• How To Read Your Credit Report

    CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau India Limited) is the credit rating and research organisation of India. Based on spends and payments through and on credit lines such as credit cards, personal loans, home loans, car loans and others, information is provided by lenders to CIBIL. This information is carefully collated and curated over a period of time and an analysis of the same provides the data that gives you the credit score and history. Depending upon the score and credit history, most banks and lenders take decisions on whether to provide you with extra lines of credit or not.

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    Analysing the CIBIL Report

    The key thing to understand once you receive your credit report is that it is an aggregate view of how well you stand in the views of any lender in the country or abroad. Though your next loan or credit card might not be approved or rejected solely on the basis of the contents of the report, you should make it a point to ensure your credit history is as clean as possible.

    The credit report from CIBIL has different sections that can reveal a ton about one’s credit health when scrutinised well. The various sections in the report are as follows –

    1. CIBIL TransUnion Score
    2. Personal Information
    3. Contact Information
    4. Employment Information
    5. Account Information
    6. Enquiries Information

    The above elements of the report can be explained as below –

    CIBIL TransUnion Score is the first section of the Credit Information Report (CIR). This section provides a figure normally between 300 to 900 and a percentile figure of applicants who have been sanctioned loans in the past one year under a specific financial band. Speaking of the score that ranges from 300 to 900, the higher your score in this range, the better are the chances that a bank might approve your next loan or credit card. The flipside to the score is that if it is below 300, it is a really bad indicator of your credit health. Additionally, you might come across terms like NA or NH. Those terms mean either there is no credit history available or you might be new to the credit system. If you haven’t conducted any transaction through credit lines over the past few years, it will also read NA or NH for you. That is not a bad reflection in any way.

    Personal Information section deals with name, passport number, date of birth, PAN number, Voter ID and any other proof of identity that CIBIL possesses about you. Information provided through lenders who have dealt with you directly will be marked with the letter “e” against the relevant details.

    Contact Information can have up to four addresses that can include permanent, temporary and office addresses. Email IDs and phone numbers as provided by the lenders will also be listed.

    Employment Information can relate details about employers and income at the time of applying for a loan or a credit card. In case of two more different applications, this data can vary.

    Account Information section is probably the most important section to be encountered. It has all the information about every open loan and credit card. Definite details like the lender’s name, date of initiation, date of last payment, individual or joint account holder type, amount of loan or overdue, total outstanding and a month-based record of payments made for the past 3 years. If you encounter a red band covering any information here, it means that particular information is disputed. You could probably discuss with the lender on the same and get it sorted through a letter of clarification. Based on the lender’s input, the red band may or may not be removed.

    Enquiries Information basically depicts the name of institutions which have made enquiries on your credit score. You can know who has you on their prospective customer list/avoidance list.

    Glossary of Terms

    Apart from the information mentioned above, here are a list of terms that can help you understand what exactly the CIR is mentioning in its words about you –

    1. DPD – Days Past Due shows how many days have passed since the due date of payment. Anything more than zero or ‘Standard’ is bad
    2. CN – Control Number mentioned at the top of the document and it can be used as a reference if you find any information that is incorrect
    3. Settlement Amount – In case of a disputed payment, the borrower and the lender might agree on a certain amount less than the actual to be paid and the remaining is written off. This deals with that aspect of a credit line
    4. Written off Amount – An amount on a credit card or loan that has been lost to the borrower. It is a bad aspect in a credit score.


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