NEW DELHI: The 21st century millennial woman is progressive and increasingly financially independent. At the same time, when it comes to personal finance, there are a host of advantages of being a woman. Both the government and the financial services industry now have many schemes aimed at women to encourage their participation in financial affairs. Take, for instance, buying a property. It is a big decision but lower stamp duty charges, low home loan interest rates and tax deductions are some of the benefits that women can enjoy.
Interestingly, it will cost you less if the property is jointly owned by husband and wife. While stamp duty charges are lower if property registration is executed in the name of a woman, these charges vary from state to state. In Delhi, stamp duty payable by men is six per cent, while women have to pay only four per cent in case the property is registered in her name. Also, if she is co-owner of the property, the stamp duty is five per cent. Similarly, other states like Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand offer similar concessions in the range of 0.5 to 3 points to women property buyers.
This is a decent saving which encourages many people to buy properties in the name of their wife or make her a co-owner. To empower women of low-income segment, the government has now made it mandatory for women to be co-owners of affordable homes to avail credit subsidy under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), a flagship scheme of the central government to promote affordable housing. Also, if husband and wife are joint owners and have different sources of income, both can claim tax deductions, which encourage many working couples to go for joint home loan.
Additionally, many public and private banks offer discounted home loan rates to women as compared to men, which makes a marked difference in monthly installment burden. This variation varies from bank to bank and goes up to nearly a per cent. There is also a special provision for women under the Mudra scheme. Under this, loans of up to Rs 10 lakh can be availed by women entrepreneurs in non-agriculture sectors.
Women also get an additional discount of 25 bps in the loan interest rate. Banks have also customised their plastic money for women customers. For instance, HDFC Bank Solitaire Premium Women’s Credit Card Range, where they can get discounts at specific establishments and earn reward points.
Women taking more home loans
Indian women are availing more credit in the form of home loans (HL) compared to personal loans and auto loans, according to an analysis by credit information bureau CRIF High Mark. As of December-end 2020, of the Rs 20.6-lakh crore home loan market, 29 per cent was accounted for by women, the study noted.