Purchasing and installing a solar system can be just as expensive as purchasing a new car, mobile phone or even a motorcycle. However, solar energy is on the rise and as the Government of India promotes the installation of solar panels, convenient funding options for solar systems have cropped up. If you do not have the full amount required to purchase and install a solar system, you can apply for a solar loan.
Which banks offer solar loans in Kolkata, West Bengal?
Solar loan schemes are currently offered by many national, state and private banks in India including State Bank of India (national), Bank of Maharashtra (Maharashtra), Saraswat Bank (Maharashtra), Canara Bank (national) and even Central Bank of India (national). Many other banks including Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI bank offer solar loans; however, these are under the scheme “home improvement loans”.
In Kolkata, West Bengal, the following banks offer solar loans to customers:
- State Bank of India
- Punjab National Bank
- Canara Bank
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However, a solar loan can also be availed from other national or private banks as a home improvement loan. Some popular banks and non-banking institutes that offer home renovation and improvement loans are:
- HDFC Bank
- Axis Bank
- ICICI Bank
- Bajaj Finance
- Bank of Baroda
- Kotak Bank
These are only some of the banking and non-banking institutions through which you can apply for a solar loan. When applying for a solar loan, you should also consider other factors like solar loan eligibility, interest rates, and EMI.
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How do you check the eligibility for a solar loan?
Given below are the criteria you have to fulfil to be eligible for a solar loan:
- Age: The applicant should be at least 18 years of age when applying for the solar loan. The maximum age limit is capped at 55-60 years, depending on the bank.
- Income: The income of the applicant should be at least Rs.15,000–20,000. The applicant should provide proof of sufficient income.
Special considerations: Some banks have separate schemes specifically for farmers, tenant farmers, panchayat members and agri-entrepreneurs.
What is the interest rate on the solar loan?
The interest rate on solar loans is between 1.5% to 10%. The interest rate for solar loans is decided individually in each case. Some factors that can affect the interest rate on solar loans are:
- Bank of choice: Different banks provide different interest rates on home improvement and solar loans. Therefore, you may receive different quotations from different banks.
- Credit score: Your credit score is an important eligibility criterion for a solar loan. A poor credit score (lower than 700) may mean you receive higher interest rates.
- Income: Some banks also consider your employment history when accepting offers; however, all banks will consider your income when you apply. Income history and stability is used to understand how long you may take to repay the loan.
Many other factors can affect interest rates on solar loans; however, these are three primary criteria.
What documents do you need to apply for a solar loan?
- Proof of Identity and address: You are required to provide proof of identity and address. You can select any two documents: PAN card, Aadhar card, driving license, ration card or voter ID.
- Proof of income: In order to be eligible for a solar loan, you have to provide proof of income. This is:
- For salaried persons: Three months’ payslips. These have to be consecutive and in the same financial year as the application.
- For self-employed: Bank statements from the last 6 months.
Other documents that some banks may ask for:
- Proof of property ownership or rent agreement (for tenant farmers).
- Employment certificate (for salaried persons).
- GST returns for 1-3 consecutive years (for self-employed).
- Income tax return proof for 2-3 years.
How to calculate EMI for a solar loan?
Solar loans and home improvement loans have a repayment period of 3 to 5 years. To calculate the EMI you need to pay, use the following formula:
Where P=principle amount, r=rate of interest, and n=number of months you have to pay the loan.
You can also use an EMI calculator to get the EMI amount on your solar loan.
Type of solar loans available in Kolkata, West Bengal
In Kolkata, West Bengal, you can avail two types of solar loans:
- EMI on debit cards:
Many banks allow their customers to purchase solar systems on their debit cards. This facility is provided by many major banks in India including ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Federal Bank, State Bank of India, etc. To understand whether you are eligible for this scheme, you can visit the bank’s website and search for “EMI on the debit card.” Standard EMI on the debit card has high-interest rates, between 7% and 16%.
- Solar or home improvement loans:
Alternatively, you can apply for either a home improvement loan or a solar loan directly from any bank. The application process for most banks is available both online and offline. You will be asked to show proof of income, identity and employment status. Solar and home improvement loans have lower interest rates, between 6% and 10%; however, they also have lower approval rates.
What is the process to avail solar loan in Kolkata, West Bengal?
The process to avail solar loan in Kolkata, West Bengal is as follows:
- Visit the bank’s nearest branch and inquire whether they provide solar loans. Alternatively, you can also visit the bank’s website to find this information.
- If the bank does not provide solar loans, inquire about the bank’s policy on “home improvement loans”.
- Contact a solar dealer or distributor in your neighbourhood or city and book an appointment.
- During the appointment, the dealer will provide you with an estimate for installing a solar system. The estimation will be sent as a formal quotation on the company’s letterhead.
- Complete the loan application online or physically. Submit the required documents.
- Your application will be scrutinized by the bank’s personnel and approved according to your eligibility.
- When you accept the loan, 80% of the loan amount will be transferred to your bank account. This can take 5–7 days after loan approval.
- You can contact the dealer and start the installation.
- Once solar system installation is complete, you will have to provide a No objection certificate (NOC) to the seller. The NOC informs the seller that the installation is complete and you do not see any problems.
- The bank will transfer the remaining 20% into your bank account.
This is the process of applying for a solar loan. On average, the process takes 2 weeks to one month.