My Credit Score is 500. Things You Should Do Now

Well first things first, a credit score of 500 is not good news. However having said that, do keep in mind that it is also not the end of the world! As you may be aware credit scoring is done on a scale of 300 to 900 and higher the score is, the better it is for you. Any score below 700 could spell trouble if you are looking at getting a loan sanctioned or even getting a new card or a job. So if you are reading this, it means you are looking at working on your score and trying to make it better.

  • Get Your Credit Report:

Even though you know that your score is low, not much can be done till you get a thorough look at your credit report. The credit report gives a detailed and comprehensive view of your overall debt position and also lets you analyze your credit history. Going through your credit report will help you identify the cause/s for your score being low. You may sometimes be aware of the problem but it is always better to get the report and identify the reason/s for the low score. A score of 500 will not be caused due to a few missed payments or excessive use of credit card in a month or two, the cause is likely to be more serious.

  • Clean Up Your Act:

Going through your report will let you identify the problem areas that are the cause of the low score. Once you have that information you need to start working on these aspects. So if you have an open loan that you have paid fully, then get the NOC so that it is closed in the credit report too. Pay old dues but make sure the accounts are reported as closed and not settled; a settled account will raise red flags in the minds of all future lenders. If you have been irregular in paying your dues, going forward you need to start paying on time as this is the most important component of CIBIL score calculation. Also keep a look out for any erroneous reporting that may be causing the score to dip.

  • Have a Disciplined Approach:

Once you have zeroed in on the cause of the low score and how to deal with it you need to have a disciplined approach if you want your score to improve. If the cause is high credit utilization ratio then you need to exercise restraint when using your credit card. You need to fix a limit to your credit card usage and then you need to stick to it. The same applies to paying your dues on time, as we said above this aspect influences the credit score to the maximum extent. Make sure you pay all your EMIs and card dues on or before time, always!

  • Be Patient:

Another aspect to bear in mind is that credit scores do not improve or go down overnight. The score is a reflection of your credit history which starts from your first card or loan. So if you have been an irresponsible borrower in the past and are looking at improving your score, bear in mind it will take time especially if your score is 500. Being disciplined and patient are keystones of improving your CIBIL score, so be responsible in the future and don’t hope for miracles. Though loan for low CIBIL score is an option offered by few lenders yet it is not advisable to do so as it can cause further damage to your already strained credit health. Wait for the score to improve before you go out looking to borrow further.

  • Seek Professional Help

You can definitely try to improve your score on your own but if you feel that things are too complicated or you are unable to identify the cause of the low score then you can seek professional help in trying to improve your score. Here it is important to remember that no one can remove any negative item from your report, professionals can only help you identify the problem and offer you a solution. Being disciplined rests on you, they cannot offer you quick fixes but they are better equipped to deal with such situations. .

As we said earlier, though the score of 500 is low and is definitely a cause of worry, however there is no reason to despair as you can work on improving it.

This is why you should track credit report to maintain a healthy record

Are you a health freak? Are you one of those who wake up at 5.30 in the morning and goes to work out on a daily basis? Have healthy food throughout the day and is rigorous about maintaining the perfect health? If yes, have you ever thought of your financial health? Isn’t that important as well? A healthy financial health will lead you to money miracles and if failed to adhere it can cause you a lots of problems.

What is the main essence of a good financial health you ask? It’s nothing but a good credit score. A credit score is a representation of your personality in eyes of a lender on how you are doing financially. There are ranges of credit score which will determine if you are credit worthy or not. You will pray to be on a higher of the score as it opens lots of doors to financial products to avail.

Here are some tips on tracking your credit report and maintain a healthy record,

Know your credit score

Many people make this mistake and never check their credit score on the first place. They only happen to know this term when they are applying for a loan or a financial product. Get your free cibil report and check what your score looks like. Is it bad, good, worse how much do you need to work on the same?

Keep a track

Your financial transactions are recorded frequently by your lenders to the credit bureaus. These transactions are like a summary of your financial well being and how your future lender will see you. It’s important to keep track to understand if the actions are helping you improve your cibil score.

Fix your details

Credit bureaus tend to make lots of mistake while entering your transactions towards your account. You need to check and report any errors you see when it comes to the transactions on your report. Not only transactions, but every details like your name, surname is to be rectified as this can lead to major problems like identity theft.

Only borrow what you need

When it comes to availing a loan or a credit card, always check your requirement. Do not avail more than you need as this will cause you a lot of damage financially. Just because people have pre-approved loans and open credit, they misuse their finances and then face lots of issues financially. If you think you happen to have a lot of open credit accounts than you need, try closing them with ease and try buiding a secured financial future.

Be smart when applying for a credit

When you are applying for a loan, it’s tempting to apply towards a few credit providers just to see how the market can favor you while applying for a loan. This practice can not only deny you a loan, but can also take a toll your credit score. When you apply for different loans or credit cards every enquiry is counted as hard enquiry and is recorded on your credit report. These enquiries stay on your report for a very long time and are visible to your future lenders that you made multiple applications to avail a loan in the past.

Do not miss on any payments

Life is tuff, we understand that and due to unconditional situations, you may miss on payments. Do not do that! It’s really important to make all your payments on time and maintain that financial integrity so that your credit score is maintained and you also don’t encounter any late fees and penalties.

Maintaining a healthy record sounds like a lot of work, but it can be a savior when it comes to availing a financial product. Few simple steps towards maintaining a good finance can help you in many ways you cannot imagine.

Can unused credit cards impact your credit profile?

Credit cards have become an important part of our lives. With various options and lucrative offers available, it becomes so difficult to choose what fits best for our needs. From various offers on dining to broadways, air miles, reward points, shopping experiences and what not is offered in various types of credit cards. But, technically, when we opt for too many credit cards with an individual offer, it can be a possibility that we may forget some.

Let’s understand this with an example. Priya was a very passionate young achiever at a good position in an MNC. She has achieved a lot in that young age. Obviously, with that age and that position, she was on cloud nine! With that age, she was also attracted to those offers of the credit cards which the banks had offered her. Some credit card with air miles offer, some had dining offers, some gave her amazing reward points and what not! Now when she had more than five cards, at times it becomes difficult for her to manage. So, eventually, she picked two best of cards which could give her maximum benefit and rest she kept aside.

Now, she did not close those credit card accounts and thought that would work as she wasn’t using them. After a year or two, she wanted to buy a house and planned to apply for a loan. To her surprise, her loans were getting rejected as her CIBIL score was not up to the mark. The question may arise is, what is CIBIL score? And what is it’s an effect on loan sanction? A CIBIL score is a 3 digit number that ranged from 300-900 where 900 is highest and 300 is lowest. It is determined by five factors. Payment history, an amount owed, length of credit history, type of credits and new credits. Any loan or credit applied for is the major reason why and how the score is what it is. Higher the score, more are the chances of loan application getting approved. How is this score diversified? 750+ score is always considered a good score. Anything between 600-750 is average score and anything below that is not considered a good score or we can say a bad score.

Priya, when wasn’t using her cards, she forgot the fact that each credit card has yearly charges. When not paid, they can keep on getting added to your account, in turn, adding more amount to it as delayed payments and added interest charges. What she couldn’t figure out, and because of delayed payments of that or we can say missed payments this amount kept on increasing which decreased her score and getting the loan application rejected!

What did we get from this example? At times, when we decide to not use the credit card anymore, we must either close the account or if for length of the credit history if we want to keep that open, every six months, we must check are CIBIL score, and the report in order to get an idea if we are not missing on anything which is making outscore low! We should always remember that the score can take no time to go low, but will require more time to get it on track. You must be paying all the credit bills on time, you must not be missing on any EMIs that are scheduled, but an unused credit card’s yearly surcharges may just drag the score down.

Always remember, an open credit account will have its repercussions, so either one would close the account they aren’t using, or if it is kept open, the yearly fees or are other charges should be taken care of and paid. Especially the once of unused credit cards!

Smart investment tips to buy a Property

Planning is the key to everything we do in life. If you have a goal in life, be it short term or a long term, a proper plan can help you achieve it. Speaking about plans, we happen to have a lot of dreams which we would like to achieve someday or the other. Dreams like buying a high end car, an expensive phone, shopping for branded clothes, etc. These are dreams which you can fulfill with a small amount of planning and management and there you go! Dreams fulfilled! Is this the case with every purchase in our life?

Here we are talking about buying a home. Buying a house is a very lengthy process and takes a lot of your attention. For many of us, it’s a luxury we cannot afford. In some cases, by the time we reach to a decision to buy a house, the property becomes expensive or else the funds get exhausted. There is something or the other stopping you to make your dream purchase. For buying a property you need a proper plan which includes your budget, place of property, is there a co-borrower you can count on? Home loan options, you need to do a thorough research on which lender would be the best as it’s a long term commitment when it comes to home loans. HDFC Home loan gives you the best interest rates and less processing fees with speedy approvals.

After all the necessary research done by you, you decide on a property and start making the necessary arrangements to purchase the house. The very first thing in the home buying process is to make a huge down payment. You are prepared for it, but at last moment there are some additional charges and without digging a huge hole in your pocket you won’t be able to make the purchase. This leads to dropping the plan and again you are at ground zero.

It’s a total nightmare to see your dream property slipping out of your hands. Now you think you must have started making some smart investment for such a day. Thinking to start making smart investments, we will show you how,

Start early

Buying a house is almost everyone’s dream. Find you calling at the earliest and start saving for a good down payment for the house. On the other hand, if you apply for a loan at the early ages let’s say in your 20s and 30s, the bank will give you maximum loan amount with long tenure up to 30 years. By doing this you may end up paying very less down payment.

Start fixed deposits and recurring deposits

This may look funny, but this helps a lot. We happen to spend a lot on unwanted things and end up having no savings for future. By opening deposit accounts, you can start saving a lot of money. This way, you can minimize your spends and start saving for the deposit account. This savings then helps you make a huge initial payment if needed.

Invest in SIP Mutual funds

This is one more thing you can do to save money to buy a house. SIPs promise you a good return between 10-18% returns depending on which type of fund you are selecting and the tenure associated to it.

Start working on your credit score

The most important thing when it comes to buying a house is that you will need financial aid from a bank or a home loan lender. Make sure to have a good cibil score before you apply for a loan to get the maximum out of a loan buying process.

Every step you take to buy a house gets you one step closer. Just make sure the steps you take will help you in the long run as this is a long term commitment and you need to prepare for the same.

Find Out Why and How to Start Building a CIBIL Score?

What will you do if you find yourself in a cash crunch one day, and you don’t have any savings left? Chances are that you will apply for a small loan. But do you know that your application can be easily rejected if your CIBIL score is poor?

Your CIBIL score is the most important factor that banks and NBFCs consider when they evaluate your loan application. So, you need a high score if you want a loan, especially at a lower interest rate. This brings us to the main question- how can you improve CIBIL score?

The first thing that you need to understand is that no matter how poor your score is today, you can improve if you are willing to do the work. You may not get the desired results within days, or even weeks. However, if you are committed and take the right steps, then nothing can stop you from building an impressive credit. All you have to do is take the following steps:

1. Check Your Report

The first thing you need to do before you can start working on your CIBIL score is checking your credit report. Only then you can see what your current score is and how much work do you have to do to increase it to a decent level (a score that’s equal or above 750 is considered good).

You can also go through other important details in the report which include personal details, previous loan’s details, repayment history, income, etc. If you see any mistakes in these details, then you can have them corrected which will improve your score.

As per RBI’s norms, you can receive one free CIBIL report every year. Although you can get your report as many times as you want for a small fee. You can check CIBIL’s official website for more details.

2. Start Using a Credit Card

Using a credit card is one of the simplest and most effective ways of improving credit score. This is because when you use a card and pay the bills on time every month, then it builds trust and increases the score. Plus, you can save money too as many credit cards offer perks like cash back offers, discounts, reward points, etc.

3. Checking Credit Utilization

If you are already using a credit card, then check if you are spending more than necessary every month. Ideally, your credit utilization shouldn’t be more than 35%. For instance, if your credit card limit is Rs. 1 lakh, then you shouldn’t spend more than Rs. 35,000 per month as it affects the credit negatively which you can easily verify through a copy of your free CIBIL report.

If you need to spend a lot of money with credit cards every month, then it’s better to get multiple credit cards. This way you can lower your credit utilization without compromising with your spending habits.

4. Get a Joint Loan

Apart from credit cards, small personal loans and home loans also help in building a credit score. Although you should try to get a loan all by yourself, if you are having trouble with that, then you can get a joint loan instead.

When you apply for a loan with a co-applicant, especially if they have a good credit history, then it’s easier to get a loan. However, the benefit of repayment in terms of credit score is shared equally between the borrowers. So, when you take a loan with someone who has a good credit, then you can improve CIBIL score along with them using their merit.

So, there you have it- some of the most recommended tricks that you can use to build credit. However, there are a few other things that you should keep in mind. For instance, you should never become a loan guarantor for someone who you don’t fully trust even if they are a family member. This is because if they fail to repay their debt, then you can greatly hurt your own credit score. Also, never underestimate the consequences of late payments. Whether it’s credit card bills or loan EMIs, every single payment should be made on time if you want to improve your score faster. Good luck!