Planning for Retirement

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“Retirement” .Do we need to think about it at all? If no, then perhaps now is the time to stop giving a cold shoulder to it.

Being ignorant does not help carve a secure future.

Though we are young and quite able at this stage in our lives. But do we think of times when “un” gets added to our ability.

Reality covering us from all four sides has changed now. We cannot wait till the RIGHT age.

Money control and Money management is imperative and so is wise investment.

We would want to jot down some essential tips that would assist you better with financial planning.

Compounding it is!
One of the strongest instruments in the financial world is compounding.
So how do we go about the process?

Start investing early, even if it is Rs10,000 a month, go for it. Putting in a small amount is okay, what is critical here is the interest that compounds with the passing time.

Also,Save your bucks! Saving is always a great idea to keep. Saving not only for retirement but for other purposes aids at various stages of our lives. The sooner you start saving , the more time your money has to bloom. Pooling in some money for retirement should be your utmost priority. Financial Goal setting is important, however sticking to those goals, and not wavering is even more critical.

It is time to go digital!

Start using an e-wallet!
This has advantages of cash back and it is safer
The flexibility, security and the usability of the wallets have cemented faith in the people using them. You can put an amount as tiny as Rs 10 to Rs10,000.
Convenience blended with rewards incites people to use it again and again.

Sail the boat of Direct mutual funds!
Investing in direct plans of mutual funds renders higher returns. The difference in returns is more pronounced in case of equity funds. In debt funds the the returns are moderate in amount. And the returns are the lowest in liquid funds out of the three.

Swap Fixed Deposits with Debt Funds!!
Safety and Fixed deposits go hand in hand. However when it comes to tax benefits, they are not very efficient. A better path to tread on is Short-term debts, that has the combined credit risk almost equal to FD’s. Though there is not a vast difference on the interest rates generated on short-term debt funds, however the actual return on these is much if they are held for a span of more than three years

Brick a building of buferable cash!
The economic conditions waver like the wind. For example, a hike in prices in the US can subsequently leads to a market fall in India!
Having some cash as buffer, will be handy in such situations. This money can be used to buy at cheap rates and sell at higher rates.

Be wary of Debts/Mortgages!
Being freed of mortgages or any lingering mortgages is a fantastic step towards retirement planning. You do not want to get nightmares of debts when you are greying.

Also lets chart out a plan for someone who is close to us and has just entered his/her retirement phase We will go step by step.
1. Firstly we need to calculate their monthly expenses and needs
2. We then come to her various sources of income
3. Changing their status in the bank is a wise option. Transfer their corpus to a senior citizen savings account. That gets better interest.
4. Get their 15H form signed and deposited at the Bank so TDS in not deduced at source on her FDs. This also reduces agony of chasing for Tax refund.
5. Go for opening a Mutual Fund Folio. Do you know once you have done a KYC with one Mutual fund, it is valid for all investment across all Mutual funds.
6. Divide their portfolio into Four segments
6. 1 Monthly income (if pension is not there or less) – In Fixed Income Mutual funds go for a standing instruction to transfer a fixed sum to their saving account monthly.
6.2 Diversify Equity Mutual funds for long-term steady income
6.3 Invest 10% of the corpus in Blue chip companies
6.4 Build an Emergency fund
7. Activate confirmation emails and SMS on your and their phones
8. Make sure their health insurance plan is secured.
9. Ensure all assets have nominees as per their wish.
10. Make their will

Retirement is the a faraway destination, but we need to cement a path from now to reach there in a financially healthier state.
We hope that our recommendations will help you in deciding clearly and taking informed steps.

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Tips to Consider before Lending Money to Friends

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Lending money to friends becomes a difficult choice at times. Money has the tendency to create rifts between closely bonded people. Yet money is a topic that becomes unavoidable.

Lending and borrowing between friends can lead to sequences of debts, debt traps, uninvited apprehension and animosity. Situations where the money is borrowed, and half-returned, partially returned or in the worst case scenario not returned creates an unpleasant situation

However we can create a space of clarity in the money matters between friends if we follow some ground rules. They are listed below.

  • 1. Lending should always be a situational process. You should assess the urgency of the situation. . If a friend asks us to open a credit card in our name for their use or asks us to guarantee their loan, then you should consider its consequences. We should not put ourselves in a situation where some one else’s actions can affect our credit. Their wrong usage can disrupt our credit score, thus lowering our chances of getting loans.
  • 2. Lending should be within limits. Even if it is a friend that we are talking about, we need to still evaluate the amount that we lend. Do not nod in agreement for an amount that can push you in a debt trap.
  • 3. It is also imperative to gain access to the details of where the money would be utilised. Here we are not talking about the trust, of course we trust the people here who borrow. But knowing where the money would be spent will give us a better knowledge of whether it is being put in the right use or now. It will also help us in acknowledging whether the situation deserves a loan or not.
  • 4. Discussing it clearly might seem like an awkward idea to begin with. However having the terms and conditions set in the beginning leads to a smoothly painted financial end. Repayment period, interest rates and the loan amount itself should be discussed in detail to avoid any misconception or a possible rift.
  • 5. Draft an agreement. In case you are lending a large sum of money, having a financial agreement worded in paper is always a good idea. Both the parties know the exact details of when, how and why. This just clears the air and avoids conflicts.
  • 6. Also a great option for them is to borrow through the new-age and financially sound institutions.
    EarlySalary is one such platform that provides instant cash at ease without the hassle and obstacles. So refer EarlySalary to your friend and be a friend in need.
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Setting Personal Budgets

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In our lives today, it seems that we are constantly in our running shoes, because all we do is race to fulfilling our duties, necessities and obligations.
Expenses are never-ending. How we wished that we could count the expenses on our fingers, but unfortunately we cannot.

It has become extremely necessary to have a budget made. Having a budget in place allows more breathing space when it comes to financial decisioning. We can actually take a pause, and direct our expenses better, without being hasty about money matters

We will talk about how we can focus on administering our expenses and savings.

  • 1. Track your spends and earns for every month. Figure out what you spend and where you spend. It goes for your earnings too.
  • 2. Also prioritize your bills. The necessities have to be thought about first. Rent, Groceries, Electricity tops the list.
  • 3. Now is the time to plan for your future goals and dreams. Start saving and investing to make the dreams turn into reality. Sit and discuss your goals with your family, and ask them to give in inputs too about what they want to achieve, lets say in the next five years. Such brainstorming is always productive.
  • 4. Create categories for your goals. Tag them as short-term, mid-term and long-term. Your short-term goals could be buying a refrigerator next month, or purchasing a car next year.

    Mid-term goals could be about you wanting to go on a vacation with your family to Malaysia

    Long-term goals would be you thinking about retirement plans and policies.
  • 5. While we have created goals, we need to also assess the value associated with them. Inflation is a factor that can cause an upheaval in our financial dreams. Short-term goals would not be affected by inflation. However mid-term and long-term goals can be affected by inflation. So you need to be wise enough to invest also side by side.
    This will help your money boom too over the course of time.
    Also having a correct estimate on the value of assets is imperative.
  • 6. After estimations, and goal settings comes the most difficult part. Now you have to save for your goals. That means you need to keep aside some money for your different goals. Shelling out money at appropriate intervals will help you in achieving all the goals that you want.
  • 7. A great way to track, monitor and create a more systematic budget is through the innumerable money management apps available in the technical horizon. These apps act as your financial advisors and guides and they accurately advise and calculate spends and earns.
    Some of the most popularly used money management apps are Wally, Mint, Homebudget etc.
    You can get a detailed description of the same at money-management-apps

    Managing money seems like a task impossible. But we assure you that with budgeting and prioritizing your monetary needs, it is a task really easy.

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How To File Income Tax?

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If handling finances wasn’t enough, we have taxes in place too to give us gripping nightmares.
However tax payment and filing income tax returns are both crucial for achieving a financial stability in life.
ITR filing is mandatory is a person’s gross total pay exceeds 2.5 lakhs.
The basic motive for filling income tax return is to showcase accountability and to display that appropriate tax has been paid.

There are both online and offline ways of filing income tax returns. However the income tax department made it mandatory for individuals with an income of more than 5 lakhs to file their income tax returns through the online route only.
We will write down about ways in which you can go ahead with this.

The offline Route:
If you have an income of less than 5 lakh per annum, and you decide to go ahead with the offline process then you can easily download the forms from the income tax website, or you can collect it from an income tax office. You will have to fill in some necessary documents including the ITR form and acknowledgement form(This contains the summary of ITR). The stamped copy of the acknowledgement form is handed back to you.
While Offline is the conventional route, Online is the more convenient one.

The Online Route:
It saves time. With technology popping up from everywhere, it becomes easy for you to file the returns of income tax. You do not have to fill in bank related details (such as the PAN number) over and over, all of that is auto-filled for you by the software. Thanks to the digital era!
The software is considerate and helps you calculate the tax amount payable or the refund amount due based on your income and deductions mentioned in the income tax report. This again saves time, is more efficient and reduces fallacies.
While you have chosen the online route, you will be happy to know that there are many options to opt for while filing income tax returns.

Apart from the income tax department’s websites. There are other deputed websites to carry out the same work. Some of the popular websites are Cleartax.in TaxSpanner.com, Makemyreturns.com etc.

There would be variations in these websites in terms of the packages offered, the costs associated, the procedures involved . Also many portals provide the process of filling taxes for free. These are for people with the income below a certain level.
So while opting for a package, you usually choose a cheap package if your income is through your salary. The package choice may turn to a costlier one, if the income is from various sources(Business, Capital gains, House properties etc)
You need to also ascertain the service provider. These are your finances that we are talking about and hence we need to be careful. You will be filling in information like investments, savings, bank account details etc, and hence you need to evaluate the confidentiality and privacy policy of the portal that you choose.

You do not have to do much while filling it through the government website. You can fill the details online itself on the ITR form and upload the form directly.
After the upload and submit, an acknowledgement is generated. This would be emailed to you as well.

For most of service providers, there is already a system built in for filling forms with ease, that suits the need of the users. Some service providers even have a question and answer format for form filling.
Once the acknowledgement is signed, it is received by the tax department to assess the calculative errors, wrong claims or deductions filled in by the tax payer for that year.
After rigorous evaluation, when the data filled in by the taxpayer is matched with the in-house data, an email is sent to the individual which is termed as intimation under section 143(1). This is to notify the individual that the acknowledgement has been received and is ready to be processed.

Tax consultants
Apart from these routes, you have many tax consultancies too in place. These consultancies have expertise on tax .These consultancies help individuals like you by providing the know-how around taxes. The organization provides complete and intact information on how to file the income tax returns. Examples are H&R Block, TaxConsultantsIndia etc.

Now we believe that filing income tax should not be a formidable task for you. With so many options the ease around them, you do not have to ever worry about getting stuck anywhere.

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Education Loans

Graduate Piggy Bank

Quality and Quantity seem to come hand in hand. In present scenario, quality education burns a hole in the pockets of parents because of the huge quantity of fees charged for it.
Education loans offered by numerous financial institutions are a boon to the vast sea of students. Students can breathe a sigh of relief with the numerous loan options served across to them, choosing their careers is easier now.
Parents also can be complacent about the fact that they have a monetary pillar to recline on. However there are some factors that we need to be vigilant about.

  • 1. Your educational institution is looked at with a microscope before a loan can be granted. The colleges that offer good placement opportunities are given a green signal. The educational institutions that are not well recognized are given low priority for giving out loans.
  • 2. The CIBIL score for both parents and students is one of the key factors that leads to an approval or disapproval of the education loan. The credit history needs to be up to the mark, and there should be no traces of regular defaults. This holds integral for students, who have just entered college and also have started working. These youngsters might apply for various credit cards with a low repayment capacity resulting into a disrupted CIBIL score. For the parents who are the guarantors, it is imperative to have a good credit score.They are the ones who guarantee the repayment of the loan.
  • 3. Your academic performance also one of the deciding factors for the lenders to grant you a loan. So if you do not fit in the eligibility criteria that the financial institution possesses, then your loan request might be rejected. The banks/financial institution thinks that you would fall in the category of a non-performer and not earn enough to repay.
  • 4. The type of course that you have applied for ascertains the loan approval. If the loan is for a part-time course, then chances are that the bank might reject your loan application. Financial institutions/banks approve loans that are meant for a full-time course abroad or in the same country.
  • 5. The income of your parents is a crucial factor that can turn the tables. Since your parents essay the role of guarantors, and if you fail to repay the loan, then it is on them to repay the amount. If it is fairly low, then the lending institution will not hesitate to disapprove your loan request.
  • 6. Financial institutions do not rely on “Age No bar”. There is a certain age limit upto which loans can be approved and that is 30 years.
  • 7. Whenever you take a loan of more than 7.5 lakhs, then it is necessary to have a collateral and joint borrower in place. If you are unable to provide these, then you might get the loan disapproved. Having a collateral in place, gives a sense of guarantee to the lending elements. They feel that they can recover the amount loaned in case of failed repayment. For an amount lesser than 4 lakhs, you are not required to have a collateral in place. However even such an amount necessitates the involvement of a guardian/parent.
Taking loans for education that is a step taken in many people’s lives. Hence we wanted you to be aware of the obstacles that might come in future planning and career decisioning. Being cautious will help you in better financial planning and control of money.
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Common Money Management Mistakes Fresher’s Commit in their Early Years

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While you are young, you do not really realize the role that money plays in your life in latter stages. So it becomes imperative to realize that there is a balance in money management that we need to attain.

Just entering into the shoes of an employee makes you see the world with a different view altogether. You have a different take on everything. Stepping out of your comfort zone to a ground of exposure makes you cringe with anxiety at times. Because financial responsibility now is yours to take care of.

We want to list down some basic yet important thumb rules that you should follow at early stages to plan better in finances.

  • 1. Keep a check on your purchases: Money is yours. Direct your expenses and control your money. Do it either the offline or online way, but do it. Try your hands on excel sheet, or manage money with one of the money management apps. It makes life easier with lesser roadblocks. Be systematic, and assess the costs that spread across areas of essentials and non-essentials.
  • 2. Always build some emergency fund. It is imperative for us to have some financial aid, in case of an emergency. Try keeping aside a small portion of your savings for this section. Parting away from money is painful, but this money will be your friend in need during the unavoidable crisis
  • 3. Steer clear of debts: Debts do become our part of lives, at some point or the other. But it is necessary to keep a check on the debt pile. It should not accumulate enough to push us in the debt trap. Be wary of what you borrow. Borrow but repay on time. Don’t be habitual in using the credit card every now and then, if you cannot repay on time. This just builds pressure that is uncalled for.
  • 4. Shake hands with Tax management: Even though you are in your primitive years of earning, tax management is an art to master. The sooner you come to terms with it, the better it is for your later life. Evaluating the money that gets pumped in by tax machines, helps us to list better our expenses for duties , necessities and obligations.
  • 5. Resort to common sense and practicality: Be pragmatic about your needs and wants. For example wait for a while till the gadget in your wish list becomes cheaper instead of buying it right away. Opt for facilities that are free, instead of going out of the way to splurge on non-necessities. This does not imply that you need to compromise on your basic needs, but this just means that avoid extravagant expenditure. Especially the one that is easy to evade.
You have just embarked upon your professional journey, and we would want to wish you luck for all your endeavours. We want you to enjoy, learn and grow more to become financially able and stable. Happy Earning!
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Applying for a Home Loan

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Financial planning while taking a home causes us to hyperventilate without fail. This is an integral decision in our lives, where we are financially able to get a house of our own, but we dread the debt that follows to get one.
We need to involve ourselves in comprehensive financial planning, tackle debts and control our money efficiently.

We will discuss about few things that can help us in applying for a home loan without any hassle.

1. Firstly to get a home loan, we need to have a decent salary and a secured job. We should be regular with income tax payments and filing of the returns as well. We should also get our form 16 from our employer.

2. It is extremely crucial for us to have a good credit score. In the absence of a good credit score, the financial institution might reject our loan request.We should be prompt in paying our debt on the due date.

3. We need to also keep a check on any other loans that we have applied for and taken. Financial institutions monitor our capability to repay. For example, If we have taken many loans that occupy 50% or more of our salary, then we probably might not be in the state to repay the loans. Hence a balance is advisable.

4. We need to get a mortgage banker involved in the process of selection of loans. There are innumerable loan options provided by the lender, and we at our part have innumerable questions. Having a mortgage banker leads to us making decisions faster with efficacy.

5. As mentioned, financial institutions evaluate our repayment capabilities. the lending instruments will ask us for all the investment data that we have. We would be required to share the details of bank account/s, post office savings schemes, insurance plans, employment details etc. In case we are freelancers or self-employed, then we need to give the bank the details of our income, income tax return, balance sheets , so that they grant a loan.

6. It is very important for us to assess the kind of property that we choose to get a loan for. It may become a little difficult to get the loan sanctioned if the property is a resale property of age 10-15 years. The financial institutions also evaluate the construction stages of the property. The property needs to be dispute free as well. So it is wise to be safer by going for a property that falls under a good record and is on pre-approved list of the banks.

7. While applying for the home loan, we need to be ready with the down payment. Most of the banks give allowance for eighty five percent of your loan. We need to pay the remaining amount as down payment.

8. The repayment time also is an essential factor to contemplate upon. We can choose the time to repay our loan. But while deciding the time limit, we need to consider the fact that a longer period of repayment time will lead to lower EMI’s but higher rates of interest. We also need to consider our age too at the time of repayment. Will that be the right time and will we have the ability to repay at that age? So we need to make the choice accordingly.

9.The financial institutions do not press on the need to have a guarantor. However having a sense of guarantee ,leads to an increment in our credibility.
Also there are cases where in it becomes mandatory for us to have a guarantor. For example, if we are self-employed, or if we are on a transferable job, if our city of purchasing the property varies from the city where we reside etc.
The guarantor could be our friend or family. And he/she takes guarantee in the legal space. But there is criteria for the guarantor. There are age and income standards that are set by the financial institutions, and if they are not fulfilled then the person can not be a guarantor.
In case we become delinquent, and we are unable to pay back. Then it is our guarantor’s responsibility to repay the loan.

10. If we apply for a certain loan amount, and it is not getting sanctioned, then we can choose to apply for the loan with our spouse. The chances of getting approval increases.

11. Having an appraiser in place helps all the parties aware that you are paying a reasonable price. The financial institutions arrange for an appraiser who essays the role of a third party. The appraiser evaluates and gives an estimate of the value of the house that we intend on buying.

At the stage of closing the process, there is certain paperwork that we need to get done with. It takes a few days for the lender to fund your loan after the completion of paperwork.

Our intention was to draw your attention towards certain basic but crucial points that are required in the home loan process. Hope this article helped! Happy Buying! .

How to Repair Your Credit Score?

Credit score

Before conversing about fixing damages to the credit score. Let us talk about a good credit score. We often ignore credit score while applying for loans, and many of us unaware of the low score, until the lender rejects our application and informs us.

We should not turn a deaf ear towards our credit score; instead we should monitor it regularly.

What is the Credit score and why is it so important?

So essentially a credit score represents a person’s creditworthiness when he/she asks for a loan. A person’s credit score is determined by the person’s repayment behavior and credit history, and the creditworthiness is constructed around that. The credit agencies maintain a database of credit standings of individuals and commercial entities. The score ranges between 300- 900. Score of 750 and above is considered to be a good score. There are four agencies that are permitted to maintain this database. They are CIBIL, Equifax, Experien, and CRIF highmark.

Why is the score so important?

With a huge array of financial institutions you might feel that money is easily accessible, but this is not the case. The risks associated with lending have always been considered high and it is necessary for the institution to ensure that it’s lending to right person. Hence, the financial instruments rely on criteria that decide whether you deserve the loan or not. Here is where Credit score shines brightly. It is usually the decision making point for lenders to give or to not give the loan to the borrower. Hence it is important for you to maintain a good credit score, and work towards improving if it is low.

What makes a good credit score.?

The credit score, amongst many things, looks at these critical parameters:-

  • 1. Repayment history
  • 2. Loan enquiries and status
  • 3. Loan to income ratio
  • 4. Length of the credit history
There are no short cuts to improving credit scores. The best way is to administer and manage it over time. And gradually things will fall in the right place.

Let’s focus on some things that we can do to better our low credit scores

  • 1. Stop asking for a new credit – If you are aware that your credit score is poor, you should not apply for a loan at multiple banks. The more inquiries the lender puts into your credit score, the lower it goes. You need to be patient till the time you obtain the suitable score.
  • 2. Lessen the debt quotient in your kitty – You should meticulously chart out the credit accounts that you have out of your credit report. You need to stop using credit cards for this situation. Make a budgetary plan, and direct your expenses towards the higher rate interest credit cards first.
  • 3. Keep your repayment balanced: Well it sounds quirky, however repayment does affect your CIBIL score badly. So in this scenario if you drastically pay off all your repayments at once, then this portrays instability in your financial records. Repayments as a process should take place gradually thus reflecting monetary stability and rendering positivity to your CIBIL score.
  • 4. Set up reminders for Payment: We are so caught up in our routines, that we hardly have a breathing space. But we need to be alert, and sensible when it comes to financial planning and decisioning. Some financial institutions offer payment reminders through their online banking portals that can send you an email or text message telling you about the due date. Also there are automatic payments through your credit cards, wherein if you enroll, then payments are automatically deducted from your account and gets received by the lenders.
  • 5. Be vigilant of any sort of mismatches in your credit reports: It is advisable to leave no stone unturned. Sometimes bank authorities can across erroneous entries to CIBIL. So in such case scenarios, you need to approach banks to rectify the mistakes. Also you need to make sure that all the data on positive and timely payments is recorded and submitted by your lender to CIBIL
  • 6. Use your credit judiciously: Whenever you make use of your credit, then you should analyze the credit utilization ratio. This ratio is of amount of credit you have used to the amount if credit available as balance. If you have numerous credit cards, and you use only one of them, then your credit score may get negatively impacted. Hence you need to be smarter and spread your spends over numerous credit cards and not just one.
  • 7. You need to create credit history if you do not have one: For first-timers, there is an absence of credit history. Lenders might hesitate to give them a loan, owing to their zero credit score. So what you can do is open up a fixed deposit and take a credit card against it. And once you have one in your hand, then you can work towards it and improve the credit score.

We recommend you to check the credit score before applying for any loan to ensure that there are no issues in the credit history. Even if there are any, make sure you get them rectified by the agencies before applying for the loan. Our aim for writing this out was to make you understand the importance of a good credit history, and we hope that you take smarter steps towards financial goals.

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Unsecured Loans Versus Secured Loans

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One of the most common questions that we ask ourselves is “What kind of loan do I opt for?”
We take baby steps towards Loans. Loans are like those tricky questions in our exams, where we have to meditate hard to make the right choice.
Deciding upon which loans to take depends upon numerous parameters such as whether you want to take up a house or cater to your your child’s education or go on a vacation.

Taking loans is a financial commitment, and by agreeing for it, you are basically agreeing to pay a fixed part of your salary till your loan is repaid.
Loans can be majorly categorised into unsecured and secured loans. Sit back and read on further to know about these loans.

Secured Loans:- These loans are guarded by an asset or a collateral Through secured loans, you can get a huge sum of money. Putting your house or your car is a good enough security against the loan taken. Secured loans offer lower rates of interests, higher borrowing limits and longer repayment terms as compared to unsecured loans. The lender has the right to take you asset incase you become delinquent. Also if the selling price does not cover the debt, then the lender can pursue you to settle the difference in amount.

Some examples of Secured Loans are
1. Mortgage wherein your house is taken as security against your loan
2. Auto Loan: Here your vehicle is taken as security against your loan

The perks of Secured loans:-
Cost:- Secured loans are less expensive as compared to Unsecured loans.
Easy Accessibility – Secured loans can be obtained even if your credit score is bad. The lender can seize property incase of failure in repayment.
Tax deduction on interest:– The interest paid on the loans such as mortgage is tax deductible.

The downfalls:-
Losing your assets – You can lose a valuable asset, however the lender loses zero.

Unsecured Loans:- Here you do not have to give the right to your assets to the lender. Lenders are more prone to risks here.
When you apply for an unsecured loan, the loan gets sanctioned by the user on the basis of repayment capability. The borrower is judged on certain parameters such as credit history, capital, collateral , borrower’s current financial situation as well as prevalent economic factors) . His/her character is also taken into consideration to convert decisions to actions.

Some examples of Unsecured Loans are
1.Credit Cards
2.Personal Loans

The perks :-
Secured Assets – You do not lose assets, because the loan does not require a collateral backing them

The downfalls :-
Harder to get – Unsecured loans might be harder to get from the lender. You need to have a good credit rating, and if you do not have one, you might be considered risk worthy.
High Interest Rates – The interest rates may be higher.
Receiving the loan of Lesser value – Also you might not get the desired amount depending upon your credit scores. Hope we have helped you to get a better understanding of loans that exist.

Be smart and take smarter decisions!
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