Will My Job Hurt My Credit Score?

Money is an important aspect of life. You almost need money to complete every task in life. Where do you get the money from? That’s right, by doing a job. A good job can determine what you do, where you stay, what you wear and how your lifestyle can be. Your job can impact you in lot of ways both directly and indirectly.

Will it impact your credit score? Absolutely not! Your jobs, the designation, take home salary, bonuses, etc. does not get reflected in your credit report. This does not mean your salary does not have power on your loan buying process. For example, you are applying for a credit card; the lender will ask you for your annual salary to set a credit limit on your card. This way your job indirectly contributes when you apply for a financial product or a credit line.

So what exactly may hurt my credit score?

Payment history, debt levels, age of credit, types of accounts and inquiries on your credit report are the five main factors which contribute to your cibil score. Your employment status, your incomes and gains are never reported to the bureaus.

If unfortunately you lose your job for some reason, that can indirectly affect your credit score and you will end up on the loan defaulter list. Losing your job can be a saddest thing that can happen to you. You join a firm with a lot of confidence expecting your position will be intact, but when a bomb is dropped on you of unemployment, you are shattered everywhere.

Let us see how a job loss can indirectly harm your credit score,

Behind on loan EMIs and credit card payments

There is a famous proverb stating “Money brings Money”. When you happen to be in a job, there are a lot of bankers and card lenders who offer you different financial products like loans and credit cards. Though we know, they are just our want not need; even then we tend to go ahead with it. Because you have a stable job and a fat cheque, you start spending and get used to a lavish lifestyle. After losing your job, you realize that the EMIs are pending and the credit card bills are overdue and you have no money to make the payment. This will definitely result to a dip in your credit score.

Take new loans to pay your bills

Now that you know that you are in deep trouble financially after losing your job, you will opt for a new loan. A new loan will come with new terms and a new EMI, because it is an urgent requirement you may end up paying more processing charges than usual. You may also try to get in touch with your credit card vendor and ask for a limit raise. Limit raise totally depends on the sole discretion of the card lender, who will check your cibil score first and then think of giving you a limit raise.

 

Unexpected expenses

Trying to close one financial hole after another can be stressful but if in between this process something unexpected happens, like a family member needs medical attention then you are in for another problem in your life. This will result to you finding another loan to fill this gap.

A job hunt

Maintaining a good credit score is really important, even if you have lost your job. Many employers check your credit report to understand your financial capability and determine if you are job worthy. A bad credit score can cost you your next job. So no matter how bad your financial situation is, always pay all your debts on time.

You should always save money and keep some amount as reserve for unexpected events in life. Even if you lose your job, the reserve money can help you keep going for at least till the time you find another job. Spend less, always focus on what you need rather than what you want, this will definitely help you in long run to save money and live in financial harmony.

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What Is A Credit Score?

You are planning to take a loan for the most favorite car you had thought once buying or a house you always had imagined or the business you wished to expand, would take you to a journey of going to banks, making inquiries, checking the best quote and the interest rate offered to you and then finally deciding which option would suit you the best in terms of tenor, rate of interest, processing fees and pre-payment charges. Now the point is, how do banks or non-banking financial institutions decide the rate of interest or other charges? What are the criteria?

Suppose you and your friend went to a bank. You both earn almost the same, your age is same, the family background is also similar. And you both apply for the same loan is the same bank. But you were offered 11.5% interest rate whereas your friend was offered 10.25% interest rate with little lesser processing fees and pre-payment charges. Now that would make you think if the external factor looks the same, why are the other things different? So you finally decide to know the details deeply of why your friend was given lower rates than you. And here would be the analysis of what you would get.

You had never done a CIBIL Score Check. Which is one of the major factor of the interest rates being processed? Lower the credit score more is the interest rate and vice-versa. The credit score ranges from 300-900. Where 300 is the lowest and 900 is the highest. Any sore beyond 750 is considered a good score. People below this score are considered red zoned, and the one above 750 are greed zoned. It’s not that, if you have a score below 750 you will not get a loan, but the % of interest will be higher. Now let us take into consideration that why is the score low or high? Basically, what are the factors that decide the score? There are 5 factors whose combination results in the score.

  1. Payment History (35%)

The major factor which determined your credit score is the payment history. How well-organized you are in making the payments of the credits you have taken, shows how responsible you are. Banks can make a note of your previous payments and decide if you will be an asset for them or not. If previously you have made blunders in payments or didn’t pay regularly, the score dips badly and makes it difficult for you to get a loan. If the score is not good, and it’s becoming difficult for you to get a loan; in that case, you can try for loans for bad credit. But ultimately the loss will be yours only.

  1. Amount owed (30%)

The total amount which is taken by you, in any means of the credit i.e. by credit card or a loan also has second major thing determined in the score. The amount of the revolving credit and the fixed credit is in the amount owed.

  1. Length of credit history (15%)

How long is your credit account active, and how old is your account also determines your score. Some people make the mistake of closing the older accounts thinking they are not of any use but that creates a dip in the score. So,  keep the accounts active.

  1. Types of Credits (10%)

There are 2 types of credit. Fixed or installment based credit and revolving credit with a mix of secured and unsecured credit. The type of credit you have will also contribute in the score. It’s healthy if you have a good mix of all types of credit.

  1. New Credit (10%)

The new credits you take is also a determining factor of your score. New credit means you are becoming more responsible towards your repaying responsibility. But do not overdo, else this would also hamper your score.

Always manage the credits you take responsibly. If you check your score and you feel there is some mistake, get a detailed report and check. Work with that diligently and patiently to get your score in green zone!

Why Should I Check My Credit Score?

While dreaming big, on buying things, it all revolves around how much money do you have. Nothing is for free! Whether you are planning for a house or a bike or a vacation or gold or the property, things are expensive. On a larger picture of say 10-15 years down the line, you see yourself achieving the dreams of properties or asset you want to acquire. But what if you want them now? The answer to this now is credit. Credits are available these days on an easy base compared to how they were earlier. The credits or the loans are a nice way of living your life now compared to how you had decided a few years down the line. Its not something that is offered to you for free. But it’s the plain logic of getting the amount of money in advance where you will repay it later with the interest on the amount. But in all, it’s a help which is to be got from banks or NBFCs or Private Lenders. It’s also safe to get it from a trusted party in order to get away from any chaotic situations later if you have borrowed the money from your friends or relatives.

How can one get these credits or the loans? With the standard procedures, you go to the bank, ask for the loan and know the details. The bankers would want to know the type of loan you want, amount of loan required and the tenure for the same. Once they get this detail, your credit score is checked. According to that, the loan amount is sanctioned and rate of interest is decided. Now banks can get the credit score when an applicant comes to them for taking a loan. But, is there any requirement for you to know the score?

Yes, it is really important for one to know the credit score. There are many reasons why you should know the credit score and check it periodically. Let’s look at them turn by turn.

  1. To stay credit healthy

                 We always take care of our physical health or financial health or emotional/mental health. But what is credit health? Credit health is a much talked upon topic these days. By the word credit health, means your credit report should be good. Your credit score should be 750 or plus. It takes efforts to stay credit healthy. You need to make proper payment on time of the credits you have taken from banks via loans or credit cards. You need to think and use the credit you have received else you can get into loan defaulters list. This is not much of a task, is it?

By checking your credit score regularly, you will come to know if your score is the same, or it has gone down or it has been increased. A regular watch will be an add on to the work you are doing in maintaining the credit health.

  1. To check if everything is in place on the credit report

                 If you have applied for a credit card, and it gets rejected saying your credit score is low. How would you deal with the situation? When you had checked the score last time, it was good enough and hence after taking a lot of time to think, you applied for the credit card. But what happened? It is advisable to check your credit score every 6 months. There can be a possibility if some one has stolen your identity, i.e. its an identity theft case wherein your details are used by someone to take loan and you are completely unaware about it. Or there are some mistakes in your report and you are clueless as you have not made those payments. So, in that case, you need to raise a dispute.

In any of the case, if your score is not reflecting how you had thought it should be, you have to check the score.

  1. Keeping an eye

Either you are new to the credit score or you are trying to repair the credit score, in either the case it is important to check the credit report regularly. RBI has passed a rule of giving 1 free credit report per year to any individual to all the bureaus. Make the use of such advantage and keep an eye on the score.

In any of the cases, to stay updated is best. If you are going through a new built or repair, regular checks are important. Don’t be lazy in such things and stay credit healthy!

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.

How Will Identity Theft Affect My Credit Score

Sneha, a well-settled entrepreneur, at 31 is well settled in Pune. She owns a house, two cars and few properties. These are solely her properties. She stays with a small family of 3, She, her Husband and a Daughter. She has put in a lot of efforts, in building the empire of her business and the properties she owes. She is a regular checker of her credit score and has made no defaults of any loan she had taken or any loan she has today. She has never made any late payments of any of the credit cards she peruses. Her credit score and credit report, both are in place.

A free CIBIL report is given every year by the bureau as per RBI regulations and she has taken well advantage of it. Now, she is planning for a business expansion. She goes to a bank and applies for a business loan. She is very well aware that a business loan is the unsecured – installment based loan. But with the past records and the payment history she has maintained, she is confident enough that her loan will get approved. While the finalization of the process, her loan was rejected. As she is a very old client, the bank manager explained to her that there is the cibil score goof up, and it has gone tremendously down in last 3 months. With looking in details, they came to a conclusion that it was a case of identity theft.

Let’s understand in detail, that what is identity theft. In this digital ear, everything is available online. There a few people who can hack into your systems and fetch the important and very sensitive and confidential data which then they use to make the theft. So, they will use your name, number, credit cards, aadahar card number and take a credit. Or the may make many multiple online transactions using this. Not only the hackers can do that, but if by mistake you have shared your confidential information somewhere, and it was meant to be destroyd but was not destroyed by any of the reason, some very over smart individual, will steal your identity and make the use of it.

What happens in such cases? When any of this occurs, it becomes an identity theft where the credit transaction is done from your account but not by you. You come to know about it when either you check your credit report in detail by yourself or if you have applied for a credit and it got rejected due to this reason. Let us now see, how can identity theft affect the credit score.

  1. Sudden dip in score

If in the month of May you checked your free cibil score, and it was 783. now just as an example mentioned above, you applied for some loan and it got rejected. Now when you investigate, you came to know that your score is 620. There is the sudden dip of 163 points in your score. While seeing the report minutely, you come to know that there are many transactions which are not made by you and a few credits which you have not applied for! Terror number one.

  1. Rejections in loans or credit cards.

As there is a sudden dip in the score, the credits or the loans you must have applied for, which are in pipeline will get rejected.

  1. Longer run effects

The negative flags, stay on your report for much longer time. Nearly a decade. Now, since you have not made payment by yourself, why would you pay the same? Makes sense, so in those cases, you would need to raise the dispute so that it can get off your report in the meanwhile.

  1. Fear always

Since once this has happened, you will always be scared to share your confidential information even to those whom you would actually have to share in case of taking credits or any important things.

Always make sure while applying for credit cards or any loans, do not share each and every detail with everyone. Also, whenever you share the important documents write the propose of in on the photo copied document in order to not get it stolen. While sending these details, be cautious. If possible send it in encrypted form or try not sending it online. Stay alert and stay accurate & updated. Do not neglect thing which can affect your score!

How to Make a Good Credit Score Even Better?

We live in a time where having a good score is crucial for financial security and a comfortable life. However, the question is- what exactly is a good score?

Generally speaking, if your CIBIL score is below 600 then it’s considered a low CIBIL score, and if it’s above 750, then it’s considered a good score. But here is the thing- you should never be happy with your score.

It should be one of your continuing goals to improve credit score even if it’s good enough. This is because if you stop caring, your score can drop over time and become a “poor score” one day without you even knowing. In addition to that, working towards the best possible score ensures that when you need a loan or a credit card, then you are able to obtain them without any problem and at attractive terms and interest rates.

How do you make a good score better?

There are many things that you can do to take your score from “good” to “great”, such as:

Don’t Break the Streak

Since you don’t have a low CIBIL score, it means that you have been paying all your loan EMIs, insurance premiums, and credit card bills on time. So, if you want to increase your score, even more, it’s important that you never break this habit. In fact, you should do whatever it takes to never miss a single payment.

Your repayment history is one of the biggest factors to affect the credit score. In some credit rating agencies, it can make for as much as 30% to 40% of your entire score! Thus, the only way to improve credit score on a constant basis is to be punctual with your payments at all times.

Create a Healthy Credit Mix

Did you know that by simply increasing the variety of credit in your report you can easily increase your credit score by 10% to 20% or even more?

A lot of people are able to push their score only to a limit because their credit report is based on just one type of loan or credit card only. So, if this is the case with you as well, then you can add new credit profiles to your portfolio and see the magic happen! For instance, if your experience with credit in life is only on the basis a personal loan, then you can apply for a credit card or a car loan. You are sure to notice a major improvement in a short period!

Develop a Habit of Frequent Report Checking

If you can’t remember when the last time you checked your credit report was, then it’s something to worry about.

Monitoring your credit report is extremely important when you want to increase your CIBIL or credit score as much as possible. This is because it helps you track your progress and alerts you when or if your score starts to drop.

Checking your CIBIL report frequently also helps you prevent identity thefts and other frauds that can rob you of your savings and even greatly harm your credit profile as well.

Put an End to Your Credit Card Debt

If you love to use credit cards but make minimum payments more often than not, then it’s possible that you have a huge debt on your card(s) which is really bad for your score.

Although technically you are allowed to make minimum payments to avoid penalties and other kinds of charges on your credit card bills, from your credit score’s point of view, it’s bad. In fact, if you apply for a new loan then it’s quite possible that the lender will reject your loan application even if your score is high because of your high debt.

When it comes to credit score, it’s important to remember that you must not rest on your laurels once you have secured a good position. You must always pay attention to your finances to ensure that your score not only stays high but also makes an improvement over time as well.

How Important Is One’s Credit Score?

Indian loan market has seen a rapid growth in recent years. Gone are the days, when people used to take loans only in times of financial crisis. Declining interest rates and flexibility to repay have made loans an attractive option to fulfil one’s needs today and repay the amount in equal monthly instalments. With this trend, credit scores and credit reports have also gained importance. People are waking up to the fact that scores affect many aspects of their financial life. So many people who have a low CIBIL score are now taking steps to improve and maintain it. They check their free credit score from all the three credit bureaus to keep track of their credit health. But is CIBIL score only a matter of concern to people looking for loan approvals. No, the importance of score goes much beyond that. But before we delve into that lets understand what a credit score is.

Three credit bureaus in India CIBIL, Equifax and Experian compile financial data shared by the member banks and other lending institutes relating to the credit taken by each individual. These bureaus prepare a credit report for each individual, which basically reflects your credit card and other loans repayment history. Based on your credit card usage and repayment track record the bureaus calculate a credit score. The way your marks had determined your level of knowledge in school, in the same way, the credit score determines the risk factor associated with a borrower.

Here are some places where your credit score will be evaluated

Loan approvals- Checking your credit score is one of the first things that lenders do to evaluate whether you are worthy of giving a loan. A high score helps in gaining lender’s trust and assures you of easy approvals. A low CIBIL score indicates that you haven’t dealt with your past debt obligations responsibly, hence lenders feel wary of lending you money. Even credit card approvals and credit limits get affected by your score. Hence a good score comes in handy in obtaining any kind of financial assistance.

Interest rate- An excellent CIBIL score not only helps in getting loan approvals, it also helps in bargaining for a better rate of interest. Lenders are ready to cut down on interest rates if the past records show that you are a diligent and responsible borrower. A low score costs you a lot, as banks charge a high interest rate to cover the risk that they are taking by lending you money. Hence your monthly interest outgo is directly impacted by your credit score.

Employment- Unheard of a few years ago, it is now increasingly becoming a common practice to check the CIBIL score of prospective employees. Credit checks are now an integral part of the hiring process  for jobs in the finance sector, or positions which require a person to handle company’s money. It is basically done to ascertain whether you are responsible in handling money. So if you are looking for a job, check your free credit score to see that your credit profile is in good shape.

Insurance premiums- Whether you are buying a home insurance or a car insurance your score will play an important role in determining the insurance premium that you pay on it. A low score can cost you thousands of rupees more than someone who has an excellent rating.

Renting property- Your CIBIL score can influence the rental opportunities that you have, as many landlords too check your score before letting you out their property. A landlord may not want to take the risk of not getting paid by renting his property to a person with a low CIBIL score. They want to be sure that they get their rent on time, so they prefer renting to a person with good credit who has shown responsible behaviour in the past.

You can order your free credit score from any of the bureaus once every year to monitor your credit situation. An excellent credit rating is anything higher than 750, but even if your score is between the range of 700-750, you can easily qualify for loans and bargain for low interest rates. A score less than 600 is considered as a low CIBIL score. If you fall into this category don’t lose heart. You can still get your financial life back on track if you take conscious efforts and work towards improving CIBIL score.

4 Different Credit-Scores You Should Know About

The first rating agency in India was established in the year 2000, which makes the history of credit health assessment in India less than two decades old. Since then three more credit rating agencies have been set up in India; thus now there are four different agencies then rate individuals based on their credit behavior and credit history. Although while the basic tenets of rating remain same, there might be few differences in their scoring model and also some other aspects. When you seek a loan, the prospective lender can seek the credit report from any of these four agencies. Thus it is important that one knows the basics that pertain to these different scores that one may have.

What’s in a Name?

The lender can seek the credit report from any of the four rating agencies to judge the credit health of the applicant and scores from all of these are valid. The rating by all agencies is done based on five factors that includes : the repayment history for paying credit card dues and EMIs, hard inquiries made by lenders, credit utilization, credit mix and the length of the credit history. The information supplied to all the agencies by banks and FIs are also same. However, there still might be a minor difference between the scores of all the four agencies due to the weightage that might be given to each parameter which may cause a variation of 5 to 10 points between scores of two different agencies but not more than that.

However, if you follow the basic tenets of being a responsible borrower then you will have a healthy score across agencies and if you want to increase credit score be sure to check what is included in the score calculation. When lenders seek a report from any of these agencies they are aware of the difference in the rating models of each of them and they will keep this in mind when evaluating the CIR of the customer.

As per the RBI guideline, all rating agencies have to provide a free report once a year to all customers who ask for it. The cost of getting the reports (mentioned below) is if you need another report after getting your free one in the same year.

  • TransUnion CIBIL Ltd:

It’s only fair that the first credit rating agency we talk about is TransUnion CIBIL. CIBIL was set up in the year 2000 and was given a license by RBI in the year 2009. TransUnion acquired an 82% stake in CIBIL in 2016 and hence it is now known as TransUnion CIBIL.  The score ranges from 300 to 900.  You can get a report and score by paying Rs. 550; you also could opt to take the option twice or four times in a year or just get the report for Rs. 159. Report is sent in 7 to 10 days; if online verification is successful then you can do a CIBIL score check through email too.

  • Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd

This rating agency was set up in the year 2006 and was given a license by RBI in the year 2010. The rating agency had a different range of scoring but now they also score in the range of 300 to 900. The report can be sought by paying Rs 138 or the report and score both can be bought online by paying Rs. 399. If you send the request online you can receive the report immediately via email, an offline request may take up to 20 days.

  • Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited

This agency received its license in 2010 and it also scores between 300 and 900. Basic report and credit score can be obtained by paying Rs. 138 and Rs. 400. Reports are sent within 7 to 10 days of the request being sent.

  • CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd

High Mark was established in 2007 and received the license from RBI in 2010.  High Mark also had a different scoring pattern earlier but now just like the other three agencies above their scores also range from 300 to 900. You can get the report and the score by paying Rs. 399.

All the agencies have a defined and well laid out dispute resolution mechanism. So if you find out there is a difference of 50 points or more between score by two agencies be sure to find out the reason for this discrepancy.

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.

What is the Lowest Credit Score One Can Get?

Credit scores have caused a lot of anxiety in recent time. Whether you wish to apply for a credit card, take a loan to buy a car or house or refinance your existing loan; a minimum credit score criteria is a major hurdle that needs to be crossed. Lenders base their approval decisions on the score that you have attained. That is why people are consciously making efforts to increase their CIBIL score.

If you haven’t been paying attention to your score you may be wondering what could be the worst case scenario with your credit profile. What is the lowest credit score that you can get? While a credit score range depends on the credit scoring model that a specific bureau uses to calculate the score, in most cases this number lies between 300 and 850. So theoretically your score can go as low as 300, though it happens rarely.

There are several situations that may cause the score to sink to the bottom. Items like bankruptcy, judgements and tax liens on your credit report are some major causes. Apart from these, information regarding overutilization of credit, late payments, missed payments, and accounts that go into collections also find their way to the credit report and cause your score to plummet. A credit history with a combination of these causes will result in a rock bottom score.

So if the credit score is above the 300 mark, does that mean that you can sit back and relax? Not at all! A score between the range of 300-550 isn’t considered a very good score by the lenders. Each lender has his own threshold mark based on the amount of risk that he is willing to take. You will find it hard to qualify for loans with leading financial institutions if your score is below the 600 mark. So if the score fails to satisfy the minimum threshold limit for most lenders, then you will need to resort to bad credit personal loans. These loans are given at a very high rate of interest to cover the high risk financial behaviour of the borrower.

Can you do something to increase your score? The good news is “yes”. A credit score is a snapshot of your past credit behaviour. If you start doing positive things that are good for the score, it will start showing improvement in a few months time. To begin with, you can get a secured credit card. Here you will be required to deposit an amount that serves as your credit limit. Since the issuers do not check the credit score, this card is easy to obtain even with a low score. Use the card for small expenses every month and make timely payments. You can also take a bad credit personal loan and start making timely payments to build positive history. As new positive information gets recorded on the credit report the effect of old negative information starts diminishing.

People with an excellent credit score have a long history of on time payments and low balances on their credit card. Since they are at the least risk of defaulting such people can easily qualify for loans at low rate of interest. Even if your credit profile is in a very bad shape you too can aim to achieve a high score, by practising good credit management. Here are some good financial habits that you should follow.

  1. Analyse your report to see where you stand and identify actions that are bringing your score down.
  2. Pay your bills before the due date
  3. Do not use more than 30% of the available credit limit on your credit cards.
  4. Avoid opening unnecessary credit card accounts
  5. Do not close old credit card accounts
  6. Maintain a good mix of revolving and instalment credit.
  7. Check your credit report for errors and dispute if you find any discrepancies.

When you are on your journey of rebuilding credit make sure no new negative items enter your credit report. As new positive information gets recorded in the report you will be able to put all your past problems behind and hope for a bright future ahead.