Employers Are Using Credit Checks for Hiring, Hope you are not missing on Good Jobs!

A CIBIL report is like a financial report card that keeps track of your borrowing behaviour. It details the loans that you have taken, your payment patterns and other details relating to your credit history. This information is for sure useful to the banks who use it to evaluate your credit worthiness before granting you loan. In fact the CIBIL score and report have become an integral part of most bank’s loan approval process. But is this information of any use to your prospective employers? It seems very unlikely that your employer would be interested in knowing such details. He should only be concerned about your education qualification, experience, skills and aptitude required to do the job successfully! Right? Wrong!

You may be surprised to hear this, but there are quite a few companies especially in the financial sector who check the credit history before hiring an individual. You may think that your financial health has nothing to do with your capability to perform a job well, but some employers think differently. So next time you go out looking for a job, you need to worry about one more thing apart from your resume and interview preparation; that’s your CIBIL score and report. This practice of reviewing the credit history as a part of employee background check was prevalent in many western countries. Slowly this is gaining acceptance in India as well especially in the financial sector. It will not be long when companies across all sectors will use this as a standard practice.

For what kind of roles is credit check more prevalent?

Positions with financial responsibility, senior executive positions and roles that require handling of confidential or sensitive data usually involve credit checks. Many private sector banks like IndusInd, Standard Charted and DBS bank check the CIBIL report as a part of the thorough background check that they perform before offering a job. Such checks are usually performed for hiring for sensitive roles in an organization.  The rationale behind these checks is that if a person has defaulted on loan payments or not settled credit card dues since long, he may not be considered suitable for handling customer’s funds. Employers use this data to judge how responsible and financially stable you are.

So if your credit report is not in good shape, now is the time to work on improving CIBIL score. As the job market is becoming more and more competitive, companies are analysing the candidates profile more deeply to select the most suitable person for the job. A low CIBIL score may hinder your chances of getting hired for your dream job.

A CIBIL report which shows 100% credit utilization, significant levels of debt, late and missed payments and delinquencies indicates the irresponsible attitude of the individual. If the report shows many settled dues, bankruptcy, foreclosure then you may be seen as an individual with bad intentions. Companies refrain from hiring such individuals as they believe that poor financial health of an individual will have an adverse effect on his or her performance levels at the job. On the other hand a good CIBIL score and report is associated with honesty, integrity and responsibility towards one’s obligations.

What and how can the employer check credit details

Your credit score and credit report are two different things. Your report does not display the three digit number. Your employer can only check your credit report and not your score. Secondly, they cannot do a credit check secretly behind your back. They can do so only after seeking permission from you. The employer will ask you to authorize him and give a written consent to allow him to have a look at your report. So when you sign the authorization documents, you will know that your credit profile will be evaluated. You may refuse a credit check, but then the employers may reject your job application on the grounds that they were unable to complete their screening process.

If you have negative information on your report what should you do?

If you have questionable items on your report, inform the employer before hand as to what they can expect. You need to be prepared with an explanation for the negative record. Companies would want to know how you took charge of the financial situation when you were faced with adversity. Explain what you did to rectify the situation.

Bottom Line

Having excellent skills for the job is no longer enough to guarantee a placement. Employers have adopted the practice of checking CIBIL report to analyse your trustworthiness and attitude towards your responsibilities. So keep a check on your CIBIL report and improve CIBIL score. This will improve your prospects of landing into a good job when you are competing against other equally qualified candidates.

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Things You Must Know About Top-Up Loans

Mr. Arora took a home loan with a 15-year tenure at an attractive interest rate. However, after 7 years he realized he felt the need of renovating his house. So, just like most people he thought a personal loan would be a good idea to cover the expenses and started looking for a good deal. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find a personal loan with an affordable interest rate even though he didn’t have a problem of a bad CIBIL score or bad credit history.

With the burden of this loan already on his shoulders, Mr. Arora desperately needed to arrange the funds for his home renovation in a way that it didn’t burn a hole in his pocket. This is when his friend told him about it.

What’s a Top Up Loan?

A top-up loan is a small loan you get on top of your primary loan- mainly a housing loan. The interest rate on a these loan is usually smaller than a full-fledged personal loan. Moreover, you can also enjoy tax benefits with a top-up loan.

The following are some of the things you must know about top-up loans:

  1. Qualification

These loans have their benefits, but just because you are repaying a house loan, it doesn’t mean that you automatically qualify for them. Your lender will inquire about your reason for a it and will make a decision at their discretion.

The following are some of the good reasons:

  • Medical expenses
  • Home renovation
  • Land purchasing
  • Education expenses
  • Business Expansion
  1. Collateral

Since a top-up loan is provided on the basis of a primary loan i.e. a house loan you don’t need to provide security for the same. The bank uses the house as collateral. However, this means that even after you have repaid your loan you have to wait until you have repaid the top up loan as well to get back the rights to your house from your bank.

  1. Interest Rate

The interest rate on a top-up loan is 1% to 2% higher than the housing loan. However, it’s still lower than most personal loans available. You may also get to pay a smaller processing fee.

  1. Tax Benefits

If you are using it for acquire/renew/construct/ or repair a property then you are eligible for tax deductions on the amount paid for the principal amount and the amount paid for the interest on the loan as per Section 80C and Section 24 respectively.

Top-up Loans Conditions

Although the eligibility criteria for a varies from one bank to another, the following are some general conditions:

  • You should be availing a home loan from the bank/ financial institution.
  • Most banks require you to repay the home loan for 6 months to 12 months, or even more before you can apply. They do this to assess your repayment habits. Thus, you should not have a low CIBIL score or bad credit report. If that’s the case, you must take measures to CIBIL score before sending an application.
  • The usual permissible loan amount is calculated on the following basis:

permissible amount= 70% to 80% of the market value of the property- loan balance

So, if your house is worth Rs. 50 lakhs in the market and the pending debt is Rs. 25 lakhs, then you can only get a maximum of Rs. 10- 12 lakhs through it.

  • Many banks limit the tenure according to the outstanding term of your current loan. So, if your loan term ends in 9 years, then the maximum length of top up loan tenure would be 9 years.

If your credit history is good and you don’t need to improve CIBIL score then availing a top-up loan is an excellent option over others such as personal loans, etc. This is because the process of a top up loan is simple and easy. Moreover, you don’t have to offer another property as collateral with them.

Does credit card limit has any impact on your credit score?

A good CIBIL score ensures that you can have an easy access to financial services in times of need. You can qualify for loans at a low rate of interest as a good CIBIL rating demonstrates that you are financially stable. There are several factors that go into the calculation of a credit score. Though different agencies have different credit scoring algorithms the major influencing factors for all of them include the payment history, credit utilization ratio, length of the credit history, type of accounts and new credit.

Credit utilization ratio has a strong correlation with the credit score. This ratio depends on two factors. Your total outstanding balance and the credit limit. A credit limit is the maximum amount that will be extended to you by the lender. You cannot charge more than that amount within a stipulated period of time. If you do not know your credit limit, you can either sign in to your credit card account to view the limit or call and ask the card company.

The credit utilization ratio is calculated by dividing the total outstanding balance on all revolving accounts with the total credit limit. For example if you have a credit limit of Rs 3,00,000 and your outstanding balance at the end of the month is Rs 2,40,000, your credit utilization ratio is 2,40,000/3,00,000 i.e 0.80. This means that you are using 80% of the available credit. This high ratio is a strong warning sign of credit risk. It indicates that either you are living beyond your means or you are experiencing financial difficulty. Your profile is considered risky as you may have trouble making future payments. Hence a high utilization will bring your credit score down. If your outstanding balance is only Rs 30,000 then the ratio will be 30,000/3,00,00 i.e 0.10. A low utilization ratio is a sign of financial soundness as you are not using too much of available credit. This works in favour of the credit score. Hence the credit card limit directly affects the credit utilization ratio and therefore the credit score of an individual.

Does a low credit limit translate into a low score?

If you have a low credit limit, it does not necessarily mean that you will have a low credit score. If you pay your credit cards in full each month before the due date and do not carry any balances your credit utilization ratio will be zero. In this case the amount of credit limit will not have any effect on the score. It is always a good idea to keep the credit card balance as low as possible in relation to the total credit limit. If you do so you can keep the overall credit picture healthy even if your limit is not too high.

Should you request for a credit limit increase to raise your score?

 

If you are looking to improve credit score, then a higher credit limit will definitely be a good thing. You can either request your current credit card company to raise your limit or apply for a new credit card. Even if the amount owed by you remains the same, a high limit will result in a lower debt utilization. It is suggested to keep the utilization below 30% if you are trying to improve credit score.

 

When a card company extends your credit limit it increases the amount of debt you can incur and gives you greater buying power. Just make sure that a high limit does not tempt you to increase your spending, otherwise the whole purpose of getting the limit increased will be defeated. Take into account your saving goals and exercise financial discipline. Use the limit only when you really need it. If you are not careful you will carry more balances each month and that will translate into paying more interest to the card company.

 

Will closing a credit card account affect my credit score?

It is never a good decision to close old unused credit cards just for the sake of cleaning up your credit profile as far as credit score is concerned. That’s because closing a card will reduce your total credit limit available and increase your credit utilization ratio.

Your credit card limit surely has an effect on the credit score. But it is only one piece of the puzzle. If you are trying to improve credit score it is necessary to look at the bigger picture. Paying down outstanding balances and maintaining a clean track record of on time payments also go a long way in enhancing your score.