Loan harassment is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on borrowers' lives. It can cause stress, anxiety, and even depression. In some cases, it can even lead to bankruptcy or foreclosure. In fact, just a few weeks back, the worst-case scenario of loan harassment was witnessed in Bangalore, wherein a Bengaluru student committed suicide due to harassment from loan agents.
Given these serious negative impacts of loan harassment, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind to avoid loan harassment if you are a borrower. Here are some tips:
1. Understand your rights. The Indian law prohibits debt collectors from engaging in certain activities, such as calling you at work or at unreasonable hours, threatening you, using abusive language or sharing your confidential details outside.
2. Be prepared to document the harassment. If you are being harassed by an agent, it is important to document the harassment. This includes keeping a record of all phone calls, letters, and emails you receive from the debt collector. You should also keep a record of any threats or abusive language that the debt collector uses.
3. Consider contacting the debt collector directly. If you are being harassed by an agent, the first step is to contact the debt collector directly and escalate the issue. You should explain that you are being harassed and that you want the harassment to stop. You should also ask the debt collector to send you all of the information they have about your debt, including the original creditor, the amount of the debt, and the terms of the debt.
4. File a complaint with the RBI. If the debt collector does not stop harassing you, you can file a complaint with the RBI online or by mail. RBI has a strict policy against malpractices by financial institutions, and would definitely help you if your case is genuine.
5. Consult with a lawyer or a legal expert. If you are being harassed by a debt collector, you may want to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and they can represent you in court if necessary.
Here are some additional tips to avoid loan harassment:
1. Read the terms of the loan carefully before you sign it. Make sure you understand the interest rate, the repayment terms, and any other fees that may be associated with the loan.
2. Make all of your payments on time. This will help to avoid late fees and other penalties.
3. Communicate with your lender if you are having trouble making payments. Don't ignore the problem. Your lender may be willing to work with you to create a payment plan that you can afford.
4. Only borrow money that you can afford to repay. Before you take out a loan, make sure that you can afford the monthly payments. Don't borrow more money than you need.
5. Even better, don’t borrow at all – save money in advance for purchases by using apps like Blance.
By following these tips, you can help to avoid loan harassment and protect your financial well-being.