SBI Puts an End to its Teaser Home Loan

State  Bank of India (SBI) will put to an end to its puzzled home loan schemes by the end of April 2011. The interest rates offered on its home loans will now be recalled by floating interest rate schemes, which are comparable with those offered by  other commercial banks and housing finance companies. All loans from May 1 will  draw an interest rate of 9.5-10.25 per cent, depending on the loan amount.  Loans up to Rs 30 lakh will be available at 9.5 per cent (one percentage point  above their base rate). Loans in the Rs 30-75 lakh range will be charged 9.75  per cent (125 basis points above the base rate). And, those above Rs 75 lakh  will be charged 10.25 per cent (175 basis points above the base rate). Though,  these rates would move in line with the changes in the bank’s base rate that is  reviewed every quarter.

Earlier,  the RBI had asked banks to stop giving teaser loan rates,  since it believed such loans would blow the asset quality of the bank’s home  loan portfolio. Puzzled loans offer advances at a comparatively lower rate of  interest for the first few years, after which rates were re-set at higher  rates. SBI is the last one to discontinue such special loans. Under its SBI  Easy Home Loan and SBI Advantage Home Loan products, one could get loans for  8-8.75 per cent in the first three years. After the third year, the rates would  get reset at the current floating rate structure. At 8.75 per cent, a  20-year-old loan on Rs 30 lakh would come to Rs 884 a lakh. At 9.5 per cent,  you would now be paying Rs 932 a lakh.

Those who already have SBI’s puzzled home loans  and are still in the initial three years, the old rates remain applicable. The  new rates will only apply to new applicants. Among the housing finance  companies, LIC Housing Finance is still offering a fixed interest rate of 9.9-10 percent for the first five years and, thereafter, the existing rates will apply. A quick calculation on showed that the average  rate for a 20-year period still works out in SBI’s favor. The average rate for  SBI was 9.5 percent, while that for LIC Housing was 10.5 percent for the same period.

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