Bolstering Financial Wellness Programs for Remote Employees

After the pandemic, work from home has become a norm rather than an anomaly.  A sudden, big shift in the corporate landscape has been witnessed, and organizational activities such as meetings, deadlines, action plans are now well-tuned to work while we sit comfortably in our living rooms.

However, there is a major problem – related to employee financial wellness – surfacing because of the Covid-19 crisis. Many businesses have already implemented pay cuts and withdrawal of benefits to stay afloat. It is not that this financial wellness concern is seeking global attention only at the moment; it was in question even in the pre-pandemic times. But this time around, its importance is rather much realized (for more details on this, refer to our previous blog here).

What does financial wellness bring to the table?

To put it simply, financial wellness programs involve steps taken by employers to bolster benefits for employees and enable them to manage their personal and professional finances effectively. With due assistance, the employees are enabled to address a range of issues – credit score building, financial goal setting, financial crisis management, personal and household budgeting, and so on. Not only is this the ethically right thing to do, but it’s also prudent. These moves boost overall productivity at an organizational level. It is only logical that if employees have their finances not generating any stress, they raise the bar on output.

Importance in the pandemic hour

In 2019, data from a financial firm, John Hancock, showed that as many as 69 percent of workers had stress due to their shaky financial position. In fact, as many as 72 percent of the employees admitted to having been anxious about their personal finances at work, which adversely impacted their performance. 

Thus, with Covid-19 creating spillovers across the globe, the ongoing year must differ from 2019: economic downturn, shutdowns, and job cuts. Also, more people this year are not so financially well-equipped, and even if the employees work from home, there are some teething problems such as electricity and Wi-Fi bills cropping up, and they need to be immediately addressed. 

Therefore, it can be said that remote employees should be pulled out of the financial crunch by their employers as pointed out in a study by Travis Credit Union. The study concluded that 73 percent of employees believe the COVID-19 pandemic will change financial habits in the future. Therefore, due to the rise in such contingent expenditures coupled with a reduction in pay in a lot of cases, it has become imperative for the employees to have some sort of guidance on financial management. The employer, during these unsettling times, should rise to the occasion and work out these new problems. 

Financial wellness, COVID-19

Ways to engage remote employees in financial wellness programs

There are several ways in which employers can help remote employees with financial wellness without them being physically present:

  • Organizing online workshops and seminars on stress management with respect to personal finances, taxation, etc. can churn out benefits. As per March 2020’s Betterment for Business report, 77% of millennials and Gen Z savers say that thinking about their finances causes them stress. Stress is one of the primary factors reducing employee performance, which ultimately affects productivity. 
  • An employee discount program by negotiating with different hospitals, restaurants, tourist attraction agents, and grocery vendors can be initiated to ensure the most basic of necessities, especially in crisis situations. 
  • Implementing merit-based reward policies during these testing times will provide positive incentives for the employees.
  • Extending some short-term emergency lending services is also a way out to help the employees in case of an unfortunate incident under precarious circumstances. 

There are also several other ways the organization can introduce to redress the balance for its employees in this post-COVID-19 fix. Several third-party organizations have come up with financial wellness programs that the employer can pay for while other aspects are outsourced. This can be the game-changer for remote employees, providing adequate financial support within the confines of their homes. At EarlySalary, we’re happy to be amongst the leaders in this segment. Organizations can partner with EarlySalary and offer instant personal loans, education fees financing, medical emergency loans, and many more financial tools for their workforce. Register here and make sure that your employees’ financial management needs are taken care of. 

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Build A Positive Credit Score With Good Credit Habits

Humans are creatures of habits, and it is these very habits that have the potential to build a positive credit score. Early in our lives, lessons from our family and their experiences shape different aspects of our lives, including our financial habits – such as spending and borrowing. However, building a positive credit profile is much more than spending and borrowing, and doesn’t happen overnight. While it is indeed possible to get a loan without a credit score, you need to practice responsible credit behavior consistently. 

Uncertain about how to begin? Here are 5 credit habits you should keep in mind to build a positive credit score.

  • Plan your Financial Goals & Priorities

Planning financial goals and weighing all credit options is essential to provide for our families and loved ones. Most lenders evaluate your repayment capacity from your debt-to-income ratio. Hence, plan your financial goals and prioritize them. Try to keep your debt obligations much lower than your income. Ideally, you should consider keeping your income to EMI ratio before borrowing and strive to keep this under 30%. 

  • Managing Credit Limits

You should apply for credit only when you really need it and have repayment capacity. Be cautious about how frequently you apply for credit cards. Having a credit card with an extended credit limit is great, but it is a good credit habit to maintain a low credit utilization ratio and spend well within your card limit. Higher credit will only increase your credit burden and may impact your repayment capability later.

positive credit Score for personal loans

Always keep track of your credit transactions, especially your credit card activity. Try not to max out your credit lines. You can also opt for automatic payments and an emergency fund to avoid late payments. In a nutshell, anything that would indicate non-performance of a liability harms your credit score.

  • Budgeting 

Budgeting monthly and annual expenses, loan obligations, and repayments help you save up for rainy days. This will also help you stay on top of payments and show lenders that you’re responsible with credit. Payment history is one of the most influential factors with the CIBIL score. The thumb rule is to have about three months’ of salary stashed away as an emergency fund and avoid defaults, repossessions, foreclosures, and third-party collections. This fund will also help you meet your credit obligations and unexpected expenses during adverse times.

  • Keeping Old Accounts

Old accounts are like old friends who should not be forgotten as they show the length of your credit history. Holding an account for longer is a good credit habit as your credit score also depends on your credit utilization ratio. Hence, closing credit accounts often may lower your available credit and harm your credit profile. Consider keeping accounts open if they have a good payment history and a low or zero balance.  

  • Healthy Credit Mix

It is vital to maintain a balanced credit mix of secured and unsecured loans. An unsecured quick loan can help you bridge short-term credit needs, so try and balance by taking secured loans like car loans or home loans to balance the portfolio and have a positive credit score. However, do not barge in for massive borrowings as they increase your debt burden. Apply for different types of loans depending on your need and develop a credit score. 

The Bottomline

Once you begin your credit journey by availing a loan or taking a credit card, a credit footprint is created. This footprint is instrumental in building your credit score and CIBIL Score. The CIBIL Score is a 3-digit numeric summary of your credit profile. It ranges from 300 to 900. It reflects your credit behavior and habits over time. It is important for you to showcase and leverage good credit habits as lenders evaluate your credit profile, behavior patterns, and repayment habits using this CIBIL Score. 

The best way to develop good long-term credit habits is through financial discipline. It is important to work towards a positive credit profile, and you may notice how this brings about a positive impact on other aspects of your life too. Check out our beginner’s guide to borrowing and credit if you’re looking to get started.

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Is It Safe to Share Bank Details to Get a Loan?

How do you know for sure sharing your bank details with a loaning company is safe? You find out their reasons for asking for your personal information, and make sure the institute you are giving access to your account can be trusted by asking them questions regarding the safety of said information.

Most of us balk at the thought of giving away our bank details when instant loan websites/apps ask for them, calculating all the risks we are running of getting swindled in our mind and coming up with several worst-case scenarios. For one thing, the best way to avoid chances of scams is indeed to not share your personal information. 

But that’s not very reasonable, is it? 

What do you do when authenticating your bank account is a mandatory procedure for getting approved for a loan? 

Well, the first question on your mind would probably be why exactly the credit lending company is asking for your details, so, let’s find that out first!

Why Do Loan Companies Like EarlySalary Ask for Bank Details?

  • It lets us see your total income every month, which is what your suitability to receive a loan relies on.
  • A look through your past banking statements gives us a notion of your financial status so that we can form an idea of your average monthly spending and saving ratio and consider your capability of paying the personal loan installments within the specified time.
  • Another thing we look for is whether you’re already making monthly payments to any other organization or not and if you are, how long until your due is fulfilled. You see, if you’re also paying out another loan, it naturally decreases your capacity for payments and might make you an ineligible candidate for a loan. We also check if you have paid off the dues on your credit card on time.
  • Perhaps most importantly – it allows us to approve your loan instantly since we get data to analyze.

So now you have an idea of our reasons for requiring your account details. But scams still happen to people who trust blindly. So should you continue questioning the safety of your information? Absolutely! 

The next logical step is to find out how to give yourself maximum protection against frauds. To make that easier for you, here’s a checklist that rounds up a few things you should be absolutely sure about before considering sharing your banking information for a loan!

How to Ensure Your Information is as Safe as Possible?

  • Confirm if the Loaning Organization You Are Sharing Your Banking Info with is Legitimate or Not

This should always be your first step, whichever loaning institute you might be sharing your details with. A few things that help you root out a fraudster:

  • Your browser is giving a warning that the page you’re about to share your details on is insecure or not private. 
  • You find the website URL doesn’t begin with https when you click on it.  
  • The company asks you to pay a fee before applying for a loan.

As you may notice, with EarlySalary, none of these red flags will ever pop up.

  • Ask Questions Before You Share Your Details and Check Out the FAQs listed on the Website

When a loaning company asks for personal information, you as a client have every right to ask questions regarding the safety they are providing that information. For EarlySalary, some primary and common questions most of our customers usually have in mind are answered on our FAQs (frequently answered questions) page, but if you don’t find them on there or have any other enquiries, do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Previous Use Cases

This might seem an obvious one, but noting their customer count till date and the number and sorts of loans they have given out so far is going to give you some confidence in your decision to trust a certain company. EarlySalary boasts a customer base of 4 lakh+ customers till date and has given out 2000 cr+ in loans so far, which proves us to be a company that hopefully you can trust too.

  • The Medium You are Using to Share Your Banking Details

As emails are our preferred mode for official communication, it might seem okay to share your bank details over them. But unless this information is just your bank account number of the account name, anything confidential is a huge risk to be shared with any individual, let alone via any medium. So two words: avoid them. 

Similarly, with phone calls or text messages, it’s best not to share information that might be used to scam you via them. Keep in mind that a legit company won’t ask you for details over a call or text. 

EarlySalary’s secure website and the app never auto-saves your information or passwords, which offers maximum security and is always the best mode of sharing personal details. We also offer you two different and quick options to share your bank details. You can choose the one you are more comfortable with between them and get approved for loans instantly!
With EarlySalary, we recommend you go by any of these 2 options:

There you have it, things to keep in mind before comfortably letting any loaning company have access to your data. 
So, is your bank account 100% free of threats of fraud now? 
Honestly, no. There will always be at least a little chance of getting scammed, so you have to know whom you are allowing to handle your information, be sure you’re okay with sharing your bank details with that particular loaning company, and keep an eye on your bank account so that nothing gets past you; because at the end of the day. It falls on you to ensure the protection of your account. 

Stay assured, though. At EarlySalary, we go the extra mile to ensure your security.

Feel free to get in touch with us for any questions on credit, loans, and your instant cash needs! We’re listening all day on:
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Reboot 2020, With EarlySalary

Compiled By: Sudesh Shetty
About Sudesh: He is the Founding Member and Head of Marketing at EarlySalary. Backed by over 10 years of experience in digital advertising and marketing, Sudesh has driven EarlySalary with innovative and excellent marketing strategies that boost brand awareness, profitability, and growth.

Hasn’t the pandemic lasted way too long already? It not only brought the world to a standstill this year, but it’s also kept us from getting back to normalcy. Honestly, what is up with 2020? Like so many others, we too can’t wait to get back to life as restrictions ease and we return to the times we’ve sorely missed. 

The lockdowns and the economic crunch made life challenging for many and caused a pressing need for financial assistance. At EarlySalary though, we’re proud to have always risen to the occasion. As we unlock, along with our customers, we too think it is finally time to reboot. 

It’s why we are back to help our customers be able to spend again.

How COVID Changed Things

The goal at EarlySalary has always been to assist people to upgrade and celebrate life. It is essential, we believe, for us to live life to the fullest without worrying about bank balances. And we’re sure you agree.
With the opportunity to avail up to Rs. 2 lakh cash via instant bank transfer and zero payment charges, we believe that the availability of money should never be a hindrance for anyone to achieve their goals. 
According to a recent report, the instant-money economy has seen a high degree of innovation owing to engagement, modernization, and efficiency. But the pandemic slowed down these efforts. Across the sector, loans were paused and certain customers had to be restricted from a risk perspective. Moreover, the moratorium impacted the relationship between lenders and customers. 

Reboot 2020, EarlySalary
Availability of money should not be a hindrance

Post-COVID Story

And this brings us here – a post-COVID campaign to recognize what our customers are feeling – the need to reboot! For us, it means getting back to assisting people in their financial requirements. Some have lost their jobs in these times and there may be others who weren’t fortunate to get one. There are those who have been relatively unaffected, some who were deeply affected, and yet others who remain uncertain about the future. 

According to an IIM study in May 2020, 79% of the people were worried and had feelings of fear. But as services, such as e-commerce, have begun to deliver non-essential products as well, it seems that consumers are still hopeful enough to resume spending. 

A more cent study by McKinsey and Company has revealed that Indian consumer sentiment has picked up after seeing a dip in May. While many are being careful about how they spend their money, the study notes that consumers expect to shop more online across most categories. It was also found that nearly 91% of consumers have tried new shopping behaviors, such as different brands or websites.

Reboot 2020, EarlySalary
Source: McKinsey

It is essential that our emotional, and empathic sides take their rightful place and dominate our communication. We need to be reassuring, encourage positivity, and help people make the most of it now. After all, it’s who we are from within.

So, where do we start?

Reboot 2020

Since we seem to be hopeful and willing for things to return to normalcy, we figured that instant cash is of critical importance, and can prove to be crucial in helping out any customer. 

Whether it is for a phone that you have been hoping to buy for so long or a course that you need to pay for in order to upskill yourself, instant cash is imperative and EarlySalary is here to help customers avail it through an extremely easy process.

Reboot 2020, EarlySalary
Getting back to normalcy

The process is entirely digital, something that we have truly begun to appreciate now, and it is quick as well as secure. Personal loans are now being offered with minimal documentation. All of this would help people to bounce back to normalcy after months of uncertainty. This could prove to be the stimulus that many people need.

Of course, this is not all. EarlySalary also launched an initiative – EarlySalary CarES – in collaboration with GiveIndia. This was a mission to support our daily wage workers during the pandemic and to help secure a safety net for them. Donations to this were passed on to CRY foundation. When hard times struck, we knew we had to do our part to make a difference to the society we owe so much to.

Conclusion

At EarlySalary, we’re here to help you reboot 2020. It is time to make up for the earlier months of this year and live life to the fullest. Don’t let the month-end cash shortage or the electricity bills hinder your plans to achieve your goals. Instant cash transfers are only an app away and all a customer needs to do is fill out an easy form. Rest assured, the customer is bound to have a seamless experience.
Reboot 2020 for a Fresh Start.
Restore. Refresh. Restart.

Lets REBOOT!

Feel free to get in touch with us for any questions on credit, loans, and your instant cash needs! We’re listening all day on:
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From GTA to Hitler, And Even Football: The Funny Side Of Coronavirus

Coronavirus has pretty much forced everyone out of their normal lifestyles and has created an air of uneasiness and gloominess across the world. As this duration of this pandemic increases, this tends to create mental health issues for many, which is just going to add on to an already bad situation. Plus, the internet is constantly flowing with bad news. 

It is absolutely essential to stay positive during these tough times. As an old, wise headmaster once said, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light” (who said Dumbledore isn’t quotable?)

While we love to help people in financial straits, and spread positivity through general mental peace tips, like the importance of Yoga, this time, we decided to spread some laughter and humor. Laughter, after all, is a very important weapon in our arsenal to help remain positive throughout even the worst of the times. 

In fact, the good folks at VeryWellMind have written a great piece on how humor can help relieve the stress caused by Coronavirus. They’ve explained how cortisol secreted when we laugh is a great stress buster, and how it can help improve our overall mental health.

With this in mind, we, at EarlySalary, decided to take a look at some of the funniest memes, jokes and trends shared across various platforms with the sole intention to spread some laughter and positivity.

Brace yourselves, the memes are coming

#1 Birthday meme, by u/omega4life in r/memes.

r/memes is one of our favorite destinations for our daily humor fix. This subreddit has some of the best and original memes to be shared across the internet. The community has plenty of great memes, but this particular meme, titled Maybe a corona meme, by u/omega4life is extremely funny. Take a look!

P.S. The best of Reddit is mostly in the comments section, so go check the meme out on Reddit!

#2 Mask meme, by Lumpysauce in Instagram

There have been a lot of people against wearing masks, claiming that it’s an infringement on their freedom and/or causing mild respiratory distress, with some claims even stating that masks are “killing us”. This is not a political forum though, but we’d kindly ask you that you wear your mask to help get over this pandemic as soon as possible. However, a wide majority of people are angry at people refusing to wear masks, leading to hilarious memes, such as the mask meme by @lumpysauce on Instagram.

#3 Wembley Meme, by Wembley Stadium’s twitter account

Plenty of us had great plans for the year 2020. 2020 had other ideas. This emotion was best expressed by Wembley Stadium’s official twitter account through this meme

Plenty of football fans were surely expecting to see a packed Wembley, but hey, maybe next year.

#4 Hitler has Coronavirus, and He’s Not Happy by YouTuber Puzzling games

If any of you folks have ever watched a movie called downfall, you know exactly what to expect from this meme. If you don’t, imagine an angry Hitler being ranting at the present scenario. It’s 4 minutes of complete frustration, which is subtitled beautifully to capture the emotions of the present scenario, go have a look!

#5 A dead meme returns by ultimate_uwu-master in memedroid

A lot of us know of the classic game by Rockstar Studios, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, which sees the protagonist, Carl “CJ” Johnson thrown into the streets of his rival gangs with little cash when he utters a line which has become meme-worthy for years to come. This meme by ultimate_uwu-master brings attention to the fact that there has been some pandemic or the other in the 20th year of the last three centuries, go take a look!

This was our top 5 memes that we found the funniest during these dark times? What did you think of this list? Do you have more memes for us? Do share it with us through our socials with #MemeswithES and let’s spread some joy together, shall we?

Feel free to get in touch with us for any questions on credit, loans, and your instant cash needs! We’re listening all day on:
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Extending Financial Wellness Into Retirement, With Technology

Financial Wellness is an integral part of everyone’s life. Essentially, financial wellness refers to effectively managing one’s economic life. It can include different aspects, such as spending while keeping one’s financial capacity in mind, being prepared for emergencies, having access to and making use of tools and information necessary for making sound financial decisions, and planning for the future. Even though it is an important concept, it is often overlooked and neglected. 

In fact, 69% of employees are stressed out about their finances, and up to 72% worry about their finances at work. Thus, the concept of financial wellness has become imperative to both employers and employees. 

When we talk about financial wellness, it’s best to not limit ourselves to the present scenario. Financial wellness extends well into the future, as it refers to a person’s overall financial health and the absence of money-related stress. 

Starting Early

One of the many concepts on which financial wellness is based upon is adopting healthy financial habits in the long run. Adequate savings and spending habits that employees learn during their professional careers can be carried well into retirement years. 

When we talk about retirement plans and saving for retirement, it’s not limited to people who will be retiring in a span of 5-10 years. Retirement plans have to be put into action as soon as one establishes their career, at a young age. A majority of young employees might see that, if they calculate, they are significantly unprepared for retirement, and need to save more. Financial wellness is primarily accumulation driven, which has now become an outdated approach, especially with the advent and rise of technology. 

Many current wellness programs, however, are ineffective. This is because they focus primarily on providing information or access to additional content or resources, such as: 

  • Personal financial management applications, 
  • Financial advisors, or financial coaches. 

The problem arises because these alternatives require significant time and effort. Hence, they are rarely accessed by employees and are rarely paired with concrete, actionable steps for extending financial wellness. 

When it comes to planning for one’s retirement, sooner is always better. 

  • New employees make a majority of important financial decisions during company on-boarding. As they tip-toe their way through the HR setup, they choose a retirement plan, set a paycheck direct deposit, and decide on health insurance. 
  • Another important area where financial wellness programs should be focussed on is promotions or job changes since these are key moments where finances are modified. 

Tech & Financial Wellness

Technology plays a crucial role in helping employees plan for financial wellness well into retirement:

  • With the development of apps that help employees with direct saving, emergency lending, and financial literacy, this assistance is becoming more digital, accessible, and less time consuming as compared to its conventional, outdated counterparts. 
  • Features such as chat and personal-goal settings available in these applications allow companies to not only educate but also communicate and engage. This is a revolutionary step because employees need more than just education. They need step-by-step guides that offer instructions on how to formulate and execute a plan.

It’s imperative to understand that these initiatives are not beneficial only for employees approaching the retirement age. According to a recent study, over 67% of millennials have some sort of retirement savings plan. This hints that the younger generation can benefit immensely from a technology-based financial wellness platform with a human touch. 

Financial wellness tools can help provide financial balance and adequate knowledge and guidance to set young employees up for success. It is only normal that currently, we see an increasing number of companies desire highly motivated employees with the greatest productivity, enhancing their benefits experience with these tools. 

Feel free to get in touch with us for any questions on credit, loans, and your instant cash needs! We’re listening all day on:
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A Closer Look At The Tech Behind Instant Personal Loans for India

Compiled By: Anil Sinha
About Anil: He is the Head of Engineering at EarlySalary, with over 15 years of experience, Anil is passionate about technology and has strong Leadership skills driven by core human values. He has worked on various techno-functional leadership roles with hands-on code and delivered complex products in the space of distributed data processing, especially related to trade processing and risk analytics.

In the time of a pandemic that’s changing the way we live our lives, technology is bolstering ahead to cope up with the repercussions of the new normal. From cloud computing powering some of the biggest consumer tools and services to enabling working from home, it is constantly evolving to meet the needs of a world that has been forced to stay home. A financial crunch can be frequent in times of uncertainty and doubt, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. This is where organizations like ours come into play and at the service of those who need fast and effective financial solutions. 

By offering instant personal loans with a minimum of basic requirements, we at Earlyalary are fortunate to be at the forefront of a fintech revolution. Financial Technology is a relatively new sector that combines technology and financial systems. With our technology adapted to be compatible with the ever-growing requirements of the fintech world, we have been able to develop an agile and more scalable system that is focussed on automation. This ensures smoothness of day to day operations. 

Automation testing and system monitoring

Investing in platforms that enhance and speed up processes is a crucial aspect of developing the tech behind instant personal loans. At Earlysalary, we have realized and acknowledged this from the very beginning. As a result, we have extensively invested in automation testing and system monitoring. This has helped us become more agile, respond to requests quickly, and effectively monitor all activities.

Utilizing data lakes

Instant Personal Loans

The concept of data lakes is gaining in importance, and rightly so. Data lakes help in managing large volumes of data – crucial to credit risk management – effectively and are honestly crucial to our success. By creating a data lake that is responsible for all types of our customer data, our overall system sees a marked enhancement in its strength and robustness. A data lake ensures the instant availability and high quality and reliability of the information so crucial to conducting our business and meeting our goals. At EarlySalary, our data lake has helped in making our analytics models far more capable and powerful, while strengthening overall processes.

Partner Management Platforms

A dedicated partner management platform is an excellent way to make partner integration smoother and easier. It brings many advantages as it automates operational tasks and recons. It also helps with auto failure detection and in some cases even auto-fixes. The EarlySalary team is fortunate to be involved in a variety of business partnerships with leading businesses, such as with aggregators from the marketing sector, and with lenders for co-lending. Our platforms are structured around a plug and play model that ensures that these integrations are seamless.

While the evolution of technology and its adoption and implementations are often at exponential rates, it’s reasonable to assume these metrics would see an even faster rate change in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. This would not be limited to just the fintech sector but will spread across all industries. Expect an increase in demand for cloud services and data analytics services, as well as for new avenues such as cybercrime security. Covid-19 has brought with it a wide range of changes that will have an impact on the way people think, work, and even spend. 

I believe that this data is crucial in need to identify the needs of the people, in order to serve them better. Customer centricity is of fundamental importance and priority, and we continue to work on areas that focus on improving customer experience through technology. We strive to increase the number of instant approvals for our loans, by reviewing our scorecard to provide better services to genuine customers. The tech behind instant personal loans continues to improve on a daily basis, as we race to ensure near-perfect optimization of processes and serve their customers better than ever before.

Feel free to get in touch with us for any questions on credit, loans, and your instant cash needs! We’re listening all day on:
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How Did HR Teams in India Manage Covid-19?

During the tragic COVID-19 crisis, HR teams across the world were presented with a new set of challenges to keep employees motivated and safe. Organizations began building new work arrangements and are now restructuring HR processes and operations with a digital focus. HR departments are recalibrating priorities, changing focus towards the management of the workforce remotely, and reimagining workplace models. This blog explores how HR teams in India managed COVID-19 and how your organization can start to do just that.

Sprint Planning

From a recent survey by EY, the biggest concern for around 70% of organizations is decreased productivity as a result of remote working. The survey also highlights that 72% of organizations believe that COVID-19 will impact work beyond 6 months. This has led to several organizations digitizing operations, shifting to virtual recruitment methods, and leveraging emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and Machine Learning. 

This change was led by the need for delineating key responsibilities, building work alignment, and work control. Organizations are now adopting structured work allocation and communication protocols to provide meaningful work to employees. Department heads and HR teams are rethinking workforce models and resource plans to keep employee engagement high. Performance management processes are being modified and benefits are being restructured. 

HR Teams

Many firms are now using collaborative dashboards for daily check-ins and relying on smaller teams, with clear ownership of tasks and accountability for execution. Teams are also asked to keep an eye on communication among members (to the extent appropriate). Teams are also maintaining daily and monthly calendars to organize daily huddles. Standard and structured templates are being used to update members within the team at specified intervals. Some firms are also keeping a moratorium on work hours, to maintain work-life balance and let employees have some downtime. 

Improving Work Control

Many firms are leveraging the gig economy for more agility and talent deployment. The EY survey also shows that nearly 55% of firms consider employee cost as an issue in the near future. The main steps taken to build work control are:

  • Articulation of key policies and procedures, providing greater autonomy to local leaders and managers with tools and information.
  • Quick, on-demand access to accurate information about task progress to frontline managers and supervisors. Local leaders have been given more autonomy, the authority to effectively address localized issues and needs.
  • Employee training to support each other through flexible work arrangements.

There is an increased focus on empathic and personalized communication. From on-call doctors and psychiatrists to virtual gyms, HR departments are working hard to keep employee morale high. Communication strategies based on daily check-ins, one-on-one calls, and team sync-ups for collaborative and integrated working are the backbone for ensuring productiveness among remote workforces. This also includes providing platforms to consult experts within and outside the organization, and raise questions, bugs, feature requests, etc. Video conferencing is aiding the mutual exchange of knowledge and reducing the sense of self-isolation. For example, the Mahindra group is using Cisco WebEx across all their locations. 

Leveraging Technology

Many companies are also setting up Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), virtual assistants, and chatbots for real-time information flow to promote instant and secure messaging for the smooth transfer of information among employees. Mobile-enabled individual messengers such as Slack, Salesforce, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. are also being used for work allocation with simpler and less formal conversations in time-sensitive environments.

As per CP Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra, the company may start “with 25% employees” working from home. “Most organizations will break away from large campuses to distribution centers. Work from home doesn’t mean work from home forever. There will be a Friday meeting, etc. But instead of my campus being 10,000 people in one place, it can be 500 people in a smaller town.”

To counter issues around data security and employee engagement, HR teams are setting up robust “rules of engagement”. This makes work from home more efficient as managers set expectations for the frequency, means, and ideal timing of communication for their teams. Bosch’s Chinese division had to instill a new understanding of trust and train its managers to work and manage remotely and emphasize a results-driven approach over the older presence-driven model.

Downside

There are some tough decisions being made as well. Some firms are revising compensation structure, halting recruitments, or delaying increments. As per a recent Layoff 2020 survey by MyHiringClub.com and Sarkari-Naukri.info, 68% of the employers surveyed have either started the layoff process or are planning to. 

Conclusion

Famous author, William Davies mentions that ‘to experience a crisis is to inhabit a world that is temporarily up for grabs’. While it may be difficult to stay positive for tomorrow amongst all the drastic changes, HR teams have prioritized communication, prompt reporting, and put remote working to test. The emphasis of HR teams throughout the crisis has been to reinvent business processes going with the grain of human behavior. This has helped to turn struggles and pain into new ways of thinking, better approaches, and innovations. After all, it’s important to prioritize mental health in times like these.

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Can we Claim Tax Benefits While Availing a Personal Loan

It is only when we start earning that the fuss about tax saving begins. The very moment we get our paycheque and see the taxed amount, we realize the importance of effective tax planning. While there are many ways to reduce your tax burden, most of us often fail to take advantage of all the tax-saving avenues available. More often, even the most experienced professionals lack awareness beyond Section 80C.

Take for example the case of tax benefits on a personal loan. Did you know that generally, personal loans are not at all taxable? This is because the loan amount is not accounted for as a part of your income while filing your income tax return. However, you must ensure that you avail the loan from a legal source such as a bank or other financial institutes or loan apps such as EarlySalary loan app. In this blog, we break down some myths and tell you how you can claim tax benefits while availing a personal loan. 

When Can I take Tax Deductions on Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a multipurpose loan that can be used to finance some of the most important milestones in your life, right from marriage to a new venture. One common myth about it is that the interest paid on personal loans is not tax-deductible. 

However, under some circumstances, you can avail of tax benefits even on a personal loan. The caveat here is the purpose towards which the personal loan is utilized. The IT Act allows tax benefits in these 3 cases:

  • Personal Loan for Purchase, Construction or Renovation of Residential Property

You can get tax deductions under Section 24 on personal loans if the amount is used to purchase, build, or renovate your home. Interest accrued from the borrowed capital is deductible from your net income or net annual value of the property for which the amount is used. 

You can also claim tax benefits up to Rs 2 lakh on personal loan taken for a self-owned property. The entire interest amount can be claimed as a deduction for a personal loan towards a rented home. The principal amount of personal loans for home improvement is also eligible for a tax deduction of up to Rs 1,50,000 under Section 80C.

  • Personal Loan for Investing in your Business

While there are dedicated debt funds available for growth financing of your business, you can also opt for a personal loan for your business requirements. You can claim tax benefits by deducting the interest paid from gross revenue i.e. the net taxable profit from the business. This is called a tax shield as this interest will be considered as a business expense and the exemption limit is not defined.

  • Personal Loan for Asset Acquisition

If you use the personal loan amount for incoming-producing assets such as shares or gold, then also you can get tax benefits. At the time of selling such assets, the interest amount included in asset acquisition lowers your capital gains, thereby reducing your capital gains tax liability on the sale transaction.

Bottomline

Yes, you can claim tax benefits while availing a personal loan. As you can see, there is more to tax savings. 

However, a word of caution here. Don’t take a personal loan just to claim tax benefits. You should also ensure that you have all the relevant documents such as the sanction letter, expense vouchers, authorized certificate from your bank, auditor’s report, and the lender certificate as proof to be able to claim your deduction on a personal loan. 

If you want an instant personal loan, opt for an online personal loan through the EarlySalary app to make sure you make the best possible use of all the options available. Attractive interest rate, instant approval, and hassle-free disbursement, EarlySalary instant personal loan app has it all and more. 
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Should you opt for the Personal Loan Moratorium? Read this before you decide

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting initiatives such as lockdowns across the world have impacted the livelihood of millions globally as well as in India. As a result, many borrowers in India have witnessed a sharp decline in their income making it difficult if not impossible for them to keep making timely loan repayments. To provide relief to such borrowers, India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) initially introduced a 3-month moratorium on term loan repayments for the March to May period. This was subsequently extended for a further 3 months in May for the June to August period. But this is a temporary relief, so to make an informed decision you should consider the following key aspects of RBI loan repayment moratorium.

Applicability of the Moratorium

RBI’s moratorium guidelines specify that it applies to borrowers of all term loans such as home loan, personal loan, car loan, etc. that were sanctioned before 1st April 2020. So if you have already applied for and been approved for the moratorium in March, you can potentially not make any EMI payments for up to 6 months starting on 1st March 2020 and ending on 31st August 2020. After the end of this period, you will, however, have to resume the normal monthly EMI payments once again.  

What’s more, you can apply for the moratorium even if you have multiple loans outstanding with the same lender or with different lenders. But do keep in mind that while you are free to apply for this facility, it is at the discretion of the lender to actually grant this request. For example, some lenders have put in place the criteria that an applicant’s loan account needs to be up to date i.e. no missed payments/defaults till 29th February 2020 to qualify for the moratorium.      

Moratorium Impact on Credit Score

RBI has specifically stated that any EMI payments missed during the moratorium period will have no impact on your credit score provided the lender has approved your moratorium request. Lenders too have confirmed that they will not be reporting missed payments as defaults during the moratorium to credit bureaus and also no late payment fees or penal interest on overdue amounts will be charged during the approved moratorium period.

The Interest Accrual Consideration

While not having to make EMI payments during a cash crunch is a good thing, there is an interest accrual cost that you need to consider. During the moratorium period, interest will continue to accrue on your outstanding personal loan principal at the start of your moratorium period. You can find your outstanding loan principal in your latest personal loan account statement. Alternately, you can use a free personal loan EMI calculator that shows your outstanding principal amount based on your originally sanctioned loan amount, loan start date, and interest rate. Let’s understand how the interest accrual calculation works with an example:

Let’s assume your loan principal outstanding at the start of the moratorium is Rs. 1 lakh and your loan interest rate is 12% p.a. Also, suppose you have availed the full 6-month moratorium.

Based on the above assumption, the monthly nominal rate of interest = 12%/12 months = 1% per month i.e. 1/100 per month Interest for the 1st month of moratorium
= 100,000 x 1/100 = Rs. 1000
Total Interest accrued for 2 months of moratorium = (100,000 + 1,000) x 1/100 + 1,000= Rs. 2010. The principal outstanding is increased by the interest accrued in the previous month, hence principal loan outstanding for the second month is Rs. 1 lakh + Rs. 1,000 (interest for the first month)

By using the same calculation, you will get the following figures:

Total Interest for 1 month of moratorium Rs. 1000
Total Interest for 2 months of moratorium Rs. 2010
Total Interest for 3 months of moratorium Rs. 3,030
Total Interest for 4 months of moratorium Rs. 4,060
Total Interest for 5 months of moratorium Rs. 5,101
Total Interest for 6 months of moratorium Rs. 6,152

Thus in our illustration, you will end up paying an extra Rs. 6,152 as interest accrued for the moratorium period of 6 months. Obviously, if your outstanding loan amount or interest rate is higher, the interest pay-out will also be higher. So, while the personal loan moratorium may not cost you in terms of late fees or penal interest charges, you will have to incur the extra interest cost as shown above.

The Best Course of Action

Many experts have already said this, but it does hold – “Apply for the personal loan moratorium only if you have no choice. If you do not have cash flow issues, stick to your repayment schedule like before”. This advice is practical as every borrower’s situation is unique. Some may be less impacted by the COVID-19 crisis than others and in such a case it does not make sense to pay the extra interest by opting for the moratorium. On the other hand, if you now lack the means to continue paying your loan EMI every month right now, the moratorium will give your much-needed relief as well as some time to try and sort your current financial issues, albeit at the cost of accrued interest.  

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