What if an unknown person asks you to give him some money that he will return after some days? There are very high chances that you won’t agree as you don’t know anything about the behavior and financial history of that individual. The same is the case of credit card issuers and money lenders. They can’t issue credit cards/give loans to someone who has non-responsible financial behavior. But, how do the card issuers/lenders know your financial behavior? Who makes your credit report on the basis of which your credit card/loan application either gets approved or rejected? The answer to these questions is: Credit Bureaus. Read the full article to know what a credit bureau is and how it works.
What Is A Credit Bureau?
Credit Bureaus are the companies or agencies that collect the credit-related information of an individual and maintain it. The type of information credit bureaus collect includes all types of loans, whether unsecured or secured, credit card usage (from application to approval/disapproval to usage). On the basis of all this information, the bureaus prepare the credit report of that person. Whenever you apply for a credit card/loan, the issuer checks your credit report & credit score as it helps them understand how risky you are as a borrower. If they find you suitable & responsible, your application will be approved and if it’s the opposite, there are high chances that your application will be rejected for a credit card or a loan.
Excellent, Good, Average, and Poor Credit Score
The credit score prepared by all the credit bureaus in India lies between 300 and 900, where:
- A credit score above 750 is considered excellent.
- A score between 700 & 750 is considered good.
- A credit score lying between 450 and 700 is considered an average score.
- A score below 450 is poor.
4 Major Credit Bureaus in India
Established in 2000, TransUnion CIBIL is the first credit bureau that came into recognition in India. Being the oldest credit bureau in India, it has become the most trusted and is widely used by all the major financial institutions. Along with focusing on individual credit reports of people, it also works on the credit information of businesses. Its shareholders include SBI, HSBC, ICICI, IOB, Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Indian Bank, etc.
Charges: TransUnion CIBIL allows everyone to check credit score for free once a year. You can also check your CIBIL score here. Post the free report, you need to get one of the three subscription plans, which are as follows:
- Unlimited checks for 1 month – Rs. 550.
- Unlimited checks for 6 months – Rs. 800.
- Unlimited checks for 12 months – Rs. 1,200
Established in 2006, Experian India is also among the 4 credit bureaus in India. It started providing its services in India in 2010 and has already become a trusted credit agency. Experian has also been awarded as one of the most innovative companies in the world. It gathers and maintains the financial data of individuals as well as companies and prepares the credit report.
Charges: You can check your Experian credit report and credit score for free once every year here. Other than the free report, you will be charged Rs. 138 for every Experian credit report you request. And for credit report along with credit score, you will have to pay Rs. 399 every time. In the case of an online application, the credit report is sent to you along with the credit score via mail.
Equifax is another major credit reporting agency in India. It started providing financial services in 1899 and was registered in India in 2010. It collects the credit information of individuals as well as businesses and prepares the credit reports accordingly. Along with providing credit reports and scores, Equifax also provides portfolio scores and risk scores for individuals and portfolio management, risk management reports, and fraud reports for companies.
Charges: Just like CIBIL & Experian, Equifax also allows you to get 1 free credit report annually, which you can get here. In order to get any further reports, you will be required to buy one of the following three plans:
- Rs 250 – Monthly subscription.
- Rs. 450 – Quarterly subscription.
- Rs. 900 – Yearly subscription.
CRIF Highmark is a leading credit agency in India that is currently providing its services to over 10, 500 banks in 50 countries. It was approved to operate in India by the Reserve Bank of India. It collects the credit data of individuals and small, medium as well as large corporates. Along with all its credit reporting services, the agency also provides dispute resolution.
Charges: You can check your CRIF Highmark credit score here for free once a year. To get your credit report within 5 minutes of your request, you will have to pay Rs. 399, and to get your credit report without a credit score, you will have to pay Rs. 99 for every report.
Checking your credit score regularly is really important in order to maintain or improve it. All these 4 credit bureaus help you in doing so, but they charge a fee, which can be costly for many individuals out there. So, with an aim to provide credit information reports at a very nominal rate, Public Credit Registry is going to start its services in India very soon. The government of India has come up with this public sector credit bureau, which will definitely be helpful for lots of people in the country.