Risk assessment is one of the most important aspects of human beings. Whatever we do, we analyze the situation to see how much risk is involved in it. This assessment grows even more when we talk about money. In the case of lending money, this assessment gains primary importance. Whenever one wishes to borrow money from a financial institution, they have either have to provide some sort of security or prove their creditworthiness. In cases of unsecured credit like personal loans and credit cards, an applicant has to have a good credit history. The basic test for a person’s creditworthiness is their credit score which is calculated on the basis of a person’s financial history, the credit mix that they have, how they have been utilizing the credit that was granted to them previously and how diligent they have been with repaying their past dues.
Credit scores are calculated by agencies known as credit bureaus. They acquire and maintain a record of every individual’s credit details and helps lenders to understand how worthy an applicant is. This information is collected from data providers. These providers include creditors, debtors, and debt collection agencies etc. Thus lenders can understand how likely a person is for default and who they should grant credit to. The major credit bureaus in India are as follows-
The complete name of Experian is Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Ltd. It is a commercial financial institution which came into being in the year 2006. Numerous companies including GUS Holdings BV(Netherlands), Union Bank of India (UBI), Axis Bank Limited, Indian Bank, Federal Bank Limited, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Sundaram Finance Limited, Magna Fincorp Limited, and VIC Enterprises Private Limited collectively operate this credit bureau. Experian became the first financial institution to receive the license under the new Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act (CICRA) 2005 in the year 2010. According to the 2014 editions of the Forbes magazine, Experian is a part of the list of the ‘World’s most innovative companies’ in the world. Both comprehensive and detailed credit report is offered by this credit bureau. The range of the Experian credit score is from 330 to 830. You can get one free Experian score every year.
The TransUnion CIBIL or simply CIBIL is one of the commonly known credit bureaus in India. It was initially known as the Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited. It was established in the year 2000 and is the first Credit Information Company of India to have an immensely strong and wide member base. The credit score issued by this credit bureau is well known as CIBIL score. Approximately 950 entities that include both banking and non-banking financial organizations from both private and public sector, house-finance companies, and other financial institutions are making use of CIBIL score to judge applicants. You can get one free CIBIL score in a year.
Another popular credit bureau in India is the Highmark or High Mark Credit Information Services. It maintains a record of credit information for every individual and organization. It was established in the year 2005 and is situated in Mumbai. Apart from collecting and maintaining credit information, this credit bureau also offers credit reports and score to consumers. It enables lenders to access the creditworthiness of an applicant before they approve their credit or loan applications.
Established in Atlanta, USA, in 1899, Equifax was registered as a credit bureau in India by the Reserve Bank of India in the year 2010. It is headquartered in the USA and is amongst one of the largest credit agencies in the country. Equifax also maintains a record of credit information of individuals. It also keeps a track of credit information for all sizes of organizations.
The usage of a credit report does not end at proving your creditworthiness. You can get low interest rates on personal loans and best offers on credit cards if you have a good credit score. Also, one must note that when you check your credit score yourself, it does not have a negative impact on your credit score. One must frequently check their credit report in order to keep a track of their financial progress and also to identify identity theft at the earliest. You can check your credit report for free on the IndiaLends website or app.