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Loans, credit cards, bank products: Don't fall for sales pitches

You must carefully evaluate the banking products to make sure that they are beneficial for your overall finances.

ET CONTRIBUTORS|
Oct 14, 2019, 06.30 AM IST
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Make sure that the benefits are real and tangible and not just marketing gimmicks.
Rati is the owner of a startup in the cookery business. She is being approached by a number of banks, all trying to woo her with women-oriented schemes like special credit cards, attractively-priced loans etc. She is impressed and some of the offers seem rather enticing. However she wonders if there are any issues that she should be aware of, while evaluating these products. Will she be really served well by such products?

Rati must carefully read the literature on such women-oriented products to see if there are any special benefits available to her compared to standard accounts–a lower average quarterly balance requirement or add-on benefits such as concessional loans, credit cards or some form of insurance. Most importantly, these freebies should serve her purpose. Also, she must pay attention to the fine print on the debit and credit cards to see whether there is a catch in terms of a limit or a pre-condition.

If a specific benefit such as a lower rate on loan for buying jewellery is offered, she must assess whether it is actually useful for her, or simply a hook to reel her in. Is it the type of loan she is looking for? Or would she rather take a concessional home loan, car loan, or even a personal loan? If she is offered a loan for women entreprenuers at special discounted rates, she should conduct a comparative study to see whether the ‘special discounted rate’ is a benefit or a sham. Similarly, for loans, it would be wiser for her to see if there is a material difference in what the product offers.

Rati must carefully evaluate these banking products to make sure that they are beneficial for her overall finances. She also needs to check if the benefits that these banks advertise are real and tangible and do not prove to be just marketing gimmicks later on.

(Content on this page is courtesy Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL). Contributions by Girija Gadre, Arti Bhargava and Labdhi Mehta.)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)

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