Financial Cocktail Samosas: Bitesized money morsels for YOU, 10/03/2021

Home loan interest rates are at all time low

The downward trend of home loan interest rate has brought it to as low as 6.7% per annum, that means an EMI of approximately Rs 882 per lakh of home loan with tenure of 15 years. So, if you opt for Rs 50 lakh of home loan your EMI would be around Rs 44,100. Many banks have even waived off or reduced their processing fees.

Even if you are not planning to buy a house, but servicing an existing home loan, this news is important. Check the applicable interest rate on your existing home loans. If it is substantially higher than the prevailing interest rate, you may approach your lender asking them to reduce the interest rate. If the lender does not agree on that, you may think of balance transferring the loan to another lender. Typically, it makes sense to transfer an existing loan if the new lender’s rate is at least 0.5% lower than your existing loan rate and nil or low processing fees either way.

Indian army personnel can now open their salary account with Kotak Mahindra Bank

When it comes to customer servicing, typically it is assumed that private sector banks offer better and personalized services. If you also want to switch to a private bank, for your information Kotak Mahindra Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Army to handle salary accounts. Kotak bank is also offering exclusive benefits for the Indian Army, to all army personnel – both active and retired.

“Through the Kotak salary account, all personnel of the Indian army will get access to the full range of Kotak’s products and services including a zero-balance salary account that earns up to 4% interest per annum with free unlimited ATM transactions on all VISA ATMs and anywhere banking across the bank’s network of 1,603 branches and 2,573 ATMs across India,” the bank said in a statement.

Why is ELSS a better tax saving investment than tax saving FDs?

Only a few weeks left to make tax savings investments for the financial year 2020-21. Tax savings investments not only help you save taxes but also help you build corpus for future goals. This is why it is very important to look at every aspect of any tax saving product before investing into it. Ideally, tax savings should be incidental and not the primary factor to choose a product.

While you can save tax by investing in both Fixed Deposits (FDs) and Mutual Funds (ELSS), the former comes with a lock-in period of 5 years whereas the later one has a lock-in period of 3 years. On the other hand, returns from FD is taxable in the hand of investor as per the applicable slab, whereas gains up to Rs 1 lakh from equity investment, including ELSS, is tax free in a financial year when redeemed and any return above Rs 1 lakh is taxed at a very concessional rate of 10% only. Also, on maturity, a FD will mature and cannot be carried forward, while ELSS can be carried forward as long as you wish after the initial 3-year lock-in period.

order here