Free Credit Reports Are Not That Free

28-Feb-2017 written by : FSI-Team

In the western nations, it has been a norm that every bureau provides each individual with one free credit report in a year. Although we imbibed the western concept of credit scoring and commenced with CIBIL in August 2000, but a free report was not provided to anyone until 2017. After RBI took cognisance of the importance of a free report, it mandated all four bureaus in India to give one free credit report from Jan 2017.

So now while you can have a free CIBIL report, a free Equifax report, A free Experian report and a free Crif Highmark report, what leaves us wondering is if these reports are actually available freely. Read on to discover for yourself on how free are these free credit reports.

How to obtain your Free Report

Every bureau has its own set of norms on how to view your free report. Such as:

  • CIBIL expects individuals to courier a copy of the form alongwith relevant KYC documents to their office. After they receive it, you will be sent a copy your CIBIL report for free via regular post. The turnaround time for CIBIL is 30 days.
  • With Experian, you must enter all your details online through their website. They will take about two days to review and respond on that. You will then be sent a link which will take you to another window where you will have to answer a couple of questions as part of their verification process. Once you have verified the details then you will be given a one-time access to your report and score.
  • Equifax too has a cumbersome process, especially if you are not very tech savvy. The individual is expected to download the application on their smart phone. Login, enter details, upload KYC and then wait for another day. They will email a link to verify your personal information and then take another day to send you an e-copy of your credit report.
  • The process is similar with Crif-Highmark as with Experian.

It is, however, important to note that if you want immediate access to your report and cannot wait then you can obtain it at a price. Like with CIBIL you must shell Rs. 550/-, while for others it is roughly Rs. 400/-.

You can see the idea of a free credit report is not so free after all. You take a print, copy the documents, courier it to obtain a free report. Add to that the value of your precious time you spend on all of this and you arrive at the cost of obtaining a “free” report.

If you want a truly free report that is instant access to your report minus the hassles and the price, then use the services of your reliable website –

Oftentimes, after reviewing their own report, people realise they are not credible enough and that they must work to improve credit score. One important part of the plan is to regularly monitor your credit score to learn about its progress and of your directed efforts.

So while you can get one free credit report annually, for other copies you must purchase them. Here too, brings to you fabulous discounts on multiple access to report alongwith analytical services.

One can say that “free” is a misnomer for the credit reports because the process is quite tiresome. Having said that, we must add that we whole heartedly applaud and welcome this decision. Even though it may not be as “free” as claimed yet it serves as an inclination for people to inquire about their reports and self check them. This means people will become more aware and processes will become more transparent, more efficient.

That idea has driven all these years.



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