Top Up Loan Versus Fresh Loan The Better Choice?
July 27, 2023

Throughout our journey in life, distinct phases call for varied strategies and responses. Often, these strategies revolve around financial matters. The necessity for funds can be divided into three categories long-term goals, short-term needs and unforeseen financial emergencies. Your long-term and short-term needs are based on your financial goals, but a financial emergency comes up unexpectedly.

Long-term financial planning includes objectives like purchasing a house or saving for retirement. On the other hand, short-term planning is necessary for things like vacations or funding a business. However, in unforeseen emergencies, such as sudden illness, we might need cash urgently. In these different scenarios, there might be a need to borrow money, leading us to apply for a loan.

Considering the numerous options available, the loan that aligns with your goals and requirements is the most suitable one. When it comes to meeting your financing needs, you can either opt for fresh loans or consider a top-up loan. However, before making this significant decision, it’s imperative to be familiar with the various options and comprehend the distinctions.

What are Fresh Loans and Top-Up Loans?

Fresh Loans

When you borrow money from a lender for the first time to meet a specific financial need, it is considered a fresh loan. It can be either secured, like a home loan, or unsecured, like a personal loan. Let’s say you applied for a home loan from XYZ Bank, and you don’t have any previous association with the bank; in this case, it’s referred to as a fresh loan.

Similarly, even if the lender remains the same (XYZ Bank), but the loan type changes (for example, you already have an XYZ Bank car loan and now you need a home loan), it is still considered a new or fresh loan. Therefore, a new or fresh loan can be described as-

  • Same lender, new loan
  • A new lender, a new loan
  • New Lender, Same loan (Scenario of loan takeover cases. For instance, If you decide to transfer your ongoing XYZ Bank Home Loan to ABC Bank, to enjoy the benefits of the best home loan interest rates.)

Top-up Loans

A Top-Up Loan is an additional loan taken on top of an existing loan, which could be a Home Loan, a Personal Loan, or any other type. Lenders offer the top-up loan as an additional benefit to their current customers. However, it is not mandatory for lenders to offer this service to existing customers. The eligibility for a top-up loan is usually determined based on your repayment history and track record.

Suppose, you already have a personal loan from XYZ Bank, and you find yourself in need of additional funds. In this situation, you can Apply For a Top-Up Loan on your existing personal loan. Alternatively, XYZ Bank might offer you additional financing based on your good repayment record

Top-up Loan versus Fresh Loan

Interest Rates

Fresh Loans – Fresh loans generally have relatively higher interest rates, which can vary between individual borrowers and lenders. Those with lower credit scores may secure loans at higher interest rates compared to individuals with good credit scores.

Top-up Loans – Top-up loans often come with a lower rate of interest compared to the existing loan since the applicant already has a relationship with the lender. Moreover, many lenders provide discounts on processing fees for top-up loans in comparison to new loans.

Tax Benefits

After the disbursement of a top-up loan, utilizing the funds for pre-defined purposes such as home renovations or house expansion may allow you to avail of tax benefits up to a certain limit. However, if you choose a fresh personal loan for a house renovation, you might not be eligible for the same benefits. It’s essential to inquire with your bank about the tax benefits you qualify for before opting for any loan.

Tenure

Top-up Loan tenures are typically flexible, often allowing for longer repayment periods compared to fresh loans. Numerous banks provide the remaining tenure on your existing loan as the tenure for your top-up loan, making it a fantastic alternative to fresh loans.

Processing Time

Fresh Loans – The processing of a Fresh Loan is time-consuming as the lender conducts a comprehensive background check, which includes verifying Loan documents, credit score, past loan repayment history, income source stability, age, and more. Lenders typically prefer borrowers with no history of defaults when approving a Fresh Loan.

Top-up Loans – The processing time for a top-up loan is shorter since the lender already possesses the borrower’s history and verified documents. Banks typically prefer borrowers who regularly pay EMIs when offering a top-up loan.

Simple Documentation

Fresh Loans – When applying for a fresh loan you need to fill out numerous forms and provide various documents such as:

  • Identity document – Aadhar/PAN card
  • Employment Proof – Official employee ID/Mail ID
  • Income Proof – Bank statement of the last three months, latest salary slips,
  • Address Proof – Passport, rent agreement, utility bill.

Top-up Loans – When applying for a Top-up Loan, the bank would already possess all the necessary documents as you would have submitted them when availing of the initial fresh loan. As a result, the documentation process is straightforward and less time-consuming when opting for a top-up loan.

Things To Consider Prior To Deciding on a Fresh loan or a Top-up loan

Whether you are considering a fresh loan or a loan top-up, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and negotiate for the best possible terms and conditions. To get a better understanding, let’s assume you require additional financing for a home loan.

Application Process

The verification and disbursal process for a top-up loan is relatively faster as you already have a primary home loan with the lender. Additionally, this process requires only minimal documentation.

Rate of Interest

Before making a decision, compare the interest rate of a new home loan from a different lender with your existing one. If your current lender offers a lower rate, consider applying for additional funding with them to secure the best home loan interest rate.

Tenure

The tenure of a top-up loan aligns with the remaining tenure of the original loan. In contrast, a fresh loan will have a new tenure, which is typically twenty years for the best home loans. Choosing a longer or shorter tenure can directly impact your EMIs.

Loan Amount

Top-ups are typically pre-approved offers extended by lenders to their existing customers and are based on their current loan and sanctioned limit. In contrast, for a fresh loan, the sanctioned amount would be determined solely by your credit profile and other eligibility criteria.

Negotiation

If you have a solid repayment track record and a good credit score, you have the option to negotiate with your current lender for a top-up loan at the best home loan rate possible, subject to their approval.

Borrowing Options

When opting for a loan top-up, it is mandatory to obtain it from the existing lender. On the other hand, for a new loan, you have the flexibility to explore various offers and terms based on your needs. You can compare factors like loan amount, interest rate, duration, and EMI burden before deciding on a new lender

Additional Charges

It’s crucial to keep in mind that even with a top-up loan, additional charges like processing fees still apply. Nevertheless, you have the option to negotiate the terms with your existing lender.

Conclusion

Deciding between a Fresh Loan and a Top-Up Loan relies on your specific needs, current and future circumstances, repayment ability, and personal preferences. Gaining a clear understanding of the differences and advantages of each loan type is crucial for making an informed and prudent decision.


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