Balance transfer takes place when the unpaid principal amount is moved to another bank for a lower interest rate. Almost every bank allows transfer of loan and if you haven’t defaulted on EMI payments, this shouldn’t be a difficult process. However, you need to carry out an analysis of the associated benefits, which again depends on a lot of factors. Balance transfer is ideal when you are in the early periods of your loan repayment tenure. The main reasons behind loan transfer are reduced interest rates offered by the new financial institution or the increase in loan tenure or at times both. Banks allow balance transfer with little or no charges at all, as most of the times customers would have diligently paid off a good percentage of the outstanding balance. The loan takeover provides you an opportunity to switch from a high-cost loan to one which is comparably low. But you should always consider the following factors before transfer of your loan from one bank to another.
The total EMIs
Even though your new bank may offer a reduced monthly EMI, you should be clear with the fact that such an offer would have an impact on your total outflows, as the interest keeps on adding. So before making a decision, make sure that you have compared your current EMI with the new one. Technically, if your finances are in a manageable position, then a loan transfer is not a suggestible option. Also, ensure that you don’t settle for marginally better interest rates.
Processing fees and technical charges
You should also consider the processing fees, legal charges, valuation fees, technical charges, etc., and compare it with the reduction offered in EMIs by the new bank. Some banks calculate processing fees as a percentage of the outstanding loan amount, while for others it is based on the borrower’s profession. Also take into account the fees charged by the new bank for closure of accounts.
Collateral for the outstanding balance
If you have paid a large portion of your loan amount, then make sure that you do not pledge the original security for the transferred loan. Instead, offer a collateral with a lesser value than the original; and in case your bank insists to keep the original one, then negotiate on the interest rates.
Softer yet greater aspects
Banks generally ask you to open a savings account while applying for loans and all your further transactions will be channelled through this account. But if you are applying for a loan through the bank where you maintain your account, it will help you in a lot of ways. Most importantly, being a premium member of the bank, you will be well-versed with all their processes and will have quicker access to services. These little things count in the long run.
Terms and conditions
You must read the terms and conditions specified by both the banks before signing the loan transfer. Make sure that you take all the necessary documents from your current lender and submit the same to your new loan provider. This will ensure a hassle free loan transfer.
Frills on the offer
These days, banks offer attractive frills on loan transfer, the most common being free credit card and accident insurance. You should however analyse deeply whether you need these offers and be versed with the associated terms and conditions governing them.
Banks now allow you to transfer a wide variety of financial instruments such as credit cards, home loans, personal loans, etc. The process of transferring your loan is simple and it can be done in a few steps. At first, you have to submit an application to your current lender requesting for loan transfer to another bank. Based on your request, the bank will issue an NOC and statement which mentions the due amount and a letter of consent. You need to submit these documents in the bank where you wish to apply for a loan transfer. After this, your new bank will examine the submitted documents and then approve your request. The bank will sanction the amount for closure with the current lender. On completion of all the transfer formalities, your documents will be handed over to the new lender and all post-dated cheques and ECS with the previous bank will be cancelled. Note that the bank to which you are moving your loan will consider it as a fresh loan and you will once again have to follow all the associated procedures—legal verification, technical evaluation, credit appraisals, etc. You may sometimes be required to pay a processing fee, which falls in the range of 0.5% and 1% of the outstanding loan amount.
There can be several reasons for an individual to apply for loan takeover by a new bank. Listed below are the common few:
If you are unhappy with your present loan, then there is always an option for you to change your lender and refinance the loan. This allows one to choose a loan which offers reduced EMIs and a longer tenure of repayment. However, do keep in mind that a loan transfer is only possible when you have regularly paid all your EMIs with the current lender. Interest rates should not be the only reason for transfer of loan, but you should also take into account all other factors associated with loans while doing so. Look into the deeper aspects of every offer while switching the bank, because loans are a financial products intended to bring certain amount of profit to the lender. A balance transfer may not be advisable if only a few years remain in the repayment of your loan and you have repaid more than half the loan amount.