Mistakes to Avoid When Building Credit History

If you want to be responsible towards your financial security, then it’s important that you build a high credit score with the help of good credit history. However, in that endeavor, you want to be careful with your actions and avoid the common mistakes that people commit only to hurt their score. These are:

1. Closing Old Accounts

It’s true that with few bank accounts and credit card accounts you can manage your finances easily and get the desired results faster. However, if you have to close a few accounts, then picking the old ones can do more harm than good.

Here is the thing- the length of credit history plays a huge role in your credit score calculation. In other words, your oldest accounts make a bigger contribution towards your score in comparison to your recent accounts. So, if you have to close an account, it’s best to choose one that’s relatively new.

2. Late Payments

Late payments, whether we talk about personal loans or credit cards, are never good for your credit rating. In fact, the majority of top credit bureaus such as TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, High Mark, etc. give the highest weightage to the payment history when calculating your credit score. So, if you miss only a few payments, then your credit history will stay good. However, if you fail to make the payments on time more often than not, especially in multiple accounts, then you can expect a huge damage to your creditworthiness.

3. Increasing Credit Utilization

You may have a reason to believe that increasing credit card usage i.e. credit utilization can help to build a high credit score faster. On the surface, that seems logical, after all. However, that’s not how the system works.

Higher credit utilization doesn’t have any impact on the credit rating growth. In fact, if it’s above 35%, then it can easily cause damage instead. This is because the credit rating agencies associated high credit utilization with “credit hungry” behavior. In other words, they are led to believe that the user isn’t financially reliable which is why they are utilizing a large portion of the credit available at their disposal.

4. Carrying Credit Card Balance

A lot of people don’t know exactly how the “minimum payment” feature of credit cards work. They just assume that everything is fine as long as they make these payments.

In theory, minimum payments are a good option. After all, you don’t have to pay any fine and so your credit score shouldn’t be hurt either, right? Wrong!

It’s true that by making minimum payments you can prevent the penalties and/or extra charges. However, you may still suffer in the long run. This is because when you make a minimum payment, your balance amount is carried over to the next month and becomes debt. So, if you continue making minimum payments again and again, your total debt will increase which not only gives rise to financial challenges but also impacts your credit score calculation.

5. Failing to Monitor Credit Report

When people want to increase their credit score, they often to their friends and relatives for guidance. If they are lucky, they get some valuable insight and tips such as expanding the credit variety, timely payments, the option of secured credit cards, etc. However, a lot of times they don’t get to learn about the significance of credit report monitoring.

If your credit report has discrepancies, then the credit rating agencies will continue to give you a poor score even if you are making all kinds of efforts. Plus, you can’t monitor your progress unless you monitor your report and actually measure the impact of your actions.

All the credit rating agencies in India are required to provide every user a free credit report once every year. Thus, there is no reason for you to not get yours.

Building a good credit history isn’t too complicated or difficult. However, having sound knowledge of the same is the key. In that regard, the mistakes explained above can be of great help to you. Good luck!

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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!

Learn How to Read Critical Information from your Credit Report

All credit bureaus in India are required to provide a free credit report once a year to anyone who asks for it. This means that you can access your credit report free of cost four times a year since there are four credit rating agencies in India. However for these reports to be useful you should be able to understand the relevance of the information contained in them, especially the critical part. So here we take a look at the critical information that a credit report contains what it means and why you need to focus on it.

What is Critical in Your Report?

So let’s say you got your free credit report, now you need to know what is contained in each section and how it impacts your credit score. As we all know credit scores are all about your debt history so all information about all your credit cards and loans.

The credit score definitely is the most important thing in your CIR. A good score is important for you to get loan applications sanctioned and is also an indicator of your credit health. A score above 700 is considered to be good.

The accounts section is the most crucial part of the report and the information contained here impacts the score to a great extent. Information about all open loans, closed loans and credit cards is included in this section. Thus you should first make sure that all the loans and cards that are mentioned in the CIR actually belong to you. Though unlikely some loan or credit card that may not belong to you may be mentioned in your CIR. It could be just an error or sometimes a case of identity theft in either case it is very important that you take immediate action on it.

The next thing you need to understand is the account classification of each loan. Each debt is classified as per their payment status. Thus if you have been paying regularly then your loan would be classified as STD. If a loan is classified as anything other than STD then it means that you have not been paying regularly and it is not good for the score. So make sure that no loan is classified as a non-std asset by mistake. It may happen that the borrower may assume that his EMI’s are being debited on times while it may not be happening due to some error or oversight.

You should also check your repayment history, this will let you know if you have paid all your dues on time in the past 36 months. DPD means day past due; thus DPD of zero for all credit cards and loans is a good sign for the credit score. Anything beyond zero DPD signifies that the payment has been delayed which will lower your credit rating.

Also ensure that all loans that have been repaid by you fully are reported as closed. Even if you have repaid all the dues from your end but the loan reflects as an open loan then you need to get in touch with the lender and get a NOC or complete any other pending formality as required.

When going through the CIR also check details like the total loan amount, unpaid amount, tenure, interest etc. This will ensure that you have all your facts straight and there are no errors on the part of the lender or you have not missed any important detail.

Other Aspects That Require Attention Too:

While what is mentioned above is critical in your report, there are other aspects too that require careful consideration. Some facts that you need to check are:

  • Personal Information section contains details about the DOB, PAN, and driving license and so on. Make sure that all information mentioned is accurate

  • Contact Information section has details about individual’s current address and also past addresses (if any), email address, telephone number, mobile number etc. Again the accuracy of this information is important.

  • Employment Information section has details about the current occupation, work place details, name of the company (for salaried) duration of employment etc.

  • Enquiry Information sections details about all enquiries made by lenders and this also has a bearing on your credit score. So do make sure that the details mentioned here are accurate.

So get your CIR and understand what it means, it will help you stay credit healthy.

How to Plan Your Dream Wedding Without Spending Your Savings?

Life is but a long sequence of good and bad moments. However, some moments are more special and important than the others, one of which is your marriage.

It’s true that you don’t tie the knot every day. Plus, it’s a special occasion because it’s the beginning of a new chapter, or rather a new life. Thus, it’s understandable if you want to organize a lavish and festive wedding, with no concern for the expenses. However, is using your savings for the same a good idea? Let’s find out.

Weddings in India

Indians weddings are known for their grandeur and plush display. However, to make arrangements for these, a massive amount of money is required. This is the reason why many young professionals turn to their savings for help. They liquidate their fixed deposit accounts, bonds, and other long-term investments to fund their weddings. However, this is not recommended by the finance experts for the following reasons:

  • After you get married, many new expenses may need to be taken care of, such as home loan, new furniture, travel, car loan, etc. However, if you have spent all your savings on the wedding, then you won’t be able to clear these expenses.
  • You must always have an emergency fund for financial security. For instance, if for any reason, you lose your job or develop a serious illness, then you should have enough money to handle the situation without needing money from anyone else.

What’s the Solution?

A personal loan is the best solution for funding your dream wedding because of the following factors:

 

Peace of Mind

The biggest and most important reason to get a personal loan is that it gives you the peace of mind when you know your savings safe and untouched. So, you can enjoy planning your wedding without a worry and pay for all expenses easily.

With a personal loan, you also don’t need to go through the inconvenience of selling your mutual funds, bonds, etc. to get the money. Instead, you can give your full attention to the most important event of your life i.e. your marriage.

Fast Disbursal

The approval process for a personal loan isn’t as complicated as a home loan or education loan which require an excellent cibil report and often a loan guarantor too. There are also few formalities and minimum waiting period.

These days, many banks offer special loans which are designed for exclusively for marriages. So, you can also look into them to get the money even more easily and quickly.

Competitive Interest Rates

Thanks to the large number of NBFCs and other financial institutions that have emerged on the surface today, the interest rates and perks offered on the personal loans are extremely competitive. So, if your timing is just right, and your CIBIL report is impressive, then you can easily get an attractive interest rate that will help you repay your loan quickly.

How to get a wedding loan?

To get the best possible loan for your wedding, be sure to do your research and compare the interest rates online. Other than this, you must keep the following things in mind:

  • Wedding Budget: A wedding comprises of various kinds of expenses. However, when you take a loan, then you have to make sure that you have as accurate of a budget as possible. This is to avoid a situation in which your loan is way smaller than your actual expenditure.
  • CIBIL report: One of the most important things you need to do to get a low interest rate is to improve your credit report. This is because all banks decide the interest rate and the terms of the loan on the basis of this important document only.
  • Loan Documents: Make sure that you have the appropriate documents to apply for the loan. These include your ID, proof of income, bank statements, etc.

In Conclusion

Weddings are meant to be thoroughly enjoyed and cherished, there are no two ways to it. However, you can’t let your emotions come in the way of your discretion. So, spend as much money you feel comfortable with, but don’t splurge your savings when a personal loan is a much safer option.

 

Will my credit score be affected if I inquire frequently?

Taking loans to fulfil immediate financial requirements has become quite common. With this the importance of credit score has also increased manifolds. People have realized the importance of keeping the score high so that they get approved for loans easily, get the best credit card offers and the lowest interest rate possible. Even people who do not plan to take a loan in near future are keeping a check on their score, so that they don’t face any problems in future, if they need funds in case of an emergency.

Enquiring about your credit score helps you gauge your current situation, identify accounts that may be causing damage and find out ways to improve your credit profile. But some people have a misconception that such credit enquiries can damage your credit score. It is a complete myth that checking score frequently harms your score.  There are some credit enquiries that are not good for your score. But those are hard enquiries. When you check your score yourself it is known as a soft enquiry. Let’s explore what hard and soft enquiries are in more detail.

When you submit a loan application, the lender requests for your credit score and report from the credit bureau. They use this information to analyse your past borrowing behaviour.  Based on your score, they estimate the risk they are exposed to and accordingly decide whether to approve or reject the loan application. This score is also used to set interest rates and other loan terms. This type of enquiry made by the lenders is called a hard enquiry. All these are listed in your credit report and make up 10% of your score. While a single enquiry may result in only a slight dip, frequent hard enquiries indicate that you are applying for credit frequently. Such a credit hungry behaviour isn’t good for credit score. So one shouldn’t apply for multiple credit cards within a short span of time.

Soft enquiries include credit enquiry made by landlords, employers and insurance companies.  Since these situations do not lead to accumulation of debt they do not affect your credit score. Even the background check made by lenders for preapproval of loan is a soft enquiry. A check made by credit card companies to see whether you qualify for promotional offers is also a soft enquiry. Similarly checking your own credit report is also counted as soft enquiry. Soft enquiries are not listed on the credit report and they are not factored in credit scoring models. Hence, they do not affect score negatively.

In fact checking your score is a good practice, it is often the first step in improving it. It helps one do a reality check as to how one’s credit habits are affecting the credit profile. In order to encourage people to take their score seriously, RBI has mandated the bureaus to provide a free credit report every year. Checking the report frequently also helps in keeping problems like identity theft at bay. One must check the free credit report every year to uncover any mistakes or inconsistencies.

So go ahead and check your free credit report as and when you want to. It will not have any negative effect on your score. In fact you can get a free credit report from each of the three bureaus every year. So you can check your report for free thrice in a year. It is a good way to keep track of your financial health.

If there is a sudden drop in your score, it may be either due to recording of incorrect information or misuse of identity. One can report such issues to the bureau and ask them to rectify the mistakes. Taking a peek into one’s credit score also motivates one to take actions to bring positive changes to the score. If you are working towards improving score a regular check will help you see the results of your efforts.

Will Arranging My Debts Help Boosting My Credit Score?

A credit report provides a comprehensive picture about one’s credit position. The credit score which is an important part of the report factors in various variables when calculating the score and this rating helps in predicting an individual’s creditworthiness. In case you have a low score then there could be a variety of reasons for it and depending on the problem you can solve it using various solutions. Arranging your debt can help you in boosting your credit score. Let us consider a few ways in which arranging yore debt can give a boost to your credit score.

  • Consider Balance Transfer:

Balance transfer is an option that can help in better management of debt. This option can be useful both for home loans and in case of piled up credit card debt.

Home Loans run for long tenures and it is possible that during this time the interest rates change a couple of times. If you realize that the loan you took years back is at a higher rate than the current prevalent rate for home loans in the market then you could consider getting a home loan balance transfer after weighing the costs and benefits. A lower interest rate could help lower you over all liability and you may find it easier to pay your reduced installments in case you are struggling with the repayment. Longer loan tenure if agreed by the new lender can also help you in repayment.

Credit card debt is the most expensive form of credit. If you are struggling with repaying your credit card dues then balance transfer could help you. In this process you transfer your unpaid dues on one card to another card (preferably one that charges a lower interest rate), the new card company provides some interest free holiday before you need to start repaying your dues which can help the card holder. The acquiring card company may also allow repayment in EMIs which can help in boosting your score.

  • Fore-Closure Could Help in Certain Cases:

All loans and credit card dues are included in the CIBIL Report, one aspect that influences credit score calculation is the balance between secured and unsecured loan. In case your unsecured loan (personal loan, credit card dues) burden is higher than secured loan burden then it could impact your credit score negatively. In such a scenario fore-closing these (unsecured) loan could help in boosting the credit score. Though loans that run the full course are better for the credit rating in the long run but in some instances a prepayment may help.

  • Prioritize your Debt

Needless to say repaying all your dues on time and regularly is important. However if you have too much debt and are struggling with repaying them then you must consider prioritizing the repayment. Repaying one which has the highest interest burden could be a good way to start. However it is important that you list out all your debt along with their interest, overdue amount and remaining amount. If you find it tough to repay all you monthly dues then you could talk to lenders and request a loan restructuring. Here the loan tenure is increased which lowers the EMIs and makes it easier for you pay your monthly dues. You aim should be not to allow interest fee and penalties to add to your debt burden. This is definitely not one of the ways to improve credit score fast but could give you results in the long term.

Ideally one should not reach a position where their debt burden becomes so high that they find it difficult to repay their monthly dues. However in case this does happen then you should consider rearranging your debt in an attempt to better your credit rating.

What Do the Credit Score Numbers Mean?

A credit score plays an important role when it comes to opting for a loan or a line of credit like a credit card. Credit scores are used by lenders and various Non-banking financial services to evaluate your capability to avail a loan and make decision whether they can offer you a credit. The score is a result of your payment patterns, any default payments, any past settlements and many more.

There are many different scores which are available in the market for the lenders like Experian, Equifax and so on but Indian banks and non-banking financial services companies prefer CIBIL as their lead bureau for credit scores. Credit Information Bureau India Limited also known as CIBIL was founded in year 2000. It helps providing credit information to Indian banks to filter loan applications.

There are different categories of cibil score which helps boost your loan application and also gives you added benefits while availing a loan. The score ranges from 300 to 850, each financial transaction either contributes or downturn your cibil score.

Today we will sight the score breakdown and help you to understand what the credit score mean,

Score 0-349

If your credit score is between 0-349 this means you have no lending record. Many of us think to make our purchases on cash and do not take loan for any purpose but a no cibil score is equivalent to a bad cibil score. Always try getting small consumer loans from time to time and make regular payments on the same to see a great hike on your score. This will help you get started with the process and in future if you need a bigger loan like a home loan or a personal loan you will be able to avail a loan with ease.

Score 350-650

If you are in this category of credit score, most probably you have made a lot of financial mistakes like not paying your dues on time also if there is a settlement in your account. This will definitely hamper your chances of getting a loan in future. If you have not made a payment on time the transaction remains in your report for at least 5 years. A low cibil score will always pull you backwards from financial harmony, if you need help with repairing your credit, you can always approach a financial professional.

Score 650-699

This is termed to be a safe zone and you need to work hard to reach in the good score range. If you are in this category it is much likely you will get a loan but chances are you will need to pay much higher interest rates as compared to other options available in the market. Try not to default any loans further and you credit score will be up in no time.

 

 

Score 700-759

This category is called the safe category. In general terms you can easily get a loan from any lender without any hassles. This indicates that you make all your payments on time with almost no defaults and also your credit balances are low. If you are applying for a loan, you will get high priority as compared to others and you can also negotiate on the interest rates offered by the bank.

Score 760+

We can say that, very few people achieve this milestone. You can be in high demand between lenders if you fall in this range category. This credit score range means you have financial integrity and do not default your payment even by mistake. You have a long history of line of credits without a single default. They receive the best offer available in the market and also can negotiate with the lender on interest rates, processing fees and so on. It is really hard to achieve this breakthrough, but is even harder to maintain the same.

A credit score states a lot about you when it comes to financial integrity and how you manage your loan funds. It is a ladder you can use to achieve financial milestones and achieve an easy credit in desperate times, but the same factor can be the worst nightmare of your life and can haunt you for a very long time. Borrow responsibly and repay well to live in financial harmony.

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.

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.

Four Steps to a Healthier Credit Report

Credit scores are important as they are not only an indication of financial well being and discipline but it also a crucial factor in getting a loan application accepted or rejected. Thus it makes sense for you to be aware of what contributes to making a good or bad credit rating so that you can aim to have a healthy credit report. Here we look at a few aspects that contribute to a healthier credit score.

How to Get a Healthier Credit Score:

Five factors impact CIBIL score calculation and taking care of these factors will ensure that you have a good rating that will allow you to have access to credit if you so require.

  1. Ensure Timely Payments: This is the most crucial factor in the credit score calculation. Thus paying on time is the best way to a healthier score. So whether it’s the EMIs or credit card bills remember to always them before the due date or by the due date. This simple rule will go a long way in maintaining a good score. If you have not done this in the past it is never too late to remedy your ways. While paying on time going forward will not immediately improve the score but it will have a positive impact over a long period of time and the negative impact of late payments each month will reduce. Plus it’s a great way to get you off the loan defaulter list and better your chances of getting a loan approved.
  2. Use the Credit Cards Wisely: Credit cards come with a sanctioned credit limit; this is the maximum amount that the user can spend without paying the dues. Thus if your card has a sanctioned limit of Rs. 100,000 then this means you have access to credit up to Rs. 100,000 per billing cycle. However this does not meant that you actually need to spend an amount equal to the sanctioned limit. Actually it is good idea to keep the spending below or equal to 30%-35% of the sanctioned limit on a regular basis. A low credit utilization ration (usage/sanctioned limit) has a positive impact on the credit score and after the credit repayment history it is the most important factor when calculating the score.
  3. Eliminate Old Dues: If one is looking at getting a healthier credit report card then it is mostly a long term process. Improving the rating takes time but eliminating old dues is something that can have an immediate impact if done correctly. If you have pending dues that are reflected in your CIR then take care of them in the right way to see an improvement in the score. When you repay old dues remember to pay the entire amount and in case you do negotiate with the lender then do ensure that the lender does not report it is “settled”. A settled debt is never a good sign and would not improve the score and may have an opposite impact. Having said that paying an old debt does not mean that the delays and missed payment are removed from payment history but the debt will not show as an overdue amount in future reports which is bound to have a positive impact.
  4. Avoid Credit Enquiries: Needless to say one must apply for a loan only when one requires it! Each time one applies for a loan the prospective lender seeks the credit report of the applicant. This is known as a hard enquiry; enquiries are one of the five factors that influence the CIBIL score calculation. Even when one needs a loan and applies for it then make sure you make a thorough check about the lender’s eligibility criterion and the required documentation. This will ensure that there are no unnecessary credit enquiries and you apply to lenders only where you have a fair chance of getting the loan application accepted.

Staying credit healthy should not be something that one does once in a while and them forgets about it. Inculcating healthy credit habits and being financially disciplined ensures that one remains credit healthy throughout! Just like are financial and physical health we need to take care of our credit health too.