 months of discipline had helped me improve my score from mid 500s to 670, it helped me get a car loan — but it wasn’t enough to help me fulfill my dream. After another six months of care, my credit score was above 750 and I was packing my bags to leave for an MBA. All I needed was a basic understanding of credit score and discipline to follow my plan. Last month I repaid my education loan but still continue to follow the rules I set for myself 5 years ago. As you read my story, let me tell my credit score as of today stands above 850.

Today, in parts of the world, your credit score can stand in your way of getting accepted as a tenant, employee or even spouse. Hence it is becoming paramount to manage your credit score to maintain your credibility not just for getting loans but for fulfilling your dreams.Don’t let your ignorance hamper your dreams.

Get Educated and Educate Others. Journey to happy credit starts here – CRIFHIGHMARK CREDIT REPORT

About the Author: Subhankar Mishra works as Service Delivery Manager at CRIF High Mark, India’s largest Credit Bureau database.

Educating Myself for My Education Loan

What if you wake up one day and no one trusts you? You can no longer buy the swankier car or that beautiful home you dreamt of. Have you ever had such thoughts? I have had, not very long ago. It was the monsoon of 2011 and India was witnessing some of the defining moments of the decade; Euphoria of India winning the Cricket World Cup, Mass mobilization against corruption inspired by Anna Hazare and Mumbai turning into a hot hunting ground for terror. Amidst all these, my heart was racing faster for my achievements of scoring 700+ in GMAT, grant of Scholarship from Wharton School and Said Oxford. I had landed in the kingdom of dreams. A dream of a joining a top 10 global MBA program bloomed.

Maroon 5 was right when they sang “Nothing lasts forever”. Before I could even climb the next ladder for my dreams, they were thrashed like the storyboard that had been tipped and jumbled, disjointing the order and twisting the timeline. Banks had refused to fund my remaining fees of 60 Lakhs for the education. I was being denied an opportunity because no one seemed to trust me.

Begging was the only form of request I hadn’t resorted to when I met Mr. Nelson, who rather than just rejecting my request, gave me a reason for not being able to help me. He told that my credit score was in the 500s, generally considered as a poor credit score, categorized as High-Risk Applicant by the Credit Bureau, and since it is one of the most important factors in the loan approval decision, no bank will consider giving me a loan with such a credit score.

I couldn’t rely on my heritage as both my parents are loan averse and had even discouraged me to apply for one. I realized that this new unknown “credit score” was standing between me and my dream. It was bizarre as I hadn’t heard of any such concept in the years of my preparation, not from any of my peers, not in any online forums, not in the coaching institutes, never. Having worked for top financial institutions and having traded in derivatives and share markets, I used to consider myself among the frontrunners in financial literacy. And, here I was not even aware of what a Credit Bureau was and what a Credit Score was, a part of the financial world which was about to change the course of my life.

On my way back home, I browsed through the internet to understand what a Credit Bureau was and why is the credit score so important. It was a sort of revelation to understand how critical credit scores are to lending and how most people like me aren’t even aware of it. I was of the view that I could find a way around this credit score and convince officials to grant me the loan, but then I knew, the only option left was to work on my credit score and park my dreams for the time being.

850. That was the number printed on my latest CRIF Credit Report. It’s an excellent credit score which is loved by every bank or lender I speak to. Today not only I am credit worthy, but I can ask for preferential interest rates on my loan. How did I get here? To unlock the trick or secret to an excellent credit score, read my next blog How I Raised My Credit Score By 250 Points.

About the Author: Subhankar Mishra works as Service Delivery Manager at CRIF High Mark, the only comprehensive Credit Bureau in India.

How to Check your CRIF Credit Score?

Last time Rajesh and Aditya met, they had a good session discussing the basics of the credit score. They were again together to enjoy the one-day IPL Match between CSK and KXIP. CSK won this match comfortably by 5 wickets but Rajesh seemed much happier. Digging a little, Aditya came to know that ABC bank had finally sanctioned Rajesh the housing loan after his credit score was traced from another credit bureau.

I owe you a party, my friend. It’s all thanks to the basics you made me aware of the credit scores. I went to the bank next day and possibly due to my discussions about the credit score, the banker searched more into my credit history. I was pleasantly surprised when he said that while he could not fetch my credit history from one of the credit bureaus, he could find my credit history and credit score in CRIF High Mark database. With a score of 755, it was easy thereafter.” Rajesh said all this in one go. He was not able to hide his excitement.

Aditya was happy to hear about Rajesh’s housing loan sanction.

“Oh great, a good score indeed. CRIF score is calculated by CRIF High Mark, India’s leading credit bureau, which has the largest credit bureau database of individuals and supports millions of lending decisions every month.”

But there must be a way to check this score by myself too. I must keep a regular track of my credit score now.” As always, Rajesh was excited about the new thing he was made aware of.

Aditya was happy to guide him again. It seemed like he had been waiting for this question since long.

Here are the steps to get your free CRIF Credit score:

  1. Open CRIF portal, https://cir.crifhighmark.com/
  2. Click on “Get Your Score Now” button.
  3. A pop up will open asking your email address for communication purposes. Enter your email address here to proceed.
  4. The next window will ask you about few details which will help CRIF High Mark identify you amongst the complete database. The details as may be asked are name, date of birth, mobile number, address and PAN or Aadhaar number.
  5. Once you review and submit the information, you will be asked one security credit question, which will be based upon the records so traced basis the information furnished above.
  6. If you are able to answer the security credit question correctly, your CRIF credit report is available to you for download.

You should also be happy to note that everyone is entitled to a free credit report and score from CRIF High Mark once every year. So, get your credit report without paying any charges.

Oh, that is good. I will definitely download my CRIF High Mark credit report once I get back home.” Rajesh was happy to again learn something new.

It’s time to enjoy the tea now. The rainy weather is calling pakodas to my kitchen now. I will not let you go before we enjoy that.

But yes, how could bank not find my credit report with one credit bureau while getting the same from another credit bureau.” Rajesh was in no mood to let Aditya go.

We always have a good time when we meet over the weekends. So, let’s keep this question for then.

Rajesh and Aditya were smiling now.