The world today runs on the cogs of money, the centralized resource to obtaining, using and disposing of all the primary and secondary resources. As such, financial management demands the highest attention whether personal or corporate finance, holding the reigns of function at all levels. Financial management today is diversified with respect to the normal Indian- in the form of loans, insurance, credit card facilities, auto finances, property loans, fixed deposits and tax savings to mention a few.
With the changing regulations and increased awareness, the options available to a person to garner savings and create a financial back-up are growing too. From the limited openings like Life Insurance Corporation for insurance, National Savings Certificates and National Savings Scheme, Unit Trust of India mutual funds, Public Provident Funds etc. The opportunities to invest and save in India have burgeoned into innumerable options with the finance avenues broadening the playing field. This article gives you an insight into the other developments in some of these financial avenues like loans, tax savings and credit card facilities that have occurred, sharpening the financial tools required for efficient management of your finances.
The concept of insurance is essential to have a good start on personal savings as well as back-up for emergencies; and with life insurance policies like Unit Linked Plan offering tax benefits along with flexibility in the premium tenor, one can make use of the opportunity to invest and secure amount.
Auto loans are another viable option, and with 60% of cars in India financed, the credibility is sealed! The car or vehicle being a depreciating asset, investment in auto loans must be carefully scrutinised with respect to Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) rates and foreclosure charges, not to mention turnaround time and mode of repayment.
The third aspect of finances includes the tax benefits and savings which the Indian can accrue, on account of home loans and Public Provident Funds, the latter being a long-term savings option. There are many rebates on taxes offered by the Government on certain investments, and tax exemptions are offered for several saving instruments mentioned above and this list includes home loans as well.
An important aspect controlling most of the financial transactions today is the credit card and debit card option, which allows us to perform financial transactions conveniently. Although statistics show the debit card transactions ranking higher than their credit card counterparts, the concepts of credit card usage and the recent developments through Consumer Information Bureau India Limited are invaluable in financial management today.
Credit card owners who have outstanding amounts piling up can look to salvage their position by turning those amounts into personal loans, which come at a rate of 12-18% p.a. as opposed to the high rates (36-44% p.a.) levied on the credit cards.
The concept of credit information reports are new in India, though common practice abroad, which gives the credit worthiness of every individual owning credit cards and going for loans. The information pertaining to the repayment behaviours and financial history obtained from banks, financial institutions, credit card companies and housing finances is used by the bank or lending agency to gauge the creditworthiness, set up the rates and decide on how fast to issue loans.
Understanding the current financial trends in India and investing appropriately, maintaining a decent credit status is essential for today’s investment-savvy Indian to extract maximum returns.