• Car Loan Basics for Beginners

    The thought of buying your desired four-wheeler is itself quite exciting. It is like taking the first big plunge towards a happy and prosperous life. A car cuts down your travelling hassles and extra expenses while improving your societal status. But what if you can’t afford the car that you desire to own? You can’t obviously spend all your savings on your car. In such a situation, it is a car loan that comes to your help. These are financial advances made by banks or financial institutions to help people buy the desired car for private or commercial use.

    At present getting a car loan from banks has become very easy and convenient. An easy monthly instalment option is that you need to repay the car loan amount. So, this becomes a win-win scenario, where you can act smart by purchasing the ideal car for yourself and also avoid the unwanted debt. But when you are availing a car loan for the very first time, it is extremely important to know the car financing basics before you take the plunge.

    Hence as a beginner, enlighten yourself with the below-mentioned facts about car loan:

    Eligibility Criteria for a Car Loan

    The basic eligibility particulars to get a car loan are as follows:

    • The applicant should be residing in India, be it in rural, semi-urban or urban India.
    • The age limit of the applicant for applying for a car loan should be at least 18 years or a maximum of 75 years.
    • He/she should have a monthly income of Rs. 10,000.
    • The applicant should be either a salaried or a self-employed individual with at least 2-3 years of working experience.
    • The applicant should have an approved residence with a good amount of parking space inside or outside.
    • He/she should have a residential stability of at least one year.

    Documents Required for Car Loan

    If you are eligible to apply for a car loan, you should move to the next step of documentation. In order to make sure that the loan process is smoothly carried on by the banks or any other financial institution of your choice, it is necessary to provide the following mandatory documents:

    • A valid identity proof – The applicant should provide a valid ID proof which can be a PAN card, AADHAR card, driving licence, passport or any other identity document issued by the government.
    • An age proof – As the applicant should be at least 18 years of age, he/she should provide a supporting document that states his/her age clearly. It can be a driving licence, passport, ration card, school leaving certificate or any other government document that mentions the age.
    • A valid address proof – It is extremely crucial to provide a government issued document that has the present address mentioned. It can be an AADHAR card, PAN card, etc.
    • An income proof – There are ideally two types of employment: salaried and self-employment. The salaried individuals should submit current 6 months salary slips, last 3 months bank statement, Form-16, updated ITR etc. whereas the self-employed individuals should furnish past 3 months bank statement, balance sheets, P&L accounts, ITR etc.
    • Signature verification – To ensure your signature is unique, a signature verification proof is required.
    • Recent photographs – Two copies of photographs, ideally two passport and stamp size photographs should be kept handy.

    How to Avail Car Loan?

    • Know your budget - It is very important to know your budget well to know what kind of car you can afford. You should evaluate the expenses that will incur the moment you will apply for a car loan such as car maintenance costs, car registration cost, etc.
    • Plan the amount to repay - According to your budget, plan the monthly instalment amount that will go into paying back the amount. If required, with the help of the car loan calculator, calculate your interest rate, the tenure of the loan period and the amount to payback in EMIs.
    • Get approved first - It is crucial to get your car loan approved, to make the process of car loan easier and flexible for you. Just before you are ready to shop for the car of your choice, get it approved.
    • Go for car shopping - This is the last step when you are ready to shop for the car of your choice. Research beforehand to know which car will be best for you and will suit your needs. Remember to purchase a car that fits your budget.
    • Avail offers & discounts- Deciding upon the right time to purchase the car especially during the year ending and festive season can help you gain heavy discounts as banks offer low-interest rates, waivers on processing fees and other offers during these times. Watch out for offers and discounts during festive seasons.

    Car Loan Application and Approval Process

    A car loan can be applied both online and offline. Applying it online is the easiest way to reduce the hassles. Just visit the bank portal with which you want to place the application or you can place the application through a reliable third-party website. The steps that are involved in the filing of application and approval of car loan are as follows:

    • Check your credit score - Credit score is a very important aspect of the car loan. As a beginner first check your credit score as banks offer loans to candidates having good a credit score.
    • Fill up the application form: In the next step, place your loan application with the desired bank along with all the mandated documents. Make sure that the form is duly filled and you provide all authentic documents.
    • Application verification- The bank will verify your documents and check your profile as well as credit score to assess your eligibility. If you are found to be eligible your loan application will be processed.
    • Loan approval- Banks take 1 to 5 days to approve a car loan. Though, this period might vary from bank to bank depending on the candidate’s profile.
    • Disbursal of the loan- After some time of loan approval the amount will be disbursed either to your account or directly to the car dealer from whom you will be buying the car.

    How Does Car Loan Work?

    The applicant needs to decide the car model at first. Then the bank will provide a maximum of the funding based on the price of the car model. Once this is done, the applicant will have to insure and hypothecate the car for further safety. It is then that the interest rate is decided and the process of EMI is ascertained. EMI should be paid without any failure to ensure the car doesn’t get repossessed. Whatever problems you might face, you have to pay the loan within the tenure.

    Important Aspects of a Car Loan

    • Eligible brand and model-The car manufacturer can be either an approved Indian manufacturer or any foreign car manufacturer. The car loan will be sanctioned on any approved car model, however, the funding is up to bank’s discretion.
    • Interest rates – Usually banks offer car loans at 10% p.a. to 18% p.a. interest rates. However, the rate of interest totally depends upon the borrower’s profile, loan tenure and the amount of loan.
    • EMI amount– The EMI amount that the borrower has to pay every month to repay the loan is decided on basis of the loan tenure, the loan amount and the interest rate. However, if you can pay more in lump sum amounts, you can cut down on the EMIs then.
    • Repayment tenure- Typically, a borrower can choose a car loan repayment period of 1 to 7 years based on his/her repayment ability. The repayment tenure can be extended in certain cases.
    • Down payment- It is best to pay a wholesome amount of money as the downpayment from your own resources to cut down on the loan amount. The more time you will take to repay back your loan, higher will be the amount of the loan. Also, you will end up paying unnecessary interest rates.
    • Miscellaneous charges- Depending on the bank, other charges including loan processing fee, pre-closure/foreclosure charges, stamp duty charges, late payment fee, and part payment charges are levied on a car loan.

    Factors to Consider while Opting a Car Loan

    Here are a few factors that you need to consider while availing a car loan for the first-time:

    • Choose short loan repayment tenure - There is no doubt that the EMIs or Equated Monthly Instalments make the loan repayment very easy, but only if you have a good repayment ability. Moreover, always choose a short period of repayment as otherwise, you have to pay a lot as interest every month.
    • Evaluate your EMI repayment ability - Car loans come with EMI facility and as such this will not affect your monthly budget. You can calculate your expenses that will come from the car loan and accordingly you can pay them on time.
    • Associated services and charges - Paying a car loan before time, is certainly an event of happiness. But some of the banks charge a penalty on the pre-closure of the loan and though most of the borrowers tend to ignore the processing fee while taking a loan, this amount adds up to the total cost of the loan.

    Tips for Getting Low-Interest Rate Car Loan

    • Credit history - Since borrowers with low credit score are scorned off by the banks, you might face difficulties while applying for a loan for the first time. However, you can make a significant amount of down-payment or can apply with a co-borrower or guarantor to get a loan approval.
    • Research well and compare loans - To get the maximum benefit of the car loan offers, you need to research, compare the loan products and then pick up the best one. Also, you must watch out for the authenticity of the car loan products.
    • Take loan with a guarantor- A guarantor will enable you to get a car loan even if you have a bad credit history. He/she can be anybody from your family and friends with good financial background and credit record.

    Nowadays, the car loan process can be carried out completely online too. It is vital to first compare different banks, what they are offering and then decide what to do. You can also visit third party websites to have a clear idea of the whole process of the car loan. Considering important factors such as down payments, interest rates, the term of the loan and the length of the loan help you ascertain your choice clearly.

    You shouldn’t hesitate to ask about the terms and conditions of the loan. Moreover, find a lender having a pre-qualification or a pre-approval process as it will make it easier for you to negotiate with the lenders. Check, recheck and double check to be sure of the car loan you are about to take. Make a wise and make a smart decision!

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