Easy and hassle free availability of finance in the form of loans and credit cards is perhaps the biggest advantage that today's generation has. This easy access to finance has made the potential of realising dreams a certainty, be it a dream to pursue higher education or to buy a dream home. But this opportunity must be used with utmost restraint and caution.
Take for instance the situation of Shreya, a 27-year old financially independent woman who works in an MNC. Like any other twenty first century youngster, she has her own share of aspirations and wanted to gift herself a swanky new car for her upcoming 28th birthday. However, when Shreya applied to a bank for an auto loan for fulfilling this aspiration, it was rejected. The reason for rejection was Shreya's low CIBIL TransUnion Score due to a delinquent CIBIL Report. What Shreya did not consider was her past behaviour on the loans and credit cards she had taken. Shreya was already servicing bills on four credit cards and EMIs on consumer durable loan which she had taken to buy the latest phone. She had been missing payments on 2 of her credit cards for over 6 months and had also defaulted on her monthly instalments on the consumer durable loan on three instances. This reckless credit behaviour had impacted her CIBIL TransUnion Score and thereby hampered her dream of driving her own car on her birthday.
Shreya's predicament is shared by a lot of youngsters today. Taking any kind of loan is a serious financial commitment and needs some amount of discipline. And although today banks may seem eager to lend, there are certain important things you need to consider to avoid any surprises and disappointments while applying for a loan which ultimately hamper your financial goals.
Here are a few tips for ensuring you have access to finance for fulfilling your future aspirations:
1. Maintain a healthy CIBIL TransUnion Score:
Your CIBIL TransUnion Score is one the most crucial parameters for being "finance ready". Banks and credit institutions check your CIBIL Report and CIBIL TransUnion Score along with your income for deciding on your loan or credit card application. Therefore you must ensure that you maintain a healthy credit history and thereby a good CIBIL TransUnion Score.
What hampers your CIBIL Report and CIBIL TransUnion Score is missing an EMI or credit card bill payments and delay in payments. For building and maintaining a good CIBIL TransUnion Score you must maintain a healthy credit history through:
- Keeping a track of all your loan EMIs and credit card expenditures and planning finances in advance each month for servicing the loan/s and paying credit card bills
- Ensuring you make payments of your credit card bills and loan EMIs by or before the due date month -on-month.
- Reviewing your credit report regularly to keep a tab on your credit history and CIBIL TransUnion Score.
2. Chalk an aspirational roadmap
While servicing your loans and managing household expenses and other financial commitments, one tends to forget planning for future aspirations. Chalking out a roadmap of future aspirations and the cost estimate required for fulfilling each of these aspirations is the first step towards attaining them. Once you have chalked out this roadmap you need to carefully plan your expenses and loan payments and ensure that you save money for aspirational milestones according to the roadmap. Consistently saving money in growth plans, fixed deposits and other safe saving instruments will ensure you will have capital required to attain your aspirational milestone at the desired stage in life.
While diligently saving for your future aspirations, do not forget to keep aside funds for contingencies. Life is full of uncertainties and unfortunate situations or unforeseen financial losses like illnesses, natural calamities or job losses can catch you off-guard and hamper fulfilment of your aspirations. Therefore it is critical to ensure you save some money or buy insurance coverage for facing such situations confidently.
Wise planning and financial discipline will help you achieve your financial aspirations and goals with ease.
(Harshala Chandorkar is Senior Vice President-Consumer Services and Communications at CIBIL)
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