14-Jan-2016 written by : FSI-Team
A credit score plays a large role in the approval of a loan or credit card application, and is the go-to piece of information for a lender. It becomes important as a result to maintain a healthy credit score if you are to remain credit healthy.
A three-digit representation of your creditworthiness, a score tells a lender whether you are likely to default on a loan or credit card, i.e. not make payments hence making the lending process risky for the lender.
It is a synopsis, so to speak, of the credit report, a detailed document that is generated by a credit information company or bureau.
There are four credit bureaus in India, of which CIBIL is the oldest, the others being Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark. Therefore, very often a credit score is colloquially known as a CIBIL score. Note that if you so wish, you can request for a copy of your credit report from any or all of the four bureaus, on payment of a nominal fee.
Well, currently none of the bureaus offer free credit reports themselves. You can log on to www.freescoreindia.com and request for your free credit score in a tie-up with Equifax. Similarly, India’s premium credit health management company, Credit Sudhaar offers you a free report from CIBIL. The process to obtain this information is very simple, on providing some basic information such as your name, email address etc. the data will be made available to you electronically in a very short period of time.
Well, a free score offers you a glimpse into your credit health. However, it is prudent to call for a detailed report in order to know all the information contained therein.
Consider this: your credit report contains information regarding a loan account that you have not availed of. In such an instance, it is likely that you are a victim of identity theft, a phenomenon that is on the rise globally. Here, your personal information including identity and address proof is ‘stolen’ and credit obtained in your name. In the event of a default, the lender will contact you, even though you have not taken the loan, owing to the information on record. Hence, it becomes important to know detailed account information as mentioned in your credit report.
Additionally, it is possible that you may have had a dispute with a lender in the past. However, upon settling dues the information needs to be updated accordingly in the report. However, since a bureau depends upon its members to provide information, there is no other way to ascertain that the correct data has been updated in your credit report but to call for a copy.
It is also likely that your credit score is low, owing to a number of factors. If you have a copy of your report, you can take corrective action and work towards improving your credit score. A lower score can hamper the chances of obtaining credit at preferential rates, when you really require the same.
Given that credit reports and scores are now slowly gaining acceptance and usage is increasing in India with lenders making checking the report mandatory as part of the loan application process, there is indeed a requirement to get your credit score today.
It may be a good move to start off on your journey of understanding your credit report with information that is made available free of cost. However, over a period of time it may just be wise to pay and have complete information at the click of a button.