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  • What is Credit Score

    A credit score is a measure of an individual’s ability to pay back the borrowed amount. It is the numerical representation of their creditworthiness. A credit score is a 3 digit number that falls in the range of 300-900, 900 being the highest. You should always work towards reaching a credit score that is close to 900. A higher credit score offers you several benefits and helps you at the time of getting a loan or a credit card. Having a low credit score suggests you have not been a responsible borrower and have been slacking off repaying the borrowed sum. Credit scores are calculated by the credit bureaus in the country after taking into consideration several factors like the length of your credit history, repayment records, credit inquiries, among others.

    When you apply for a credit card or a loan, lenders like banks and non banking finance companies check your credit score to see whether you have the ability to repay the credit. If you have a higher credit score, you are entitled to receive preferential pricing and get discounts on the interest rate. Moreover, a high credit score gives your the additional power to negotiate for better rates of interest on loans.

    Steps To Get Your Free Credit Score

    • Visit Bankbazaar.com and click on the ‘Check your free Experian credit score’ button
    • You can also visit ( Click here)
    • Select your gender
    • Mention your age
    • Select the city you currently live
    • Mention your occupation (salaried/ self-employed). If you are a salaried individual, specify the name of your company
    • Specify your fixed net monthly salary
    • Add your personal details like first name and last name
    • Mention your contact details such as mobile number and email. (The mobile number is used to verify if you are the right owner of your credit information )
    • You will now have to verify your mobile number with an OTP
    • Specify your PAN number
    • You will now get your free credit score

    Why BankBazaar is Asking me for my PAN and Phone Details for the 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!

    Know your Credit Score

    Credit Score Range and What It Means

    A credit score ranges between 300-900. You should always take measure to bring your credit score closer to 900. A higher credit score increases your chances of getting a good deal on loans as well as credit cards. Let’s take a look at the different credit score range:

    • NA/NH : In order to calculate your credit score, you need to have a credit history. If you have no credit history, your credit report will mention that your credit score is NA (Not Applicable)/NH (No History).
    • 300 -549 : AA credit score in this range is considered as a bad credit score. It suggests that you have not been a responsible borrower and have defaulted payments and have unpaid dues.
    • 550-649 : A credit score in this range is considered as average. You will need to take measures to improve your credit score.
    • 650-749 : A credit score in this range is considered as good and lenders will consider offering you credit in the form of a loan or a credit card. However, you might still not be in the position to negotiate a good deal.
    • 750-900 : With a credit score in this range, lenders will be willing to offer you a loan with cheaper interest rates. A credit score in this range also gives you the additional power to negotiate for a better deal on interest rates and credit cards with better rewards and benefits.
    Steps To Get Your Free Credit Score

    Who Computes Credit Score?

    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.

    Why Should I check my Credit Score?

    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.

    Do the Four Credit Agencies Compute Scores Differently?

    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.

    Isn’t CIBIL the Deciding Factor in a Loan?

    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!

    Why is BankBazaar Giving me my Credit Score for Free?

    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.

    Does my Credit Score Get Impacted if I Enquire About it?

    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.

    What Makes Your Credit Score Go Down?

    It is understood that having high balances on your credit cards can significantly reduce your credit score. Apart from that, there are several other factors that can hurt your credit score:

    • Being late on your credit payments.
    • Completely ignoring your loan dues/credit card bills.
    • Creditors charge off accounts when credit card bills are not paid on time. The status of having your account charged off is one of the worst incidents that reflects on your credit score.
    • Lenders use third-party debt collectors to retrieve the loan amount from you, in case they do not receive payments. Having your account sent to collections reflects very poorly on your credit score.
    • Filing for bankruptcy can have a devastating effect on your credit score.
    • When you request to close a credit card that has an outstanding balance, your credit limit drops to Rs.0. This is similar to a situation where you have maxed out your credit card.
    • Closing old credit cards shortens your credit history. This has a negative impact on your credit score.
    • Applying for multiple credit cards or loans within a short duration makes your credit score plunge. Hence, it is advisable to limit the number of applications.
    • Having only one type of credit account will negatively impact your credit score. So, you should look to maintain a mix of loans and credit card debts and make consistent payments on time.
    • If you fail to check your credit report occasionally and fix errors, if any, your credit score can be hurt. It should be understood that credit reporting bureaus also make mistakes while creating credit reports. If you do not monitor and correct your report, it may cost you a lot in the future.

    Change in Credit Score - How Often Does it Happen?

    When you work on improving your credit, you should be very patient, so as to not get discouraged. Credit scores are calculated from your credit report. When you request for the score from multiple credit reporting bureaus, you may see a slight variance in the figures. This is fine, as long as the difference is not massive.

    In order to understand how your credit score changes over time, you should know how often there will be updates to your credit report. Lenders/creditors usually report your credit information (both positive and negative) to credit bureaus once a month. So, technically your credit scores can change a little each month, based on the information that is updated.

    How Do Big Fluctuations Happen?

    Most of the changes in your credit score happen incrementally. Although you would not see changes instantly, over a period of time this can add up to a considerable amount.

    However, there are certain factors that could instantly have a huge negative impact on your score. This includes a delinquency, i.e., a significantly late payment such as a 30-day delay on a credit.

    Another big influence is the credit utilisation ratio. This refers to the amount you owe as debt as opposed to your credit limit. So, an increase in credit card debt will cause your credit utilisation ratio to rise, which in turn drops your credit score.

    Consider another scenario in which you pay off all your credit card debts in one go. Your credit utilisation ratio will fall in this case. This would lead to a temporary hike in your credit score.

    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

    Credit bureaus in the country compute credit scores after taking into consideration several factors such as your credit history, repayment behaviour, and credit type, among others. There are four credit bureaus in the country - TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, and CRIF High Mark. They are licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The financial institutions in the country send your credit details on a monthly basis to these bureaus. Each credit bureau has its own algorithm and method of calculating scores.

    Let’s take a look at the four main factors and their impact on your credit score:

    • Payment History (High Impact)
    • Payment history is one of the most important factors that affect your score. If you are not able to pay credit card bills and EMIs on time, it will have the highest impact on your score. It is advised to avoid delayed payments as well as missed payments, as they get reported and affect your score in a negative way. In order to get better deals on loan and credit cards, you need to have a high score.

    • Credit Exposure (High Impact)
    • Credit exposure is also known as the credit utilisation ratio. It is the amount of credit you use with respect to the total limit you have at any given point. Along with payment history, your credit utilisation ratio also has a high impact on your credit score. As per experts, you should ideally use only up to 40% of your credit limit. Having a low credit utilisation ratio suggests you are able to handle credit in a responsible way. Maintaining a high credit utilisation ratio will bring your score down and will impact future loan approvals. Therefore, it is advised to keep a tab on your credit expenses every month.

    • Age of the Credit (Medium Impact)
    • A long credit history works well for your credit score. It gives lenders such as banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) insight into your repayment pattern over the course of time. It reflects your experience in handling credit. It is advised to keep your old credit cards open as they may have a long credit history as well good repayment behaviour. When you close your credit cards, you lose out on this factor and this could take a toll on your score.

    • Total Types of Account (Low Impact)
    • It is better to have a good balance of secured as well as unsecured loans in your credit history. A home loan is an example of a secured loan while a credit card is an unsecured loan. A mixed credit helps boost your credit score. Also, it suggests that you are an experienced borrower who has handled different types of credit.

      In addition to the type of accounts, the number of hard credit inquiries is also considered while calculating your score. Every time you apply for credit, the lender will pull up your credit report leading to a hard inquiry. It is better to avoid applying for credit lines with multiple lenders within a short period of time. Multiple inquiries in a short span will raise a red flag to lenders and they will be reluctant to offer you credit

    You can check your credit score for free by visiting BankBazaar’s website. It is a good habit to monitor your score regularly as it gives you an idea of your credit health and also spot any discrepancies.

    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.

    If you have a good Credit Score, you can avail loans and Credit Cards faster and with ease. Check yours now!

    Get The Best Credit Card - A good Credit Score may get you the best of Credit Cards. Get a feature-loaded card and reap the benefits.

    Quick Loan Approval - A good Credit Score works like an expressway for your loan application. Banks may approve your application quickly and readily.

    Better Interest Rate - With the backing of a good Credit Score, you can bargain for a lower rate of interest on loans and Credit Cards.

    Loans Made More Affordable - Loans come saddled with processing fees and many other charges. You can bargain your way out of some of these charges with a good Credit Score.

    Check your Credit Score right away and see if you are eligible for all these benefits. You can check your score on BankBazaar at zero cost.

    Credit Score is one of the most misunderstood topics in the financial book. Here are four secrets to help you understand your Credit Score better.

    Credit Score ? Credit Report

    Your Credit Score is calculated based on information present in your credit report. Your credit report presents details about your credit accounts, credit application and debt repayment, among others.

    Checking Your Score Will Not Hurt It

    When you or a company enquires about your Credit Score, it’s called a soft enquiry and it does not hurt your credit score.

    Credit Score Math

    There are five prime factors that go towards deciding your Credit Score. They are - debt repayment, credit utilisation ratio, average credit age, type of credit account (secured / unsecured) and Credit Score enquiries made.

    Keep An Eye On Fraud

    You did nothing wrong and yet your Credit Score is low? Please go through your Credit Report thoroughly and immediately report any unauthorized activities to your bank to correct your score.

    It’s important that you check your Credit Score regularly. BankBazaar has partnered with Experian and we will fetch your Credit Score at no cost. It’s just a matter of a few minutes.

    Given the interest rates edging up this year, maintaining a healthy credit score is vital. Credit score directly influences whether you will be eligible for a loan and how much interest you will be paying back. Higher the credit score, lower is the interest rate and the vice versa. Any lender before approving a loan application or credit card application analyses multiple factors and one of the major aspects is checking the credit score that can drastically drop the chances of the loan getting rejected.

    If the lender assumes you as risk borrower even though they will approve your application, but the chances are high that the interest rates will be tremendously high. So, before you plan to get an application approved keep a track of your credit score on regular basis either by taking free CIBIL score or subscription based CIBIL score. Scores normally range from 300-850. While above 750 is considered as a good credit score and can get your application approved in lower interest rate, scores below 750 shows your defaults that can increase your interest amount. If your score is below 550 chances are high that you loan application may get rejected. So, track your credit score for free from the various credit bureaus.

    What is a Free Experian Credit Score?

    What are Credit Reports?

    Credit reports are a summary of an individual's credit history. The report contains details of the credit and loan history along with other basic details. Most lenders (banks) use the credit reports in making effective lending decisions. In a credit report, you will find information related to all types of loans and credit account, the report will also contain details such as the name, date of birth, PAN card number, address, etc. You can also find details related to the last credit report check performed by a lender. In India, there are four major credit information companies (CIC)) that provides credit reports of individuals. Some of the CIC offer a free credit score check while the other don't, however, lender pay a fee while obtaining a credit report of an individual. When an individual applies for a loan or a credit card, the bank will review their credit report before approving the loan/credit.

    The CICs collect the individual's information from financial institutions such as banks as well as government agencies such as the Income Tax Department. These reports help the lenders in minimizing repayment defaults by avoiding individuals with a bad credit history. Though the banks are not solely relying on these credit reports to give out loans/credit, these reports play a crucial role in the calculation of eligibility.

    The following CICs gather individuals financial information to prepare credit reports in India:

    • TransUnion CIBIL Limited: (earlier known as - Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited) is the first Credit Information Company (CIC) of India that was founded in August 2000. The company collects and maintains records of an individual’s repayment habits related to loans and credit cards. These records are sent to TransUnion CIBIL Limited by the member banks and financial institutions on a monthly basis. The information received from these establishments are used to create Credit Information Reports (CIR) and credit scores. These reports and credit scores are provided to lending institutions such as banks in order to help them make lending decisions.
    • Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Limited: With headquarters in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Experian uses its own methods of calculation to create credit reports. The credit report from Experian has information of an individual's credit and loan history that are bought as credit reports by various banks in India. Similar to TransUnion CIBIL Limited, Experian collect information from the member banks and other establishments. The lenders are required to pay a fee to obtain credit reports from Experian.
    • Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS): One of the oldest credit information companies of USA, Equifax is also the largest credit reporting agency in the US. Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax provides credit reports for individuals as well as businesses. Equifax has tied up with various banks and institutions in India that help the company in creating credit reports and assessing credit scores.
    • CRIF High Mark: Considered to be one of the few credit information company that specializes in analytics, scoring, and credit management solutions. CRIF High Mark creates credit reports based on the information collected from banks, Income Tax Department, and other banking as well as non-banking companies. The credit reports from CRIF High Mark are available against a fee. There are many Indian banks who have tied up with CRIF High Mark to create reports and to assess their borrower's financial credibility.

    What are Credit Reports Used for?

    The CICs will evaluate an individual's credit history to calculate a score that represents the individual's credit worthiness. Each CIC has their own method of assigning the score, however, a high score will indicate a healthy credit score while a low score can decrease the chances of loan application approvals. Most of the CICs will provide you with a free credit score while a fee is charged towards the credit reports.

    Why Credit Reports are Used?

    The credit reports are used by lenders such as banks to determine the repayment capability of a loan/credit seeker. The credit report provides a useful insight into understating an applicant's past credit repayment behavior. A credit report will also contain information related to late or missed payments that can adversely affect your credit score. When an applicant applies for a loan/credit, the lending institution will look into the credit report to determine whether you will be able to repay the loan amount. There can be various reasons for obtaining a credit report, such as:

    • Determining creditworthiness
    • Reviewing missed/late payments
    • Checking the credit score
    • To analyze all credit and loan accounts under one platform
    • Reporting errors on the report
    • Making effective landing decisions, etc.

    You can refer to any CIC's website to check whether you can purchase a quick credit report of yourself. These reports will help you in keeping a close tab on your credit score that can be useful while applying for any type of loan/credit. Reviewing the credit report periodically will also enable you to report any incorrect entries/information. If you are planning to apply for a loan/credit card, it is essential to make sure that you have a healthy credit score and report so the chances of loan application approval are higher.

    The Application Process for Obtaining your Credit Report

    Most CICs offer credit reports through online and offline mediums. The individual will require producing of required details and make a payment to get his/her credit report.

    The following documents and details are required for obtaining a credit report online:

    • Name
    • Date of birth
    • Address
    • PAN card number
    • Identity authentication

    The following documents and details are required for obtaining a credit report offline:

    • Visit the CIC's site to download and fill out the form requesting for your credit report
    • Self-attested and scanned copy of any of the Proof of Identity (PoI) such as PAN Card, Driving License, etc.
    • Enclose a Demand Draft (DD) that is payable to the relevant CIC for the required fee
    • Mail the documents along with the DD to the address mentioned on the CIC's website

    The online process will be quicker compared to the offline method, however, you can track the status of your credit report for free. The CIC will typically email the password-protected credit report to the individual when the credit report is requested through the online facility. In the case of offline application, the credit report will be sent through postal/courier services.

    What is the Difference between a Credit Score, Credit Rating, and a Credit Report?

    Most often, the term credit score, credit rating, and credit reports are confused with the meaning of the other term. However, the following list should help you in understanding each of the terms:

    • A credit score is a three-digit numerical representation of your financial credibility that can vary from a score of 300 to 900 while the credit rating is referred to the scores that are assigned to businesses and companies. The credit reports contain a detailed overview of your credit history based on your past credit and loan details.
    • A credit score or credit rating can change on a monthly basis based on the information provided by banks and non-banking financial companies (NFCs), if there are any changes, however, the information stored on your credit report stays for many years.
    • Credit score is numerical while the credit ratings are indicated in ratings such as A, A+, etc.
    • Few of the CICs offer free credit scores and ratings, however, credit reports are chargeable.

    Credit Report and Credit Score - How do These Differ?

    When you apply for credit, the lender will assess two metrics that helps them take a decision on your creditworthiness. These are your credit score and credit report. For a better understanding of these factors, we have differentiated them in the table below:

    Credit Report Credit Score
    Your credit report has information on the current and past credit agreements that you hold. These include mortgages, credit card accounts, student loans, and inquiries on your credit history. A credit score is similar to a grade that is provided to your credit report. It is a 3-digit number that usually ranges from 300 to 900.
    The credit report is a reflection of your credit management, and you have control over the listings there. The credit reporting bureau assigns you the credit score based on your credit history.
    The credit report gives an outline on how much you owe your creditors over an extended period of time, whether you have been making payments consistently, and for how long each account was open. The report also lists associated public records against you, such as court judgements, bankruptcy filings, etc. A high credit score indicates that you are a low risk borrower, making you more likely to qualify for a loan.
    In order to access your credit report, you can get in touch with credit reporting agencies or use a credit monitoring service that offers you this information. Your credit score is a part of the exhaustive credit report that you receive from the credit bureau.

    Importance of Credit Reports for Companies and Businesses

    Similar to individual credit reports, the CICs prepare credit reports and assign credit ratings to businesses and all other types of firms. The credit report for businesses is closely reviewed by suppliers and government agencies while providing utility and business contracts. In fact, business and companies are required to provide their credit rating while applying for electricity, gas connection, phone, internet, and various other types of services. The credit reports also help businesses in managing market risk by carefully choosing their suppliers and business partners. The credit report enables the reviewing company to make business decisions with confidence.

    The credit reports for businesses provide information related to the establishment, owners/directors, employees, profit and loss, liability, assets, pending court cases (if any), and various other details. These type of credit reports can be expensive based on the amount and type of information it offers.

    Understanding the Credit Reports through key terms

    If you are going through the credit report for the first time, the information and technical terms can turn out to be a little overwhelming. There are various acronyms that can sound similar to other terms, however, the following list will help you in knowing few of the key terms:

    NA or NH: If you never owned a credit card or took a loan, there are chances that you will see an NA or NH on your credit score. NA or NH indicates that are there no, little, or insufficient credit activity to create a report or to generate a credit score.

    STD: Applicable to an individual's credit report where the payments are made with the due dates.

    SMA: Applicable on a credit report when the borrower has delayed the repayments.

    DBT: This indicates a doubtful situation where the credit information has been inactive for over 12 months.

    LSS: A credit report can be remarked as LSS if a lender reported the loan/credit card account as loss or if the account remains as a defaulter for a longer period of time.

    DPD: Days past due (DPD) indicates the number of days that the account has not received a payment. Written Off/Settled Status: In a situation where the borrower could not make the repayment but came to an agreement with the lender for either a repayment plan or a settlement will indicate a written off or settle status.

    Reading a Credit Report

    A credit report is a detailed account of a person’s credit history. The credit report will include details of your credit accounts, like, credit cards, auto loans, home loans and any other form of credit availed from a registered lender. The credit report will also include details like payment history, credit limit and account balance, opening date of credit, status of loans (close or open, paid in full, not paid in full). The report will also include new credit inquiries, collection records and public records, for cases in which an individual has filed for bankruptcy or a tax lien. A credit report can seem like quite an intimidating document to read, but listed below is a section-wise breakdown of how a person should read his/her credit report:

    Personal Information : This section of the credit report will contain information pertaining to the individual’s identity, such as, the person’s name, address, current and previous accounts, date of birth, etc. An individual should check the details provided under this section, if there is an incorrect address in the report or the person’s name has been misspelled, he/she should report this to the Credit Rating Agency (CRA) as this could be a sign of wrong data being reflected in the report or credit fraud.

    Account Information: This section of the credit report will carry information pertaining to the person’s present and past credit account. The individual should check the details of this section carefully as this is quite a detailed section. The following details should be checked:

    • Date of opening
    • Name of creditor
    • Current balance
    • Highest balance/credit limit
    • Monthly payment history
    • Account type (Instalment, revolving, open)
    • Account ownership (Individual or joint)
    • Payment status

    The individual should check the details in this section to verify that they are accurate. The balance reflected in various accounts are on the statement date, this can be a little confusing, as it may reflect a balance even if the individual has paid off in full or may show account that were closed prior to receiving the Credit Report.

    Public Records: This section of the Credit Report will list and bankruptcies filed by the individual, tax liens availed by the individual or collection accounts. The dates provided in this section should be checked as they will directly affect how long they will appear on an individual’s credit report and affect the person’s credit score.

    Inquiries: This section carries data pertaining to any inquiries made by companies regarding an individual’s credit score. If an individual applies for multiple lines of credit, this could affect his/her score negatively. In most cases inquiries do not affect a person’s credit score, as they are soft inquiries by lenders for promotional purposes. A soft inquiry is generated when the request for the credit report is not related to the individual’s request for credit.

    A great Credit Score is anything above 800. If a bad Credit Score is the bane of your life, you can use the following tips to send it soaring. Want to know your score?

    Be Frugal

    Keep your credit utilisation ratio at 30% for a good Credit Score. If you are struggling to stay within this limit, then get a card with a higher top limit.

    Seek Variety

    A combination of secured and unsecured debt will send your Credit Score upwards. A Credit Card is an unsecured debt whereas a Car Loan is a secured debt.

    Advantage of Old Credit Card Accounts

    Think twice before you close an old Credit Card account as long running accounts add more value to your Credit Score. And if you are not using your card, keep it safe to prevent misuse or fraud.

    When it comes to credit reports, scores, or any debt in general, traditional perception is often seasoned with myths and misinterpretations. So you should not let that information influence your financial conduct. You should understand that credit is a financial tool/facility like any other. Its neither good nor bad on its own. The way in which you use it is what gives it a good or a bad flavour.

    Listed below are some of the most common myths about credit that you should know:

    1. You will not receive credit if you do not already have it

      When you approach a lender for a loan, four elements of your credit report are analysed:

      • Account history
      • Identification
      • Inquiries
      • Public records, such as court records or bankruptcy filings

      If there is no established credit history for you, you just have to get someone to co-sign or authorise your loan. In case you do not have someone who can co-sign for you, you can explore the option of getting a secured credit card. This type of card requires you to put up cash as collateral. Once you start using the credit card, you will be able to establish a credit history. It is important that you make payments on time and use credit conservatively. Be patient, as it will certainly take time to build a credit history. Once your credit history is periodically evaluated, if you have a good standing, your credit score will increase.

    2. Checking your credit report will negatively impact your score

      If an individual accesses his/her own credit report, it will not have a negative impact on the score. In fact, it is a healthy practice to check your credit report at least on an annual basis. Reviewing a report results in a “soft inquiry” that will only be reflected in a personal credit report. When a lender reviews the credit report, a “hard enquiry” will be added. These hard enquiries are shown to other lenders who review the report in the future, as these may represent new debts that are not yet visible on the credit report. Too many hard enquiries can have a negative effect on your credit score.

    3. Once your credit score is bad, it is not possible to rebuild it

      A bad credit report can be rebuilt over time. The report shows all credit issued under the consumer’s name. It also shows all items that are closed or inactive. If you have missed payments or have made late payments, it can remain on your credit report for up to 7 years. In this time, you can rebuild your credit report by paying your dues on time, looking for better credit choices, and being judicious while spending. You have to remember that an old negative information in the report is less important than a recent positive one.

    4. The government owns credit reporting agencies

      Credit bureaus are not owned by the government. However, the government has laid down many laws on how these should operate.

    5. Paying in cash always helps to improve credit rating

      Using cash for all payments is certainly not better than using credit responsibly. This is because a consumer has to develop a credit history (displaying responsible credit usage) in order to establish a good credit score. If a consumer does not hold various types of credit accounts, his/her credit score will not be as good as another individual with a history of responsible credit usage.

    1. Why is PAN card required for checking the credit score?

      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.

    2. Can credit score inquiries affect the score?

      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.

    3. Why do we need a phone number for credit score?

      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.

    4. Is there a limit to request for accessing 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.

    5. How the credit scores changes?

      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.

    6. What is the significance of credit score range?

      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.

    7. What can be considered as a good credit score?

      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.

    8. What are the factors that are included in the calculation of credit score?

      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.

    9. Will the credit score be affected for owning multiple credit cards?

      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.

    10. What type of information is included in my credit report?

      The following information will be included in your credit card report:

      • Individual’s name, address, and other personal details
      • PAN card and contact number
      • Credit history
      • Credit cards/loans
      • Payment patterns
      • Lender’s inquiry details, and more
    11. What kind of information is not included in the credit 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.

    12. How long does the information remain on a 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.

    13. Is it possible to delete information from the credit report?

      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.

    14. What do I need to do to if I find errors on my credit report?

      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.

    15. Is the Credit Information Report same as the CIBIL Score?

      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.

    16. Who can access my credit report?

      Your credit report can be accessed by you, lenders, and government recognized regulating bodies.

    17. Why do lenders check the Credit Score?

      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.

    18. Can the CIC (Credit Information Companies) change or delete my credit information?

      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.

    19. What’s the credit score required for application of a credit card?

      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.

    20. How can I improve my Credit Score?
      • In order to improve your score, you will need to know your credit score and get a detailed insight by obtaining a credit report. You can also incorporate the following tips for improving your credit score:
      • Don’t keep applying for a credit if it’s getting rejected. If you keep applying for a credit, it will further impact your credit scores negatively. Every application demands a hard check on your credit report.
      • Pay your credit card bills and loans within the due dates. Failing to pay the bills and EMI on time will be recorded in your credit report.
      • Avoid the settlement of loan and credit cards.
      • Keep your borrowing limit to the lowest possible.
      • Review your credit report at least once a year to keep a tab on your credit score and patterns.
    21. What is the highest score you can get on Experian?

      Experian’s credit score ranges from 300 – 900. 900 being the highest score.

    22. Why am I rated differently?
    23. There are instances where you can find yourself rated differently. India has four credit rating agencies formed and authorised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). They are CIBIL, Experian, High Mark, and Equifax. The parameters and the credit rating module used by each of these agencies will differ. The amount of importance placed on each of the considerations will also vary. For instance, payment history, which is one of the normally considered parameters, shall be weighed differently. As a result, you are rated differently.

      In the formal banking system, the agencies garner the credit details of every customer from Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs) and banks. The information is massive. It includes details such as account history, payment history, deferred payments, missed payments, loan applications, loan approvals and disapprovals, credit accounts etc. You may transact with many bankers, licensed brokers, and NBFIs. All lenders may not report to the same agency. When you are picked up by different agencies, there can be a minute difference in your rating. All credit crores are equally valid.

      • Experian Credit Score
      • Experian was licensed in 2010. An individual is rated in the range of 0 and 999. 961-999 is considered excellent, 881-960 good, 721-880 fair, 561-720 poor, and 0-560 very poor.

      • CIBIL Credit Score
      • CIBIL was licensed in 2009. CIBIL uses advanced analytics. An individual is rated in the range of 300 and 900. Anything above 750 is considered good. The parameters include credit exposure, credit utilization, credit history, and credit type and duration.

      • EQUIFAX
      • EQUIFAX was licensed in 2010. An individual is rated in the range of 300 and 900. The parameters used include account categories, the number accounts, consumed and available credit, credit history, and the length of the payment history. Anything more than 750 is considered excellent, 700-749 good, 650-699 fair, 550-649 poor, and anything below 550 bad.

      • HIGH MARK
      • High Mark was licensed in 2010. The lowest credit score is 300 and the highest 850. An individual with a good score is considered more potential than an individual with a poor score.

        How your credit score is interpreted is more important than just a number.

    24. How frequently should I check my Credit Score and credit reports?
    25. Checking credit reports once a year seems ideal unless you have some strong reasons to review them frequently. A free copy can be obtained via any of the rating agencies that compute the credit score of a customer using these reports. No information is shared among the agencies. In lieu of reviewing a single report, be advised to review all the reports at the same time if it was not done earlier. Check the details thoroughly and make sure they are error-free. Dispute the errors or the wrong information if any.

      Credit scores can be reviewed based on your comfort zone. Checking yearly may seem adequate for some, but a majority of people prefer reviewing monthly or even weekly. Despite how frequently you check, your score should not be impacted. Be focused on the overall trends in lieu of daily trends. Credit scores can be frequently checked in the following circumstances:

      • Applying for a new credit card
      • Applying for a mortgage
      • Looking for a job change
      • Safeguarding against identity theft
      • Establishing credibility
    26. What needs to be done if my Credit Score climbs up?
    27. A credit score tends to change from time to time. A lower score may turn higher or a higher score may turn lower depending upon your credit reports. A person can also maintain a consistent score. Being well-rated is always better for many reasons. You can have multiple checks. If you notice a reasonable hike in your score compared to the previous review, you can:

      • Negotiate a competitive credit card interest rate
      • Negotiate an attractive interest rate on loans if any
      • Negotiate a higher credit limit
      • Ask for better insurance rates
      • Bring it to the notice of your banker for loan approval if any
    28. Can I have more than one Credit Report?
    29. Yes, credit reports contain your overall banking history and are used to assess your credibility, which is your credit score. A free copy of your credit report can be obtained once a year from each of the credit rating agencies that include CIBIL, Mark High, Experian, and Equifax. You can also request for obtaining all the credit reports at once.

    30. How can I Build credit with no credit history?
    31. A sound credit history is useful to apply for a loan. It shows how effectively you have managed to repay the earlier obligations. If you have never used a credit card or never borrowed a mortgage, your credit history stands nil. Lenders may not issue a credit card or prolong a loan. Consider the following ways to build credit with no credit:

      • Obtain a secured credit card
      • Make payments in time
      • Use your credit card wisely
      • Restrict yourself applying for various bank loans
      • Track the progress of your credit score and credit reports periodically
    32. Can I use my credit report to safeguard my identity?
    33. Yes, you can. Over 8 million adults are affected by identity theft every year. Review your credit reports once a month. Be safeguarded by obtaining an updated credit report to review for any doubtful fresh accounts. Observe the below cited general identity theft signals on your reports.

      • Unanticipated usage of old credit accounts
      • Wrong personal details
      • Unknown credit accounts and credit cards

    News About Credit Score

    • Public Sector Banks to be linking loans to customer's risk profile

      Among the many public sector banks in the country, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India and Syndicate Bank have taken steps for the transparent division of retail loans. This segregation will be done into their versions of prime and subprime risk exposure.

      These banks have offered the potential borrowers different home loan interest rates by using third-party credit scores. Under the new external benchmarking scheme, the above-mentioned public-sector banks will be using three credit score slabs from the Credit Information Bureau India Limited (CIBIL) in order to price their home loans.

      The customers who have a high credit score, above 760 out of 900 will pay an interest rate of 1% less when compared to the people who have credit scores between 675 and 724.

      People who have credit scores of above 760 will be paying an interest rate of 8.1% on new loans offered by Bank of Baroda. However, people having a lower credit score will be paying an interest rate of 9.1% per annum. The finance cost for the people who have a medium-range in the credit score will pay an interest rate of 8.35%.

      The floating rates at these banks are linked to an external benchmark where the interest rate would not depend on the sum of the loan or the duration.

      10 October 2019

    • Credit score will be key determinant for repo-linked loan interest rates

      Interest rates for repo-linked home loans will now be determined by your CIBIL score as well. The CIBIL score is a sign of your creditworthiness with the 3-digit figure showing prospective lenders what your past repayment history for credit card bills and loans has been. Applicants with credit scores below 700 may get a risk premium that is higher by 5 to 10 basis points, according to 3 leading public sector banks. A credit score in the range of 700-800 is good while 800 and above is considered exceptional. It will determine the interest rate which is over and above the interest rate that is repo-linked. The repo rate is reviewed by the Reserve Bank of India 6 times a year and is the only variable under the new repo-rate linked system for determining interest rates of loans. The spread over repo figure remains unchanged for up to 3 years. The way to ensure a high credit score is to avoid taking too many loans or cards and to pay back the dues on time without any delays or defaults. Bulk deposits and fixed deposits too may get linked to the repo rate soon.

      7 October 2019

    • Crisil does not change Thomas Cook’s credit rating

      The credit rating of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. has been retained by Crisil as it does not have any links to the UK’s Thomas Cool Plc, which is bankrupt.

      According to a statement made by the rating agency, the credit bulletin of Crisil, which is dated on 26 September 2019, has stated that the credit rating of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. is not affected by the bankruptcy of UK’s Thomas Cook Plc as there is no linkage between the two. The bulletin has also elaborated that since the 77% acquisition by Fairfax Financial Holding in 2012, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd and Thomas Cook UK are two different entities. The bulletin further added that the brand licensee for the Thomas Cook brand in the country is TCIL, and it has no business or shareholding linkage with Thomas Cook UK. Therefore, Crisil does not consider the liquidation to affect the credit rating of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. While TCIL is licensing the brand until 2024, it is considering various options such as transitioning to a new brand. According to Crisil’s bulletin, the rating of Thomas Cook India shows its dominant position in foreign exchange and a strong brand for travel-related services. The credit rating also shows adequate liquidity and a comfortable capital structure.

      1 October 2019

    • CleanScore India to launch an array of products on credit scores and loan deals

      An arm of UK-based financial products firm, ClearScore India is launching an array of services for the Indian market that will let users check their credit score without any cost, make a comparison of pre-approved credit offers, and instantly avail best credit cards and loans online. The company has been testing its product in the Indian market and presently has around 11 lakh registered users. The Country Manager at ClearScore has revealed that the firm is already offering home loans and personal loans and will be offering credit card products in the coming weeks. Apart from letting users check their credit score for free, the platform will also offer discounts on home loans for those who have good credit scores.

      25 September 2019

    • Access to credit data of customers restricted by Reserve Bank of India

      The Reserve Bank of India has given an order to the commercial banks in the country and other non-banking lenders to stop providing credit data of their customers to unregulated companies. This has resulted in a negative impact for many financial tech startups who have based their business module on this information.

      The Central Bank has issued a letter to NBFCs and banks mentioning that they have noticed that these banks have appointed agents and given them access to the database of the credit information companies. These actions will be considered an offense and against the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act 2005. There will be penalties involved if there are such actions taken henceforth.

      The Reserve Bank of India has given the lenders 15 days to get back to them with the measures they have taken to prevent this practice.

      20 September 2019

    • Credit Growth of State Bank of India pegged at 12-14% for FY 19-20

      The largest lender in India, State Bank of India, is estimating its credit growth for FY 19-20 to stand between 12% and 14%, according to Rajnish Kumar, the chairman of the bank. He added that the credit growth of the bank for the previous fiscal was recorded at 14%. He also went on to say that a growth of 12 to 14% will be considered satisfactory considering the size of the company’s balance sheet.

      The loan portfolio of State Bank of India stands at approximately Rs.23 lakh crore, according to Rajnish Kumar. He also said that the bank currently has adequate liquidity to deploy, stating further that corporate credit demand has a need. The retail credit of overall advances of State Bank of India is 57% while the rest is accounted for by corporate lending. He also went on to say that the ratio is not expected to change significantly any time soon.

      Mr. Kumar went on to express his concerns regarding the non-performing assets that arise out of agricultural credit. He said that farm credit needs to be tackled, adding that high non-performing assets in agriculture poses a major issue. He also said that credit flow to the agriculture sector is effected because of debt waiver schemes. Mr. Rajnish went on to add that direct benefit transfers for farmers might be helpful, saying further that farmer-producer organisations can play their part and tackle the issue. Collectively, he said, banks, the centre, and the states have a lot to do if they want to enhance credit flow to the agriculture industry.

      10 September 2019

    • IRIS Business Services gets a downgrade in credit ratings

      A recent announcement made by IRIS Business Services mentioned that the Lomg-Term Issuer Rating of the company has been reduced by India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The rating has been reduced from ‘IND BB- / Stable’ to ‘IND B / Stable’.

      The rating has been downgraded as follows:

      • Fund-based working capital limits – IND B / Stable / IND A4 (Downgraded)
      • Non-fund-based working capital limits - IND A4 (Downgraded)
      • Long term loan - IND B / Stable (Downgraded)
      • Forward contract limits - IND A4 (Downgraded)

      30 August 2019

    • IRIS Business Services gets a downgrade in credit ratings

      A recent announcement made by IRIS Business Services mentioned that the Lomg-Term Issuer Rating of the company has been reduced by India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The rating has been reduced from ‘IND BB- / Stable’ to ‘IND B / Stable’.

      The rating has been downgraded as follows:

      • Fund-based working capital limits – IND B / Stable / IND A4 (Downgraded)
      • Non-fund-based working capital limits - IND A4 (Downgraded)
      • Long term loan - IND B / Stable (Downgraded)
      • Forward contract limits - IND A4 (Downgraded)

      30 August 2019

    • RBI rapped for its negligent attitude by Delhi High Court

      On Friday, Delhi High Court rapped the country’s central bank i.e., Reserve Bank of India for its careless attitude when it comes to filing a response to a PIL that was filed in the month of February. A bench of the court which comprised of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar has ordered the deputy governor of RBI to be personally present at the next hearing, which is scheduled on October 11, if no response is filed by the central bank till then.

      The PIL was filed seeking to stop the sharing of PAN and financial transaction data of customers with credit rating agencies without the individual’s permission. It needs to be mentioned here that till date RBI had not filed an affidavit or a vakalatnama regarding the matter even though three sets of lawyers had appeared for it on three different dates.

      It is noteworthy to mention here that the court had also issued a notice to paisabazaar.com after a financial economist moved a plea against them after he found his personal financial data on the website.

      9 August 2019

    • Government of India Pledges to put in Rs.70,000 crore in PSBs

      After being nonchalant about on recapitalisation of public sector banks (PSBs) during February’s interim budget, the Government of India has finally decided to infuse Rs.70,000 crore in PSBs with bad loans, as per reports. This amount has reportedly surpassed expectations of many. It is being speculated that while some of the banks will use this fund to meet regulatory demands, others may utilise it for credit demand. Recently, while giving her maiden speech in the budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reportedly said that bad loans in commercial banks have been reduced by Rs.1 trillion in the past year. She also said that over Rs.4 trillion have been recovered through the implementation of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and a few other measures that were undertaken by the present government.

      While speaking to the media, managing director of State Bank of India (SBI), Arijit Basu said that the funds will be used by the banks to boost their credit growth. As per reports, analysts had predicted a recapitalisation of around Rs.35,000 to Rs.45,000 crore to support a credit growth of 12% to 13% in the next financial year.

      15 July 2019

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      Reviewed on Mar 02, 2019
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