Monday, 27 August 2018

A Step-by-step Guide To Clearing Credit Card Debt As Told By A Seasoned Financial Planner

There are plenty of things in this world that are easy to get into but hard to get out of. Debt is one of them. Credit card debt, to be precise, ranks among the top of the pile for most working professionals. So, how do you get rid of your debt? Many verses have been written and digested but none have provided the right insight or have had the impact that a person in debt is satisfied with. So, here’s our take on how to become debt-free as told by a financial planner.

  • Know how much you owe
In order to clear your credit card deb you need to how how much you owe in the first place. We don’t mean a ballpark figure here, we expect you to know exactly how much money you owe your card company, to the cent. While at it, also create a list of all the expenses you incur every month: bills, outstanding balances and its interest and just about everything you spend your money on.
  • Work on your spending habit
If you have racked up sizeable debt that requires an external counsel to clear it, there’s a definite chance that your spending habit has been bad. To make sure you are never in any debt whatsoever, you need to take a deeper look at what you spend on and bring them under control or halt them altogether. Every one of us have a habit of spending on something we don’t necessarily require: a gym membership here, a random subscription there, and the list goes on.
The problem here isn’t that you have these subscriptions, the problem is that you barely spend any time making use of them. So, make sure to rid yourself of any such commitments and work consciously towards changing your spending behaviour.
  • Consolidate your debt
Once your know how much debt you are in and have figured out what expenditure you can live without, you will need to work on finding a way to make the payment. For starters, you can opt for a balance transfer and switch to a different card company that offers a much better Annual Percentage Rate (APR) than your current card. If you think a balance transfer isn’t the right option for you, go for a personal loan instead as they come with much lower interest rates and offer longer repayment periods.
  • Make use of your assets
Use any assets you have to clear off your debt, even if it is at the slightest. In case you have an RD or an FD that is close to maturing, use it up to clear off a major chunk of the debt. This way you won’t have to go looking for a loan. Also, if you do have one of these and decide to go for a loan, you will end up paying more interest than an RD or a FD is likely to earn in the same time period.
  • Go one card after the other
When the debt keeps on piling, the pressure on you to clear it will keep mounting too. Rather than worrying about clearing the debt altogether. Go on a card-to-card basis, look at the card with the highest outstanding first and pay that off first. Prioritising the payment from most to least in terms of balance payable will help reduce the interest burden on you.
  • Follow a strict no balance carrying policy
Credit card debts happen when you starting carrying outstanding balances and add to it before clearing the remaining ones. So, avoid the ordeal completely and follow a strict no balance policy for yourself.
A credit card debt is a really bad thing to have, but it is by no means the worst. WIth proper planning and strategy it can be overcome but it requires the right kind of discipline from you.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Indebtedness among Indians is growing and you should be worried about it

Indebtedness in India is rising and the general public should be worried about it. There are two major reasons for it and the Indian general public should not ignore it. The first is industrial credit. Industrial credit is nothing but the loans provided to businesses or corporations. Industrial credit has been increasing for many years with debit card expenditure actually declining. The combination of industrial credit with consumer spending increasing over the past few years has signalled an era of growing indebtedness among Indian consumers.
As per the State Bank of India’s chief economic advisor, Dr. Saumya Kanti Ghosh, the indebtedness and the tendency to borrow money in Indians is increasing with every passing day. As per Ghosh the study for the past 10 years between credit availed and personal loans and the results showed that growth of credit industry would lead to increase in personal credit and not vice versa.

The economists have also listed the reasons for which everyone needs to be worried about the recent trend of earning more than the average customer is entitled to:
  1. The gap in the money that is deposited and the amount of credit that is spent has been widening recently. As per data collected, All Scheduled Commercial Banks Deposit Growth this year was recorded at 9.9% which is the lowest it has been in the past 53 years. Also, the credit offtake increased last year by 11.3%.
  2. The biggest contributor to the increase in lending growth has been the personal loan with most of the applicants applying it for housing and MUDRA. MUDRA is an enterprise that provides loans to small and micro organisations. However if the largest increase in all the segments in personal loan is considered it is the credit card that takes the cake.
  3. The household debt which is nothing but the amount of credit owed per credit card in India has been rising rapidly. The figure for the same stood at Rs.8,668 for the year 2016 with the increase from last year being 15.5% which is a significant number.
  4. Despite the drop in Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation due to the negative inflations over the past year and a half, the real outstanding has increased. This can only mean that the value of outstanding credit for the average person has increased more than the expectation.
  5. The nominal per capita income has been recorded at Rs.70000 whereas the outstanding credit stands at Rs.10000 and the difference between the two is worrisome to say the least.
  6. The gap between the nominal per capita income and the outstanding credit does not seem to decrease enough even if the consumer price inflation is considered. This only increases the financial risks that will be faced by your average household with balancing the sheets becoming increasingly difficult.
  7. If debit card and other mode of spends were rising along with credit card spends there was not much to worry but sadly that is not the case. Only credit card spends have been rising over the past 5 years.
  8. Two reasons which can be attributed to increased credit card expenditure include e-commerce transactions and lower inflation. The worrying factor is borrowing more money then the capacity to repay it back. This entangles the whole financial system and creates a circle of debt.
  9. Another factor to worry is the refinancing of existing loans on fresh credit cards that are being issued to the customers. This is a worrying trend which is redistributing the same pie in a fresh pan.
All is not gloomy
Yes, the increase in credit card expenditure is a worrying trend but all is not gloomy. There are upsides to the increase in credit card spending too. Increase in credit card expenditure on average per person in the country exhibits economic growth, an improvement in economic momentum and a surrounding in which the inflation is low. The transfer from an increase in the credit expenditure and decrease in the debit expenditure is known in economic terms as the structural shift.
If the absolute figures are considered, they are still under control. Before the year 2008, the credit card outstanding stood at 5% which is now at 3%. Let us no forget that the system of taking credit in India through the means such as credit card is fairly new and started just 20 years back. One way of restricting the amount of the ever increasing credit expenditure by setting the credit limit lower than what it currently is on average.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Best Investment Options Available in the Market to Save Money

Saving money is a habit that each one of us should practice. There are various options available in the market for you to invest your money in. To do that, you should carefully read all the terms and conditions of the investment scheme and then invest your money. In which do you invest your money also depends on the term period for which you want to invest it and the guaranteed return you get on it. Rather than keeping the money in the bank account, you should invest it with so many opportunities available. Here we take a look at the some of the most fruitful investment options available in the market.

  1. Fixed Deposits: Investing money in a fixed deposit account is one of the safest investment options out there. The term period for a fixed deposit account ranges from 6 months to 10 years. The rate of return also varies accordingly and as per the bank. Different banks offer different rates of return. It also varies depending on whether you are a regular citizen or a senior citizen. Usually fixed deposit accounts offer a higher rate of return than your usual savings account. The rate of return generally varies from 4%-7%. The amount earned as interest is payable by the financial institution 3 months from the date of deposit.
  2. Recurring deposits: Recurring deposit is one of the safest investment options out there. If you want to invest your money in a scheme periodically with guaranteed returns, recurring deposit scheme is for you. The rates of returns offered by the financial banks on this scheme is also usually greater than the recurring deposit account. To receive the maturity amount, the depositor has to deposit the money periodically. If the depositor fails to make payment, there is a penalty charge levied by the bank or the financial institution. The term period for a recurring deposit account ranges from 6 months to 10 years. Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) is applicable for recurring deposit accounts. You can check Bankbazaar to know more about Recurring Deposit
  3. Liquid funds: Liquid funds are a type of mutual funds in which the depositor’s money is invested in treasury bills, government securities and call money. These investment opportunities have the least risk involved. The maturity period of these type of mutual funds is 91 days. Some of the advantages of investing money in liquid funds are as follows:
  • In liquid funds, the money is invested in mutual funds that have high credit rating. This means that the returns are almost guaranteed.
  • The Net Asset Value (NAV) of liquid funds is not volatile and does not change frequently.
  • They also different from ultra short term funds because they have a maturity of over three months.
      4.  Exchange Traded Fund (ETF): Exchange Traded Fund  investment plan is a combination of
           stocks and mutual funds. This plan protects the people who have invested in it from the
           inflows and outflows of investors. It is an investment plan with high returns and if your
      Predictions are accurate, you could get huge returns.    

HDFC Credit Card Customer Care {Updated}

HDFC Bank is one of the leading private bank in the country. From time to time, they have introduced excellent financial products. More than their products, HDFC Bank is known for the excellent customer service they offer to their customers. There are multiple ways of customers can reach the HDFC customer support team. These ways are mentioned below:
  • Call HDFC
  • SMS
  • Head Office
  • Write to HDFC
  • Grievance Redressal
  • Office Locator
HDFC Bank has 24/7 customer care support for their customers for each city. Refer to the table below for the complete list of phone numbers.

HDFC Bank 24*7 Credit Card Customer Care Number by City

Cities Customer Care Number
Ahmedabad 6160 6161
Bengaluru 6160 6161
Chennai 6160 6161
Delhi / NCR 6160 6161
Hyderabad 6160 6161
Mumbai 6160 6161
Kolkata 6160 6161
Pune 6160 6161
Patna 1860 267 6161
Lucknow 6160 616, 1860 267 6161
Chandigarh 6160 616, 1860 267 6161
Kochi 6160 616, 1860 267 6161
Indore 6160 616, 1860 267 6161
Jaipur 6160 616, 1860 267 6161

HDFC Bank Grievance Redressal

If you are an HDFC customer and have complaints, you can reach out to HDFC Bank Grievance Redressal in now of the following ways.
  • Call HDFC grievance redressal officer: HDFC customers can also approach the grievance redressal officer through phone. The bank appoints a designated officer to each product and the contact numbers of the same are listed below. For general queries a call centre helpline is also available.
Product Grievance redressal officer - contact number Timings
Monday to Friday Saturday
Banking products 1800-224060 9.30 am - 6.30 pm 9.30 am - 1.30 pm
Credit cards 044-23625600 9.30 am - 5.30 pm 9.30 am - 05.30 pm
Demat account 022-28569303 9.30 am - 5.30 pm Not available
Call centre 1800 22 4060 8.00 am - 8.00 pm 8.00 am - 8.00 pm
  • Write to HDFC grievance redressal officer: HDFC Customers can also write to the grievance redressal officer about their unresolved concern/query and mail it to the addresses mentioned below.
Grievance Redressal Cell, HDFC Bank Ltd,
2nd Floor, Zenith House, Mahalaxmi,
Mumbai - 400034.

Friday, 20 July 2018

What Is The Minimum Salary To Apply For An ICICI Platinum Chip Credit Card?

ICICI Bank credit cards are aimed at providing customers, an enriching spending experience and payment flexibility. For people who want a rewarding credit card that also ensures safe transactions, chip cards are the best. Every time an EMV chip card is used for a transaction, the card chip generates a unique transaction code that can never be reused giving a new dimension to transaction security.
ICICI Platinum Chip VISA Credit Card not only provides security and flexibility but also comes with an array of lifestyle and shopping reward benefits.

Regarding the minimum salary required to apply for an ICICI Platinum Chip Credit Card, no specific information has been mentioned on the website. However, if you want to check your eligibility for the card, you can visit ICICI Platinum Chip card web page ( ) and click on ‘Apply Now’ button.

You will be redirected to a new page where you need to fill an online form with required details to check the eligibility for the card. Fill the form and click on ‘Get Offers’ to know your eligibility to apply for the card.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Home Loan Eligibility For Salaried Individuals

Before applying for a home loan it is important to gauge whether you are eligible for it or not. Approaching a bank for a home loan without meeting the bank’s eligibility criteria may get your loan application rejected which in turn will lower your credit score. The repercussions of having a low credit score makes it harder for you to get your home loan approved. 

Although different banks have different eligibility criteria, some basic Home Loan Eligibility Criteria are mentioned below:
  • The borrower must be an Indian resident and an employee of a firm that is either a multinational, public limited, or a private company. Even self-employed individuals such as doctors, C.A’s, etc. are eligible to obtain a housing loan
  • The applicant must not be younger than 21 years of age, however, some banks disburse loans to applicants that are over 18 years of age. The maximum age that an applicant can be is 58 in case of salaried individuals and 60 in case of government employees and employees of public limited companies
  • One of the most important factors that banks consider before approving your home loan is your salary. Banks usually are allowed to disburse a loan amount up to 65 times the net income of the individual
  • If the applicant has other loans he is paying off, the changes of his home loan getting approved diminishes
  • Most banks provide a maximum loan that amounts to only 80 – 85% of the value of the property/house. The rest of the amount would have to be provided by the applicant in the form of down payment. The applicant does not pay at least 20% of the value of the property/house as down payment will not be eligible to obtain a housing loan
  • The applicant must have been living in the city for at least 2 years before opting to apply for a home loan
Making sure that you are eligible to obtain a home loan before applying for it increases your chances of approval. Getting your home loan rejected will have an adverse effect on your credit score which means that all future loan applications are more likely to get rejected. Use online portals that tell you if you are eligible for a particular loan or not. This is considered as a soft inquiry and will not have any effect on your credit score.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Calculating Stamp Duty Charges for Properties in Karnataka

One should consider the cost of registration and stamp duty while calculating the cost of buying property. Paying stamp duty is a compulsory part of the process that involves buying property. The process for Calculating Stamp Duty and Registration Charges for Karnataka is the same as other regions. The value of the property is first assessed. This is done by considering both the circle rate and the market rate. The circle rate refers to the minimum amount for which the property can be sold in a particular area. This rate is fixed by local regulatory authorities. This is done in order to ensure that both buyers and sellers have a fair idea of the cost of the property in a particular area. The market rate is the rate agreed to by the buyer and the seller. The market rate is always higher than the circle rate. The stamp duty is calculated on the rate that is higher, which is the market rate.
In general, the cost of the stamp duty is borne by the buyer, but there could be cases where the developer can opt to pick up the cost of the same. The stamp duty varies from state to state. But in general, the stamp duty ranges from three to ten per cent of the value of the property. The rate also varies depending on location. The stamp duty charges for a property located in a rural area will not be the same as the charges for a property located in an urban area. The state government specifies the stamp duty rates for each type of location.
In Karnataka, the property registration charge is 1% of the total value of the property. The stamp duty is 5% of the total value of the property. If the property is in a location that is administered either by the BBMP or BMRDA, then a surcharge of either 2% or 3% is added to the cost of the stamp duty. In general, one can assume that the stamp duty charges for properties located in urban areas will be close to 5.6% and the stamp duty charges for properties located in rural areas will be close to 5.65%. Therefore, if you wish to buy property worth Rs.50,00,000 in an urban area, then, your registration charges will be 1% of that which will be, Rs.50,000. Then, since the location selected is urban, the stamp duty charges will work out to 5.6% of Rs.50,00,000. Then, the stamp duty charges will be, Rs.2,80,000. Therefore, the total cost of the property will be the sum of the actual value of the property, the registration charge, and the stamp duty charge. In this case, it will be Rs.53,30,000. Therefore, when you budget for the property, you need to keep this amount in mind in order to be able to fully cover the cost of the property.
It is to be noted that the government will not permit any reduction in the stamp duty charges. Willful default will attract a penalty or even imprisonment.