I Don't Know Anything About my Credit Report. Where do I Start?

27-Dec-2017 written by : FSI-Team

Where do I Start?

Your credit report is a snapshot of your credit profile. So, every time you will apply for a loan or a credit card, the lender will check it before making any decision.
It's important to understand that finding a loan with low credit score is usually quite tough. Thus, maintenance of a healthy score is important for financial security and peace of mind.

If you want to become a credit-responsible person and learn how to read a credit report but don’t know where to start, then you are at the right place.

Learning About the Credit Report

The first thing you need to do is get a copy of your credit report. Since all the credit bureaus are required to provide a free report every year, you don't even need to pay if this is your first inquiry.

Depending on which credit bureau your get your report from, the structure and format could be different than other reports. However, there are some details which are found in all.

For the sake of simplicity, we will discuss the CIBIL report- it's various sections and their meaning.

A CIBIL report has five main sections, which are:

1. Personal Information

As the name suggests, this section contains your personal details such as name, date of birth, and gender. However, you will also find additional details such as your unique ID number, driver's license number, voter ID number, etc.

This section is used to verify your identity as the details are matched with your other documents.

2. Contact Information

In this section, you will find your phone numbers, email address, office and residential address, etc.

3. Employment Information

Here you will find your employment details, such as your income and the nature of your occupation.

4. Account Information

This is the most important section of your credit report that you must familiarize yourself with well.

Under this section, all the details of all your existing loans and other types of credit activities are given. Additionally, other details, including the names of lenders, all account numbers, nature of accounts (joint or sole), current balance, amount of debt, etc. can also be found here.

The account information section also contains the details that decide that whether you will be able to get a good loan or have to end up struggling for a loan with bad CIBIL score. These are the repayment details of all your loans for the last 3 years on a month-over-month basis.

Your repayment history plays a major role in the approval or rejection of your loan applications. If it shows consistency in the payments, then you can avail a loan without much problem. However, if there are some delayed payments, then it can affect your odds to a great extent.

You may also find a few terms under this section that you are unfamiliar with. These are:

Credit Limit: This means the maximum amount of credit you can use with your credit card. For instance, if your credit limit is Rs. 1 lakh, then you can spend as much as Rs. 1 lakh with your card.

Days Past Due (DPD): DPD refers to the number of days for which you delayed a certain payment. Ideally, you would want all the payments to have a DPD of "000", which means no delay.

Written Off: This term is usually found in regard to an account. It means that you have delayed a payment for more than 6 months and so the lender has "written off" the amount. As you can imagine, this remark is a big black blot on your report.

Settled: This term is no good for your report either. It is used in the context of loan default, which is when you are unable to repay a loan. So, if you "settle" a loan account by paying only a portion of the actual debt, then the bank reports CIBIL about the same, and it's mentioned in your report.

5. Enquiry Information

This is the last section of your report, but important nonetheless.

Under this section are the details of the inquiries made by the lenders for your report. So, if you have applied for a loan at a lot of banks, it will lead to a lot of inquiries, which is bad for your credit health.

So, this covers all the aspects of your CIBIL report. Hopefully, now you know what's the meaning of all the sections and terms in yours, and can monitor it smartly.



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