It is not every day that you need to fix your mobile or television or AC or any gadget for that matter. If you follow the instruction manual, and if you are lucky to have a non-defective item, your gadgets will have a long life. Where exactly am I going with my talk of machines and gadgets? Well, the same principle applies to one’s credit maintenance. The credit landscape has advertisements on every bend that welcome you to take the ‘right’ turn with a score that is upwards of 700. Anything short of that, and you have to take more uphill roads to reach credit haven. So, let’s see how you can consistently stay on the right side of 700.
CIBIL gives you a score ranging from 300 to 900 based on a round-up of your credit history. If you have never approached banks or similar institutions for credit cards or loans, you do not exist in CIBIL’s database and you will not have any report to show lending institutions. So, while not having a good score is stumbling block when you apply for loans, not having a credit history is also questionable. It is not that much of an issue if you are salaried or have a steady income and you are approaching credit card companies for the first time. But, it does become a point of contention when your search extends to the best home loans in India. If you are going to be applying for it, your credit report from CIBIL will make the journey much easier. Let’s turn to the top factors to maintain a steady score, so you never have to worry about how you are going to get a loan for low CIBIL score.
Pay your dues on time
When you get your credit card bill for the month, do you stick to paying off all the credit that you have drawn the past month or do you let it roll over to the next month either out of forgetfulness or laziness or just because you have more important bills to pay off that month? If you are doing so, you are hurting your CIBIL rating badly. You would need to show greater financial discipline to score more. Banks exist to make money. They would be cautious about giving loans or cards to anyone who has a history of defaulting his/her payments. They wouldn’t want you to be their loss maker. In this context it must be stated that minor defaults – payments missed under 90 days have a temporary setback on the CIBIL score, while major defaults – those that are beyond a period of 9o days damage your score for a much longer time.
So, paying off dues on time is arguably the most essential trait that could give you a favourable score.
Utilize credit moderately
Every credit card that you have has a maximum limit that you need to abide by. However, that does not mean that you max out your card every month. Doing so indicates that you are credit hungry and lowers your CIBIL score. The other side of the story is that if you utilize up to 30% of your credit limit, you automatically score well in your CIBIL report.
Curb the urge to stock credit cards
Avoid the impulse to decorate your wallet with colourful credit cards – especially if you are thinking of applying for a major loan, like a land mortgage loan, in the near future. Lending institutions view this as an indication that you cannot live within your income and are over-dependent on credit. They are skeptical about your capability to repay any further debts. So, use your limits wisely and let that reflect in your score.
But, don’t be over-cautious about using credit cards
If you own plastic money, make use them regularly. Only be sure to pay the balance off on time (Advice #1). Does that contradict what we just said about using too many cards? Not really. The key to maintaining a healthy score is to using them without excess. Owing a credit card and not using it does nothing to your score. On the other hand, showing that you can keep your debts in control, by paying off dues every month gives you a healthy score. So, go ahead and keep your cards active.