|Consumer finance - What's on the platter
Varsha Chitale , February 11, 2002
finally zeroed in on the right washing machine
for you. And God knows, it hasn't been easy, what
with the wide choice of brands, features, sizes
and prices. But before you slump down on the couch
to relax after a "mission accomplished",
don't forget you have to still figure out how
to pay for it. Sure, consumer finance schemes
are there to bail you out, but you still need
to choose the right one. And that could prove
to be another gargantuan project given that there
is quite a wide choice there too.
are several finance companies that offer consumer
finance. Countrywide Personal Finance and The
Associates are two companies that have percolated
to a very large number of consumer durables dealers.
Countrywide is a GE Capital company that has numerous
personal finance schemes. The Associates also
has a wide presence and is a part of Citicorp.
A typical consumer durables dealer will also tell
you about ICICI consumer finance schemes.
options don't end there though. There are other
sources of consumer finance that a dealer may
not necessarily tell you about. These are housing
finance companies and banks. Companies like Housing
Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and Life
Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) housing Finance
offer consumer finance at attractive interest
rates to existing home loan customers.
if you have a housing loan, check out with your
housing finance company about consumer loans too.
Since you repayment capacity has already been
appraised by the company, getting a consumer finance
loan could be fast and easy.
Loans from banks:
Some banks (both public sector and private),
though not all, also offer consumer loans. These
are generally offered to existing account holders
in the bank. So there's no harm in giving your
friendly bank manager a call to see what he can
do for you.
Personal loans offered by some banks and finance
companies (like Citibank and Kotak Mahindra) may
also be used for financing your consumer durable
purchase. The eligibility criteria for these loans,
however, tend to be more stringent, since no security
for the loan is asked for. Also, interest rates
tend to be a little higher than those for consumer
finance schemes. So this is an option you may
happily choose to skip exploring.