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Credit Score – you’ve heard the term before, haven’t you? You also have a vague idea that it’s a number banks inspect to determine your credibility. But do you know who calculates your Credit Score and what factors determine it? Well, this article will answer all your questions about Credit Score and all its ramifications.
A Credit Score is a three-digit number indicative of your credit behaviour. Consider it marks given to you by financial institutions for your financial behaviour. A high score means you have good money-management skills and that you repay your debts on time. Likewise, a low score raises questions about your financial credibility.
How does this impact you? Well, banks always check your Credit Score before processing your loan or any other kind of credit request. A good Credit Score will help you get a loan or a Credit Cards easily. Moreover, you can bargain for better rates of interest on loans if you have a good Credit Score.
In a nutshell, your Credit Score tells financial institutions whether they can extend credit to you or not. A good Credit Score means you are a safe bet, and a bad score translates to ‘uh-oh, maybe next time’!
Your Credit Score is computed by Credit Information Companies. There are four companies in Indian which do the job– CIBIL TransUnion, Experian, Equifax and High Mark. Let’s unveil the mystery around how these companies compute your score.
When you make a transaction—the one that is relevant to determine your score—banks send details about it to all four credit bureaus. To send details to all credit agencies is a mandate by the RBI. Essentially, banks keep Credit Information Companies up-to-date about your monetary habits. If a bank needs to check your Credit Score, they can approach any one of the bureaus. It doesn’t matter which one because all will have the same score for you– all four are equally authoritative and on par with each other.
After receiving information from the bank, credit bureaus get down to the task of collecting more information about your financial habits from other banks and financial institutions. The credit bureaus then processes this information to formulate what is called a Credit Report.
Now, what is a Credit Report? A Credit Report is your financial marks card. It contains your Credit Score. It’s wiser to check your score from time to time.
It is very important that you keep a close eye on your Credit Score. It is the best way to gauge your chances to get a line of credit. Another reason why you should track your score is to know if it dips, or if an error has been made by credit agencies while calculating your score. This will help you make timely amends.
Though the processes followed to compute your score might differ from agency to agency, your Credit Score calculated by all will be the same. This is because banks intimate the relevant information to all four agencies. Therefore, no matter which agency a bank picks to check your Credit Score, there will be no major discrepancy in it.
Of the four agencies, CIBIL, however, is the most popular since it was one of the first Credit Information Companies to start operations in India. This has fuelled the notion that CIBIL Score is more accurate than a score from other agencies. This, however, is not true. Banks give equal weightage to scores from all four agencies. Equifax, Experian and High Mark Credit Scores are as good to banks and other financial institutions as CIBIL Score.
BankBazaar has tied up with Experian, which means that we can help you check your Credit Score for free. Otherwise, it costs a few hundred rupees.
Though many believe this, it’s not true.
All Credit Information Companies, including CIBIL, create your Credit Reports which tell banks about you credibility. Second, CIBIL and the other credit agencies do not entertain requests from individuals to make changes to financial details in Credit Reports. Changes are incorporated when banks provide relevant information to these agencies. This ensures that information in your Credit Report is legitimate. After all, your Credit Score is one of the most important factors considered by banks when deciding about your loan or Credit Card application. Your Credit Score also determines the interest rate banks chalk up for you.
So make sure that you score big on this one!
BankBazaar feels that you should always be in complete command of your personal finances. In order to help you with this goal, we have made provisions for you to check your Credit Score for free. Knowing your Credit Score before applying for a loan can help greatly.
If you have a good score, you can be rest assured that your loan or Credit Card application will be processed without any hassle. You can even leverage a good score to ask your lender bank for better rates of interest and additional benefits. On the other hand, seeking credit with a poor score will further lower your score. Let’s not even imagine getting approval for a credit line. Hence, check your Credit Score before you apply for a financial product. Work up the score if it’s not in the acceptable range.
TIP: Credit agencies review and renew your score every few months. If you have a poor Credit Score, start managing your money wisely and pay your dues on time for a good few months. Credit agencies will reward you by boosting your score.
It depends on the kind of enquiry being made. There are two types of enquiries – hard and soft enquiry. Hard enquiries send your Credit Score down by a few points, while soft enquiries do not impact your Credit Score.
An enquiry made by an individual is called a soft enquiry. BankBazaar will make a soft enquiry on your behalf when getting your Credit Score from Experian. Hence, this will not impact your Credit Score in any manner. Moreover, checking your Credit Score on our website is free!
TIP: It’s wiser to check your Credit Score from time to time so that you stay in the know. Always check your Credit Score before applying for a loan/card. You will know whether your score will tide you over or if it needs fixing.
A hard enquiry is when a financial institution checks your Credit Score to take a decision on your credit application. Every time you apply for a loan or a Credit Card, the lending institution checks your score. Each time a bank checks your score, your score will dip by a few points.
TIP: If you are applying for a loan or a Credit Card, do not apply to many banks at the same time. Too many enquiries will hurt your Credit Score.
We need your PAN and phone details to extract your Credit Score from Experian. We assure you that your personal information is secure with us. We will not use your PAN or phone details for any purpose other than to extract your Credit Score. We will not share your details with anyone else. Pinky swear!
Your Credit Score will be any number between 0 to 900 points. Use this guideline below as your reference to know what your score means.
How does the credit score affect you?
A bank or lender would check your credit score or report to review your credit management skills, based on the review, a lender may or may not give you a credit. It is advisable to keep an eye on the credit score before applying for a credit card or loan. If you have a poor credit score and you keep applying for credit, every reject will further lower your score.
A good credit score will empower you with the ability to negotiate the interest rates. The banks or lender would like to offer a credit line to someone with a better credit score.
Calculation of credit score
As per Reserve Bank of India (RBI), every financial institution is expected to send financial data of an individual on a monthly basis to credit bureaus. Currently, there are four credit bureaus in India including CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, High Mark. The credit bureaus collect financial data that is useful for the credit score/report. All the four credit bureaus use a similar method for calculating the credit score, no matter from which bureau you’re receiving the score, it will have the importance as the other.
Based on the information from your credit history, such as details of a loan, credit card, and the payment habits, the credit bureaus will calculate a credit score that will indicate your financial credibility.
The following factors will be considered in the calculation of your credit score:
Monitoring your credit score
The credit score is updated on a monthly basis based on the relevant information provided by financial institutions. It is advisable to keep an eye on the credit score to determine your financial credibility while applying for a loan or a credit card. It will help you in avoiding the situation where your credit application are getting rejected due to a poor score. By monitoring the score on a regular basis will help in identifying mistakes and correcting errors before they are too late.
Soft vs. Hard credit inquiry
When you are obtaining your credit score or report, it is considered to be a soft inquiry and it doesn't have any adverse impact on your score. When the bank or lender inquiries for a credit report, it is referred to as hard inquiry and it can reduce your score. You can be rest assured that your credit score won't get impacted due to soft inquiries.
A credit score inquiry through BankBazaar would require furnishing PAN card details along with phone number. This information is required for verification purpose only to identify you as the owner of the report. The credit score is completely free in addition to the process being simple and fast.
The PAN card is required for obtaining the individual’s score accurately. The credit score can also be obtained by using other valid Proof of Identity (PoI) instead of the PAN card. The PoI helps in identifying individuals in the database.
No, the inquiry will not affect your credit score. When you apply for a loan or a credit card, it can have a slight impact on your credit score but when you are checking your credit score it is not.
The phone number helps in identifying individuals accurately. Your credit report will already have your phone number, when you provide your phone number, it is verified against your records to ensure you are the right recipient for your credit score.
There are no limits to the inquiry of credit score. You can check for your credit score as many times as you need to. The inquiry for the credit score is considered as a soft check while only hard checks can impact your credit score.
The credit score depends on the credit report changes, as and when the changes are made to the credit report, the credit score would change depending on the positive or negative impacts. For example, when you are applying for a credit card or loan, making payments towards the credit, it will impact your credit report and the score.
The credit score range can vary depending on the assessor, however, the value will represent the same level of creditworthiness. The credit score summary will also indicate the health status, it will tell you if a particular score is excellent, good, average, or poor.
Credit score may vary based on the credit rating company. The credit report and score will provide you with an indication of whether you have a good or bad score. A good score with a particular assessor will more likely to have a good score with another assessor.
There are few factors that are considered while calculating an individual’s credit score. Primarily, the account information that includes information of credit cards and loans, the public records containing information pertaining to tax lien and bankruptcy, and the hard inquiries made by your lenders will be accountable for the calculation of credit score.
This will depend on your credit history. If you have multiple credit cards with a higher limit and you are under-utilizing or over-utilizing it, this can impact your credit score negatively.
The following information will be included in your credit card report:
A credit report won’t contain any information related to your checking or savings accounts. Also, the information pertaining to criminal records, medical history, lifestyle, and other details are not included in the credit report.
This will depend on various factors such as the inclusion of hard inquires, payment details, credit card, and loan applications. As soon any changes are detected, your credit report would change. The information is obtained on a monthly basis for the changes to be implemented. If you find any error on your credit report, you are recommended to get it corrected from the assessor.
Unless it is incorrect, no details can be deleted from your credit report. The credit report provides an insight of your credit history and lending worthiness. Most lenders vastly depend on the credit reports to assess the lending risks.
If you notice any error or wrong entries in your credit report, you can get in touch with the credit report provided to get it rectified. The process is simple, you can get in touch with your credit report provider through phone, email, and other mediums.
No, the Credit Information Report contains details of credit history and inquires, CIBIL, like various other credit rating companies have their own method of calculating the score based on the information on the credit report. The Credit Information Report has all the details of an individual’s credit date while the CIBIL score indicates the credit worthiness. The CIBIL score is derived from the information available in the Credit Information Report.
Your credit report can be accessed by you, lenders, and government recognized regulating bodies.
The lenders refer to the credit score to determine the credit worthiness of individuals. It helps the lenders or the banks to understand the risk factors involved in lending out money to an individual.
No, the CIC collects information from various financial institutions but doesn’t change any data. The CIC compiles information related to credit transactions and payment histories of an individual.
A score of 700 and upwards has a higher chance of approval for credit card application. The banks might hesitate to give you a credit card if the score falls under 700.
Experian’s credit score ranges from 300 – 900. 900 being the highest score.