What is Fixed?

A fixed deposit (FD) is a financial instrument provided by banks and financial institutions that allows individuals to deposit a sum of money for a fixed period, typically ranging from a few days to several years. During this period, the money is locked in, and in return, the depositor receives a fixed interest rate on the principal amount. The interest is usually higher than that offered by a regular savings account.

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Here are some benefits of fixed deposits

Stable Returns

One of the primary benefits of fixed deposits is the assurance of stable returns. The interest rate is fixed at the time of deposit, and it remains constant throughout the tenure of the deposit.

Capital Preservation

FDs are considered a safe investment option, as the principal amount is not subject to market fluctuations.

Flexibility in Tenure

Fixed deposits offer flexibility in terms of tenure. Investors can choose a tenure that suits their financial goals, ranging from a few days to several years. Longer tenures often attract higher interest rates.

Predictable Earnings

Since the interest rate is fixed, depositors can predict their earnings with accuracy. This predictability can be beneficial for financial planning and goal setting.

Liquidity Options

While fixed deposits are intended for a fixed tenure, most banks offer premature withdrawal options, albeit with certain penalties. This provides a level of liquidity in case of urgent financial needs.

Loan Facility

Many banks offer loan facilities against fixed deposits. This can be useful in situations where individuals need funds but don't want to break the FD prematurely. The loan is usually offered at a lower interest rate compared to personal loans.

Ease of Investment

Opening a fixed deposit is a straightforward process. It usually requires minimal documentation, making it accessible for a wide range of investors.

Types of Fixed Deposits in India

In India, fixed deposits are a popular investment option, and there are various types of fixed deposits to cater to different financial needs and preferences. Here are some common types of fixed deposits available in India:

Regular Fixed Deposit

This is the standard and most common type of fixed deposit. Investors deposit a lump sum amount for a fixed tenure and receive interest on the principal amount at regular intervals or at maturity.

Senior Citizen Fixed Deposit

Senior citizens often enjoy higher interest rates on fixed deposits. Many banks offer special fixed deposit schemes for individuals above a certain age (usually 60 years). These schemes provide better returns to senior citizens.

Tax-Saver Fixed Deposit

Tax-Saver Fixed Deposits come with a lock-in period of five years and offer tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. The interest earned is taxable, and premature withdrawals are not allowed.

Cumulative Fixed Deposit

In a cumulative fixed deposit, the interest is compounded quarterly or annually and reinvested with the principal amount. The total amount (principal + interest) is paid at maturity. This type of FD is suitable for those looking for compounding benefits.

Non-Cumulative Fixed Deposit

In a non-cumulative fixed deposit, the interest is paid out at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annually), providing a steady income stream for the investor. The principal amount is returned at maturity.

Flexi Fixed Deposit

Flexi Fixed Deposits allow depositors to withdraw a part of the principal amount without breaking the entire deposit. This provides some liquidity while still earning interest on the remaining amount.

Corporate Fixed Deposit

Corporate fixed deposits are offered by non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and corporate entities. These deposits often provide higher interest rates than those offered by banks. However, they come with a higher level of risk, as they are not backed by the government's deposit insurance.

Fixed Deposit with Monthly Income Scheme

Some banks offer fixed deposits with a monthly interest payout, providing a regular income to investors. This can be beneficial for individuals looking for a steady cash flow.

Special Fixed Deposit for Children

Certain banks offer fixed deposit schemes specifically designed for children. These deposits may have features like a higher interest rate, lower minimum deposit requirements, and incentives for long-term savings for the child's future.

Short-Term Fixed Deposit

Short-term fixed deposits have a relatively brief tenure, usually ranging from a few days to a year. They offer lower interest rates compared to long-term deposits but provide more liquidity.

Before opting for a specific type of fixed deposit, it's essential for investors to consider their financial goals, risk tolerance, and liquidity requirements. Additionally, individuals should carefully review the terms and conditions, interest rates, and maturity options offered by different banks and financial institutions.

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