If I take a loan for 1.000,000 and try to pay it in five years, I'll have to pay approx 20000 as EMI. My uncle tells me to keep the tenure as 20 years (with interest rate at 10%), and my EMI will be just 7000. He says it's an advantage because due to the rate of inflation being about 7%, the value of this 7000 will be very less in 10 or 20 years time, and will be a much better option than trying to pay it off in 5 years. Is it really better?

[this is in India, where the house prices are rising]

  • Welcome to SE, can you tell us what EMI is? Either in words or a link to a good definition. Feb 13, 2013 at 16:45
  • Sorry. Added it to the question as a link. EMI is Equated Monthly Installment.
    – Nav
    Feb 13, 2013 at 16:48
  • Actually, it's my own ignorance. And posters from outside the US help educate us. Feb 13, 2013 at 18:13
  • I also want to know if I take loan for longer period and pay lump sum every year reducing the principal amount thus reducing the interest rather than higher EMI...which is more beneficial...
    – user18997
    Jul 12, 2014 at 10:27
  • 1
    @JTP-ApologisetoMonica When I was growing up (in India in the early 1950s), the way loans worked in India was that the interest accrued over the month was due at the end of each month plus a fixed fraction (e.g. 1/60th for a five-year loan) of the original principal amount. So, each succeeding month, the interest part decreased while the principal repayment part was fixed, leading to unequal monthly installments. With the advent of computers, India turned to the Western system of fixed monthly payments (the EMI that still feels strange to most of India). Feb 1, 2022 at 20:58

3 Answers 3


As a general principle if you are able to comfortably afford Rs20 K every month, with contingency, you should go ahead. The value of Rs 7000 may be less in later years, however it does not impact anything, the other consideration you need to make is if you can afford 20 K, then paying 7 K in interest will leave you with 13 K. Are you comfortable to make an investment of 13 K in something that will return you more than 10% [the rate you are paying as interest]. If you don't believe you can get more return, then you should take the loan for shorter period.

  • 1
    +1 - It's simple, if the opportunity cost of 13K is greater than 10%, then pick 20 years else try to pay it off as soon as you can. Feb 20, 2013 at 23:52

The 5 year offer looks like a fully amortizing loan, i.e. paid off in five years. And 7.42% interest.

I'd take the shorter loan at 7.42% vs the3 10% for 20 years, but of course, it's nearly triple the payment. Can you afford this?

Interesting that the longer term rate (10%) is about 3% higher than your current inflation rate. That stands to reason, as the US rate is sub-4% with inflation in the 1% range.


From my point , it is bad to take long tenure when you can repay higher amount every month. The reason is that the principle amount you pay every month is less in case of longer tenure. Hence you pay more to bank in longer tenure.

You take a loan amount of 20,00,000 INR for 10% interest rate per annum. Your interest amount is 19,00,000 INR for 15 year loan and 28,00,000 INR for 20 year loan . It indirectly means for availing 20 lakh loan, you're returning 40 lakh to bank in 15 year loan. Do you want to provide that amount to bank or keep it yourself for investing. If you want to keep it to yourself, keep your tenure as short as possible.

For full details , you can see my blog post on tenure.

  • 2
    Hi Siva, can you add a few more lines of detail to this answer? This has the possibility of being a good answer, but its content to link ratio is a little low. Even quoting relevant parts of your post would help.
    – C. Ross
    Jul 10, 2013 at 13:02
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    +1 to what C. Ross said. I would also suggest learning about the formatting options available when editing posts here, so you can post links with matching meaningful titles instead of bare links. Remember, good answers get voted up. Jul 10, 2013 at 13:04

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