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Impact of Personal Loans on Financial Planning in India

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Impact of Personal Loans on Financial Planning in India

Personal loans have become an increasingly popular financial tool in India, catering to a variety of needs, from medical emergencies and weddings to consolidating debt and funding vacations. While personal loans offer significant advantages, they also come with potential drawbacks that can impact an individual’s financial planning. This article explores both sides of the equation, providing a comprehensive overview of how personal loans can affect financial planning in India.

A recent study showed that 53% of Indians took their first personal loan before age 30, and 22% of the personal loan consumers were under age 25. This signifies an upward trend in young people being aware of their finances and making decisions. Let’s understand personal finance first and later on understand the pros and cons. 

What are Personal Loans?

Personal loans in India are popular financial products offered by banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and digital lending platforms. These loans are unsecured, meaning they do not require collateral. Here are some key aspects of personal loans in India:

  • Loan Amount: Ranges typically from ₹10,000 to ₹40 lakhs, depending on the lender and the borrower’s eligibility.
  • Tenure: Usually ranges from 1 to 5 years, though some lenders may offer up to 7 years.
  • Interest Rates: Vary widely based on the lender, the borrower’s credit profile, income, and other factors. Rates generally range from 10% to 24% per annum (are subject to change).
  • Processing Time: This can be as quick as a few hours to a few days, depending on the lender and the completeness of documentation.
  • Documentation: Generally includes proof of identity, address, income, and employment.

Eligibility Criteria of Personal Loans:

  • Age: Typically between 21 and 60 years.
  • Income: A stable monthly income is crucial. Salaried individuals and self-employed professionals can apply.
  • Credit Score: A good credit score (usually above 700) enhances chances of approval and better interest rates.
  • Employment Stability: For salaried individuals, a minimum of 2 years of work experience with at least 1 year in the current organization is often required. A stable business operation of at least 2-3 years is preferred for self-employed.

Major Lenders:

  • Banks: SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, etc.
  • NBFCs: Bajaj Finserv, Tata Capital, Muthoot Finance, etc.

Steps to Apply for a Personal Loan:

  • Research and Compare: Evaluate offers from various lenders.
  • Check Eligibility: Ensure you meet the lender’s criteria.
  • Calculate EMI: Use EMI calculators to determine monthly repayments.
  • Gather Documents: Keep necessary documents ready.
  • Submit Application: Apply online or visit the lender’s branch.

After understanding the basics of personal loans in India. Let us now understand the impact of personal loans by measuring the pros and cons.

The Benefits of a Personal Loan Include:

  • Funds Available Anytime: Having funds available for particular financial objectives can be highly beneficial. This may include making a down payment on a home, consolidating high-interest debt, or funding home improvements.
  • Smart Methods: Combining high-interest loans, like those from credit cards, into a single personal loan with a lower interest rate can help you save money and make repayments easier to manage. This can also free up cash flow for other financial goals.
  • Improve Credit Score: By borrowing responsibly and making timely repayments on your personal loan, you can improve your credit score. This improvement can result in more favorable loan terms, such as lower interest rates when you seek other loans in the future.
  • Flexibility of Use: Unlike specific loans like home or car loans, personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including medical emergencies, education, travel, or even home renovations. This flexibility allows for better financial planning and allocation of resources.
  • Fixed Interest Rates and Tenure: Personal loans typically come with fixed interest rates and predetermined tenure, allowing borrowers to plan their finances with certainty regarding monthly.

The Drawbacks of a Personal Loan Include:

  • Proper Management: Taking out a personal loan increases your total debt. If you don’t manage your monthly payments properly, it could strain your budget. Ensure you can handle the extra repayments before proceeding with the loan.
  • Be Mindful: Interest charges on personal loans can increase the overall cost of borrowing. Be mindful of the interest rate and additional fees to avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Long-term Goals: Repaying loans might divert funds from your retirement savings or money set aside for a down payment.
  • Stringent Eligibility Criteria: Banks and financial institutions often have strict eligibility criteria for personal loans, including a good credit score and stable income, which may not be met by all individuals.
  • Impact on Monthly Budget: Personal loan EMIs can significantly impact your monthly budget. To avoid financial strain, it is crucial to assess your repayment capacity before opting for a loan.

Integrating Personal Loans into Financial Planning: Points to Remember

Here’s a guide on effectively incorporating personal loans into your budget. 

  • Personal loans can offer several benefits when managed wisely and aligned with your financial strategy. Explore alternative methods to meet your goals and carefully evaluate the pros and cons of taking out a loan.
  • When planning your budget, include the monthly loan payments. Ensure you have sufficient disposable income after covering all your essential expenses. Consider paying off your loan early to reduce interest costs.
  • Personal loans can be a valuable financial tool, but it’s crucial to understand their impact on your financial plan. You can achieve your financial goals by carefully assessing the advantages and disadvantages and strategically integrating the loan.

Here’s an easy table to understand:

AspectPositive ImpactNegative Impact
FlexibilityFunds can be used for various purposesRisk of using loans for non-essential expenses
Credit ScoreTimely repayment improves credit scoreDefaulting negatively affects credit score
Monthly Budget ManagementHelps in financial emergenciesAdds to monthly financial obligations
CostLower than credit card interest ratesHigher than secured loans


Understanding the impact of personal loans on financial planning in India is crucial for making informed financial decisions. While personal loans offer flexibility and quick access to funds, they come with higher interest rates and can impact your monthly budget. Evaluating the pros and cons can help you decide whether a personal loan is the right choice for your financial needs.

  1.  What are the advantages of personal loans in India? 

    Personal loans offer flexibility in usage, quick disbursal, and do not require collateral. They can also help improve your credit score with timely repayment.

  2. What are the drawbacks of personal loans? 

    Personal loans come with higher interest rates compared to secured loans, stringent eligibility criteria, potential prepayment penalties, and can impact your monthly budget.

  3. How do personal loans affect financial planning in India? 

    Personal loans can provide immediate financial relief and flexibility but can also add to your financial obligations with high interest rates and monthly EMIs. It's important to assess your repayment capacity and use the loan for essential purposes to maintain a balanced financial plan.

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I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.

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