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.

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