A financial emergency can hit any time—a sudden hospitalisation, a natural calamity or even an unexpected celebration at short notice.
While money pundits say you must have an emergency fund equal to six months’ expenses in place, not everyone follows this rule diligently.
So, where do you get cash instantly to tide over a financial disaster? Don’t despair. There are a few ways you can get money in a pinch, depending on how urgently you want the funds. “The key things that will determine where you get the money from are how urgently you want the funds, the tenure of the loan, the interest and how expensive will it be to source the funds,” says Navin Chandani, Chief Business Development Officer, BankBazaar.com.
Before you opt to borrow money, be sure that it is really needed. Even then, borrow as little as possible. Remember, it is a loan and you need to ultimately repay it. If you are unable to do it on time, you could end up in a debt trap.
1. BORROW FROM YOUR EMPLOYER
Interest rate : 5-8% ( Could also be interest-free.)
“If you need funds ASAP, consider your workplace first. Many companies extend an advance on salaries,” says financial trainer P.V. Subramanyam. The funds could be equivalent to 1-6 month’s takehome pay and will be deducted from the salary over 3-24 months.
Downside : The loan will be taxable as part of your salary. It will be exempt only if the funds are used for certain medical treatments or if the amount is less than Rs 20,000.
2. CASH WITHDRAWAL ON A CREDIT CARD
Interest rate : 2-3.5 % a month
A credit card can be used to withdraw money from an ATM, the amount being equivalent to 40-80% of your card limit. However, there might be a cap on daily cash withdrawal. Most banks will allow you to over-extend your limit on a caseto-case basis. Be ready to cough up an over-limit fee over and above the usual interest rate on cash advance.
Upside : Instant cash, available anywhere, anytime.
Downside : A transaction fee of 2.5-3%. Interest is levied on the money from the day it is withdrawn until it is fully repaid.
3. TOP-UP LOAN
Interest rate : 9-13%
Already have a home loan? If yes, you can use it to get a top-up loan of up to Rs 50 lakh for a maximum of 20 years or till the balance tenure of your original home. This option works if you have repaid the original home loan for some years as the combined value of the home loan and the top-up cannot exceed 75% of the value of the house.
Upside : You can get a loan quickly, in three days, since the bank has your documents.
Downside : Any default in repayment could cost you big.
4. PERSONAL LOAN
Interest rate 13-24%
One of the quickest options for borrowing money. You can get a loan within 30 minutes to three days, depending on your relationship with the bank. In fact, you might already have a preapproved loan in your name from your bank which will make the process faster.
Upside: Quick disbursement if you borrow from your own bank.
Downside: High interest rate and processing fee of 2-3%. You will also have to pay GST on EMIs. For prepayment, a foreclosure fee of 2.5% of the outstanding amount is charged.
5. LOAN AGAINST PROPERTY
Interest rate 9.5-13%
If you want a large loan and own a house, you could take a loan against property. You can loan Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 crore, depending on the market value of your house. The loan tenure varies between 2 and 15 years. Both residential and commercial properties can be used as collateral. Banks could to lend you up to 65% of the value of your property. However, the house must be insured. Processing fee is 1.5-2% while prepayment charges are 2-3% of the outstanding.
Upside : Lower interest rates, larger loans.
Downside : Longer process of 3-10 days to get the loan.
6. LOAN AGAINST SECURITIES
Interest rate 9-15%
You can pledge your shares, mutual funds, FDs and insurance policies as collateral. In case of mutual funds and shares, banks will loan you funds equal to 50% of their value, while they will offer you up to 75% of a fixed deposit (FD). The funds are transferred into a current account from where you can access them.
Upside : Quick disbursement, lower interest charges.
Downside : If portfolio value declines, you will have to put in the differential or pledge more funds/shares.
7. LOAN AGAINST GOLD
Interest rate : 10-17% from banks
14-26% from non-banking financial companies
You can get 60% of the value of your gold and can borrow from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25 lakh. The tenure is usually 6 months or 12 months but you can renew the loan at a nominal charge. While you can repay part of the loan whenever you want, gold you have pledged as collateral is released only after you repay the entire loan.
Upside : You can get funds within a day.
Downside : Gold appraisal charges of Rs 250-2,500. If you are unable to repay loan, you will lose the gold.