The Credit Report You Haven’t Seen Yet, May Scare you

People who are careful about their physical health usually go in for an annual health check-up, just to make sure that everything is fine. Similarly people who take their financial health seriously should keep an eye on their credit score and report on a regular basis. Your credit report shows a complete record of all the credit accounts. Your credit score is calculated based on the information in credit report. Depending on how you manage your credit and how you handle the payments the credit score determines whether you are a worthy borrower. Checking your free CIBIL report every year helps in keeping your financial life in order. It helps in making sure that all information recorded about you is true and up to date. It helps in uncovering frauds in a timely fashion before the situation goes out of control.

Many people do not care about credit reports until they find a need for a new loan. Many people just check their report before finalizing a car loan, to see whether their credit profile is strong enough to help them bargain for better interest rates. If you are one such individual who hasn’t paid attention to your credit report till now, you may be in for a big surprise. You may find entries in your report that may give you a shock of your life.

Errors in CIBIL report are quite common these days. Such errors are capable of bringing a huge dip in credit score if not corrected on time. Identity theft cases are already on the rise. If someone is using your name to commit a fraud or if someone is charging credit card expenses in your name you may not even be aware of it until you check your credit report.

Finding out that your credit profile is in a mess at the time when you are seeking out a car loan is quite scary. To avoid such a situation one should regularly order the CIBIL report and check it for accuracy.  Check whether you recognize all the loan accounts and credit card accounts that are opened in your name. Ensure that you recognize the transactions made using credit card. If you spot any accounts in your report that you have not opened, any transactions in the billing statements that do not belong to you, or any collection notices that you do not recognize then it could be an identity theft case that may ruin the credit rating.

Immediately report such cases to the creditors who are reporting the fraudulent information and dispute these errors with the credit bureaus. You may also put a fraud alert to the credit report so that no new accounts are opened in your name. Follow up with the bureau till the item is removed from the report.

You should even get small errors like misspell name or address rectified. Such small errors, if not rectified on time, may become a reason for a bigger problem later on. If you want to protect your financial life you should take the complete onus of ensuring that your report is showing true and correct information. To get the errors fixed you can submit a dispute to the credit bureau through email. The bureau will contact the original source of information to verify the details. You may even send supporting document as proof to both the bureau and the creditor to speed up the process.

Apart from errors, even true information in the credit report might take you in for a surprise. Many a times, it is only when you see your credit report and analyse the factors that are bringing your score down do you realize your mistakes that you’ve been doing in the past.  A review of correct information like late payments helps in realizing that small mistakes can prove disastrous for the credit score.

With millions of consumer records being processed every day, errors in credit reports are bound to happen. If you want to avoid unpleasant surprises at the time you need your score to be at its best during loan approvals, monitor the report on a regular basis. It will help you uncover problems before they become difficult to manage. Order your free CIBIL report today.

Advertisements

3 Ways Parents Could Accidentally Harm Their Child’s Credit

Credit health is as important as your mental or physical health. However many a times we realize the significance of credit health only when it is hurt. A low credit score hurts your credit worth and makes you ineligible to advance the loans.

Let’s find out some of the common mistakes which hurt the score in the beginning of credit building cycle of an individual. Herein we would focus on 3 ways parents accidentally harm their children’s credit report.

  1. Multiple Student Loans
    The escalating costs of school and college fee is one of the major reasons why student loans are as much a fad as a necessity for young aspirants. The parents who fail to incur adequate research on the matter and avail a high cost loan for the purpose, certainly build a huge financial burden right in the beginning of their child’s credit life cycle.

    Many people mindlessly raise multiple loans for students owing to availability of credit facility at lower rate. With enormous amount of debt it would be a huge responsibility for a student to repay a loan after completing their education. As a parent, it is your duty to calculate total fee amount and try to look for the least expensive way to finance your child’s education.

    You also need to build the healthy habit of saving funds in your child. As a parent, it boils down on you to inculcate good financial habits in your child. Raising too much of loan for their education would not be a smart decision if it results in low CIBIL score.

  2. Share your credit cards
    Excessive spending is another key reason for impending balance on credit cards. Before handing over a credit card to a young mind, it is important to help them understand the importance of not having huge balance at the end of every month.

    Being a parent you can also add the kid as your credit card account holder. It will sometimes help them to improve their CIBIL score. But maintaining good credit behaviour would be a must. As an adult you need to ensure that regular payments are processed on time and there is no balance after the due date. Remember your child is most likely to follow your footsteps. If you are not serious about repaying your bills on time, the child is also not likely to pay attention to deadlines. You would seriously challenge your child’s future with bad credit habits.

  3. Credit education
    If you fail to teach right knowledge about finances and credit to your child it is your failure as a parent. You need to make the young mind understand the important aspects related to money management and ways to improve CIBIL score. The first credit lesson starts from home. You need to make the child understand how credit affects their life. You need to make them understand the importance of credit for their education, job to buying a home or car.

You need to teach them how important it is to monitor their credit score multiple times in a year. It is important to let them know how information in their credit report will impact their credit score.

Educate them about the available resources to obtain a free annual report. You can choose to review it along with them so that they learn the intricacies of maintaining a good score. You need to help your child develop a mindset that it is easier to maintain credit health rather than fixing bad history later on.

Last but not the least, do not forget to talk about identity theft threats. For online it is one of the fastest-growing crimes. They should know that sensitive information related to account should not be shared with anyone outside.

The 4 Things That Affect Your Credit Score

It’s foolhardy to underestimate the significance of CIBIL score. You might be earning a sizeable income and have multiple assets to your name, but if your CIBIL score is not up to the mark, you can lose the very chance of obtaining a personal loan, home loan, or rather any other type of credit from a bank.

Fortunately, it’s never too late to start caring about your CIBIL score calculation. So, if you want to become more careful with your credit usage, it can help to learn about the top 4 things that affect your CIBIL score:

  1. Payment History

Late payments are often the biggest reason behind a low CIBIL score. These include credit card bills, loan EMIs, etc.

When you don’t pay your credit card bills, etc. on time, it reflects irresponsibility towards money management. Moreover, it shows that you can’t be trusted with credit. Thus, credit rating companies such as CIBIL, Equifax, etc. can deduct a large number of points from your score.

If you want to increase credit score in the fastest way possible, then just start paying your bills on time. Set up reminders on your phone if need be, but make sure that you don’t delay a single payment ever.

  1. High Credit Utilization

Credit utilization plays a big role in CIBIL score calculation, but what’s it exactly?

Credit utilization is the ratio of the amount of credit you spend every month on average to the amount of total credit available to you.

For instance, if you have 2 credit cards, with Rs. 50,000 credit limit on each, then the total credit available becomes Rs. 1 lakh. Now, if your monthly expenditure with the cards is about Rs. 60,000, then the credit utilization ratio becomes:

60,000/100,000 = 0.60 = 60%

If your credit utilization ratio is high, then it can have a negative impact on your score. Although the exact threshold varies from one credit bureau to another, usually it’s around 35% to 40%.

So, by lowering the credit utilization ratio you can increase credit score. The following are two ways you can do that:

  • You can stop using your credit cards frequently. Instead, make payments via mobile wallets, net banking, or even cash.
  • Get a new credit card so that the overall limit is increased and the credit utilization ratio is lowered.
  1. Credit Report Discrepancies

When was the last time you checked your CIBIL report? If there are any mistakes in your personal details, banking data, etc. in your report then it can affect your CIBIL score calculation.

To make sure that your CIBIL report doesn’t damage your credit score, it’s important that you go through an updated copy every now and then. The following are some of the things you should look for: unfamiliar credit card/loan accounts; discrepancies in payment history, personal details, etc.; and false tags such as “settled account”, “defaulting”, etc.

  1. Too Many Loan Requests

When you need a personal loan or a home loan on an urgent basis, then it’s natural to assume that submitting multiple applications to multiple banks can greatly increase your odds of getting an approval from at least one lender. However, nothing can be further from the truth.

When you send out the loan applications at the same time, credit bureaus sense an urgency in this behavior which is not good from the lender’s perspective. Thus, your score could take some damage by this.

In other words, rather than increasing the possibility of you getting a loan, sending multiple loan applications around the same time, can, in fact, lower your odds even further.

If you really want to make sure that you get a loan in the first few attempts, then you must check your CIBIL report first. If it’s all good, you can get a loan without a problem. If it’s not, then you can improve it first, and apply for the loan only after that.

So, these were the most common things that can affect your CIBIL score. Be sure to adjust your credit behavior accordingly so that no only you can prevent your score from any damage, but rather increase it even further.

Length of Credit History vs. Late Payment History, where do you stand?

All of us would have had history as a subject in school. And many of us would also have cribbed about why to learn about something that has gone past. However, the fact is that history is something that all of us have a lot to learn from. We can improve our present by reviewing our past. Goes without saying that our present is an outcome of our actions in past and studying our past does help us in taking better decisions at present.

You must be wondering how is this related to your credit profile. It indeed is. There are two important historical trends that make or break your credit score. In fact these two have the potential to either put you at a position where you are able to save lakhs of rupees or can become part of the loan defaulter list. The two important historical trends that we are referring to here are “length of credit history” and “late payment history”. Let us look at these two important aspects and how do they impact your credibility.

Length of credit history

The length of your credit history means that how long you have been holding a trade line. This is one of the most important aspect reflecting on your credit report that makes your healthier on credit front.

To explain it better, let me put you in a situation. Two known people approach you for Rs 10,000 each. One of them has been known to you for a few years now and you are aware of his history of borrowing money  few times and also about his commitment to repay as soon as the salary gets credited. The other one is a new acquaintance who has joined office about 2 months back and you do not have much awareness about his past. Who would you be comfortable in lending your hard earned money? I am sure your answer would have been the first one.

Similarly the length of credit history reflecting on your CIBIL report helps in establishing a comforting factor with the underwriter of the lending institution. A person who has enjoyed credit facilities from various banks for years v/s a person who is new to credit makes a lot of difference in the process of evaluation.

But the loans keep getting closed over a period. The fact also remains that you would want to pre-close it in case you have some funds available with you. So how to manage the length of credit history? Do not close that old credit card that you may feel has become obsolete in terms of its features. Continuing with that credit card will only help in keeping your credit scores healthy.

Late payment history

While the underwriter evaluates your loan application, the way you have managed your credit in past becomes the single most important factor that can lead to approval or rejection of the application. How have you faired against the payments would lead to impacting the outcome.

Again referring to the above example, if the first person who you had known for a few years had only paid other friends after some follow up or has had defaulted on even one friend’s loan (while paying the others in time) you would be skeptical on extending him with financial help. Just like you, even the structured lending institution would be apprehensive of giving a line of credit to an individual who has had default reflecting on the bureau report. Thus it becomes very important that all loans and credit card payments are happening in time without any delay.

Your length of credit and your repayment history are the two most important pillars of your credit profile and must be maintained. In the absence one may not have access to funding at the time of need.

Is a ‘Perfect’ Credit Score Even Possible? Or It’s a Myth?

The credit score is globally accepted as a signpost to a person’s credit worth. Banks and financial institutions consider this three digit number as a hallmark of your repayment capability. They gauge the risk factor associated with each loan application considering the credit score of the applicant.

In India CIBIL score is primarily considered as the benchmark of a person’s credit score. Credit Information Bureau of India and TransUnion CIBIL Limited are some of the other names of CIBIL which is the premium credit agency of India. It is country’s first credit bureau which modeled a systematic credit scoring system for banks and financial systems.

The CIBIL score is calculated between 300 to 900 points, wherein 900 is the perfect score while 300 is the lowest score. The more closer an individual or a business is to 900 CIBIL score, the better is their credit worth in the eyes of a lender. According to CIBIL 80 % of people with 750 or above points are granted loans by banks.

It is worthwhile to consider here if a good score a guarantee to loan approval? And for that matter, is it practical to get a perfect credit score such as 900 CIBIL points? Is it even possible to attain the perfection or it is just a myth?

It is not possible to state an absolute calculation on what causes low CIBIL score and why. So, let’s find out what compounds a CIBIL score to reach to point of understanding for this query.

Credit score calculations factor in too many aspects which are not absolute in nature and may vary from person to person. Every individual and business vary in terms of their credit worth and so does the impact of their financial moves.

However we can inscribe 5 common factors that affect credit score calculation globally:

  1. Repayments
    To maintain a good credit score, timely repayment of loans and credit bills is a must criterion. Indeed it is one of the key factors that define the stature of your score. According to CIBIL reports discipline in credit repayment can boost your score by 30 to 35 percent. Thus diligent repayment could be your first step towards the perfect CIBIL score.
  2. Credit utilization ratio
    As important it is to repay on time as is to keep a check on your credit accounts. You should always ensure that you do not overuse the credit limit offered to you. Those who exhaust their limit every month are less likely to have a good score. Lenders assume that you are short of cash and your financial situation might be not be as sound for a perfect score. So, using more than your credit limit has a negative impact on your credit report. Indeed it is recommended to limit your credit use far below 30% of total approved limit.
  3. Query
    Always ensure that you do not make multiple queries in a small period of time. Every time you make a query for loan or a credit card, it is marked on your credit report. Frequent queries
    on your report signify credit hungry nature and thus make you financially less strong.

 

  1. Credit mix
    Every time you borrow or use a credit product, the lender undertakes a risk. They charge interest rate to cover up this risk. When you borrow against a property or some other collateral the risk is substantially reduced and thus you are offered a better rate of interest. With this said, I hope it is clear why you should maintain a right credit mix of secured and unsecured loans. Too many unsecured loans restrict your score.
  2. Length of credit

The length of credit history also affects the score. The older is the good history the better effect it will have on your credit report. Thus those who have older history are rated better than new borrowers. This is also why when you close an old credit card with good history, it affects your score negatively.

 

Knowing these factors you can ensure a good score during all the seasons of your life. If however you target the perfection, you need to frequently check your credit report and monitor every activity that hurts your score.