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You can go for a loan against security,which will bring down the interest rate. A gold loan,loan against your insurance policy or fixed deposits etc can work favourably in terms of comparatively lower interest rates

Written by Adhil Shetty | Published: July 2, 2012 2:50 am

I need R 2 lakh urgently. I want to take up a personal loan but the interest rate is too steep. What are my alternatives?

— Bindi Chauhan,Delhi

You can go for a loan against security,which will bring down the interest rate. A gold loan,loan against your insurance policy or fixed deposits etc can work favourably in terms of comparatively lower interest rates.

I am badly struggling with debt trap. Is there a way out?

—Sanjeev,Mumbai

The Banking Codes and Services Board of India (BCSBI) offers a free of cost credit counseling service to individuals who have taken home loans,personal loans,vehicle loan or incurred credit card debt upto a maximum limit of R 50 lakh. The service is available only if you have taken a loan from member banks of BCSBI. The list of members currently has 80 banks which include all public sector banks and mostly all private banks and many co-operative and rural banks. This service is also available to micro and small enterprises. You should take their help or meet up with one of the debt counseling agencies like Disha or Abhay,who also help out in such dire situations. They can even talk to the bank on your behalf depending on how bad and genuine your circumstances are.

What does scrutiny of income mean? Is this a cause for worry?

—Shiv Gupta,Pune

Scrutiny essentially means evaluating the income tax return for its authenticity i.e. the income tax assessing officer will go through the returns filed and various other documents such as bank statements and Form 16,among other things to check if there is any mismatch in tax liability assessed by the individual and the actual tax liability. The income tax officer will request all bank account statements,credit card statements,details of all family members,Form 16 and other relevant documents as part of the scrutiny process. In most cases,if a return is picked up for scrutiny,a notice will be served within a period of one year from the month in which returns have been filed.

Is there a notice period for changes that a credit card issuer should uphold?

—Shamima,Delhi

Any changes in fees,charges and terms and conditions can only be effected after giving at least one month’s notice along with the monthly statement. Only in cases where there is a change in interest rates and regulatory changes the bank can implement them from the date of announcement.

—The expert is CEO,Bankbazaar.com
For your personal finance queries please email at expressmoney@expressindia.com

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