How Does Different Credit Bureaus Work

Before jumping to the main topic, Let’s know that what is the credit bureau? And what mainly does it do. A Credit Bureau is an organization who generates and maintains the credit score and credit report of any individual. These both are nothing but a direct reflection of how credit responsible any individual is. There are various factors which these bureaus determine while generating, updating, and maintaining the score and the report. Various algorithms are working on the credits and the repayments of credits any individual has taken and is repaying. It also majorly depend upon the banks or the NBFCs who update them with anyone’s proceedings of the credits. If in case, a bank or an NBFC fails to do so, it directly affects the score.

Everyone who has dealt atleast once with credit score or credit report knows what do they both mean. A score is a three-digit number between the range of 300-900 which is obtained by calculating various factors and report is the detailed information about the accounts. Where are the credit bureaus and how many of them will know the information? In India, there are 4 credit bureaus viz. TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and CRIF HighMark. The first ever bureau was TransUnion CIBIL which was established in 2000 with the association of TransUnion, An America based Credit Bureau. CIBIL stands for Credit Information Bureau India Limited. Over the next few years, other bureaus came and established themselves. In 2010, RBI(Reserve Bank of India) passed a mandate that each and every bank or an NBFC(Non-Banking Financial Company) has to update any information regarding the credits which includes any type of credit card or loan of an individual to the credit bureaus.

Credit score consists of 5 parameters.

• Payment History

• Amount owed

• Length of credit history

• Credit Mix

• New Credit

Check the following table which determines the weightage of each of the above-mentioned parameters in respective credit bureau.

TransUnion CIBIL

Equifax

Experian

CRIF HighMark

In Percentage(%)

Payment History

35

35

35

35

Amount Owed

30

30

30

30

Length of Credit History

15

15

10

10

Credit Mix

10

(Inquiry) 10

15

(Utilisation)15

New Credit

10

(Accounts in Use) 10

10

10

Now, as per the details mentioned above, the 65 percent of any credit score comprises of the payment history as in how responsible the person has been over past years in making the payments of the credits s/he had been taking is considered. The amount owed is how much is the total credit anyone has taken, this includes the credit card limit as well as a loan. And the rest three factors revolve around the total length of credit history i.e. from how long has an individual be taking credits, credit mix i.e. what kind of credits one has. Secured or unsecured and revolving based on fixed credits. New credits are the new type of accounts (not be mistaken by bank accounts) or the credits which one opens. In here, Equifax has a different name as Credit inquiry which is the number of times one has inquired about any kind of loan or a credit card. The loan would be any of the loans like, home loan, education loan, car loan which are basically unsecured types of loan. And the accounts that are in use. Also, CRIF HighMark considers the credit utilization instead of credit mix.

There is no much difference between any of the factors which determine the score. There is hardly 5 percent change. So when the credit score is calculated is more over the same with just 20-25 points change. There can a major difference when a bank would not update any of the bureaus about a transaction. That can happen sometimes, that a particular bank would update the information to 3 bureaus and skips one or there is no tie up with any of the individual bureaus. When anyone checks the detailed report, it can found about which information is missing. Majorly if there is any change, it would be of 50 points maximum and shouldn’t we worry about, as taking the above points into consideration.

But, one should always be responsible for his/her credits and should not take them casually. The weightage may differ in any of the bureaus of the parameter but, an individual’s behavior would make the creditworthiness better or worse. So, one has to be mature enough in taking the credit repayments seriously!

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