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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |5092 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jun 11, 2024

Ramalingam Kalirajan has over 23 years of experience in mutual funds and financial planning.
He has an MBA in finance from the University of Madras and is a certified financial planner.
He is the director and chief financial planner at Holistic Investment, a Chennai-based firm that offers financial planning and wealth management advice.... more
Vishal Question by Vishal on Jun 02, 2024Hindi

Hello Sir, My in hand salary is 98000 but loan EMIs and Credit Card bills are 1.75 lacs. I don't have have savings due to multiple medical issues in my family from the 3-4 years. Im heart patient as well. Can you please guide me the way to com out from my debts. Thanks

Ans: I appreciate your courage in sharing your situation. Managing financial stress, especially with health issues, is challenging. Let's create a practical plan to help you get out of debt and build a secure financial future.

Understanding Your Financial Situation
Monthly Income: Rs 98,000
Monthly Debt Obligations: Rs 1.75 lakhs
Savings: None due to medical expenses
Immediate Steps to Manage Debt
Assessing Your Debt
Total Debt: Calculate the total amount owed, including all loan EMIs and credit card bills.
Interest Rates: Identify the interest rates for each debt. Prioritize high-interest debts first.
Budgeting and Expense Management
Create a Budget: List all your essential monthly expenses (food, utilities, rent, etc.). Identify non-essential expenses that can be reduced or eliminated.
Track Spending: Use a notebook or an app to track every rupee spent. This will help you identify areas to cut costs.
Prioritizing Debt Repayment
High-Interest Debt First
Credit Cards: These often have the highest interest rates. Focus on paying more than the minimum due to reduce principal faster.
Personal Loans: Once high-interest debts are managed, focus on personal loans.
Debt Consolidation Options
Debt Consolidation Loan: Consider taking a personal loan to consolidate high-interest debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate.
Balance Transfer: Transfer your credit card balance to a card with a lower interest rate, if possible.
Negotiating with Creditors
Contact Creditors: Explain your financial situation to your creditors. Request lower interest rates or a temporary reduction in monthly payments.
Debt Settlement: If negotiation fails, consider debt settlement. This involves negotiating a lump sum payment that is less than the total amount owed.
Increasing Your Income
Exploring Additional Income Sources
Freelancing: Use skills like writing, graphic design, or tutoring to earn extra income. Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer can help.
Part-Time Jobs: Look for part-time work that fits your schedule. Delivery services, tutoring, or online customer support jobs can provide additional income.
Leveraging Existing Skills
Skill Enhancement: Invest time in enhancing skills that can increase your earning potential. Online courses on platforms like Coursera or Udemy can be helpful.
Networking: Connect with professionals in your field who can offer freelance opportunities or part-time work.
Managing Health and Finances
Health Insurance
Review Existing Policies: Ensure that you and your family have adequate health insurance coverage to reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Government Schemes: Explore government health schemes that may offer assistance with medical costs.
Long-Term Financial Planning
Building an Emergency Fund
Start Small: Once debts are under control, start building an emergency fund. Aim for at least 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses.
Consistency: Contribute a small, consistent amount each month to this fund.
Investing for the Future
Mutual Funds: After stabilizing your finances, consider investing in mutual funds for long-term growth. Start with small SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans).
Professional Guidance: Consult a Certified Financial Planner to choose the right funds and investment strategy based on your risk profile and goals.
Addressing Emotional and Psychological Stress
Seeking Support
Family and Friends: Share your concerns with trusted family members or friends who can offer support and advice.
Counseling: Consider seeking help from a financial counselor or a therapist to manage stress and develop coping strategies.
Positive Mindset
Focus on Progress: Celebrate small milestones in your debt repayment journey. Each step brings you closer to financial freedom.
Stay Motivated: Remind yourself of your long-term goals, like owning a home or securing a stable financial future.
Exploring Government and NGO Assistance
Government Schemes
Debt Relief Programs: Research if there are any government debt relief programs available that you may qualify for.
Subsidies and Grants: Explore government subsidies or grants that can assist with medical expenses or other financial needs.
Non-Governmental Organizations
Financial Assistance: Some NGOs offer financial assistance or low-interest loans to individuals in financial distress.
Medical Aid: Look for NGOs that provide support for medical expenses.
Planning for a Sustainable Future
Education and Skill Development
Lifelong Learning: Continue learning and upgrading your skills to increase job opportunities and earning potential.
Certifications: Obtain certifications in your field to enhance your qualifications and career prospects.
Financial Literacy
Financial Education: Educate yourself on personal finance, budgeting, and investing. Books, online courses, and workshops can be valuable resources.
Smart Financial Decisions: Apply your knowledge to make informed financial decisions, avoiding high-interest debt and building savings.
Practical Tips for Financial Discipline
Avoiding High-Interest Debt
Credit Card Usage: Use credit cards sparingly and only if you can pay the full balance each month to avoid interest charges.
Loans: Avoid taking new loans unless absolutely necessary. Focus on repaying existing debts first.
Regular Financial Review
Monthly Check-In: Review your financial situation monthly. Adjust your budget and spending as needed to stay on track.
Annual Goals: Set annual financial goals and review your progress at the end of each year.
Final Insights
Getting out of debt while managing health issues is challenging, but it is possible with a structured plan and disciplined approach. Prioritize paying off high-interest debt first, consider debt consolidation, and explore additional income sources. Manage expenses carefully and seek professional advice to develop a sustainable financial strategy.

Invest in your skills and financial education to improve your long-term earning potential. Seek support from family, friends, and professional counselors to manage emotional stress. Utilize government schemes and NGO assistance to alleviate financial burdens.

Remember, every step you take towards financial stability is progress. Stay focused on your goals, maintain a positive mindset, and celebrate small achievements along the way. With determination and careful planning, you can overcome your financial challenges and build a secure and prosperous future.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,

DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information to be as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision.

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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |5092 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on May 02, 2024

Sir my monthly salary is 28000 and I took a personal loan of 5lacs last year and I have credit card also but with my daily expenses I couldn't pay the total emis and bills so I took some credit from cred application it's almost 3lacs and now I'm unable to pay any of them as my salary is very low to pay so many emis I can't stop thinking about all this I'm facing anxiety and depression due to debts. I want to come out of this debt and get clean from all this problem. I want to save money and live a normal life. I couldn't share it with anyone also. My father us retired and he couldn't help me.
Ans: I'm truly sorry to hear about the challenges you're facing with your debts, and I understand how overwhelming and stressful it can be. Please know that you're not alone, and there are steps you can take to work towards financial stability and peace of mind.

Assess Your Debts: Start by listing out all your debts, including personal loans, credit card dues, and any other outstanding amounts. Understanding the total amount owed and the interest rates associated with each debt is the first step towards managing them effectively.
Create a Budget: Evaluate your monthly income and expenses to create a realistic budget. Prioritize essential expenses such as food, rent, and utilities, and allocate any remaining funds towards debt repayment.
Communicate with Creditors: Reach out to your creditors to discuss your financial situation and explore options for repayment. They may be willing to negotiate a payment plan or offer assistance programs to help you manage your debts.
Explore Debt Consolidation: Consider consolidating your debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate, if possible. This can simplify your repayment process and potentially reduce the overall amount you owe.
Seek Professional Help: If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to proceed, consider seeking assistance from a financial counselor or debt management agency. They can provide guidance, support, and practical strategies for managing your debts and improving your financial situation.
Take Care of Your Mental Health: Remember to prioritize your mental health during this challenging time. Practice self-care techniques such as exercise, meditation, or talking to a trusted friend or therapist to help alleviate anxiety and depression associated with financial stress.
Lastly, please know that it's okay to ask for help, and reaching out for support is a positive step towards regaining control of your finances and your life. You have the strength and resilience to overcome these challenges, and with determination and perseverance, you can work towards a brighter financial future.

..Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |5092 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jun 18, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jun 18, 2024Hindi
Sir my salary is 50k per month.Due to some unavoidable situations I had to take Bajaj finance,cred and loan on HDFC credit card.Emi for Bajaj finance is 12k,cred is 8k and HDFC credit card due amount is 145000...because of this iam not able to manage household expenses and I have a 3 years baby too...please let me know a better way to come out of these debts...
Ans: Thank you for sharing your situation with me. Managing debt can be challenging, especially when it impacts your household expenses and family responsibilities. It's essential to approach this with a structured plan to regain control of your finances. Here’s how we can create a roadmap to help you tackle your debts effectively and ensure a stable financial future for you and your family.

Understanding Your Current Financial Situation
Before diving into solutions, let's outline your current financial position:

Income and Expenses:

Monthly Salary: Rs 50,000
EMI for Bajaj Finance: Rs 12,000
EMI for Cred: Rs 8,000
HDFC Credit Card Outstanding: Rs 1,45,000
Household and Living Expenses:

With significant EMIs, managing household expenses on the remaining income is challenging.
You have a three-year-old child, which means essential expenses like childcare, food, and utilities are non-negotiable.
Analyzing the Debt and Its Impact
Breakdown of Debt
Bajaj Finance Loan:

EMI: Rs 12,000
This loan is a significant chunk of your monthly budget.
Cred Loan:

EMI: Rs 8,000
Adding to your financial burden with another large EMI.
HDFC Credit Card Debt:

Outstanding Amount: Rs 1,45,000
Credit card debt usually has high interest rates, making it crucial to address quickly.
Impact on Monthly Cash Flow
After deducting EMIs (Rs 20,000) from your salary (Rs 50,000), you are left with Rs 30,000 for all other expenses. Managing household expenses with this remaining amount can be tight, particularly with the needs of a young child.

Steps to Manage and Reduce Your Debt
To effectively manage and reduce your debt, consider the following structured approach:

1. Create a Realistic Budget
Assess Your Monthly Expenses:

List all necessary expenses like rent, utilities, groceries, and childcare.
Identify discretionary expenses that can be reduced or eliminated.
Prioritize Spending:

Focus on essential expenses and allocate funds to high-priority areas first.
Plan a budget that accounts for your fixed costs and allows you to allocate a portion towards debt repayment.
2. Consolidate Your Debts
Debt Consolidation Loan:

Consider taking a personal loan with a lower interest rate to pay off high-interest credit card debt.
This can simplify your payments into one monthly EMI, potentially lower than your current combined EMIs.
Balance Transfer for Credit Card Debt:

Look for credit cards offering low or zero interest rates on balance transfers.
Transfer the HDFC credit card balance to such a card to reduce interest and focus on repaying the principal.
3. Negotiate with Creditors
Request EMI Restructuring:

Contact Bajaj Finance and Cred to explore options for extending the loan term or reducing EMI amounts temporarily.
Explain your situation and negotiate for more manageable terms.
Seek Interest Rate Reduction:

Talk to your credit card issuer (HDFC) to see if they can lower your interest rate.
Some creditors offer hardship programs that may reduce your interest rates or pause payments temporarily.
4. Increase Your Income
Explore Side Income Opportunities:

Consider freelance work, part-time jobs, or monetizing a hobby to supplement your income.
Look for opportunities that do not require significant upfront investment.
Seek Salary Increment or Promotion:

Discuss with your employer the possibility of a raise or promotion.
Highlight your contributions and the value you bring to the company.
5. Optimize Your Expenses
Cut Non-Essential Spending:

Reduce or eliminate spending on non-essential items like dining out, subscriptions, and entertainment.
Focus on necessary expenditures to free up more cash for debt repayment.
Look for Savings on Essentials:

Shop for groceries in bulk, use coupons, and find deals to lower your monthly expenses.
Consider switching to more affordable service providers for utilities or insurance.
6. Set Up a Debt Repayment Plan
Snowball Method:

Prioritize paying off smaller debts first while making minimum payments on larger ones.
This approach provides psychological wins and motivates continued progress.
Avalanche Method:

Focus on paying off high-interest debts first, which saves more on interest over time.
This method reduces the overall cost of your debt faster.
Hybrid Approach:

Combine both methods by paying off a high-interest small debt first, then proceed with the avalanche method.
This gives a quick win while focusing on reducing interest payments.
7. Emergency Fund Creation
Set Aside a Small Emergency Fund:

Build a modest emergency fund (Rs 10,000 - Rs 20,000) to cover unexpected expenses.
This prevents you from incurring new debt for emergencies.
Gradually Increase the Fund:

Once immediate debts are under control, aim to grow this fund to cover 3-6 months of living expenses.
This provides a financial cushion and enhances long-term stability.
8. Seek Professional Financial Advice
Consult a Certified Financial Planner (CFP):

A CFP can offer personalized strategies for debt reduction and financial management.
They can help you create a sustainable plan to meet your financial goals and obligations.
Debt Management Services:

Consider reputable debt management services that negotiate with creditors and help consolidate payments.
Ensure you understand the fees and terms before committing to any service.
Psychological and Emotional Considerations
Debt can be stressful and affect your mental well-being. Here are ways to manage this aspect:

1. Stay Positive and Patient
Focus on Small Wins:

Celebrate small achievements like paying off a loan or reducing outstanding debt.
These milestones keep you motivated and reinforce progress.
Maintain a Long-Term Perspective:

Understand that debt repayment is a gradual process requiring time and discipline.
Stay committed to your plan, and remember that each payment brings you closer to financial freedom.
2. Seek Support from Loved Ones
Communicate with Your Partner:

Discuss your financial situation openly with your spouse or family members.
Their support can provide emotional relief and practical help.
Join Support Groups:

Consider joining online or local groups focused on debt management and financial wellness.
Sharing experiences with others facing similar challenges can provide encouragement and new strategies.
Final Insights
Managing and reducing your debt requires a multifaceted approach involving budgeting, consolidation, income optimization, and disciplined repayment. By taking these steps, you can regain control over your finances and alleviate the stress caused by debt.

Regularly review your progress and adjust your plan as needed. Seek guidance from certified professionals to tailor strategies specific to your situation. With persistence and a structured approach, you will overcome this financial challenge and build a secure future for your family.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


..Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |5092 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 06, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jun 20, 2024Hindi
Sir my monthly salary is 20625 and I took a personal loan of 300000 lacs multiple loan app last 2 year and I have credit card also but with my daily expenses I couldn't pay the total emis and bills so I took some credit from cred application it's almost 1 lacs and now I'm unable to pay any of them as my salary is very low to pay so many emis I can't stop thinking about all this I'm facing anxiety and depression due to debts. I want to come out of this debt and get clean from all this problem. I want to save money and live a normal life. I couldn't share it with anyone also. My father us retired and he couldn't help me.
Ans: I truly understand how stressful financial difficulties can be. It's commendable that you're seeking help to resolve your debts and plan for a better future. Let's develop a comprehensive strategy to tackle your debts and set you on the path to financial stability.

Understanding Your Financial Situation
Firstly, it’s crucial to understand the full picture of your financial situation. Here’s what we know:

Monthly salary: Rs. 20,625
Personal loan: Rs. 3,00,000
Additional credit: Rs. 1,00,000
Total debt: Rs. 4,00,000
Monthly expenses are high, making it difficult to pay EMIs and bills.
Emotional and Mental Well-being
Debt and financial stress can lead to anxiety and depression. It's important to take care of your mental health. Try to talk to a trusted friend or family member about your situation. Sometimes, sharing your burden can make it feel lighter. Professional counseling can also be very helpful.

Immediate Steps to Manage Debt
1. Create a Detailed Budget
List all your monthly income and expenses. This will help you see where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut costs.

2. Prioritize Essential Expenses
Ensure that your basic needs such as food, rent, and utilities are covered first. Allocate funds for these before paying off debts.

3. Negotiate with Creditors
Contact your lenders and explain your situation. They might be willing to restructure your loans or provide a more manageable repayment plan. Some may even offer a temporary reduction in payments.

4. Avoid Taking More Loans
Stop taking new loans or using credit cards. This will only add to your debt and make the situation worse.

Debt Repayment Strategies
1. Debt Consolidation
Consider consolidating all your debts into one loan with a lower interest rate. This can simplify your payments and reduce the overall interest you pay.

2. Debt Snowball Method
Focus on paying off the smallest debts first while making minimum payments on larger ones. Once a small debt is cleared, move on to the next smallest. This method gives you a psychological boost as you see debts being eliminated.

3. Debt Avalanche Method
Prioritize paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first while making minimum payments on others. This method reduces the total interest you pay over time.

Boosting Your Income
1. Part-time Jobs or Freelancing
Look for opportunities to earn extra income through part-time jobs or freelancing. Even a small additional income can help reduce your debt faster.

2. Sell Unused Items
Consider selling items you no longer need. This can provide a quick influx of cash to put towards your debts.

Long-term Financial Planning
Once your immediate debts are under control, focus on building a stable financial future.

1. Emergency Fund
Start building an emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of expenses. This will provide a cushion for unexpected financial challenges.

2. Systematic Savings Plan
Begin saving a small portion of your income regularly. Even a small amount can grow over time through disciplined saving.

3. Avoid Unnecessary Spending
Be mindful of your spending habits. Prioritize needs over wants and avoid impulse purchases.

Investment Planning
After stabilizing your financial situation, consider investing to grow your wealth. Here's a simple guide on different investment options.

1. Mutual Funds
Mutual funds pool money from many investors to purchase securities. They offer diversification and professional management.

Equity Funds: Invest in stocks, providing high returns but with higher risk.
Debt Funds: Invest in bonds, offering stable returns with lower risk.
Hybrid Funds: Combine equity and debt, balancing risk and return.
2. Power of Compounding
Investing early allows you to benefit from compounding, where your earnings generate more earnings. This can significantly grow your wealth over time.

Disadvantages of Index Funds
Index funds aim to replicate the performance of a market index. Here are some drawbacks:

Lack of Flexibility: Cannot adapt to market changes.
Market Risk: Entirely exposed to market fluctuations.
Lower Returns: Often underperform actively managed funds.
Benefits of Actively Managed Funds
Actively managed funds are managed by professionals who make investment decisions to outperform the market.

Flexibility: Managers can adapt to market changes.
Potential for Higher Returns: Aim to beat the market.
Risk Management: Professional managers can mitigate risks.
Disadvantages of Direct Funds
Direct funds have no intermediary, potentially saving costs but have drawbacks:

Lack of Guidance: No professional advice.
Time-Consuming: Requires active management and monitoring.
Higher Risk: Without expert guidance, risk of poor decisions increases.
Benefits of Regular Funds Through CFP
Investing through a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) offers numerous advantages:

Professional Advice: Expert guidance on fund selection and portfolio management.
Regular Monitoring: Continuous review and adjustments to optimize returns.
Tailored Portfolio: Customized investment strategy to meet your specific goals.
Tax Planning
Effective tax planning can enhance your savings and investment returns.

1. Utilize Tax Deductions
Maximize deductions under sections like 80C through investments in PPF, ELSS, and other eligible instruments.

2. Health Insurance
Premiums paid for health insurance can be deducted under Section 80D, reducing your taxable income.

Estate Planning
Ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes through proper estate planning.

1. Draft a Will
Clearly state how your assets should be distributed. This prevents legal complications and ensures your wishes are honored.

2. Appoint Nominees
Appoint nominees for your bank accounts, insurance policies, and investments. This simplifies the transfer of assets in case of your absence.

Final Insights
Financial challenges can be overwhelming, but with a structured approach, you can overcome them. Prioritize your debts, create a budget, and look for ways to boost your income. Once your debts are under control, focus on building a stable financial future through disciplined saving and investing.

Consult a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for personalized advice and guidance. Stay disciplined, and remember, small steps can lead to significant progress.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


..Read more

Latest Questions
Nayagam P

Nayagam P P  |2230 Answers  |Ask -

Career Counsellor - Answered on Jul 21, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 20, 2024Hindi
Sir, i have completed my bachelors (BCA) in India in an engineering college and wishes to pursue my masters in a foreign country.My family is'nt well off so iam looking into schlorships.can you suggest some courses with good scope. Also which countries are best for IT field that provide great schlorship oppurtunities.
Ans: As far as Scholarships for Abroad Universities are concerned, you should have good scores from the entrance tests (whichever will be applicable according to the University's admission criteria), good past academic records, your extra and co-curricular activities, additional certifications, your Statement of Purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation etc. Those who have gained work experience of a minimum 2-3 years after graduation get preference in admission.

And most of the Universities do not provide 100% scholarships. You will have to bear some expenses (depends upon which University / College you get admission into & what all expenses only it will cover?) .

As you have mentioned that your parents NOT well-off financially, it is suggested to work for 2-3 years, earn some money and also gain work experience, then go for further education abroad.

Before approaching any Professional Abroad Education Consultant, do a thorough research about the Countries/Universities/Programs, shortlist those which you think will be most suitable, apply to 5-6 top Univerities offering Scholarships and finalize one best University/College for you.

All the BEST for Your Bright Future.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related document carefully before investing. The securities quoted are for illustration only and are not recommendatory. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information and as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision. RediffGURUS is an intermediary as per India's Information Technology Act.


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