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Information on Home Loans

Buying a home is dream for many people. Owing to the rising price of properties, it has almost become impossible for an average earning person to buy a home on a lump sum payment. Therefore the concept of home loan has come in trend. There are plethora of housing finance companies and equal number of banks that offer home loans these days. The task of selecting one company and one offer for home loan amidst the thousands available options have become a very complex task owing to the burgeoning housing finance market in the country. Apart from this, there are intricate business jargons and technicalities that make this task more difficult. Explore here the basics of home loan technicalities, so that when you apply for the home loan next time, you can understand the basics and help yourself remain away from the duping elements in the market.

Housing Loan Information

When To Apply For Home Loans
One can apply anytime after deciding to acquire or construct a property, even if the property has not been selected or the construction has not commenced. The loan amounts are sanctioned in principle to let buyers know what amounts they are eligible of. Actual disbursements start after satisfactory validation of all necessary documents and completion of specific procedures.

Eligibility Conditions For A Home Loan
While determining the loan eligibility of a customer, lending institutions primarily focus on the repayment capacity. The repayment capacity is determined by taking into consideration factors such as income, age, qualifications, number of dependants, spouse's income, assets, liabilities, stability and continuity of occupation and savings history.

Maximum Loan Amount
Housing finance institutions generally finance upto 75%-85% of the asset value. Depending on the institution, the maximum loan amount may vary from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1 crore.

Repayment Period Options
Repayment period options generally range from 5 to 15 years. A few HFC's offer a 20-year repayment period, albeit at a higher interest rate.

Payable Fees And Charges
Home loans are usually accompanied by the following additional costs: a) Processing fee: It's a fee payable to the lender on applying for a loan. It is either a fixed amount not linked to the loan or may also be a percentage of the loan amount. b) Prepayment Penalties: When a loan is paid back before the end of the agreed duration a penalty is charged by some banks/companies, which is usually between 1% and 2% of the amount being pre paid. c) Commitment Fees: Some institutions levy a commitment fee in case the loan is not availed of within a stipulated period of time after it is processed and sanctioned. d) Miscellaneous costs: It is quite possible that some lenders may levy a documentation or consultant charges.

Security For The Loan
In most cases, the property to be purchased itself becomes the security and is mortgaged to the lending institution till the entire loan is repaid. Some companies may also require additional security like the assignment of life insurance policies, pledge of shares, NSCs, units of mutual funds, bank deposits or other investments.

Documents Required At The Time Of Application
Following are the documents that lenders require at the pre-approval stage:

For All:
For Salaried Employees:
For Self-Employed/Businessmen:
Tax Benefits
One can avail of tax sops both on the principal as well as interest paid on home loans. With effect from 1st April 2005 (i.e. assessment year 2005-07) under section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1965: Principal amount of repayment of loan along with other savings such as PF, PPF, Life Insurance premium etc up to a maximum of Rs 1,00,000/- will be eligible for deduction from gross income.

Insurance Of Property
Many HFCs insist on insurance of the purchased property against fire and other allied perils. Even in the absence of a mandatory clause, it is advisable to insure the property against potential contingencies.

Time Required For Loan Disbursement
The average time required for loan disbursement is 3-15 days subject to satisfactory and complete documentation and completion of all relevant procedures.