Buying a home is a major financial decision that most people will make. Being a very big investment, most people cannot pay the full cost of a home in a single payment. This is where a home loan comes in, it gives the buyer the ability to buy their dream home for which the borrower will repay the loan and interest in Equated Monthly Installments. It is when choosing the interest rate that the dilemma comes in – to choose fixed rate or floating rates.

Consider this example, Rupesh and Shital have booked their dream apartment in a location they like. They planned on taking a home loan to buy the apartment and applied for it at one of the top banks in India. The bank accepted their application and they got through the verification process easily as both had a good credit history.

Seeing this the bank offered them a loan offer with a fixed interest of 10.20% and a tenure of 15 years. This is when they come to know that the floating rate in the same bank is 9.35% due to which they their EMI each month will reduce by at least Rs.5000. They were confused on which to choose and decided to do some research before making the decision.

Many would be faced with the same dilemma, so here is a short explainer.

Fixed interest rate

As the name suggests fixed interest rate is where you will have a fixed rate of interest which means their EMI each month will be constant throughout the loan tenure. If Rupesh and Shital are people who like to work with a fixed budget each month then fixed rate of interest is their best option.  In case of any macroeconomic problem their interest each month will not change which is a boon if the interest rates rise.

The disadvantage with fixed interest rates are that if there is any drop in the interest rate after the loan has been taken the borrower cannot change their interest rate. Also, the interest rate for fixed interest is 1-2% higher than the floating interest rate.

Floating interest rate

The floating interest rate is where the interest rate will vary based on the market conditions. It is beneficial when the rate of interest decreases as the economy is doing well but Rupesh and Shital might have to pay more if the is an economic down trend and the interest rates rise. Another disadvantage with floating rate of interest is that there might be some issues while planning the budget each month.

Which type of interest rate to choose?

It depends on the what Rupesh and Shital are looking for. If they follow the market regularly and feel that they have the lowest interest rate possible and don’t see the rate of interest reducing any further, then they can opt for fixed rate of interest to lock the interest rate.

On the other hand, if they if they believe they can manage their finances and think that the interest rate will reduce even further then they can opt for floating rates preparing their budget each month based on the market. One can also change between fixed rate to floating rate or vice versa by paying a nominal fee. Make sure you make the right decision after carefully analyzing your financial capability and acumen, we hope our explanation would help you choose between the two.