Easy bank loans for home repair

CHENNAI: The recent rain and flood may have dampened hopes of a sustained recovery in the housing sector in Chennai. But mortgage lenders are seizing an opportunity in the crisis: They are giving home improvement loans to customers at concessional rates so that they can repair their damaged homes easily.

Mortgage major HDFC is making the loan process easier. "There will be no processing fees on all such loans," managing director of the company, Renu Sud Karnad told TOI. This offer would be valid for loan applications submitted on or before December 31.

Similarly, Indiabulls Housing Finance has waived off processing fees for home improvement loans for those units that have been damaged. "The initiative is for the benefit of our fellow citizens who are facing great difficulty in Chennai and as an organisation we would always stand %by them to provide support. We would be working with customer groups and exploring more ways to support %people impacted by the rains," said Gagan Banga, who is the managing director of the company.

The city-based Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance will offer home improvement loans to existing borrowers as well as new borrowers at a concessional rate (1% over its home loan rate as against 2% earlier). The company's home loan rate presently stands at 9.5%.

"A lot of homes have got damaged due to the rain and need repairs. We are offering home improvement loans at a concessional rate within Chennai as well as areas outside the city which have got impacted due to the rains," managing director of the company, Srinivas Acharya said.

Repco Home Finance is in discussion to offer a moratorium on loans for homes damaged due to rains.

"We are looking to extend the grace period for two months without any penalty. In addition, we are also planning to offer assistance for construction of homes," R Varadarajan, managing director of the company, said. Some other banks like ICICI Bank has waived penalties. "ICICI Bank will not levy any penalty for its customers in Chennai for delay in EMI payments for November. It will also waive off charges for cheque bounce in the same period," a spokesperson with ICICI Bank said.