Credit to today’s woman!

If you look around, you will find strong, independent, successful women featuring in various lists of “Most powerful women” in the country. And it’s true, you see more women climbing the corporate ladder, more women entrepreneurs. If you look around further, you will also find numerous articles and research talking about how women tend to be more financially disciplined than men. But then again, it’s almost a “fact” that they spend more on “unplanned” shopping sprees. Nothing wrong with that, but at the end of the day, do you keep track of your expenses? Are you aware of your credit card swipes? Can you cut back when you need to?

Even now it is strange to see that a lot of women don’t take control of their finance, especially when it comes to taking on credit. Typically, it is left to the father or the husband. A lot of women use their father’s/ husband’s credit card, loans are taken only by the husband etc. But what happens when they are not eligible for a loan? What happens when you really need the money? Taking charge of your credit life is an important aspect of being financially independent.

Start building your credit early

Don’t wait for a big event such as buying a house or for a situation when you need funds. Chances are, you will get rejected due to absence of a ‘credit history’ or a ‘low score’. If you are earning your own income, start building your credit history by taking a credit card. Good credit behaviour will ensure that you have no credit-related problems in the future.

Understand the rules of credit

Don’t leave it to others to tell you when and which loan to take. Understand your requirements, the details of the products from the bank and take your decision accordingly. Take into consideration all factors such as the loan amount, tenure, interest rates, other fees and charges etc.

Offers and schemes for women

Banks have from time to time introduced various schemes offering concessional interest rates for women, especially for housing loans. If you are planning to take a loan from these banks, make sure you understand the scheme in detail and all the terms and conditions. Compare this to the regular rates and check if you benefit in the long run.

Stay credit healthy

If you already have a credit facility to your name, it is important to ensure that you pay off your dues on time and show good credit behaviour. Don’t keep unnecessary credit cards. If you already have one and are planning to take another, ask yourself if you really that loan. If you are planning to take an unsecured loan (such as a personal loan), take it for the right purpose and always be sure that you can repay the instalments on time. It is important to continue to stay ‘credit healthy’

About Author

Satish Mehta

Satish Mehta is a mortgage finance and credit information veteran with global and domestic experience of over 40 years. He runs a boutique consulting firm - Athena Advisors. He is a consultant to the World Bank Group and a Professor of Practice at the Ahmedabad University.