1. How safe is my money with Chit Funds?
Safety of one’s money in the hands of another person depends on the honesty and integrity of the person managing your funds. Many Chit Funds with working history of over 30 years reveals that they have not defaulted in repayment of any person’s money.
2. Why should I join Chit Funds?
Look for a professionally managed company in the service of its subscribers with a track record.
Look for the group is socially responsible. For example supports a non -profit cancer hospital and provides scholarships to poor meritorious students etc.
Some Chit Funds in the interest of its subscribers offers a discount of 0.5% of the installment, if the installments are paid before the 10th of every month. There is also a provision for payment at any of their Branch or collection of the monthly installments from your doorstep. They also have plans for online payment.
3. How is a chit fund a better saving option, when compared to a deposit in a Bank, Mutual fund etc.?
By joining a chit fund, a person is forced to save a small part of his income, to meet his planned/unplanned investments or expenditure. In case of contingency, borrowing from the chit fund is much easier, simpler, faster and cheaper than borrowing from a bank. The chit loss is normally lower than the market rate of interest. In case a person wants to save till the last, the return a subscriber gets by way of chit dividends is much higher than interest from banks on recurring deposits.
4. Who is a prized subscriber?
A subscriber who has lifted his chit or to whom the chit amount is paid is called a prized subscriber.
5. Who is a non-prized subscriber?
A subscriber who has not lifted his chit or to whom the chit amount has not been paid yet is called a non-prized subscriber.
6. What are the benefits?
Persons who want to save money and receive the prized/bid amount in the second half of the chit period, earn very much higher return than their periodic savings kept with a bank.
Those in need of money are able to raise money by receiving the prized/bid amount when they are in need of money. The interest or chit loss in such cases is very much less than the market rates.
All persons joining a chit group are forced to save a small amount of their income to finance their dream projects such as – purchasing a plot or building a house or meeting marriage expenses or buying domestic articles, or discharging an existing liability etc.
Each person who pays his periodic installments up to date is entitled to receive the prized amount at a period of his choice, after participating in a lottery/auction.
7. What are the benefits of receiving chit amount in the first few months, at a discount or loss?
Since the successful bidder, in the initial few months is allowed to use the chit amount, for his personal use ahead of others, he offers to take the chit amount at a discount, after calculation interest and cost of funds. It may be noted that a successful bidder withdraws more money from the company, than he had already paid, and repays the excess amount withdrawn, in periodic installments until completion of the chit period. The excess amount so paid is known as chit loss.
8. What is auction discount?
The difference between chit value and the amount at which a successful bidder takes a chit in a lottery auction is known as auction discount.
9. What is an auction?
Auction is a procedure for identification of the non-prized subscriber who wants to take a chit amount at the highest permissible discount. All non-prized subscribers who have paid their installments up to date are allowed to participate in the auction for bidding up to the highest auction discount, within a period of five minutes allowed for each auction.
10. What is chit dividend?
Auction discount minus company commission (5% of chit value) is the total group dividend. Total group dividend is distributed equally amongst all the subscribers. This dividend so distributed is deducted from the next installment payable by the subscriber.
11. What is lot?
When more than one non-prized subscriber wants to take the chit amount at the same discount, the chit numbers (coins) of all such non-prized subscribers are put in a container and the successful bidder is identified by removing one number (token coin) from the said container. The procedure is known as lot or lottery.
12. What is “coming to open”?
When there is no member in the chit group who is willing to receive the prized/bid amount at the maximum allowable discount, the bidding for the chit comes in for open auction. This is known as coming to open.
13. How many sureties or guarantors are required?
Normally for all chits a minimum of three sureties or guarantors other than family members are insisted upon. The basic salary or taxable income of all such sureties or guarantors should not be less than 20% of the chits’ future liability.
14. What are the benefits to the Foreman/Chit Fund Company?
The chit fund company conducting the chit business also known as Foreman charges 5% of the chit value as commission or service charge for the services rendered by it. The foreman has to gather a group of persons to form a chit group, collecting money from each subscriber every month, arranging payment of prized money to one person each month and collecting money from prized subscribers etc is work for the foreman.
15. What regulations does the chit fund company follow?
All activities of the company are regulated/monitored by the government department under the chit fund Act 1982.
16. Why are sureties or guarantors taken?
A chit fund company undertakes to collect periodic installments from all the subscribers and pay the amount so collected, after deduction its commission (5% or the chit value) to one of the non-prized subscriber each month. At every point in time, the chit fund company pays the prized subscriber more money, than what it had collected from the prized subscriber, on the understanding that the prized subscriber will pay the balance future installment on time. In other words, the prized subscriber takes a loan advance from the chit fund company, with an understanding to repay the balance future installment in time, to enable the foreman to pay the prized money to other non-prized subscribers each month. In order to safe guard the interest of all non-prized subscribers each month the chit fund company insists upon the prized subscriber to provide guarantee for repayment of future installments.
17. What action will be taken against defaulting subscribers?
Penalty is collected from all subscribers who make delayed payment of periodic installments. In case a non-prized subscriber defaults for a continuous period of three months, such subscriber will be removed. The actual amount paid by him in the chit minus company commission will be repaid to such defaulting subscriber, after completion of the cit period. In case a prized subscriber defaults for a continuous period of three months, a penalty of 6% per month will be collected and dividends will also not be paid to such defaulting prized subscriber. Legal action will be initiated against the said defaulting prized subscriber and his guarantors in court of law, for recovery of all dues.
18. Can I withdraw from a chit group after becoming a member?
When a subscriber withdraws, the foreman has to find an alternate subscriber in his place. Until then the chit fund company has to arrange funds on behalf of such a defaulting subscriber, for payment to a prized subscriber each month. Hence withdrawal is permitted, but the actual amount paid by the subscriber in the chit minus company commission will be repaid to such a defaulting subscriber at the end of the chit period.
19. How soon can I expect payment once I bid for the chit?
Payment can be expected after completion of documentation.
20. What are the income tax benefits by saving and borrowing using chits?
The chit loss can be deducted from the income from profession or business. The net surplus or dividends after completion of the chit period need to be offered as income, but some courts have ruled that this income is not subject to income tax.
21. What are the modes of payment?
Cash, cheques, demand draft, pay order and bank transfer are accepted modes of payment
22. How many chits can I take in a chit group?
A subscriber can participate more than one chit in the same chit group, but the no. of chits allowed will be at the discretion of the foreman.
23. What are the various chit groups available with chits?
The chit groups vary from 25,000 to few lakhs depending on the Chit Fund Schemes..
24. What it the duration of these chits?
The duration of chits are normally 25 months, 40 months and 50 months.
25. Can we make payments in other branches?
Yes many chits Funds allow you to make payments at any of their branch.
26. What are the benefits of joining a vacant chit?
All the dividends receivable till date of joining the group are earned by the member joining a vacant chit.
27. Registered and Unregistered chit fund companies?
Registered chit funds are regulated by the government departments, Unregistered chit funds are prohibited by the government and the subscriber will be at the mercy of the promoter without support from government agencies.