You’ve found a good house within your budget, and in an ideal location. You have made all the necessary calculations, and saved up just enough for the down payment you would need to make. As a couple, you decide to jointly apply for Home Loan at a bank or NBFC that offers a good rate of interest on the loan.
And then, your loan application is rejected. The reason? You are a pregnant woman.
Check Eligibility for Home Loan
When you avail a Home Loan, you’ll need to provide up-to-date information on your earnings and your investments. It helps if you and your co-applicant (if any) are both young, and have years of productive employment ahead of you. You’ll also need to make sure your credit score is good, and that you have not defaulted on any of your previous loans.
If everything is in place, you can go ahead and apply for the Home Loan at the chosen bank. And this is how it’s supposed to work. Gender and maternity aren’t part of the home loan eligibility criteria.
However, these are the very reasons some bank gives you when rejecting your loan application. This scenario has been played out in many parts of the world, even in developed countries.
“Why Would Banks Consider Pregnancy a Deterrent for Sanctioning a Loan?”
Even when a woman is on paid leave—and fully intends to return to work after delivery—many banks still do not consider her an earning member unless and until she actually returns to work. Banks have even refused to consider letters from woman employees and their employers, specifying the exact date of return to work. They ‘fear she will give up her job after having the baby.’
Many such cases have gone into the courts in the west. Invariably, the woman and her family get compensated for the inconvenience and stress caused.
Being Unmarried Might also Prevent you from Getting a Loan
In India there have been many cases of women being discriminated against while trying to get Home Loans, simply because they are single. In most cases, banks have unabashedly asked women to bring in a co-applicant before they process the loan. Banks claim that there have been cases of women defaulting on loans when they get married. So, they want a co-applicant as a guarantor: someone whom they can track down and recover the loan from, if the woman fails to repay the loan.
Sadly, pregnancy seems to affect women today in more ways than reasonable. Some lenders seem to think that, if a woman becomes a wife or mother, she will refuse to keep up with her past financial commitments, even if the commitment was made jointly with another family member.
When you apply for Home Loan with a Bank or NBFC, make sure that your lender does not discriminate—based on your gender, your marital status, or your pregnancy—when processing the application. This can save you a lot of time and wasted effort.