Must Know: Free credit report

Now, get your free credit report once a year and take a step towards improving your financial life
Must Know: Free credit report
Must Know: Free credit report

From January this year, based on an RBI directive, you will be able to access one detailed credit report in an electronic form for free in a year. This rule is applicable to all credit information agencies whenever one makes a request. The credit information report or CIR is the report which has all the details of your credit history collated by a credit information company. You could seek the report from CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd), Equifax Credit Information Services, High Mark Credit Information Services and Experian Credit Information.

Importance of credit score: When you apply for a loan, the lender typically asks any of the credit bureaus for your background. This helps in getting an idea about your financial past, the repayment history of any loan you might have taken and any other information that gives them a sense of your credit behaviour. They also get to see your credit score, based on which they may or may not extend the loan to you.  

Credit score: The CIR gives you a score based on several parameters which is in the range of 300 to 900 points. Normally a score of 720-750 and above is considered to be good enough to avail a loan. Every lender has a unique approach to interpreting the score and extending the loan, so having a CIR will help you determine not just the score, but also if you qualify for the loan in the first place or not.

Sourcing the report: Previously access to credit report from any of the credit rating companies was possible but at a fee of around Rs 500. But, now you can seek a free report once a year. You need to furnish your bank account details and PAN to get a report by requisitioning the credit bureau online, which details the procedure to avail the report from them.

Improving and rectifying the report: There are instances when one may find their score to be low and then ascertain that a past loan that was closed is not reflecting in the report. There could also be wrong entries against your name, which you can get resolved with the bank and credit bureau.

Make sure that you check your credit report to know how borrowing worthy you are before venturing out to take a loan. Do not get into a situation where a past mistake comes to haunt you at the most inappropriate of times, especially when you need money the most. 

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