Personal Finance

Special banking products for Her

Bavadharini KS | Updated on March 08, 2020 Published on March 08, 2020

With lower lending rates, lenders are attempting to woo women

Traditionally, it has been men in the family who take the call on finances. With improving education and employment opportunities for women, their participation and contribution to the society have improved now. They still have a long way to go. According to a 2019 study by DSP Mutual Fund, only 33 per cent of women in India take independent financial decisions.

To encourage participation of women in the workplace, financial institutions provide a host of services in the form of lower interest rates for loan products, concessions in fees and charges for loans, higher reward points and offers for credit and debit cards and additional benefits for savings accounts for women.

So, ladies, if you have any major purchases lined up, the following might be worth a look.

Loan offers

Many banks and other lending institutions offer different loan products at a concessional rate of interest if the loan applicant is a woman. The concession is available in joint loans as well where woman is the first applicant.

Normally, interest rates of such loans offered to women are 0.05-0.1 per cent lower than loan rates available to others. Consider SBI’s home loan offer for instance. According to Paisabazaar.com data, for a loan of up to ₹30 lakh, the interest rate is 7.9- 8.5 per cent for women borrowers. This is lower than 7.95- 8.55 per cent offered by SBI for other individuals. Similarly, Canara Bank offers home loans (up to ₹75 lakh) at a rate of 8.05- 10 per cent for women, while it is 8.1-10.05 per cent for others. While the difference in the rates may seem little, in the long term you get to save a substantial amount, especially in home loans.

For instance, a woman takes a home loan for ₹50 lakh at 8 per cent per annum for a period of 30 years. For the same amount and tenure, a man is offered home loan at 8.1 per cent per annum. She could end up saving at least over ₹1 lakh in interest pay-out.

For availing the benefit of lower interest, there are a few pre-requisite conditions for each loan category. In the case of home loans, a woman should not only be the main applicant but should also be the owner or co-owner of the property that is to be financed.

 

In the case of business loan as well, the woman who is applying for loan should be the owner or co-owner of the business, and should hold a majority stake (51 per cent) in the business. UCO Bank, for instance, offers up to ₹7.5 crore for women under UCO Udyog Bandhu Scheme at an interest rate of 9.6-10.85 per cent. For other borrowers, the bank offers rates of 10.1-11.36 per cent for the same loan amount.

Banks and other financial institutions also offer other loans such as car and personal loan specifically for women. Some banks offer car loans at lower interest rates, but here too it is required that the car should be in the name of the woman and she should have a valid driving licence. The benefit of lower interest rate is extended to education loans for the girl child as well.

Other offers

To encourage women to open savings account, various lending institutions offer savings account customised only for women. Banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, RBL and Kotak Mahindra Bank offer women’s savings account which comes with several benefits and offers. Consider HDFC Bank’s women’s savings account for instance. It offers accidental death cover of ₹10 lakh, accidental hospitalisation cover of ₹1 lakh and 2 per cent lower interest rates on two-wheeler loan and 50 per cent discount on processing fee. However, the minimum balance requirements and charges such as non-maintenance of average minimum balance are similar to that of a regular savings account.

 

 

Further, credit and debit cards too have advantages for women, mostly in terms of rewards points. But the difference between a debit/credit for women is not very different from regular cards.

Thus, there are products in the market to help empower women financially. Use it well.

Published on March 08, 2020

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