Putting India On The Installment Plan

HDFC rules the mortgage market--and isn't stopping there

It used to take a lifetime of savings to accumulate enough cash to buy a house or apartment in India. Not anymore. Just ask Shalini Ganju and his wife, Raju. When they returned to Bombay after a stint in Dubai six years ago, the couple wanted to buy a two-bedroom home of their mwn instead of living with Raju's parents. Even after pooling their savings and borrowing $55,000 from their families, they still came up short. But instead of moving in with mom and dad, the Ganjus applied to the Housing Development Finance Corp. for a $16,700 loan. Within 24 hours, the deal was done. "No red tape, no stalling, no reams of documents," recalls Shalini, 36. "It was impressive."

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