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.

Advertisements

Why does the credit score differ between credit bureau?

What is a credit bureau? How does that work? Does that affect my day-to-day life? We are here to give you a proper insight on credit bureaus and their different styles of credit score ratings.

When you apply for a loan, the bank or the non-banking financial firm will try to pull up your credit report. The credit report will have all that is needed to understand you’re past financial history, your current debts. By having a thorough research on the same the bank then considers giving you a loan or any financial product like a credit card. But from where do the banks get the credit report?

There are four major credit bureaus in India; they are Equifax, CIBIL, Experian and Highmark. Majority of banks and Non-banking financial companies in India take assistance of CIBIL in terms of credit report of the customer.

CIBIL was established in the year 2000, Equifax, Experian and Highmark was granted a license in the year 2010 to enter Indian market and help with the credit rating system.

The scoring styles used by all these bureaus are different as they practice differently and do not want to collude with other bureaus.

 The Scoring System

CIBIL- the score ranges from 300 to 900, 300 being the lowest and 900 being the best. You can opt for a free cibil score from various Internet websites, but if you want a detailed report it will cost you INR 500.  It is not necessary to have a perfect 900 to get the loans sanctioned, every bank have their own protocols and you can avail a loan with a low CIBIL score as well but with a high interest rate. You can get the report within 7 working days once applied.

EQUIFAX- Equifax has a different approach when it comes to scores. Their score ranges from 1 to 999, on that 1 being the lowest and 999 being the highest, they more incline on the corporate side rather than individuals, the major services provided by them are Credit risk and fraud, industry diagnostics, etc. They take 10 days to generate the report. You can get it for INR 400.

EXPERIAN- Experian credit ranges just like CIBIL that is between 300 and 900, 900 being the highest and 300 the lowest. Experian on the other hand and more inclined to collection and money recovery, data analysis and customer acquisition. Usually they take 20 days, but with you a speedy process you can get it within 15 days. This will cost you INR 399 + Taxes.

HIGHMARK- the credit range in case of Highmark is a bit complicated, the score ranges from 300 to 850, but the scores are considered poor, if they are below 640 and are excellent when above 720. They specialize in verification, credit assist, data quality management etc.

The reserve bank of India has mandated all the financial institutions to access the credit scores to analyze if the individual is credit worthy.

You can increase your cibil score by fair practicing, pay your bills on time, do not hand on bad debts. With the perfect CIBIL score you can avail a lot of financial benefits, these credit bureaus also help you analyze how you could improve your credit scores. It only used to happen when credit report is used to determine loans, but now we are taking steps towards using it for every little transactions some sited like,

Screening for postpaid SIM card connections, Credit reports for online sellers, fixing insurance premiums, using the report to analyze prospective tenants, etc.

The credit score awareness is less among Indian people, hence they lack in credit discipline. Many people are unaware of the poor credit score and are denied loans. The bureaus play a vital role for banks for determining the credit worthiness of an individual.

Credit Monitoring and Age: Are They Related?

With a significant rise in the cases relating to data breaches, data theft and identity theft there is a pressing need to take precaution and protect one’s credit record from such malignant activities. Credit monitoring is a defensive mechanism that aims to prevent, detect and resolve such kind of credit frauds.

Credit Monitoring essentially implies keeping track of an individual’s credit history and identifying any suspicious changes or activities. There are many companies that offer credit monitoring services and also provide you with a free credit score and report.

They notify the person whenever there is any new information in any of the credit reports like a credit inquiry, addition of a new loan account or delinquency. Such alerts enable the person to verify whether the changes made are genuine and accurate or not. If such developments are not initiated or authorized by the person then he can take necessary action right away to sort the issue before it becomes out of control. It reduces the chances of identity theft or any other kind of fraudulent activity.  It is an easy way of keeping a check on one’s credit health and score. These services also help in resolving and mitigating the damage if your account is breached. They also come handy if one is trying to improve credit score. Many credit monitoring companies offer an additional service of providing loans for low CIBIL score. Investing in such services is surely worth it as protection from fraud gives one peace of mind.

But should you think of signing up for such services at a particular age. Well ask yourself; at what age do you think you will be vulnerable to become a target of identity theft. It could in fact be at any age. Young and old, both are equally susceptible to become victims of identity theft. Thieves do not have any age preference. They are only concerned with making profit by using someone else’s personal information. Hence monitoring credit is extremely important irrespective of one’s age. It will alert you if there are any signs of your personal information being compromised.

Let’s see how credit monitoring helps in the young age when you start building your credit. Credit reporting errors like incorrect spelling of name, address, incorrect payment transactions are very common. These errors can do a big damage to your credit score. It is necessary that you get these errors corrected. But without proper monitoring, you will not even know that such errors exist.

Credit monitoring services also help in credit repair. They grade you on each of the factors that determine your credit rating. This helps you to identify your weak areas so that you can work upon them and improve your credit score. They guide you about what financial approach you should take so as to improve your rating. They also provide you with free credit score , so that you can track your progress on a regular basis. So if you wish to take a loan in the near future you should definitely think about approaching a credit monitoring firm, whatever be your age.

In old age financial aspects start taking a backseat, and people become less worried about their credit standing. But beware, the older generation is an easy target for the identity thieves. With high savings, big assets and excellent credit scores the senior adults become the perfect targets for criminals. So they too need a protection from such crimes. Lackadaisical attitude can destroy their impeccable credit history that took years to build. If a thief opens a fake credit card account in their name and starts charging purchases to the card without making the payments their score will plummet. Without proper monitoring, they may not even notice such activities for many months or years. With credit monitoring one can be alerted each time a new account is opened in one’s name. This way one can sort out things before they go out of hand.

Maintaining a good credit standing will give you better access to loans in times of need. You can obtain the best credit card reward offers and interest rates. Hiring a credit monitoring company can also save you from becoming a victim of identity theft. Hence monitor your credit reports and scores on a consistent basis whatever be your age.

How lenders estimate credit for mortgage loan requests?

Are you facing a financial crunch? Are you in need of urgent funding? You may approach a bank with a mortgage loan request.

Financial crisis is a very common problem. Your existing property can however take care of your crisis. A mortgage loan helps you to raise funds to meet financial shortage. This is a Secured Loan in which you keep your immovable property (home) as a deposit and take money from the lender. The borrower needs to repay the loan via regular monthly installments within a particular period of time.

But before you do that, you must know how lenders estimate credit for mortgage loan requests.

Mortgage Loan Eligibility   

Both salaried as well as self-Employed individuals can apply for a Mortgage Loan.

To avail a mortgage credit, you need to carry out certain minimum eligibility conditions. The following are some of the factors considered by the lenders while determining your eligibility for a mortgage loan:

  • Minimum age: You should be minimum of 21 years of age at the time of the loan application.
  • Annual income: What income is required to qualify for a mortgage loan depends on the lender.
  • Existing liabilities (if any): Your monthly liabilities are taken into consideration (say living expenses, other EMIs and bills)
  • The valuation of your property (to be mortgaged): The lender generally approves 80% of the registered value of your property as the loan.
  • Number of dependents: If you are responsible for the livelihood or upkeep of some members in the family; they are your dependents (spouse, kids, and parents).
  • Total work experience and stability in current job: How long you have been in the current organization or business, your qualification definitely play a vital role in assessing your loan eligibility. Lenders prefer stability of job and prefer those who are employed for at least two years.
  • Proper financial documents: You should have proper and relevant financial documents (pay slips, ITR, bank statements) to avail the loan.

Basically after gathering information about your income and debts the lender assesses your credit profile. They determine how much you could afford to borrow. Before prequalifying, they adjudge your ability and willingness to repay the loan.

For ability check, the emphasis is put on your income and job stability. However to check willingness to repay they would ask you the purpose of property use. They would check your credit report to closely study your previous history of meeting any such commitments.

Your credit report speaks volumes about your credit repayment history. Looking into your report if the lender finds the report is plagued with derogatory remarks and red flags, it might reject the loan application. The red flags indicate that you didn’t make timely payment of loans in the past or settled with the bank (that is again did not pay in full). In case there is any delinquency, then a valid reason for the same has to be given with proper evidences. All in all, low CIBIL score literally could scupper your mortgage application.

You are usually entitled to get a Loan Against Property (LAP) up to 80% of the registered value depending on your repayment capacity. It is important to keep in mind that every bank has its own set policy to evaluate your property and assess the borrower’s eligibility to repay the loan.

If you have a good monthly in-hand and you are not servicing any other loan, you are eligible to get 60 times your monthly net income as a loan. However if you seek bigger amount you can use home equity to raise the funds.

So whether you are looking for additional funds to meet educational expenses, marriage expenses, medical expenses or even business reasons you need not worry! If you have a property in your name you can use LAP from any of the banks such as HDFC home loan and meet the financial obligations.

It is important to understand here that there are no fixed rules to estimate the eligibility for mortgage. Each lender would consider an application on individual basis.

Being a borrower however you should do a proper homework and know the amount of loan you seek. You should negotiate as much as possible on loan duration and rate of interest. You should ask the lender if there are any prepayment charges. With a home equity at stake you should not leave any stone unturned to ensure the affordability of the loan.

Is all the hype on credit score justified?

If one had applied for a loan a decade or so back, they would have required the relevant documents, knowing the bank manager or knowing somebody who knew the bank manager and could “introduce” the applicant. Knowing the manager or being introduced to the manager ensured that the lender knew about you being a reliable borrower or a trustworthy person which could not be established by simply looking at the documents. Lenders want to give money to those who can be trusted and this judgment was made in a subjective way in the past and often backfired. Things in today’s times have changed; now this “trustworthiness” or “creditworthiness” can be established in a more objective way; with the help of the credit score.

So What is a Credit Score?

Before focusing on the hype that surround the credit score and if it is justified or not we will try and understand what the credit score is. The credit score is a three digit number that reflects the creditworthiness and also the credit health of the individual. This rating is calculated based on the credit history of the individual; this history must be at least six months old and includes various aspects related to loans, credit cards and other credit behavior.

Based on five main parameters that are namely the repayment history, credit mix, credit utilization, inquiries and loan tenure the credit score is calculated. Amongst the five the repayment history is the most important parameter followed by credit utilization. These aspects are used to arrive at the credit score of the individual. The Credit Information Report which is a detailed contains a lot of information related to loans and the individual apart from the credit score.

Why is it Important?

So now we know how the score is calculated. So, why is it important? The score is important as it lets the prospective lender judge if the prospective borrower can be trusted or not. Let us start from the beginning. When an applicant applies for a loan, he/she submits an application along with the required documents. A financial institute will get hundreds of applications, they want to be sure that they lend the money to the right candidate, a person who can be trusted and is credit worthy. So how do they do this? This cannot be judged by simply look at the documents and the application form. This is what brings us to the credit rating.

The prospective lender will ask for the CIR of the applicant and based on the CIR the lender will decide whether to go on to the next step or not. The score is calculated based on the past credit behavior of an individual, thus the lender can make an assessment whether a person is likely to be a responsible borrower or not or is likely to default based on his past behavior and his current debt obligations.

Each financial institution will have its own set of rules and requirements when it comes to accepting a loan application or not. One of the criterions that the applicant has to comply with also concerns the credit rating of an individual. Thus those who have a score that is less than what is acceptable to the lender will not be sanctioned a loan, their application is likely to be rejected at the first step only. The acceptable credit score varies not only with the lender but also may differ depending on the loan type.

Generally a score of 750 is considered to be good enough to get a loan sanctioned. As per the statistics by CIBIL 79% of all loans sanctioned are to those people who have a score of 750 plus. If you are looking for a loan and have a score below this, it is a good idea to improve CIBIL score before you apply for a loan.

So is thy Hype Justified……

To clarify CIBIL or any other rating agency does not specify who should be given a loan or not, they just collect the data from various lenders and arrive at a score based on it. However, having said that almost all lenders look at an individual’s credit score before deciding whether to lend to him/her or not. Thus getting a loan or a credit card is heavily dependent on a healthy credit rating else your chances of getting a loan approved go down. Even if one were to get a loan with a low score it would be at higher interest rates. So yes the credit score is important and one must focus on keeping it healthy, not for the hype but for your own sake.

 

How Poor CIBIL Score Can Destroy Your Financial Goals?

You may not realize how poor CIBIL score can affect your life, but if you take a closer look you can see how it has the power to set itself as a major obstacle in several areas.

Here are a few ways how bad credit score can destroy your financial goals:

  1. Lack of Access to Money

Finding a loan for low credit score is harder than you think. Thus, if your life threw a curve-ball in the future and you need money on an urgent basis, things can become bleak easily. Most credit lending institutions perform a through credit check for every single loan application, and if you have a poor score it is highly unlikely that yours will get approved.

  1. High Interest Rates

Obtaining a loan for low CIBIL score is not impossible, but it comes with a catch- high interest rates. When the applicant has a history of CIBIL dispute  or lacks satisfactory CIBIL score then the lenders deem them as ” a high risk candidate”. To balance the risk they charge hefty interest rates for the personal loan, or any other kind of loan that they seek. This money paid in extra interest can be a lot, and thus make it difficult to manage the EMIs along with the monthly expenses.

  1. Job Risks

The importance of CIBIL score is increasing by the day in India. This is evident from the fact that more and more companies have started making it mandatory for the job seekers to have no history as a loan defaulter if they want to apply for jobs. SBI was one of the first to demonstrate this, when it mentioned clearly in the job advertisement that those candidates who had ever defaulted on a loan were ineligible for the posted jobs.

If you have a poor credit score then finding a good job can become difficult for you in the future. Even your existing job can be at risk if you default on a loan, as your company may look at it as a sign of bad money management and lack of responsibility.

  1. Increased Stress

Bad credit can rob you of joy in many ways. You start worrying constantly about your finances, and if you have a family to support then things can only become worse. Every time your phone rings you wonder if it is your debt collector. Paying with your credit card also starts making you nervous, as you pray that it doesn’t get declined when a seller swipes it in the machine. All this stress eventually forces you to seek professional help from a therapist of a doctor, which again costs you a lot of money, and you get caught in a vicious circle.

  1. Financial Limitations

Your finances can come under rigid constraints when your CIBIL score falls abysmally low. You have to limit your expenses in every possible way to get rid of the accumulating debt. Thus, unless something is really important, it has to wait until the debt is cleared. Home needs renovation? It has to wait. Car is broken? Need to use public transport for a while.

Needless to say, your quality of life takes a blow when your credit is not looking good. You can’t even apply for a new credit card, which could make things slightly easier for you, as for that too you need to have a good credit score.

Once you have understood the points mentioned above you can easily see why CIBIL score is important in your life. Even if you feel your score is good enough, you should never stop being careful with your debt payments. Missing one single EMI can have an impact on your credit report.  Plus, you can always improve credit score, if you know the basics of the same. If your score is already plummeting then it is best to get an expert to help you out. CreditSudhaar, for instance can provide you some of the best credit experts who can help improve your score in the smallest time possible.

 

5 Things you Should Understand About Credit Scores

Knowledge is power, and power is everything. Did you know that just the three digits that represent your credit score can have a huge impact on the financial well-being? If you have been overlooking news and articles related to CIBIL score and creditworthiness so far, then it is time to finally learn about it. The more you will avoid learning about CIBIL, the more difficult it will become for you to get loans and credit cards in the future.

So, here are top five things that you absolutely must understand about credit score:

free credit report1) CIBIL Score and its Importance

Your CIBIL score is a three digit score that is provided by Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited, the institution that collects and maintains records of every individual’s payments related to loans and credit cards. The score ranges from a  minimum of 300 to a maximum of 900.

2) Things That Impact Credit Score

There are a number of things that can affect your credit score, and thus should be given due attention to. These are:

  • Late Payments- Late loan payments, and credit card bills payments, are the most common reason behind low credit score. A lot of people don’t take payment deadlines seriously, believing that it won’t make a big difference. However, the reality is that every single payment is of significance when it comes to your credit score, and thus should be always taken seriously.
  • Mistakes in Credit Report- Your credit score is mentioned in your credit report(provided by CIBIL), which is also important. If there are any mistakes or errors either in your personal details or the payment history itself, that are mentioned in the report, then it could lower your score.
  • Remarks and Comments: The lenders from which you take loans can leave remarks in your credit report, which can be detrimental to your score if they show you in bad light. If this is the case then to improve credit score you have to request them to get them removed from your report.

3) You Can Get a Copy

The access to your CIBIL report is not restricted to financial institutions alone. You can get a copy of your report as well. All you have to do is create an account on CIBIL’s official website and submit a few documents for verification purposes. If all goes well then they will either send a report to your email address, or to your residence itself. You just have to pay a small fee for the service.

While getting a copy of your CIBIL report is an optional service, it is highly recommended so that you can keep an eye on the progress of your score.

4) Other Credit Information Companies

Although CIBIL is the authority bureau on credit management and regulation in India, there are  3 other bureaus as well that work on the same principles. In some cases your financial intuition could choose to consider turning to these bureaus as well apart from CIBIL, when considering your loan or credit card application.

Here are the 3 companies other than CIBIL:

  • Equifax: Established in 2010, the company scores individuals on a scale of 1 to 999, and is known for its new technologies and services.
  • Experian: It also scores on the scale of 1 to 999, but takes longer to provide credit report. It also offers the most cost effective means, by offering credit report for just Rs. 138.
  • Highmark: Highmark scores range from 300 to 850, and offers unique solutions such as data quality management, and credit assistance, etc. Since the company is relatively new it has some really innovative products for modern banks and other financial institutions.

5) Difference Between Free and Actual CIBIL Report

A lot of websites these days are claiming to offer free CIBIL report, when in reality they are just misleading the people. What most of these websites are offering is an estimate of your Credit Score, and not the actual credit score. If you want to improve CIBIL score then you must always refer to the actual CIBIL report, and not the rough estimates.

By being informed on your credit score and credit report, you can make sound financial decisions easily. The points explained above can be of great help in that enterprise.

 

I need a free credit report. What should I be doing

A credit report contains details about your credit history – loans, bankruptcies, credit accounts etc. The information in the report is used to generate your credit score, which is a three-digit numeric summary of your creditworthiness. Financial institutions will look at your credit report and credit score while making lending decisions. If you would like to view your CIBIL report, you would have to visit CIBIL’s official website and fill in their request form. The bureau will make available the report at a certain cost. It is important that you check your report at least two times a year to know where your creditworthiness lies. If you ever get the option to check free credit score from a legitimate source then do not let go of it.

 

At present, India’s credit bureau does not give out CIBIL reports for free. If you want to avail the report right this moment, you would have to pay a certain sum to avail it. However, recent news articles have suggested that the credit bureau is likely to begin providing individuals with one free credit report per year. The bureau is expected to begin doing so from January 1, 2017, news reports suggest. The central bank has said that the report must be provided on request, any time during the calendar year. Access to the free reports, which will be in the electronic format, is expected to raise consumer awareness and help people make more meaningful financial decisions. Now when you do avail a free CIBIL report, it is important that you treat it as a credit health management exercise. Many make the mistake of limiting themselves to checking on their report only before sending out a loan application. It is very essential that one regularly checks on his or her credit health so as to know where they stand financially.

 

If you want to check free credit score, visit the online website of Freescoreindia. Freescoreindia has joined hands with Credit Sudhaar to provide free credit scores in the country. In order to check free credit score from the website, you would be required to enter some basic information such as your name, email address, city and phone number. Once you have submitted all the necessary details and documents, your credit score will get updated to your online account in a span of 72 hours. You will also receive notification via SMS and email concerning the same. Finally, login to check free credit score.

 

It is prudent that you check your CIBIL report at least two times a year. Checking your report is the best way to know what needs improvement. If you plan on sending out a loan application, it would be a good idea to look at your report at least six months prior so as to make sure that no discrepancies have crept in. Regularly checking on your report will also help you realize whether or not you have fallen victim to identity theft. This is crucial given the rising cases of people falling victim to identity thefts. Additionally, staying updated about what your credit history looks like will help you set your financial goals.

 

Banks and other financial institutions will look at the contents of your CIBIL report to assess whether or not you are eligible for their loans. They will also determine the interest rates to charge you based on the conclusion they draw of you from your CIBIL report. If your score is low, chances are that lending institutions will charge high interest rates. Sometimes even employers will look at a candidate’s credit report to help them in their hiring decision. Landlords could also review your report when determining whether or not to rent to you. It is thus very important to keep track of the contents in your report and ensure that there are no errors of any sort. If you would like to check free credit score, we suggest you go through the website of Freescoreindia. If you come across other websites that will let you check your score or report for free, make sure it is authentic before taking things forward. Do not share yours personal details unless you are 100% certain that the website is authentic.

 

Can You Get A Credit Score From Your Bank?

Credit management is a big responsibility. The way you handle your EMIs and credit cards can directly affect your loan approval prospects in future. To ensure you are on the right track it is important that you keep a check on your credit score on a timely basis.

There are various ways you can get a credit score such as-

  • Your Bank- Some banks and even loaning companies do provide CIBIL score to their customers on a monthly basis. You can either check your score by logging in your account on their website or they may provide you the same on your monthly statements.
  • Credit Score Service Providers- Owing to the significance of credit score today many websites have emerged on the web that provide free CIBIL check online While some of these websites only provide you a rough estimate of your exact score by analyzing your credit history and payment patterns some of them do actually provide the exact score.
  • The Authority- There are different credit bureaus in India that can be approached for your credit score. These are CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd. , Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd, Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd, and Credit Information Bureau India Limited. Out of these four 4 CIBIL is the most widely accepted one. Majority of banks are associated with CIBIL only and so if you want your credit report you can fill out a form on CIBIL website and pay a nominal fee. You will receive your detailed report along with the score.

There are many things that can hurt your credit score and inquires made on the same is one of them. Basically there are two types of inquiries- soft enquiry and hard enquiry. While the former doesn’t affect your credit score in any way the latter does so slightly.

Soft Enquiry- A soft enquiry is the one that is made by you. For instance, if you just want to check your score then you can get your report from CIBIL. This will be a type of soft enquiry. You can get your report any number of times you want but your score will never be affected.

Hard Enquiry- Hard enquiries are made by your lenders or banks when they have to make a lending decision. For instance, when you need a credit card then your bank will first make an enquiry to CIBIL to see if you have a decent CIBIL score. Only if they are satisfied with your report and score you will get your credit card. The problem with hard enquiry is that if your loan or credit card applications are rejected multiple times then your score will be damaged even though you are not obtaining what you seek(credit card or loan). Thus, credit management experts always recommend that you only apply for loans when you have a good score first.

Enquiries on your credit score should always be made with caution. Too many hard enquiries on your report could cause a lot of damage and make things even worse. If your bank doesn’t provide credit score to its customers it is best that you get your copy of report from CIBIL itself. You can also look for websites that offer the same. Just make sure that they don’t make a hard enquiry as that would be counter-productive.

How to Avoid Hard Enquiries?

If you are going to apply for a loan or a credit card you can’t dodge a hard enquiry. However, you can minimize the damage by apply for loans around the same time. For instance, if you are comparing different loans available in the market then it is better if you apply for them simultaneously. Chances are that CIBIL will recognize the pattern and understand that you are only trying to get the best deal possible. This should minimize the damage to your score. However, if possible you should apply for loans only when you feel your score is high enough to get an approval.

Should You Check Your Credit Score?

Credit score was something that was unheard till almost a decade and a half back.  Now it is not only discussed occasionally but it has become almost a necessity if one wants access to formal credit. If one were to approach any bank or financial institution for a loan the first thing that the prospective lender will do is get the applicant’s Credit Information Report (CIR). All financial institutes access the CIR when they want to assess a prospective client but you as an individual if you want to see how your credit health is or you want to know how to boost your credit score by looking at the grey areas in it then should you do it? Will checking you CIR have any impact on it? Is it a good idea to check your score? Well if you have any doubts the ensuing discussion is just for you.

 

Hard Enquiry V/S Soft Enquiry

To understand whether checking one’s credit rating impacts it in any way let us understand the difference between a hard enquiry and a soft enquiry. When a Financial Institution or a bank ask for the CIR of an individual it is known as a hard enquiry and as the chart alongside shows it has a 10% bearing on the score calculation.  When an individual checks his/her credit score then it is known as a soft enquiry and has no bearing whatsoever on the calculation. So checking your own score will not impact the credit rating unlike a hard enquiry; too many enquiries can impact the credit rating adversely. In fact one has the option of getting a free credit score also; you should check you score from time to time owing to the reasons explained in the following paragraph.

 

Why Should You Check Your Credit Score?

Now that we have established that checking your own score does not impact it negatively let us focus on why is it beneficial to check your own score periodically. Let us assume that you want to buy a new car during the coming festival season and you apply for a car loan; the loan application is rejected due to a low CIBIL score and you end up missing the special discounts.

Checking you score from time to time makes your prepared for a situation when you may require a loan in the future and beyond loans also if you apply for certain jobs. Yes! You read it correct a poor credit rating could hinder your job prospects too just like it hinders the borrowing prospects. Recently in their recruitment advertisement SBI had asked applicants to check their score before applying. If the rating is low due to some reason, being prepared in advance gives you sufficient time to try and increase the score and be ready to apply for a loan and a job too.

Accessing you CIR also gives you a comprehensive picture of your financial health. Thus beyond loans it could help you in financial planning and also course correction if you are too over leveraged, are late in making payments or there is some unpaid due which you have forgotten about. Looking at your credit report you get a summary of all your open loans, their remaining tenure and so on which can help you prepare for your future. Sometimes there may be an erroneous reporting in the CIR which may impact the score negatively although you might not be at fault. An occasional look at the CIBIL Score can warn you of such a situation and you can take timely remedial action.

So to answer the question asked at the start of this discussion; yes one should check their credit score. Checking you score in no way impacts it negatively; on the contrary it can help you by being prepared to deal with any situation and can also aid in financial planning.