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.

Advertisements

Age Of Free Credit Score: True?

From January 2017, the Reserve Bank of India made it mandatory for all credit rating agencies to provide a credit report without any cost once a year when a request is made. This means the agencies have no obligation to provide a report themselves, thus if you need a report then you have to expressly make a request as per the guidelines laid down by the agency to get it. Well, does this guideline by the RBI actually translate into free credit score for all those who require?

How to Get Your Free Credit Score?

There are four credit agencies that provide credit reports for individuals in India and each has a different process for getting a credit report. Let us have a look how you can access your free credit score from each one of them:

  • Transunion CIBIL: If you want to get your free score from CIBIL you can do so by visiting the website where there is a link at the bottom of the home page for getting a free report. It’s a three step process, the applicant needs to fill a form where basic details need to be filled and then answer a few additional questions for authentication purpose. Post the details being verified the applicant can access his/her report.
  • Crif High Mark: They also have a link for getting the free score; it is on the left side bar of the home page. The first step is to fill in basic information, here the information required is more detailed, after filling the form the applicant chooses his/her order, then they authenticate themselves, after which they can download their report.
  • Equifax: If you follow the link that is displayed for getting a full free credit report you are directed to a set of guidelines where you are instructed to download an app for the same. The applicant will need to login to the app using a temporary PIN, authenticate themselves and login again after 24 hours. You are given four attempts to answer three questions related to your credit history; once you have completed all steps successfully you get the report on your phone. Those who do not have smart phones can get the report by sending a scanned copy of an identity proof and address proof along with the application form at the mentioned email id.
  • Experian: There is no separate link for a free credit report but once you click on the link for getting a report, it takes you to a form where you fill in details as required, get an OTP and then generate a password. After this, you can almost immediately access your report.

So is it Really the Age of Free Credit?

Yes, it is the age of free credit. Each organization has a different process, for some, it is slightly cumbersome and for others, it may be simple and quick. Irrespective of that fact, all rating agencies do provide a free credit report almost immediately or after some delay. If the process is followed the applicant can access their reports if they wish to do so.

Since there are four rating agencies, effectively one can get four credit reports in a year which makes one report each quarter. In case someone wants more reports than that (which is unlikely) then the option of getting it free might not be there.

So what does it mean for you?

Being updated about your credit health has many benefits. It allows you to spot any errors in the report and get them rectified if required, you can improve CIBIL Score by assessing the reason for it being low, and looking at report can also help you detect signs of any identity theft if it happens. Checking your report has many positives, now it costs nothing and it also does not lower your score.

So it’s up to all of you out there to make the best of the situation and stay credit healthy by checking your credit score regularly and that too without paying anything!

 

4 Things which look harmless but can hurt your score

A credit score affects one’s financial life in numerous ways. We all know that missing a credit card payment or loan EMIs will damage our credit profile. But there are some things that look harmless but can have a drastic negative impact on our score. Avoid these financial decisions to avoid unexpected surprises.

Co-signing a loan – If your friend or a family member is not able to qualify for a loan, you may not find any harm in co-signing a loan in order to help him. However one needs to understand the financial implications of such a decision. Co-signing a loan has almost the same effect on your credit score as signing a loan oneself. The co-signed loan account will appear on your credit report like any other debt. By co-signing a loan you become legally responsible for paying the loan EMIs if the primary borrower fails to do so. If the primary borrower makes a late payment or misses a payment altogether then it will affect your credit profile as well. Co-signed loans are considered while calculating your debt to income ratio even if they are being paid on time. It reduces the lender’s perspective of how much you can afford to pay back and hence reduces your ability to borrow funds. So if you are planning to apply for a home loan in near future it is better to avoid co-signing for others.  If you do co-sign a loan and take a risk of its implications it is imperative that you check your credit report and score regularly. Keep track of how the co-signed loan is affecting your credit score.

 

Closing old credit card accounts – Sometimes in an effort to clean up credit reports and take control of one’s finances, people close their old credit card accounts that they no longer use. But doing so affects the score negatively. Credit utilization ratio that is a major determiner of CIBIL score is calculated by dividing the total credit card balances by the total available credit limit. Closing old credit cards, reduces your available credit limit and hence increases your utilization levels. This has a major negative impact on the credit score. Length of the credit history also affects one’s score. Old accounts help in raising the average age of your accounts that is good for the credit score. Closing them will reduce the average age of accounts and lower your score.

Paying off an old charge offs- It may be hard to believe but yes, paying off old charge offs can actually reduce your score than increase it. Charge off accounts are those that you haven’t paid and the lender no longer expects any further payments on them. Payments on these accounts will reactivate them and make them appear more current. The collection agency may report it as a new debt than a written off debt. As new accounts have a greater weightage during the credit score calculation, paying written off accounts can bring a drop in your score.  Make sure you do not do any such mistakes before applying for a home loan. Even a few points of score can affect your home loan approval process.

Pushing credit limit- We all know that credit utilization has a major impact on our credit score. That is why it is advised to keep this utilization level below 30%. But what many don’t know is that paying off the balance in full each month may not necessarily mean that you have low utilization levels. If you are in a habit of maxing out your card often you may have high utilization levels that maybe affecting your score negatively. The balance that is used to calculate the credit score is your last statement balance. So if you have charged an amount close to your limit, you will have a high credit utilization ratio. Such over dependence on credit impacts your score negatively.

People who have been diligently paying off their debt obligations can also have a low credit score if they make some of the above mistakes. If you find yourself in such a situation do not despair. You can still apply for loans for bad credit where lenders do not just go by a theoretical evaluation of score. They weigh several other factors to determine your eligibility. So if you are an otherwise responsible borrower, but your credit score took a hit because of the above reasons, you can easily get approved for loans for bad credit.

3 Ways Parents Could Accidentally Harm Their Child’s Credit

Credit health is as important as your mental or physical health. However many a times we realize the significance of credit health only when it is hurt. A low credit score hurts your credit worth and makes you ineligible to advance the loans.

Let’s find out some of the common mistakes which hurt the score in the beginning of credit building cycle of an individual. Herein we would focus on 3 ways parents accidentally harm their children’s credit report.

  1. Multiple Student Loans
    The escalating costs of school and college fee is one of the major reasons why student loans are as much a fad as a necessity for young aspirants. The parents who fail to incur adequate research on the matter and avail a high cost loan for the purpose, certainly build a huge financial burden right in the beginning of their child’s credit life cycle.

    Many people mindlessly raise multiple loans for students owing to availability of credit facility at lower rate. With enormous amount of debt it would be a huge responsibility for a student to repay a loan after completing their education. As a parent, it is your duty to calculate total fee amount and try to look for the least expensive way to finance your child’s education.

    You also need to build the healthy habit of saving funds in your child. As a parent, it boils down on you to inculcate good financial habits in your child. Raising too much of loan for their education would not be a smart decision if it results in low CIBIL score.

  2. Share your credit cards
    Excessive spending is another key reason for impending balance on credit cards. Before handing over a credit card to a young mind, it is important to help them understand the importance of not having huge balance at the end of every month.

    Being a parent you can also add the kid as your credit card account holder. It will sometimes help them to improve their CIBIL score. But maintaining good credit behaviour would be a must. As an adult you need to ensure that regular payments are processed on time and there is no balance after the due date. Remember your child is most likely to follow your footsteps. If you are not serious about repaying your bills on time, the child is also not likely to pay attention to deadlines. You would seriously challenge your child’s future with bad credit habits.

  3. Credit education
    If you fail to teach right knowledge about finances and credit to your child it is your failure as a parent. You need to make the young mind understand the important aspects related to money management and ways to improve CIBIL score. The first credit lesson starts from home. You need to make the child understand how credit affects their life. You need to make them understand the importance of credit for their education, job to buying a home or car.

You need to teach them how important it is to monitor their credit score multiple times in a year. It is important to let them know how information in their credit report will impact their credit score.

Educate them about the available resources to obtain a free annual report. You can choose to review it along with them so that they learn the intricacies of maintaining a good score. You need to help your child develop a mindset that it is easier to maintain credit health rather than fixing bad history later on.

Last but not the least, do not forget to talk about identity theft threats. For online it is one of the fastest-growing crimes. They should know that sensitive information related to account should not be shared with anyone outside.

3 Strategies to Help You Save Money Now and in the Future

When you are young and just started out in the world, it’s easy to think that money is nothing and spend what you earn. Have you ever given a thought that saving money will not only help you build a secure future but also will add supplement when you make huge plans for life. In this decade we are living in, we are surrounded by a lot of unwanted things and the temptation to have them all. What we do not understand is we are spending a fortune on luxury without giving a thought on the future. These practices lead to bankruptcy and result to taking a loan and if you do not pay your EMIs on time your credit score will go for a toss. Do you know your cibil score calculation? And if you don’t, then steps to enhance your credit score?

How does the temptation to buy or spend on luxury things rises? In every group there will be friend who buys the latest IPhone every year and flaunts it whenever you meet. It gives you a thought, should I buy the same phone to live up to my friend’s standards and end up buying a similar phone. What you do not realize is that, just for sake of status you spent a fortune on a phone which will prove worthless after a year when a new model releases and then you will be going after that phone as well.

Just to avoid such perceptive buying and spending, today we will be sharing you three best strategies to lower your expenses and save for a better future,

Set your priorities straight;

Everyone has their own priorities; the priorities can be of two types and can be categorized into needs and wants. Try understanding your needs over wants, for example buying a car for your commute is a need but buying a Mercedes or a BMW for your commute is a want. You can always cut down on a lot of your wants and start contributing for what your needs are. Make a priority list of things you need with the age when you expect to achieve it. We can set some priority points which are common in everyone’s life and you can start from this,

For emergencies you do not know what can happen at any time, always be prepared for the worse. It can be a broken mobile screen; you lost your job in some company and need at least three months of financial backup, any medical emergencies.

For Education a good education plays a vital role in everyone’s life and where does good education come from? It comes from great educational institution. Instead of opting for an education loan try saving money for the same.

For home buying this is a big step in your life, buying a dream house is no joke, there is a lot of planning and savings involved in the same. If you start saving money from today who knows you may land up in your dream house without hassles of taking home loan.

For retirement after a long innings in your money making life, you will be expecting a comfortable life after retirement so you can save for your retirement and spend the rest of your life in financial peace.

Always plan to save

 We all know nothing is impossible without proper planning; the same goes with financial planning where you are supposed to make plans on savings and track them on a regular basis whether  you are adhering the same.

Build a budget for saving every month is not the same, you may encounter emergencies and you may have to spend your savings but building a budget will not harm you. Build a budget you would like to save from your earnings and stick to it. One tip: try saving in a bank account with no debit card and internet banking so that you do not tempt to use that money for luxury.

Track your expenses after you make a budget track your expenses, where you are spending, how much you are spending. If needed cut some luxury of availing public transport for short distances, go by walk.

Make secured investment these days you can make secured investment like fixed deposits, recurring deposits and so which will guarantee you good returns in short tenure.

Stick to your plan

 It’s just like a new year’s resolution where you promise yourself to get fit this year and workout a good two weeks and after that stop going to the gym and your resolution goes for a toss. If you have made a financial plan stick to it no matter what.

Something is better than nothing is the quote we should stick to, and start saving from today. You do not know what life has for us; it can be sweet pleasures or bitter pain. For such bitter pain be prepared and start saving from today.

Importance of good credit score for Home loan

Buying a dream home is a dream every man cherishes till it becomes a reality. However the escalating cost of property calls for huge financial planning and investment. Most of us indeed opt for a fund lender in order to materialize this dream. Herein your credit score plays a pivotal role.

Your credit score is the score of your financial worth. In order to seek a hassle free home loan in India you need to have a good credit score by Credit Information Bureau of India Limited (CIBIL). Besides, other factors such as your age, salary and job also play a key role in the backfield. You would be required to submit documents for each of these factors to become authorized for raising the loan.

Role of CIBIL score in home loan approval:
Your CIBIL rating helps lender to evaluate your credit worthiness and repayment ability before approving a Home Loan. That’s why a good CIBIL score is a must to get a loan approved.

The CIBIL score is the summation of the credit history of a person. Factors such as your earlier loan payment history, outstanding loan amounts, credit enquired, payment history of credit card bills and more build your credit history. When you apply for a loan the first thing that the bank will check is your cibil rating.

The lender always want to cover the risk they are taking by lending you loan. So by checking your CIBIL score they assess your repayment track record. The low score reflects bad financial decisions including excess use of credit limit, non-repayment or late payment of loans and more. Thus with low score, there is a high possibility of rejection of your loan application. Similarly with a good score your loan application becomes attractive and lender shows confidence in your application by offering loan.

What does a good CIBIL score actually signify? 

A good CIBIL score to be eligible for a home loan is 700 and above. The nearer you are towards 900 the higher is the chance of getting the approval. Furthermore, an upper credit score means that you can bargain for attractive offers like lower interest rates, higher loan amount, simpler documentation, discount in related fees and longer repayment periods. The lender might approve up to 80% of the total cost of the property.

If you have a low CIBIL Score are you still eligible for a home loan?

While it is not easy to get home loans for bad credit score, you can still take some steps to roll the dice in your favour. You can either use professional help or credit improvement counseling or take some steps to improve your score.

  1. The first step should be to pull out your free credit report from CIBIL.
  2. Next mark all the weak points that have hurt your CIBIL score. You can take small steps to boost your score. The better the score the better rate you can expect.
  3. Now you can list all small, high cost loans and try to repay them at the earliest. This will substantially improve your score.
  4. If your spouse has a good credit score then you can apply for the home loan jointly. This way you will have better chance of having your loan approved.
  5. If you have defaulted the payment of a loan or credit card bill then negotiate with the financial institution, clear the dues and get a no objection certificate from the financial institution. This will bring a good appreciation to your score.
  6. If you have a poor score then try to get the loan from the bank with which you have your savings account and FD’s.

 

Using these points you can raise your chances for loan approval. However getting loans with bad credit score has its own advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage is that it will make you take constructive steps to improve your CIBIL score. It will inspire you to close the earlier loan and repay the entire amount in a one go. The biggest disadvantage however, is that you will have to pay high interest rates and even the fees and charges that are associated with the loan approval will be higher for you. But as you would learn to protect your credit score, you would soon become credit ready for lifetime.