7 Things you won’t find on your CIBIL report
Your CIBIL credit report a.k.a. your Credit Information Report (CIR) is an important document which provides pertinent information on your credit position. All credit transactions, as submitted by member credit institutions, are regularly collected and collated for perusal at any time by either you or third-party lending and financial institutions.
While your credit report contains all relevant data to ascertain your credit score and your financial standing thereby, it is not an exhaustive compilation. There are some things your credit report can’t or won’t tell you.
Savings and investment data: Your credit report will not feature any information pertaining to any of your savings or investment accounts held at any of the member credit institutions or otherwise. It does not report on transactions conducted through these accounts and as such these do not affect your credit score. This includes information on your fixed deposit accounts, current accounts and trading accounts. While your savings and income sources are representative of your financial position, your CIBIL report is only concerned with your credit status and history.
Credit approval status and analysis: Your credit status may be based on findings in your report but your CIBIL report will not contain suggestions on how the score will be used. Whether a score is considered adequate or not is left to the discretion of the enquiring credit institution. Neither will it inform an individual making an enquiry whether his/her loan will be approved based on information presented in the report.
The Credit Information Report is as its name suggests, a report which only presents documented information. Relevant inferences and analyses can be drawn and performed based on this in accordance to the purpose of inquiry. For e.g. you may have a high CIBIL credit score but a bank may identify payment defaults on a prior loan in your CIR and decide to reject your loan based on this.
How to improve your credit score: Your report will contain data on delayed payments or defaults but it won’t quantify the effect of these instances on your credit score. Your score will be calculated based on your report in totality. It will not provide specific measures or suggestions to improve your score based on recorded data. For e.g. if you’ve been rejected on many loans, it will not indicate when you should apply for your next loan to avoid a negative impact on your score. Nor will It indicate by how many points or how quickly your score will improve if you reduce the number of credit cards you own or close an outstanding loan.
Your credit utilisation ratio: This is the ratio between your credit limit and credit usage. Your report will not indicate this ratio. It is left to the enquirer to arrive at this finding based on the information provided. Overutilisation and underutilisation of credit both affect your credit score, but, how this is factored into calculations is not indicated. In general, a credit utilisation ratio of 75% is considered acceptable for a good credit rating.
Reason for settlements: While you may have settled your outstanding dues with your lender, reasons for settlements will not be accounted for. In many cases, genuine circumstances may have prompted you to settle an account e.g. you could not make timely payments due to a medical emergency or your card was used fraudulently. But these instances can only be explained to enquiring institutions once they have identified settlements in your report and raised this as an impediment to your credit approval process.
Defaulters list: CIBIL doesn’t maintain a list of defaulters and as such will not mention in your report if you are named in any such list. It is a misconception among many that lenders can access a CIBIL record which blacklists you as a defaulter on past credit. Your CIBIL credit report will record defaults which factors into your score but this is not separately highlighted or recorded as part of a specific list.
Monthly payment history beyond 3 years: Monthly payments are recorded in the report for up to 3 years prior to the most recent payment. Payments prior to this period will not be indicated in your current CIR. It is recommended to check your report about 3-4 times a year to review your payment history and identify any discrepancies at the earliest to avoid a bad score. Rectifications to your report can be made only if the relevant member institution submits to CIBIL that such discrepancy has to be corrected. This process can take time which makes it all the more advisable to keep a tab on your records.
CIBIL ratings are becoming increasingly prominent in our financial system. While member institutions, currently, largely comprise banks and credit card issuers and other financial institutions extending credit, it is likely that insurance companies and telecom companies may soon join the fray. Many employers are also leaning towards credit checks as a way to assess new hires, especially in case of high-level recruits. With credit becoming an indispensable part of people’s lives, it is essential all individuals make CIBIL Credit Information Reports a part of their financial planning and review process for easy availability of credit to achieve personal financial goals.