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Difference between Sanction and Disbursement

13-Jun-2024 | Home Loan

Difference between Sanction and Disbursement

In the realm of home loans, two terms frequently come into play: sanction and disbursement. While they may seem interchangeable, understanding the fundamental difference between the two is crucial for anyone navigating the complex landscape of home financing. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the details of sanction versus disbursement, shedding light on their significance in the context of home loans. Before we proceed, let's clarify these terms:


The term "sanction" refers to the approval or authorization provided by a financial institution, such as a HFC, NBFC, bank or a lender, for a specific loan amount to the borrower. It signifies that the lender has assessed the borrower's eligibility, creditworthiness, and other relevant factors and has agreed to extend a loan of a certain amount, subject to certain conditions.

Sanction: The Initial Step in the Loan Process

  1. When you apply for a home loan, the first step involves the lender assessing your eligibility based on various factors such as income, credit score, employment history, existing debts, and the value of the property you intend to purchase. This evaluation concludes in the sanction of the loan amount, wherein the lender approves a specific sum that you are eligible to borrow based on their assessment.

  2. The sanction process typically involves the submission of required documents, such as income proof, identity proof, property documents, and others, along with the loan application. The lender then conducts a thorough review of these documents and may perform a credit check of your creditworthiness.

  3. Upon satisfying the lender's eligibility criteria and providing all necessary documentation, you receive a formal communication from the lender confirming the sanction of the loan amount. This sanction letter outlines crucial details such as the approved loan amount, applicable interest rate, tenure, and any specific terms and conditions associated with the loan.

  4. It's important to note that the sanction of a home loan does not imply immediate disbursement of funds. Instead, it signifies that the lender has evaluated your application and is willing to extend the specified loan amount to you, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions.


Disbursement, on the other hand, denotes the actual release or transfer of the sanctioned loan amount to the borrower's account or to the designated recipient as per the terms and conditions agreed upon during the loan approval process.

Disbursement: Turning Approval into Action

  1. Once the loan is sanctioned, the next step is the disbursement of funds, wherein the approved loan amount is released by the lender to you or to the designated party, such as the seller or builder, as per the terms agreed upon.

  2. Disbursement typically occurs at various stages of the property purchase process, depending on the agreement between the borrower and the lender. For instance, in the case of under-construction properties, disbursement may be made in installments based on the progress of construction, while for ready-to-move-in properties, it may be a lump sum payment upon completion of documentation and other formalities.

  3. It's essential to understand that the disbursement process involves careful verification and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements to ensure that the funds are utilised appropriately and in line with the intended purpose, i.e., the purchase of the property.

Key Differences and Implications

Now that we've revealed the sanction and disbursement processes let's examine the key differences between the two and their implications for borrowers:

  1. Timing: The primary distinction between sanction and disbursement lies in the timing of the two processes. Sanction occurs at the initial stage when the lender approves the loan amount, whereas disbursement takes place subsequently when the approved funds are released.

  2. Conditional Approval: Sanction represents a conditional approval wherein the lender agrees to extend the loan subject to fulfilment of certain conditions, such as submission of required documents, completion of legal formalities, and compliance with terms and conditions. Disbursement, on the other hand, is the actual transfer of funds upon meeting these conditions.

  3. Legal Obligations: While sanction establishes the legal commitment between the borrower and the lender, disbursement triggers the commencement of the repayment obligation, as the borrower begins repaying the loan amount along with applicable interest from the time of disbursement.

  4. Property Ownership: In the context of home loans, disbursement is directly linked to the purchase or construction of the property. Hence, timely disbursement is crucial for the acquisition of the property and ensure seamless progress in the construction process.

  5. Documentation and Compliance: Both sanction and disbursement involve thorough documentation and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. However, disbursement requires additional scrutiny to ensure that the funds are utilised for the intended purpose and in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement.

In summary, while sanction and disbursement are integral stages in the home loan process, they serve distinct purposes and entail different implications for borrowers. While sanction signifies approval for the loan amount based on eligibility criteria and other factors, disbursement involves the actual release of funds to facilitate the purchase or construction of the property.

Understanding the disparity between sanction and disbursement is imperative for borrowers to navigate the home loan journey effectively and ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. By grasping the nuances of these processes and adhering to the requisite documentation and compliance requirements, borrowers can expedite loan approval and disbursement, thereby realising their dream of homeownership with confidence and clarity.

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