Rediff.com  » Business » Home loan: Benefit from prepayment

Home loan: Benefit from prepayment

November 12, 2009 11:50 IST
Ramesh has been paying Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) on his home loan for almost five years. Now, he wants to prepay his home loan. But he is worried about the prepayment penalty that his bank would impose on him!

But why would the banks or the lenders mind when you pay back early? Do you stand to lose out on this deal or do you gain? Why and when should people opt for prepayment?

What is prepayment? Why and when do people opt for it?

It's just what the name implies: prepaying all or part of the loan amount before it is actually due. However, it is more complicated that it sounds! First, you will have to check your retail loan documents to find out if prepayment is allowed and the percentage of outstanding loan amount that you will paying towards prepayment penalty charges, if any.

You might want to prepay your home loan for two simple reasons. First, you could save on the net interest payable as longer loan tenure would mean more interest. The second reason is you can own the asset earlier than planned.

You could decide to prepay your loan if you have the capacity to make larger payment or if you have had a promotion or received a bonus.

Why do banks charge penalty for prepayment?

Well, banks and lenders lend money in the form of loans only to make money out of service fees and interest. And this requires the loan to be open for a fairly longer duration to give profits. They cannot stop your legal right from making a prepayment. But at the same time prepayment would mean upsetting their profit calculations from interests.

Hence, the banks and lenders impose a prepayment penalty to compensate a portion of the lost profit. Usually, your loan agreement would have a clause defining your obligations and interest in case of prepayment in part or in full.

RBI's current stand on this penalty

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hinted at drafting a policy to restrict banks from imposing prepayment penalty of retail loans.

The proposed move follows many such complaints from loan borrowers paying EMIs based on the floating rate of interest. They feel that they are missing out on the benefits of periodical rate cuts in interest.

The anti-monopoly body Competition Commission of India (CCI) is dealing with complaints from loan borrowers against collecting prepayment penalties on home loans from major lenders in the country.

Prepayment penalties by different banks in India

Public sector banks charge 1 to 1.5 percent as prepayment penalty on the outstanding loan amount and in the case of private banks it is between 2 and 4 percent.

Name of the bank

Prepayment penalty (in %)

Axis Bank

No prepayment penalties

ICICI Bank

No penalty on part-prepayment

2% on foreclosure (+ applicable service tax)

This will be calculated on the outstanding loan amount and amounts prepaid in the last one year, if any.

LIC Housing Finance

2% on the principal amount prepaid

HDFC

0 to 2% on loans

If a prepayment is made within 3 years of the first disbursement subject to terms and conditions, 2% on the prepayment amount if the amount being repaid is more than 25% of the opening balance.

SBI Home loans

No prepayment penalty if the loan is prepaid from own savings/windfall gains for which documentary evidence is produced by the customer.

How prepayment can benefit you?

Perhaps, the biggest benefit of prepaying loans is saving on the net interest payable. Usually you could find out how much you save on the interest based on the amortization chart provided by your bank.

Moreover you could own the asset bought on loan earlier than planned. Some banks also allow for part-prepayments say every quarter. This could effectively bring down the principle amount and the outstanding loan amount and subsequently the net interest.

Here's an example.

Ramesh took a home loan of Rs 20 lakh for 20 years as loan tenure and at an interest rate of 12 percent. At the end of 20 years the net interest would be Rs. 32.85 lakh. Instead Ramesh decided to pay two additional EMIs every year, which would mean he could close the loan in 13 years time.

His bank loan agreement had mentioned that there would be no prepayment penalty unless he paid off more than 25 percent of the principal in a year. The table below shows two scenarios and how opting to pay extra EMIs in a year actually helped Ramesh save on interest.

Details

Scenario 1 – 12 EMIs/year

Scenario 2 – Two additional EMIs every year

Interest rate per year

12%

12%

Tenure of loan

20 years

Since two additional EMIs are paid every year the loan tenure is reduced to 13 years

Amount of loan taken

Rs 20 lakh

Rs 20 lakh

Net interest paid

Rs 32.85 lakh

Rs 19.58 lakh

Prepayment can be made in part or in full. If you have plans to make a full repayment read carefully on prepayment penalty charges on your loan agreement. Some banks might allow you to prepay up to a certain period without any prepayment penalty. So you can garner enough funds to foreclose before the expiry date.

If your loan agreement allows you to make part prepayment, then you could do so every quarter. This way you can save some money, reduce the principal and the outstanding loan amount and the net interest rate.

BankBazaar.com

Powered by
BankBazaar.com is an online marketplace where you can instantly get loan rate quotes, compare and apply online for your personal loan, home loan and credit card needs from India's leading banks and NBFCs.
Copyright 2019 www.BankBazaar.com. All rights reserved.
SHARE THIS STORY