The Bad Credit Score Survival Advice

A red flag in the credit information report is like a fire in the jungle. You do not know how much damage it would make until it eases off. Surviving bad score is thus not easy. A lot of people might share the tricks of restoring credit score however the truth is, it is easier said than done.

Once ruined it would at least take six months to rebound the low CIBIL score. Many a times the damage stays on your report for years to come. All you can do is pacify the bad history with good history.

Let’s find out how you can cope with bad score and roll over the financial dice in your favor once again.

Seek professional advice on bad credit score survival.
After you come to know about your low score, the first step should be to seek a professional help. When you contact a Credit Improvement Agency, it would assess your credit report and guide accordingly the ways to improve the score.

If however you choose to do it yourself, go for free CIBIL check online and study your report. It will help you understand the gravity of the problem. After studying the report, if you find any errors eliminate them without a delay.

Make a budget and organize your finances
With bad score, your credit worthiness is hurt very badly. You need to take charge of financial conditional and analyze your expenses and incomes. Calculate your net income and know how much you actually have in hands to pay out the debts and installments. You should try to close the expensive cards and accounts first and try to save as much as possible.

Not to mention, you should try to add as much income avenues as possible and try to have some surplus every month. Your sole aim should be to become take your debt utilization ratio to 30% of the limit being granted to you.

Contact your creditors and make a repayment plan
When you have too many debts to manage, you should consider contacting your creditors in a hope to find an option to survive the bad account. Speaking with your lenders may help you find a middle path with lowered interest rate or a new repayment plan.

Raise additional loans to pay off loans / credit cards
After you limit the pressure of debts by closing expensive cards and refinancing of the loans, consider applying for new secured loan to survive the bad credit. You can use the amount to manage your finances and repay diligently all the installments. This would build a good history and gradually improve the score.

Use a co-signor or guarantor to avail low interest loan
When you have bad credit score with red flags in the credit report, it is unlikely that banks would offer you loans at low rate. With bad score you become a risky prospect for the bank and they want to lend only with a certain degree of security. Besides rejection of a loan application further ruins the score. Keeping both the facts in view, you should apply for loans with a co-signor or guarantor.

You can ask your friend, spouse or blood relative with high credit score to become a co applicant or guarantor for you. This would raise the chances of loan approval and that too at normal interest rate.

Use a high worth asset as collateral
With bad CIBIL score each unplanned financial activity would hurt your score further. Besides loan repayment and credit utilization ratio, the mix of loans and length of loans also affect your score. If you have home equity or other high value assets such as Gold, you can use these assets as collateral and raise a secured loan.

Consolidate your debt
When you have too many debts to pay and manage every month, you can consider consolidating them into a big umbrella loan that helps you close all accounts into one. You can consolidate loans as a long term personal loan using your home as collateral. The goal of consolidating loans is to make your monthly repayment affordable and save some surplus every month.

Rent a home/property
Last but not the least you can consider renting your home or part of your home to raise some extra funds and save some amount every month.

Using all these steps you can gradually improve your credit health.

What goes into calculation of CIBIL score?

The most valuable asset that keeps your financial life sorted is your CIBIL score. This tool predicts your future financial behaviour. Whenever you apply for any loan, say a personal loan, the lenders check your score to determine the level of risk they are exposing themselves to by granting you loan. While a high score is a sign of good credit management a low score indicates that you are a risky borrower. Hence a low score may lock you out from the ability to borrow funds.

The credit bureaus use a mathematical algorithm to churn the information in your credit report and arrive at a three digit credit score. Let us solve the mystery of how this magical number is calculated. Only when you know the factors that go into the credit score calculation, will you be able to work on them so as to achieve and maintain a high credit score.

Here is a breakdown of five factors that constitute your credit score.

Payment history- This factor has the largest influence on the credit score (35%) as it portrays your future behaviour in terms of loan repayment. It reviews how well you have met your past obligations of credit cards and other loan accounts. It analyses whether you made your payments on time, how often you missed the payments, whether your recent bills are past the due date etc. It also looks at the public record items like delinquency, collections, liens, judgements or bankruptcy. If you have a clean track record of regular on time payments then you will score high on this factor. However if you have had problems in repayments, your score will be weak. The best way to gain credibility in the eyes of the lenders is to always pay back the bills and installments on time.

Amount owed- The credit scoring models give 30% weightage to the amount of available credit that you are using on the revolving accounts. The ratio of the amount that you owe to the total credit limit that is extended to you on all cards determines your credit utilization rate. This rate shows your overall dependence on credit. If you do not carry your balances to the next month you will have a high score. On the other hand high balances and maxed out credit cards will lower the credit score. As a general rule it is best to keep the utilization rate below 30% if you are trying to improve your score.

Length of the credit history – This factor accounts for 15% of the credit score and considers the age of your credit accounts. Creditors like to see whether you are able to successfully manage credit over a period of time. If you have open accounts since a long time and manage them responsibly, it gives the creditors sufficient proof of your dependable behaviour and therefore increases your credit score. If you have just recently opened an account and do not have sufficient credit history to show your track record then you may have a lower score. Because the length of the credit history affects your score, it is advised that you should not close your old credit cards as it shortens the average age of your accounts and hurts your score.

Credit mix-The type of accounts that show up on the CIBIL report, make up 10% of your credit score. If you have both revolving credit as well as instalment loans on your credit profile, you have a variety to show that you can manage different types of debt. Hence a good credit mix contributes to your creditworthiness and raises your credit score. On the contrary, having only one type of account like a credit card, can lower your score.

Recent credit activity- This factor considers your pursuit of new credit, including recently opened accounts and hard enquiries. It makes up 10% of your score. A number of newly opened trade lines or hard pulls on the credit report communicates to the lender that you are either desperate for credit or unable to qualify for credit. It signals financial trouble and lowers your score.

Knowing about the factors that constitute your score is the first step in your journey towards building your credit score. It will now become much easier to work upon your credit related actions to improve your score.

Should you take a personal loan when facing cash crunch?

The popularity of personal loans has soared high in recent times. In the age of instant approvals and quick disbursements personal loans have become a fast track solution for financial problems. Medical emergency in the family, child’s higher education, paying off high interest debts, funding a vacation, home improvements—these are just a few situations where small personal loans come in handy and provide quick and easy access to funds.

However, you need to be cautious while taking this loan. The temptation of quick and easy availability is so high that people often get caught in debt traps and face a crisis situation later. In order to stay financially safe be doubly sure whether you really need the loan and handle it properly once you take it.

Lenders who give unsecured personal loans offset their risk by pricing them much higher than the loans that are backed by collaterals. An extremely high rate of interest makes this form of credit quite expensive. Keep in mind the following rules before going for an easy personal loan.

 Consider your finances and borrow only the amount that you can repay

Small personal loans have short repayment tenure so large monthly EMIs can strain your budget. Your monthly outgo towards all your loans should not exceed 50% of your monthly income.  If a large part of your income goes into EMIs then your other critical financial goals like child’s education or saving for retirement will get affected. Banks always want you to borrow large amounts, but you should borrow only the amount that you can easily repay.

Do not borrow to splurge

You may have all the reasons to take a break and go on a long holiday, your wife may ask for a diamond ring on the silver jubilee anniversary , your teenage daughter may want a designer wardrobe, luxury watches and high end bags; but remember you should wait till you save enough for these expenses. If you borrow to pay for these expenses you will keep paying the EMIs long after the thrill and excitement to splurge has faded away. Remember to live within your means and borrow only if you really need the funds. After all, unsecured  personal loan only provides instant access to funds. It is not free money. It has to be repaid along with interest.

Do not borrow to invest

The golden rule for investing is to never borrow money to invest. The interest that you get on safe investments like fixed deposits will not match with the interest you pay on loan. Equity investments that do offer high returns are risky and volatile. If stock market declines you will not only suffer losses but will be tied up with an EMI obligation as well.

Consider other cheaper alternatives

Since unsecured personal loans are expensive it is always better to explore other cheaper alternatives first in case of cash crunch. Taking loan against assets like gold or fixed deposit may turn out to be a much cheaper option.

 

There are some situations where taking a personal loan is a wise decision

 

Repay a high interest loan

 

If you have a high outstanding credit card balance with an exorbitant interest rate of 28% it is prudent to take a small personal loan at 18% to repay it and reduce your interest outgo substantially.

 

Consolidating debts

 

In case handling several loans and credit card repayments is becoming unmanageable, small personal loan can be used to consolidate all your payments. Though it is only a transfer of debt pile and does not reduce your overall debt, still concentrating on a single loan payment is much easier.

 

Medical emergency

 

If you need money instantly in case of an emergency hospitalization you can rely on personal loans. Fast approvals and quick disbursement of the loan amount will help in arranging for funds in a much shorter time. An online comparison of personal loan interest rates can help in identifying the cheapest option available.

 

Defaulting on the loan can have serious consequences. Late payments or missed EMIs impact your credit report and mess up your CIBIL score. It may also hinder your chances of getting loans in future. So be a disciplined borrower and make sure you make your repayments on time.

 

Personal loans are easily available today. It is a good option if you are looking at consolidating your debt or paying off a high interest loan. But for spending on luxury items it is always better to save first, than pay a high interest on it. Being thoughtful about your own decisions and actions will save you from entering a debt trap.

How Can a Free Credit Report Help Indian Credit Users?

Are you planning to get a loan? If your answer is “yes”, then maybe you should take a look at your credit report first. You will be surprised to know how many loans get rejected on the account of a poor credit score.

There are countless Indian citizens who use credit cards, or have a loan under their name, but few realize the importance of their credit rating, which is affected by their credit behaviour. The following are the major credit bureaus of India that provide standard credit reports to the banks for consideration. If you have ever applied for a loan or a credit card, then be sure that your bank obtained your credit report from one of the following credit bureaus:

  1. Credit Information Bureau India Limited(CIBIL)

CIBIL is the most popular credit bureaus of India that the majority of lending institutions are associated with. It was the first credit bureau of India, and had recently partnered with TransUnion, which itself is one of the world’s most reputed credit rating and analytics companies.

CIBIL works along with TransUnion to provide credit reports of Indian citizens to private and government banks, along with other NBFCs. A CIBIL score ranges from 300-900, and is based on your credit usage, and repayment history.

  1. CRIF High Mark

CRIF High Mark is another highly recognized credit bureau of India that calculates credit score on the scale of 300-900, just like CIBIL. While the company is one of the top finance companies in the continental Europe, in India also the company has quite a reputation for its credit calculation and analytics standards.

You can obtain your CRIF High Mark score online for a modest fee.

  1. Equifax

Equifax is a US-based company that specializes in solutions for consumer, commercial, and workforce domains. In India the company works under the name ECIS, which stands for Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited. It was renamed as the company collaborated with other financial institutions, namely Religare Finvest Limited, Sundaram Finance Limited, Union Bank of India, etc.  Just like other credit bureaus, you can get a copy of your credit report from ECIS online.

  1. Experian

Experian India is a fully owned subsidiary of Dublin, an Ireland-based Experian LLC, and operates as Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Limited. One of the reasons why Experian stands out from other credit information companies, is its proprietary statistical algorithm. This is why your credit score provided by Experian could be quite different than the one provided by other credit bureaus.

All the four major credit bureaus of India charge a certain fee for providing your credit report. However, there is a thing called “free credit report India” too. There are several websites that can calculate your approximate credit score by analyzing your payment history, credit usage, and some other factors that affect your score. While this leaves some room for error, you can certainly get a general idea of where you stand with your creditworthiness.

Here are a few ways a free credit report can be helpful to you:

  • Credit Health: A free credit report allows you to understand your credit health in a simple manner. The standard credit report can be quite complex for an average person to understand, but free credit report is simple and intuitive. Without going into unnecessary details it simply highlights what’s relevant to you.
  • Analytics: With a free credit report you can track your payment history, and your current stand with loan and credit card debt. Using it you can manage your payments accordingly. You can also check the score variation by month, and pinpoint the weak areas thus.
  • Credit monitoring: Of course, one of the best advantages of using free credit report is that you can use it to monitor your score easily. Before apply for a loan or a credit card you can check your report first, and if your score is low, then you can improve it first. With a high score your loan approval chance increases greatly.

If you are looking for an easy-to-understand yet premium free credit report tool, then simply fill out the form at freescoreindia. It offers an almost-accurate credit report which you can refer to if you don’t want to pay for the standard report, or just want something simpler.

How to Manage Credit Card E-Statements Effectively

We do a lot of things electronically today, let it be shopping or booking a room in a hotel. Banking is no different. Online banking is trending, and banks too are encouraging the same. If you are a credit card user then it is likely that your bank has pushed you to switch to electronic statements (or e-statements)  rather than paper versions at one point or the other. However, should you go for it? Keep reading to find out.

Importance of Statements

Bank statements hold a lot of importance- they serve as a record of payments, charges and fees, and even errors, if they have occurred so. They are also almost essential when it comes to making tax returns, applying for mortgage, etc.

E-Statements Vs Paper Statements

There is a reason why banks tend to promote e-statements- they are convenient, and make less clutter. Also, as digitization is on the rise, more people are willing to opt for e-statements rather than paper statements. Some banks also charge a small fee for paper payments, which is another reason why people like to get e-payments instead.

Although e-statements are easier to manage and organize, paper statements have their advantages. They are permanent, and can be accesses and used easily. Many people don’t give e-statements due importance, and often ignore them, which is another reason why paper statements can be useful.

Managing Credit Card E-Statements

If you are sticking with paper statements then it is a different story, but if you have decided to go for e-statements, then you can use the following tips to manage them better:

  1. Opening and Saving Your Statement Every Month- Whenever you get the notification for your monthly e-statement through your e-mail or sms, make it a point to log in your account and download in ASAP. Don’t just take a look at it and forget about it, but keep it in a separate folder along with other e-statements. This way whenever you need to check the records you know where to go.
  2. Keeping Contact Information up to Date- If you decide to change your primary email address or phone number, make sure you inform you bank about it. This way they can deliver messages about your e-statements on your new phone number or email address. It is also important that you check your credit report e-statement frequently, so that if there is any discrepancy you can get it corrected by contacting your bank.
  3. Computer Security- Just like security is important with paper statements, it is important for e-statements too. Thus, make sure your computer is secure and protected for malware and other forms of cyber attacks. Install a good anti-virus program and keep it updated. Also, never share your e-statements online through email or any other medium.
  4. Keeping a Record- While collecting and storing your e-statements can be handy, it is important that you keep a separate record too. Make a spreadsheet with all your accounts in one column, and the months on the top. Enter the amount you pay each month in the columns under the months. This spreadsheet can be really useful when you want to track your payments.
  5. Don’t Just Rely on E-Statements- Monitoring your credit card account can prevent potential theft or other kind of frauds. Thus, you must never just rely on your e-statements for keeping an eye on your account. Instead, log in your account on a regular basis, and do a brief check. Also check your credit score from time to time, to ensure that you are not losing points. For this you should be obtaining your CIBIL report at a regular interval. Poor CIBIL score can make obtaining a loan a nightmare.

Unless you have some concrete reason to opt for paper statements, there is no harm in choosing e-statements. In a world that is increasingly becoming paperless, e-statements will soon become a norm, and it is a possibility that paper will be out of the picture altogether. Thus, the sooner you make the switch, the better. Make sure you follow the tips given above on managing e-statements, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

 

 

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.

 

Know why your loan applications are getting rejected

There has been a whooping increase in the Non-performing assets (bad loans) of the banks in the past couple of years. Hence they have become extra cautious while disbursing loans to the borrowers. They follow a rigorous process of evaluating the applicant. Several factors like the age, income, job stability and CIBIL score are considered to judge the ability of the borrower to repay the loan back. Even the slightest doubt about your creditworthiness may lead to a prompt rejection of the loan application.

 

If your loan application is rejected, it may be a serious blow to your financial plans, especially when you do not have alternatives to finance your immediate requirements of cash. But rather than dwelling on this unfortunate outcome it is better to find out reasons that have led to the denial. Try to pinpoint the cause of rejection and work on that area. A little effort can help improve your financial picture and make you eligible for a loan approval in the future.

 

Here are some most common reasons why your loan application might get rejected.

 

Poor credit history

 

All banks and financial institutions look at your CIBIL Score and CIBIL report to analyse the risk associated with approving your application. A low CIBIL score is a warning sign to the lenders that you may not be worthy of lending money. Most banks have a cut-off score, below which they out rightly reject the applications. Apart from the CIBIL score they also see the remarks on the CIBIL report. Foreclosure, bankruptcy and court judgements show you as a high risk borrower. Even defaults on previous loans, skipped EMI’s, late payments or pending credit card bills are strong reasons of rejection. Make sure you build an impressive credit history before you apply for a loan.

 

Too many borrowings

 

If you have taken too many loans in the past you are seen as a credit hungry individual who is overly dependent on borrowings. Irrespective of whether you were able to honour your debts or not banks maintain a distance from such high risk profiles. They feel that an over leveraged person may not be able to bear the burden of additional EMI payments. Even a high income figure does not give them enough assurance that you will not default in the future.

 

Inadequate income

 

Your income is the key factor that influences a bank’s lending decision. Banks check your income to debt ratio to understand whether you will be able to honour the monthly repayment of loans. Adequately document all the sources of income and attach the tax returns of past couple of years to support as a proof.

 

Unstable job

 

Banks also place a lot of importance on the stability of your job. If you have switched several jobs in the past year, or if your job is temporary, banks may not be assured of a regular stream of income and you may not get an approval. Some banks even require you to be employed in a particular company for at least three years in order to be eligible for a loan. Banks even check the financial health of the company in which you are employed to assess your job security.

 

Previous rejections

If your loan application got rejected in the past it shows up on the CIBIL report. This greatly reduces the chances of future loan approvals. If you are denied loan once it is not wise to keep applying for loans unless you have worked upon the reason of rejection. Each time you do so, banks make an enquiry of your CIBIL score, which causes a further dip in the score. If you know that bad credit history is the reason for rejection, then you should work towards improving your CIBIL score and wait for at least six months before making a fresh application.

Insufficient credit information

Your CIBIL score depends upon how well you have serviced your loan obligations. But if you never took any loans before, you will not have any records in the CIBIL report to prove that you are a dependable borrower. In this case you will not have a CIBIL score. Since banks have no way of judging your repayment behaviour chances of rejecting the application are high. You can start building your credit history by taking secured credit cards. Use them to make monthly purchases and pay of the bills on time. Timely payments on the credit cards will get recorded on the CIBIL report and help build your CIBIL rating.

If your loan application gets rejected the first thing you should do is to check your CIBIL score and get a copy of your CIBIL report. Analyse it and create a plan to improve your credit history. Get your finances back on track so that you are confident when you submit your next loan application. If the reasons for denial are not associated with the CIBIL report then make sure you work on them before submitting another loan application, otherwise a series of rejections will hurt your CIBIL score. All it needs is a little patience and commitment and you can ensure things to move in your favour.

What’s In Your Credit Report

Your credit report contains information regarding your credit history. The report shows the kinds of credit that you use, whether or not the bills have been paid on time, status of your credit accounts, loan repayments and the duration for which your accounts have been open. A credit report gives lending institutions a full view of your credit history. Besides this, the report is used by the credit bureau to generate your credit score. Banks and other financial institutions will take credit score and report into account, along with other details, to determine if you are eligible for a loan.

 

Enquiry and account information are two important aspects of your report that are studied in great detail by financial institutions. The enquiry information contains details regarding your loan applications. If financial institutions see multiple enquiries have been made in a short period of time, they will be cautious about entering into an agreement with you. The reason being, multiple enquiries reflect a credit hungry behaviour, which is a put off for lending institutions. The account information section shows details concerning your credit facilities. It contains the name of the lending institution, account number, kinds of credit facilities, loan amount and EMI payments.

 

Besides the account information and enquiry information sections, a CIBIL report will also contain CIBIL score, personal information, contact information and employment information. CIBIL score is a three-digit number ranging from 300 to 900 and the closer the score is to 900, the better. The personal information section contains details regarding name, date of birth and identification proof such as PAN number, passport number etc. The contact information will contain the address and telephone numbers. And finally, the employment section will reveal your monthly as well as annual income.

 

Your CIBIL report will reveal a number of things about you to the financial institutions. It shows the lenders how well you manage finances, if you are financially disciplined, whether you can be trusted with repayments etc. They will determine your creditworthiness by what they see in your report.  Hence it is very essential to maintain a healthy report and a good score. If you get the opportunity to avail freebies such as free credit report India or check my CIBIL score online free, make every use of it.

 

It is important to review your report just like you do for bank statements. Get into the practice of checking the report at least two or three times a year to avoid any unnecessary surprise. By regularly checking the report, not only can you spot errors (if any) and get them corrected, you can ensure that you do not fall victim to identity theft. If you see open accounts that you had nothing to do with, bring it to the notice of the credit bureau and the respective financial institution.

 

The Credit Information Bureau of India, at the moment, does not provide free credit reports. However, according to recent news articles, the bureau will soon begin to provide individuals with one free credit report a year. They are likely to begin doing so by the end of the year, according to news reports.  The purpose behind this is to help people check their scores and raise a dispute if they spot any discrepancies.

 

While you may not be able to avail free credit report India from the credit bureau right this moment, you can check free credit report India from the website of Freescoreindia. Freescoreindia has tied up with Credit Sudhaar to provide free credit reports. I, as a client, can also check my CIBIL score online free through the company website. In order to check my CIBIL score online free, I would be required to provide basic information regarding name, email ID and contact number. The reason why I, as a client, am trying to check my CIBIL score online free also needs to be stated.

 

It is of utmost importance to check your score and report at regular intervals. Hence if you ever see the option to check free cibil report India or check my CIBIL score online free, do not let it go. Be wise and stay updated about what is in your credit records. Striving to maintain a healthy report and a score above 750 will help ensure that you have a smooth financial journey.

 

Why is it necessary to check your Credit Report?

The information in the credit report can have significant effects on one’s financial life. It determines how much money we can borrow to pay for our dream home or car and how much interest is charged on those borrowings. These days, insurance companies also offer discounts based on a person’s credit health. Credit reports even affect one’s job prospects as many employers use it to assess the reliability of the prospective employees.

You should review the report periodically to make sure that the people who are accessing it to take decisions that affect you, get a true picture of your creditworthiness. Flawed credit reports have damaging consequences. It brings down your Cibil Score and costs you a lot of money in the long run in the form of high interest rates.

Here are some reasons why you should make it a practice to check your report once every year.

You are planning to apply for a loan

If you are planning a big purchase and thinking of taking a loan for it, you should first check your credit report before approaching any bank. It will give you a fair idea of your credit standing and provide you clues about you chances of loan approval. A credit report affects the amount of money that you can borrow and the interest rates that you have to pay on those borrowings. If you have a history of late payments, high outstanding balance or collection accounts then the chances of rejection are high. In this case you should first work on improving your credit. An unnecessary inquiry on the report which is unlikely to qualify you for loan will further bring your score down.

 Your loan application got rejected

If a bank denies you loan because of bad credit, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from the bureau from where the bank accessed your report to evaluate your credit worthiness. You must request for the report within 60 days of denial. Analysing the report will help you identify the reasons for rejection. It will provide an insight into what habits you need to change to improve your credit picture. If you’ve been handling your finances responsibly and the denial came as a surprise then the credit report may help to uncover inaccurately reported information.

You are looking at rebuilding credit

If you want to recover from your past credit problems, reviewing the credit report is a good place to start. Your credit report contains data about most of your financial accounts. Analysing how much debts you owe and how much is past due will give you a clear focus on how to fix your credit. You will be able to nail down exactly which factors are bringing your score down.

Ensure accuracy

Just as you keep a check on your credit card bills and bank statements to ensure that everything is in order, in the same way you should check the credit report periodically to ensure it is free from any errors. If you find any inaccuracies regarding the amount you owe or any other payment details submit a dispute immediately. Delays in resolving these issues can have a serious effect on the credit history.

 Check for identity theft

Attacks on information databases and identity thefts have become very common these days. You may not even realize that your identity has been stolen for months and years if you do not keep a check on the credit report. It is better to be vigilant about your credit early on because an identity theft can bring an unexpected dip in your credit score and ruin your ability to get loans in the future. Studying the report will help uncover any unusual activity or misuse of identity. If you find accounts that are not yours or transactions that are not made under your knowledge then you may be a fraud victim. Report it to the credit bureau immediately.

Co-signed a loan

If you have co-signed a loan with a family or friend to help them obtain finances then you should keep a close watch on your credit report. Any late payments or defaults on such loan will appear on your report. Periodic checking will warn you and expose problems before a serious damage occurs.

It is better to play safe than regret later. So mark your calendar or set a reminder to check your credit report at least once every year and shield yourself from a lot of risks.

How to Keep Track of Your Credit Score Easily

Your credit score is a benchmark number for your credit worthiness. The banks and financial institutions always request your CIBIL score details before accepting a loan or credit card application. If you have a good score between 750 to 900 points you are considered as a less risky prospect for granting a loan. Thus it is very important to maintain a good credit history and score.

In order to keep track of your credit score the easiest step is the first step. All you need to do is keep a track of your credit report. For this, simply check CIBIL score online for free time or make a quarterly schedule for the same. If you fail to study your CIR regularly, chances are you could be affecting your score unknowingly. Sometimes a missed-report by bank is enough to bleed the score. So keeping a track of the report ensures that you keep a track of all of your credit activities.

With credit report in hand you would know how many loans and credit cards you owe. You can easily calculate your income to loan ratio. Your credit percentage should always be 45 % or below the income level. If EMIs for credit card expenses and loans other than home loan total more than 25 % of your income you should consider it inappropriate. As long as you could maintain a manageable income to loan percentage you are less likely to fall into debt trap and miss the payment.

To maintain a decent score, it is mandatory to have a clear credit history wherein there is no lapse in repayment. Thus timely payment of loans and bills is one of the most important steps to add to your credit score.

Some tips to ensure timely repayment of balances-

  • You can try to put all your bills details handy in one place so that you don’t miss any of them ever. Use a computer excel sheet or maintain a journal for the purpose.
  • You can also consider to make a habit of paying out on a same day each month. This avoids least management of bill payments.
  • Always carefully note down the last due date for payment. It is a good habit to make payment well in advance rather than enjoying the last day ride.
  • Use an automatic payment via your bank account. This ensures regular payments. However you would need to make sure your account holds enough funds always. Check bounce can have a very negative impact on your score, so beware of this fact always!

When you study your report, be vary of any mistake in personal information or account information. Re check if all the credit related information is true. If there is an error, you should raise a dispute with the bank at the earliest. Also, never ignore an unidentified query or action on CIR.

Other than your repayment habits, your card plays a major role in maintaining a good score. As it is easy and convenient to use a plastic card for your day to day expenses, it is easier to increase CIBIL score with that card, provided you keep clearing the card balance before the due date every month. Unpaid credit bills and large card balances can heavily damage the score.

 

When you keep a good care of your credit score, you can be future safe for credit. Another way to increase the score is to keep your old credit card account with good history with you. Never close this card. Old card would not only grant a positive and longer credit history but would also emphasize on unrestricted repayment history. These two factors make you a desirable prospect for credit.

 

However you should not use your card for all expenses. For, your credit utilization would be very high in that case. You should instead use up to 30 per cent or lesser credit limit provided to you. This helps you maintain a healthy CIBIL score. Sometimes bank might offer you better credit limit on account of your good credit rating. Accept the increased limit as it will improve the credit utilization further and help your score. The increased limit should never be a means to increase the expenses.

 

Last but not the least, you should also pay attention to the accounts of the co-signors, joint account holders, or for the ones’ you signed as guarantor to. If any of these parties fail to repay they would directly damage your report as well.

All in all it is easy to manage the score if you follow these tips.