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The full form of CIBIL is Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited. Also known as TransUnion CIBIL, it is India’s oldest Credit Information Company (CIC) and provides credit related services to its members nationwide. Since its establishment in 2000, CIBIL has been collecting and maintaining credit information of Indian residents. TransUnion CIBIL receives details of its loans and credit cards from all NBFCs and banks operating in India which is then used to generate the CIBIL credit report and CIBIL Score.

On the basis of the credit report provided by CIBIL, lenders analyze the credit history of an applicant and determine his/her suitability for new loans/credit cards. This way, CIBIL performs an essential role in India's financial system. As per latest records, CIBIL is associated with over 2600 institutions which include several leading public and private sector banks, financial institutions, housing finance and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). In 2017, CIBIL launched its MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) rank system to help lenders assess the risk of providing loans to businesses.

CIBIL Score, also known as the TransUnion CIBIL score, is a 3-digit number ranging from 300 to 900. This score sums up an individual’s credit behaviour - his credit repayment history, frequency of applying for loans/credit cards, etc. CIBIL score reflects how an individual has dealt with loans or credit cards in the past. The higher your CIBIL score (i.e. close to 900), the better are your chances of getting approved for a new loan or credit card in the future.

Credit Report is a report of your credit history/behavior. The credit report that is generated by CIBIL is known as the CIBIL Report or CIR (Credit Information Report). This document shows your credit history with respect to repayment of all prior loans and credit cards. As the CIBIL report only takes into account the handling of credit instruments, other financial instruments such as your net worth (bank balance, investments, annual salary, business turnover, etc.) plays no role in how high or low your credit score will be.

Eligibility to check CIBIL Score

  • Any person residing in India can check his/her CIBIL score subject to the following conditions:
  • A valid PAN Card Credit history, that is, you must have previously utilised some credit instrument like a credit card or secured a loan
  • The above are mandatory requirements and your CIBIL score and report will not be generated unless both these conditions are met.  

CIBIL Score is calculated using the credit history found in your CIBIL Report.  It reflects a person’s credit behaviour which includes frequency of applying for loans/credit cards, credit repayment history, mix of secured and unsecured credit, etc. Generally a score closer to 900 is considered to be a good score. Some factors which affect a person’s CIBIL score are given below:

1. Repayment History: Loan repayment history like timely payment of your credit card bills and EMIs (equated monthly installments) affects your CIBIL score. Missing timely payments of your credit card bills or EMIs tends to adversely affects your CIBIL score and thereby your ability to secure new credit in the future.

2. Credit Utilization Ratio: Credit Utilization Ratio is calculated by dividing the amount of credit availed by the available credit limit. A high credit utilization ratio indicates a heavy repayment burden that negatively impacts your CIBIL score. A person with a low credit utilization ratio (30% or lower) has higher credit worthiness for lenders and can avail additional credit with greater ease.

3. Simultaneous Loan/Credit Card Applications: Applications for new credit cards/loans trigger hard enquiries from prospective lenders.  These enquiries show up on your CIBIL report which adversely affects your CIBIL score is multiple hard enquiries show up on your report simultaneously.

4. Credit Mix: It is good to have a balanced mix of secured and unsecured loans. Having too much unsecured debt in the form of credit card debt and outstanding personal loans adversely affects your CIBIL score. This is because such credit behaviour is often interpreted as a sign of mismanagement of personal finance. Having a mix of secured loans (like Auto and Home loans) and unsecured loans, can help you maintain a high CIBIL score and increase chances of availing new credit.

5. Increasing Credit Card Limit Frequently: Making frequent requests for increasing the credit limit on your credit cards may increase the number of hard inquiries. This may adversely affect your CIBIL score as it might be perceived as high dependence on credit by potential lenders leading to an increased chance of default in the future.

6. Errors in Credit Report: Errors in CIBIL reports such as an incorrect mention of default in repayments, wrongly assigned loans/credit cards, errors in personal information, etc. may adversely affect your CIBIL score. Additionally, incorrect or delayed reporting by banks may also negatively impact your CIBIL score.

7. Lack of Credit History: Your CIBIL score is calculated on the basis of your credit behaviour, loan repayment history, credit utilization limit, etc. Absence of credit history negatively affects your CIBIL score. It becomes difficult for the lender to determine the risk category the individual falls into in case he/she has never taken a loan or never had a credit card.

8. Inability to fulfill your role as a loan guarantor: Becoming a guarantor for somebody else’s loan makes you liable to pay the loan in case he/she fails to do so. The guarantor’s CIBIL score is impacted in case he/she fails to repay a loan where the primary borrower has already defaulted.

Loans can primarily be divided into 2 categories - secured loans and unsecured loans. Secured loans such as auto loans, home loans, etc. are secured by collateral (security). Whereas, unsecured loans like credit cards and personal loans can be availed without collateral/security.

Having a balanced mix of secured and unsecured loans (credit mix) favourably affects your credit score and increases your chances of availing new credit

On the other hand, having too many unsecured loans adversely affects your credit score and the prospective lender perceives a higher risk in lending money to such individuals

While CIBIL report generated by TransUnion CIBIL can be accessed online from the cibil.com website, there are other online portals that you can use to access the same. These include official CIBIL partners that Paisabazaar.com who provide access to your credit report and credit score. While Paisabazaar provides you access to your credit report free of charge, other CIBIL partners may or may not offer the same service for free.    

Customers can check their CIBIL score online without paying any additional charges. They can do so either by visiting the official website of Paisabazaar or through the official CIBIL portal.

Check Online at Paisabazaar

The steps to check your CIBIL score through paisabazaar.com are given below:

  1. Visit Paisabazaar.com
  2. Click the “Get Report” button on the home page.

2.	Click the “Get Report” button on the home page

3. On the page that opens next, fill in details like your gender, name, date of birth, PAN, etc. , then click the checkbox to agree with terms and conditions.

3.	On the page that opens next, fill in details like your gender, name, date of birth, PAN, etc. , then click the checkbox to agree with terms and conditions

4. Click on ‘Get Your Credit Score’. You will be informed by email and SMS when your credit report and score has been generated. The report will be accessible and available for download through your free Paisabazaar.com account.

Check on Official CIBIL Website

Customers can also check their CIBIL score by visiting the official website of TransUnion CIBIL. The steps to check your CIBIL score through CIBIL.com are:

  1. Visit CIBIL.com
  2. Click on ‘Get Yours Now’.
  3. Fill in personal details like email id, PAN, name, etc. to create your account.
  4. You will receive a verification mail, following which you will be required to confirm some details like your passport number, driving license number, etc.
  5. Upon successful verification you will get your CIBIL score.

CIBIL provides one free annual credit report and score to each applicant. To check your CIBIL score using PAN card, customers need to follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Visit https://www.CIBIL.com/freeCIBILscore
  2. Click on ‘Get Yours Now’.
  3. Create your account by filling in personal information like your email id, full name, date of birth, etc.
  4. In the ‘ID Type’ section, select ‘Income Tax ID Number (PAN)’ and enter the ID number.
  5. Click on ‘Accept & Continue’ and within 24 hours you will receive your free credit report and score in your inbox.

If you have already opted for a free CIBIL report for the current year, you need to follow the steps given below:

  1. Visit https://www.CIBIL.com/
  2. Click on ‘Get Your CIBIL Score’.
  3. Select the product that you want to purchase.
  4. Enter details like your email id, full name, mobile number, PAN number, etc.
  5. After this, you will be asked a few questions about credit cards and loans and will be required to make the payment according to the product chosen.
  6. The CIBIL score and report is sent to your email ID within 24 hours.

CIBIL has its own proprietary algorithm to calculate a person’s credit score and the exact extent to which an individual factor impacts the CIBIL score is not currently known. However, some key factors that influence a person’s CIBIL score are as follows:

  • Loan repayment history: Defaulting on your EMIs or making late payments negatively affects your CIBIL score
  • Credit Mix: Having a balanced mix of secured and unsecured loans positively affects your CIBIL score. However, having a greater proportion of unsecured loans like credit cards and personal loans may prove to be unfavourable and shows you as a risky borrower
  • Duration of Credit History: The duration of your credit history also affects your credit score. If you have used credit cards/loans for a long period of time and made timely payments on it, it will favourably impact your credit score.
  • Number of Hard Inquiries: Every time you apply for new credit, the prospective lender makes an inquiry on your CIBIL report. Such inquiries by lenders and financial institutions are known as hard inquiries and too many hard inquiries may negatively affect your credit score as it shows you to be credit hungry.
  • Credit Utilization Ratio: It is the amount of credit that you use divided by the total credit available to you. A high credit utilization ratio indicates a higher dependency on credit and a potentially high repayment burden which negatively impacts your credit score.

CIBIL Score is a 3 digit score, ranging between 300 and 900 which is calculated using the credit history found in the CIBIL report. It reflects a person’s credit behaviour-his credit repayment history, frequency of applying for loans, credit cards, etc. A score closer to 900 is considered to be more suitable for availing new credit as compared to a score closer to 300.

CIBIL Report is a financial document which shows an individual’s credit behaviour/credit history with respect to all forms of credit and lending institutions. This report includes 5 key sections - CIBIL score, personal information, contact information, credit account information and enquiry information. Your CIBIL report does not take into consideration some key financial data such as your bank balance, annual salary, savings, investments, utility bills paid or due, etc.

CIBIL score is one of the first things that lenders look at when evaluating your loan application. Once a loan application is submitted to the lender, the lender checks the CIBIL score and report of the applicant. It works as a kind of first impression for the lender.  In case the CIBIL score is low, the lender might reject the application without considering it further. If the CIBIL score is high, the lender might look into other details to determine if the applicant is credit worthy. Thus, a good credit score increases the chances of your loan application being approved.

The higher your CIBIL score better are you chances of being approved for a new loan or credit card. However, CIBIL score is not the only determinant of a person’s ability to secure new credit. Lenders also take into consideration your debt to income ratio, your employment history, applicant’s profession, etc. before approving/rejecting a loan application.

CIBIL score is one of the first things that banks look for while offering a new credit card to a person. Generally a score closer to 900 is considered to be a good score. It indicates that you can manage your credit well and have a good credit history. While people with lower CIBIL scores can also be eligible for a credit card they tend to be perceived as higher risk borrowers and therefore may be charged a higher interest rate and offered lower credit limit. That said, CIBIL score is not the only determinant of a person’s ability to get approved for a new credit card.

Some ways to improve your CIBIL score are given below:

  • Make timely payment of your credit card and loan dues. It shows responsible credit behaviour and repayment ability.
  • Maintain a good credit mix of secured and unsecured credit. Having too much unsecured credit like personal loans and credit cards makes lenders consider you as a risky borrower and may decrease your credit score.
  • Check your credit report for administrative errors and fraudulent usage of data/information. These must be reported and rectified in a timely manner. This may help to boost your credit score.
  • Reduce your credit utilization. Try and limit your credit utilization to a maximum of 30% of your available credit limit. Spending more than 30% of the available credit shows excessive reliance on credit and reduces your credit score.
  • Try and get banks to increase the credit limit on your card. This does not mean that you start spending more or increase your expenses. But rather it helps to decrease the credit utilization ratio as the available credit limit increases but the usage remains the same. This has a positive impact on your credit score.
  • Avoid making too many new credit card/loan applications and inquiries within a short period of time (or making inquiries with multiple lenders at the same time). It may increase the number of hard inquiries on your credit report and adversely affect your credit score.
  • Ensure you pay off your debts instead of settling them. Though settling may reduce the debt burden, it shows an inability to repay your debts and may thereby adversely affect your credit score.

A CIBIL report or a Credit Information Report (CIR) contains a person’s credit payment history across various types of loans and credit institutions over a period of time. It is used to derive the CIBIL score. The key components of CIBIL report are given below:

  • CIBIL Score: The CIBIL report reflects a person’s credit behaviour (credit history) which is used to calculate the CIBIL score. The CIBIL score ranges between 300-900. A score closer to 900 is considered to be a good score.
  • Personal Information: The CIBIL report also contains personal information such as your name, gender, date of birth and identification numbers like passport number, PAN and voter’s number.
  • Contact Information: This section contains your telephone numbers and addresses. Maximum 4 addresses can be mentioned.
  • Account Information: The details of your credit facilities like name of lenders, kind of credit facilities (overdraft, personal, home, etc.), account numbers, loan amount, month on month record of your payments, etc. are there in this section.
  • Enquiry Information: Each time you apply for a loan or credit card, the respective financial institution or bank accesses your CIBIL report. These enquiries are listed in the report and contain the vendor’s name, amount of credit applied, date of application of credit and credit type.

You can download your CIBIL report by following the steps given below:

  1. Visit https://www.CIBIL.com/freeCIBILscore.
  2. Click on ‘Get Yours Now’.
  3. Enter personal information like your name, date of birth, contact number, select the ID type and ID number, etc. and create your own username and password.
  4. An OTP is sent to you to verify your identity or additional details may be asked to confirm your identity.
  5. Once your identity is verified, you can check your CIBIL score and download the CIBIL report.

Though CIBIL score is not the only thing that lenders look at when considering a loan or credit card application, it is arguably one of the most important ones. Some advantages of maintaining a good CIBIL score may include:

  • Greater chances of loan applications being approved, as a high credit score indicates higher credit worthiness and lower risk for the lender
  • You are more likely to receive lower interest rate loans
  • Loans and credit cards are approved quickly and easily
  • Access to pre-approved loans
  • Ability to avail higher credit card limit
  • Discount on processing fees and other charges

Consumer CIBIL bureau maintains credit information of individuals whereas commercial CIBIL bureau maintains credit information of companies. The former gives the credit repayment history of individuals across multiple loan types and lenders, whereas the latter conveys the credit worthiness of companies. The consumer bureau provides CIBIL credit reports for individuals while the commercial bureau provides CIBIL rank to businesses.

The differences between CIBIL report and CIBIL rank are given below:

CIBIL Report

CIBIL Rank

A historical record of the repayment schedules of all loans and credit cards of an individual.

A historical record of the repayment schedules of all loans of a business.

A clean credit report leads to a good credit score. The credit history of a good credit report proves that the borrower was good at managing various debt instruments. Credit scores are 3 digit numbers ranging between 300 and 900. A score closer to 900 is considered to be a good score when seeking new credit.

Credit rating is denoted by numbers 1 to 10. Companies with credit rating 1 are the most preferred borrowers while those with credit rating 10 are the least preferred borrowers. Thus, closer the company is to a credit rating of 1, better are the company’s chances of being approved for new credit.   

Difference between CIBIL Report and CIBIL Rank

Many of the official partners of TransUnion CIBIL provide individuals the option to check their CIBIL report and score via mobile apps. You can use the Paisabazaar mobile app to check your CIBIL score and download your CIBIL report for free with monthly updates.

Some key terms that feature on your report are given below:

Terms

Meaning

SF/WD/WO/SETTLED

Credit Accounts that are Suit Filed/Wilful Default/Written Off/Settled

Closed

Credit accounts that have 'Date Closed' populated

ACTIVE*

Credit accounts which are less than 90 days past due

ACTIVE**

Credit accounts which are more than 90 days past due

DPD

Days Past Due. Number of days that have elapsed from the agreed payment due date of EMI

DPD ‘0’

The number '0' in the circle indicates that the Payment is made as agreed and the credit account is up to date

DPD>0

The number in the circle indicates the "Days Past Due" reported by the respective lender

In case the below mentioned alphabets are shown in the DPD table, it means the lender is reporting Asset Classification and indicates the following:

S: Standard

As per RBI guidelines, an account which is overdue for less than 90 days is considered as a Standard asset

B: Substandard

According to RBI guidelines, an account which is overdue by 90 days for a period of less than or equal to 12 months is classified as Substandard asset

M: Special Mention

These accounts are “Standard” asset but are monitored closely by the lending organisation due to some discrepancy

D: Doubtful

As per RBI guidelines, an account which is overdue by 90 days for more than 12 months is categorized as doubtful asset

L: Loss

According to RBI guidelines, an account where loss has been identified but the amount has not been written off -wholly or partially, is categorized as Loss asset

You can contact TransUnion CIBIL’s customer care executives through the following means:

  • By Phone: You can call at +91-22-6140-4300 (Mon-Fri between 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM)
  • Fax: You can contact the company’s customer care through fax at +91 - 22 - 6638 4666
  • Visit the Corporate Office/Write to the Company: You can also visit the corporate office or write to the company to get your queries answered/grievances redressed. The registered address is TransUnion CIBIL Limited (Formerly: Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited) One Indiabulls Centre, Tower 2A, 19th Floor, Senapati Bapat Marg, Elphinstone Road, Mumbai - 400013
  • Contact Online: You can also contact the company’s customer care executives online. For this simply visit https://www.CIBIL.com and click on ‘Contact Us’. Under ‘To Contact Us Online’ section select ‘Click here’. Enter the required details and your query and click on ‘Submit’.

Q1. How is my CIBIL Score calculated?

Your CIBIL score is calculated using a complex statistical model, which is a proprietary business secret of TransUnion and CIBIL and hence, not available to the general public. The statistical model identifies multiple variables in your credit report in order to calculate credit score.

Q2. Will my CIBIL score ever change?

Yes. Your CIBIL score depends on multiple factors, such as all current and previous loans/credit cards, payment history of credit instruments, number of outstanding loans/credit cards and card utilization ratio. A change in any of these factors can bring about a change in your CIBIL score. Thus, little noticed factors, such as late payments and maxing out your credit cards, as well as more noticeable factors that include a new home loan or car loan can also change your credit score.

Q3. Is CIBIL the only one who provides a CIBIL Score?

Yes. CIBIL Score is provided only by TransUnion CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited) and it is one of 4 bureaus that provide credit scores and credit information reports to individuals throughout India. Apart from CIBIL, various other credit reporting agencies that are currently licensed to operate in India are Experian, Equifax and CRIF High Mark. Each bureau provides its self-generated credit reports and scores respectively to its clients and members worldwide.

Q4. Is the Credit Information Report as same as the CIBIL Score?

No. Your score is only a part of your credit report, which is also known as the CIR (Credit Information Report). Apart from your credit score, your CIBIL report also includes the details of various loans and credit cards that you have had over the past 5 to 7 years. The details related to your credit card/loan include credit limits, credit repayment track record, number of credit checks performed by prospective lenders in the past, etc. Just like a medical report provides details regarding your physical health, similarly, a credit report provides the details about your financial health.

Q5. Can everyone access my CIBIL Score?

No. Your CIBIL score is confidential personal information that only you or a few authorized entities (on your consent) are allowed to access. These authorized entities can access your credit report only under specific circumstances, for instance when you apply for a new loan or credit card and are legally not allowed to share any information with any unauthorized third party. Some authorized entities that can access your CIBIL score/report include financial institutions and banks, who are trusted CIBIL members.

Q6. How to check CIBIL Score for free?

As per the RBI’s directives, the credit bureaus shall give access to FFCR (Full Free Credit Report) once in a year to everyone whose credit information they hold. You can request for your free credit report anytime once in a year from CIBIL’s official website.

Q7. How did CIBIL know about my loans and credit cards?

CIBIL works on a reciprocity principle i.e. CIBIL members can access the records of CIBIL only if the members (Banks and NBFCs) provide TransUnion CIBIL with the records of their borrowers. In this manner, all your loan and credit card information gets reported to CIBIL by your existing lenders and these form the basis of your report and score. The same logic holds true for credit scores prepared by Experian, Equifax and CRIF High Mark.

Q8. Would checking my CIBIL Score lead to its decrease?

No. If you check your credit report or CIBIL score, it is considered to be a “soft inquiry” and this type of check does not affect your CIBIL score in any way. This holds true even if you’re checking other credit bureau’s credit score or report. However, the “hard inquiries” made by banks and financial institutions on your credit report and score may adversely affect the credit score.

Q9. Does CIBIL Score affect my chances of getting a new loan or credit card?

At present, your credit score whether reported by CIBIL, Experian, Equifax or CRIF High Mark, is one of the key factors that determine your eligibility to get a new credit product. Different banks and NBFCs have different cut-off criteria in providing new credit products. Maintaining a high credit score (closer to 900) definitely improves your chances of getting approvals on additional credit products. However, CIBIL score (or credit score) is not the only criteria that determines a person’s eligibility to secure new credit. Lenders also take into account other factors like your debt to income ratio, credit and employment history, their own internal criteria, etc. before making lending decisions.

Q10. What is the minimum CIBIL score required for any type of loan?

There is no evident data available at present regarding what is the minimum, good or high CIBIL score for getting loans or credit cards. As mentioned earlier, the CIBIL score range is from 300 to 900, therefore the closer you are to 900, the better your chances of approval. Anyways, the discretion of providing approvals on loans or credit cards solely depends on banks, NBFCs and financial institutions.

Q11. How do I increase/improve my CIBIL Score?

CIBIL score is based on your credit history and it cannot be increased overnight, no matter what a self-styled CIBIL score improvement agency might tell you. It starts with paying your credit card dues and EMIs on time, while also requiring you to minimize your outstanding debt.

Q12. Why is a credit card account that I already paid off and closed still on my report?

Your current lenders report your loan/credit card status to CIBIL periodically and these details get reflected in your report over time. Therefore, if you close out a loan or credit card account this month, it might be a couple of months before the information gets reflected in your credit report. Other causes of such discrepancy may be a reporting error due to the bank or NBFC that you took the loan or credit card from or you may be a victim of identity theft.

Q13. What happens if my CIBIL Report has errors?

In case you find errors in your CIBIL report, you can request CIBIL to correct it through their Dispute Resolution procedure. As part of this process, you will be required to submit supporting documents, such as bank NOC, loan settlement letter and also nominal fee to get your records updated.

Q14. Can CIBIL delete or change my credit information on its own?

No. CIBIL does not have the authority to delete or make changes on your credit report on its own. They are only involved with collating the data as provided by the member banks and NBFCs. However, in cases of credit report disputes, CIBIL will make changes to your credit report provided there is sufficient documentary evidence to show that an error has actually occurred. However, the concerned banks or NBFCs will have to provide the necessary clearance before CIBIL make such changes.

Q15. What is CIBIL 2.0?

Over the past few months, TransUnion CIBIL has been shifting to a new scoring model in order to be more relevant with changing customer credit data and profiles, as well as current economic trends. This new scoring model has been termed as CIBIL 2.0. The main change is an assignment of risk index from 1 to 5 to individuals with relatively new credit history, i.e. less than 6 months. The higher the numeric value of the risk index, the lower is the perceived risk of default.

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