Sunday, April 25, 2010

Loan application process in India - very simple

The last decade in India has brought a remarkable transformation in our society and people's spending pattern. A drive on the Indian roads will tell you that the number of ATM machines/Banks have increased many folds. The ATMs/Banks want you to withdraw cash or get loans and SPEND. From a 'savings' based society, India is trying to morph into a 'spending' society.

It is hard to find people in the salaried class, without a house loan or a car loan to pay. You are sure to run into representatives of Banks trying to sell Credit Cards or Loans... especially in places like shopping malls. You'll get a call from these 'hunters', right after you open your bank account or when you get a new mobile connection.. You'll even get marketing calls/text messages on your mobile about Credit Card offers or Loan offers. These offers are at times very tempting that you find it hard to resist.

Recently, I applied for a car loan in HDFC. The process is very simple. You can apply for a car loan through their web interface. All you need to do is just provide your personal details and select the loan amount you want. I got a call from the Service Rep, in just 5 minutes after pressing the "Submit" button for loan application. You don't even have to go to the bank. They'll send reps to your house to collect all the necessary documents.

Unlike in US, where loans are issued based on the credit history of a person, Indian banks go through a manual verification procedure. I think banks outsource the verification process to a 3rd party. They'll send Reps to your home, work place etc., to verify your records. This process is at times, very unpleasant/awkward. They make sure that all the information you had furnished is accurate. I was quite surprised by the time they took to process the loan application. In just 2 days, the loan application got approved.

The loan application procedure is more or less similar for other banks, too. I heard that government owned banks take a longer time to process the loan application. On the other hand, government owned banks provide you a better interest rate when compared to privately owned banks. You can even bargain/negotiate interest rates with banks. For example, I was able to negotiate the rates to bring it down by 2%. If you are a long-time customer of a bank, you get some special treatment on the interest rates.

When you apply for loans, it is better to check with 2 or 3 banks and pick the best offer. Since the whole process gets completed in a few days, it is worth the try.

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