Will skipping EMIs make you a loan defaulter?
Usually, banks do not consider you to be a loan defaulter when you skip one EMI. However, if you do it for three consecutive times, you will be sent due reminders of the same. Lack of response from your side will make the bank send a legal notice to you. You will then be termed as a loan defaulter.
What happens if you become a loan defaulter?
Once you become a loan defaulter, the bank will start the process of taking over your property. They can arrange an auction to sell your house/flat and recover their due amount. If you want to take any action, you need to take before this auction. Apart from this, your credit score will also be hit hard and you might not be eligible for loans in the future. This can be the worst thing to happen to you.
What are the options in this situation?
The best option for you would be to negotiate with the lender upon this. Banks will be ready to talk you over this issue rather than going through the tiresome process of taking over your asset. You can reach out to them with the past documents of EMI payments for this loan or the previous loans that you have cleared. Let us see what all options you have in hand:
1) Ask for a grace period - You can seek a grace period from the bank in order to continue with the EMI payments. You can clearly explain to them the reasons for not being able to pay EMIs such as loss of job or dip in sales of business, etc. Bank may be willing to give you the grace period for resuming EMI payments with some penalty.
2) Loan refinancing - There could be a case where the interest rates have gone up and hence you may not afford the increased EMI. You can talk to the bank to restructure or refinance your home loan. They can increase the tenure of the loan as a result of which your EMI would go down. Though this will result in you paying more, it will be better than losing possession of the property.
3) Counseling centers - There are counseling centers to help you with this issue. They would provide you the appropriate options based on your situation. They will also give you fair knowledge on the things to be followed so that you do not fall into a debt trap. Dena Bank has a credit counseling center which does exactly this.
4) Liquidating your investments - This will be the final step that you can resort to, if the above options do not work out for you. You can liquidate your existing investments such as deposits or mutual funds to pay the EMIs. You can also use this amount to make part payment for the loan which will reduce the EMI going forward.
So, these are the options you have in case you default or delay your home loan EMIs. To avoid such things, you need to make sure that you have at least 5-6 months of expenses kept aside as an emergency fund. This will help you tide over the crisis. You also need individual health insurance and critical illness policy along with riders including that which pays for a loss in job.
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