Banks vs. NBFCs: Which One to Choose for Getting a Personal Loan? 1

Banks vs. NBFCs: Which One to Choose for Getting a Personal Loan?

Are you on the lookout for a personal loan? Were you confused about approaching a bank or an NBFC? You’re not the only one! Making this decision is very confusing for most of us. Let’s understand the critical factors and their role in deciding which personal loan provider is best suited for different applicant profiles; before that, one should understand what differentiates a bank from an NBFC.


Bank vs. NBFC

The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 governs banks; hence, they must abide by all RBI guidelines. They have to maintain adequate reserves and follow due diligence procedures laid out by the RBI. This results in stricter personal loan eligibility criteria. The banks cannot sanction a loan if the standards are not met. However, this also ensures more secure and safe lending.

Though the RBI also regulates the NBFCs, the regulations are not as strict as those applicable to the banks. NBFCs, on the other hand, are governed by The Companies Act, 2013 and have much more flexibility concerning the eligibility for loans. As such, NBFCs can accommodate even those applications to which the bank does not approve. This flexibility has resulted in NBFCs witnessing a sharp increase in their share of the total percentage of personal loans in the market.

Factors that help you decide:

  • Credit Rating of the Applicant

Firstly, it is essential to know your credit history and where you stand regarding the CIBIL score. Banks have strict eligibility guidelines, and applicants with a credit score of less than 750 may not be eligible for loan sanctions. For such applicants, approaching an NBFC may be the only viable option.

  • Processing Time

If you are looking for funds quickly or in a brief period (i.e., for medical emergencies or investing in an IPO), NBFCs can provide quick disbursals. Banks take a longer time to process the loan application, given the extensive process they need to follow before disbursing the loan.

  • Amount and Tenor of the Loan

For applicants who meet the eligibility criteria of both banks and NBFCs, banks can usually offer higher amounts of loans and for longer durations than an NBFC. Unlike NBFCs, banks do not fund 100% of the loan amount and require you to contribute some equity of your own.

  • Personal Loan Interest Rates

Even though NBFCs provide speedy loans, the interest rate offered by them is fixed in nature and usually higher than those offered by banks. Banks can offer floating rates of interest linked to the RBI rates, which NBFCs cannot.

  • Personal Loan Repayment Burden

NBFCs may be able to offer a longer tenor than banks. The longer the tenor of the loan, the lower the EMI will be. On the downside, a longer tenure increases your debt burden for years to come. It is recommended to continually evaluate the EMI burden for different tenors using a personal loan EMI calculator and arrive at the best combination of EMI vs. tenor for you.


Whether to go for a bank or an NBFC depends on your assessment of your financial status as well as credit standing. It also depends on the amount of loan you require, the repayment period desired, and how soon you need it.

While banks offer you lower interest rates and maybe even higher amounts over longer tenors, if speedy execution of loan is your primary concern, an NBFC may be a better choice for you. NBFCs are more flexible than banks and can sanction personal loans to applicants who do not meet the bank’s eligibility criteria for credit score, etc. Under all circumstances, it is advisable to run a personal loan EMI calculator to understand your monthly outgo due to the personal loan.

By considering the factors discussed, you will surely make an informed and wise decision!


Ricardo L. Dominguez

Tv geek. Professional twitter buff. Incurable zombie aficionado. Bacon fanatic. Internet expert. Alcohol specialist.Fixie owner, father of 3, ukulelist, Mad Men fan and Guest speaker. Working at the fulcrum of simplicity and programing to create great work for living breathing human beings. Concept is the foundation of everything else.