Founder and CEO of IndiaLends.com
It’s been more than a decade that I have been actively involved in promoting consumer credit products. Today, I would like to share with you my journey.
First exposure to credit: It was through a supplementary credit card that was linked to my father’s existing one during my college days in Delhi. I made the mistake of withdrawing cash by using it. When the statement came in, my father explained the mistake I had made. Apart from a three per cent cash withdrawal charge, the entire outstanding balance had incurred a substantial interest. This was just the beginning.
First exposure to loans: I first understood the complexities of loans as a post-graduate student at London. While a scholarship partially funded my education fees, to fend for my living expenses I applied for an education loan. This gave me the opportunity to understand how such loans are enmeshed in complicated paperwork.
First exposure to technology benefitting consumer finance: Upon completing my Masters I landed with a job in Capital One Bank in London as a credit risk analyst. During my seven-year stint, I learnt how technology can shape consumer experience. Acquiring a credit card or availing a loan was very simple. All one needed was internet access. Few clicks and within minutes you could either have a credit card or loan amount credited to your account!
First understanding of a healthy credit profile
Serving in the banking sector of UK, I realised the importance of maintaining a healthy credit profile. This implied being fully aware of one’s credit score and making conscious efforts to improve it.
Steps towards my first venture
However, when I sought to understand the credit history profile of friends back home, I was surprised at the ignorance! A bit more research led me to conclude the appallingly low credit awareness in India.
That is when I chose to venture into this field and thus IndiaLends was born with an aim to provide a free credit report for thousands of customers in need.
Witnessing the ease of credit-related transactions in the UK and having faced the struggles in India, my associate Mayank Kachhwaha and I decided to set up IndiaLends.
Every individual encounters a point in their life when they need extra help with their finances. Be it for handling necessities or for just living a life of their dreams. We wanted to help such people and make affordable credit accessible to them.
Personally, I have two credit cards. As a healthy financial practice, I use them for all monthly spends and ensure that I pay back in full at the end of the credit cycle. This not only helps me accumulate reward points but also helps me track expenses.
The best way to use credit is to be responsible with it. I follow three basic rules:
- I only borrow what I can afford to repay.
- Before borrowing, I research to get the lowest possible interest rates and understand the fine print including the fees and charges that may be applicable in the future.
- I actively track my credit report to ensure that my repayments are up-to-date
The Last Words
As a concluding note, I would like to quote Warren Buffet’s words which I live by “
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Definitely, educating oneself about finances is the first step towards ensuring achievable long-term financial goals. This is the mantra that I swear by in my personal life.