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What is Credit Score?

A credit score is a 3-digit numeric summary of your credit history that represents your past credit behavior and how well you have managed your credit products, like home loans, business loans, auto loans, personal loans, or credit cards. Credit score also commonly referred to as CIBIL Score is primarily a measure of your ability to borrow from Banks/NBFCs. CIBIL score is calculated and generated based on the consumer's credit information provided by the lenders monthly.

Simply put, your credit score shows lenders whether you are a reliable borrower with minimum risk or a risky one, as well as the likelihood of you repaying a new loan in time. When you apply for any type of loan or a credit card, the lender requests a credit report check from the credit bureau to know your repayment capability and creditworthiness.

CIBIL score ranges from 300-900 in which the higher your credit score, the more likely lenders are to approve you for new credit. Usually, a credit score of 750 and above is considered a standard benchmark and preferred by lenders for loan or credit card approval. For a few banks/NBFCs, even a credit score of 700+ is also considered for credit card approvals.

Read: How Long Does it Takes to Improve Credit Score?

If you often miss or delay paying the EMIs of your loans or your credit card bills on time, your score is negatively impacted. On the other hand, if you have been disciplined with the repayments of your EMIs and credit card bills, and have not displayed any credit-hungry behavior by frequently applying for credit, your credit score shall tend to increase.

Benefits of a Good Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the first things that a lender Bank or NBFC will check while evaluating your loan or credit card application. In case your CIBIL score is low, the lender might reject the application without even considering it further.

If your credit score is high, the lender will look into other details to determine if the applicant is creditworthy. Thus, a good credit score increases the chances of your loan application being approved.

However, your credit score is not the only factor considered for a person’s ability to secure new credit. Lenders also consider your income, repayment history, debt-to-income ratio, employment history, profession, etc. before approving or rejecting your loan or credit card application.

A good CIBIL score would not only help you access credit, but it may also help reduce your interest outgo for a loan. Many Banks/NBFCs offer preferential low-interest rates to applicants with a good credit score.

What is a Good Credit Score?

Today, most lenders consider a credit score of 750 and above from CIBIL or any credit bureau as a good credit score. Getting the loan or credit card application approved becomes relatively easier if you have and maintain a CIBIL score of 750 or above and as close to 900. It is possible to have a CIBIL score of 750 or above and have a credit score from another bureau below 700 at the same time. Hence, you must keep a tab on credit scores from multiple bureaus. It is advisable to check your credit score once every month.

Credit Score Range and Meaning

Let us have a look at the credit score range that most lenders and bureaus consider while evaluating your credit applications:

Score Band Category Meaning
<300 No Score/No History It means you have never taken a loan or credit card and have no credit history. For the best offers on loans and credit cards in the future, you should start building your credit score.
 300-550 Very Low Credit Score  Your credit history is damaged. However, with awareness and discipline, you can strengthen your credit score. Check your credit report thoroughly to determine why your credit score is low and take action. 
551-620 Low Credit Score You might not have shown good credit behavior that has damaged your credit history. You need to take immediate measures to improve your score to become eligible for credit in the future.
621-700 Fair Credit Score  You are not far from a strong credit score. To be eligible for the best offers, you should work on improving your score. 
701-749 Good Credit Score  You have been responsible with credit and have displayed good credit behavior. Most banks and NBFCs would be happy to offer you credit. 
750+ Excellent Credit Score Your track record with credit is superb! With this score, you would meet the eligibility criteria of most banks and NBFCs and are likely to get the best offers. 

Please Note: The credit score range mentioned above is only indicative and may vary from lender to lender and bureau to bureau.

How a Credit Score is Calculated?

Your credit score depends on a lot of factors that a credit bureau or Credit Information Companies (CICs) takes into consideration while calculating your CIBIL score. These factors depict your past credit behavior and are reported to Banks and NBFCs, every time you apply for a fresh credit product.

5 Factors that Affect your Credit Score

Some of the key factors that influence your credit score are:

1. Loan Repayment History: Timely payments can boost your credit score and help in improving it significantly. Defaulting on your EMIs or making late payments negatively affects your CIBIL score. Your loan repayment history has a high impact on your CIBIL score calculation.

2. Duration of Credit History: The duration or age of your credit history also affects your credit score. If you have used credit cards/loans for a long period and made timely payments on them, then it's a sign of disciplined credit behavior. It has a medium impact on your credit score.

3. Number of Hard Inquiries: Every time you apply for a new credit product, the lender inquires about your credit score. Such inquiries by lenders and financial institutions are known as hard inquiries. Too many hard inquiries may negatively affect your credit score as it shows you to be credit-hungry. Multiple hard inquiries at the same time may have a considerable short-term impact on your credit score. However, if you check or download your credit report, it is considered a Soft Inquiry that has no impact on your credit score.

4. Credit Utilization: The ratio of the credit amount you spend to the credit amount available to you is known as the credit utilization ratio. It is recommended to keep your CUR to less than 30% of your available credit limit, though even a higher CUR barely has an impact on your credit score as long as you pay your credit card bill on time. However, maxing out the limit on your credit card frequently may indicate a high dependency on credit, which may negatively impact your credit score.

5. Credit Mix: If you have taken different kinds of loans like personal, auto or home loans and have responsibly paid them back, it shows your ability to handle different kinds of credit. Building a good credit mix over time has a positive impact on your credit profile. Also, if you have taken too many unsecured loans like personal loans, it shows you are credit-hungry and excessively dependent on credit. This may have an impact on your credit score, but if your repayment record is strong, it's unlikely to be anything significant. But do note that having too many active loans at the same time can also lead to a high "EMI to NMI ratio", which can lower your chances of getting more credit. However, credit mix has a low impact on your credit score and it’s unlikely that a lender will reject your application just because you do not have an optimum mix of credit products.

Other Factors Affecting your Credit Score:

Apart from the above 5 factors, which are primary in calculating your CIBIL score, there are other factors like errors in your credit report, lack of credit history and inability to fulfill your role as loan guarantor that may have a low negative impact on your credit score.

Read: How to Resolve CIBIL Dispute?

Benefits of High Credit Score

Though credit score is not the only thing lenders check while considering a loan or credit card application, it is arguably one of the most important. Maintaining a good credit score comes with several benefits that include:

  • Greater chances of your loan applications being approved, as a high CIBIL score indicates higher creditworthiness and lower risk for the lender
  • You are more likely to receive lower interest rates on loans
  • You can get easy and quick approval for your loan and credit card applications
  • Access to pre-approved loans based on your eligibility
  • You can avail higher limits on your credit cards
  • Discount on processing fees and other charges

Credit Bureaus in India

TransUnion CIBIL Limited (Formerly known as Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited) is a credit bureau that generates, maintains, and calculates your CIBIL score. While TransUnion CIBIL is the oldest, three other credit bureaus in India offer credit report services, such as Experian, CRIF High Mark, and Equifax. Each credit bureau calculates your credit score independently based on the credit information that is provided to them by banks/NBFCs regularly. Each credit bureau has its model or algorithm for calculating your credit score; hence, your score from each credit bureau shall vary.

Also Read:

At Paisabazaar.com, you can check and download your credit report online for FREE. We have a partnership with all four leading credit bureaus, including CIBIL, that enables you to check, track and build your credit score at absolutely zero cost.

Please note that checking your credit report once or multiple times does not have any impact on your score and it takes just a few minutes.

6 Reasons Why you Have a Low Credit Score

There can be several reasons for a low credit score. Some of the main factors that can lower your credit score are:

  1. Missed or late payments of credit cards and loan EMIs
  2. Maxing out your credit limit or having a high credit utilization ratio, regularly
  3. Errors in your credit report can also lower your score significantly
  4. Frequent or multiple hard inquiries for credit can also damage your credit score
  5. Closing the oldest credit account if other credit accounts are relatively new (It reduces the age of credit history)
  6. Settling the loan or credit card account instead of paying it in full and closing the account

How to Improve Credit Score?

A low credit score can make it difficult for you to get your loan or credit card applications approved. You can take the following steps and adhere strictly to it to improve your credit score again:

  • Start paying your loan EMIs and credit card bills on time. Do not miss payments under any circumstances.
  • Reduce your excessive dependency on credit and try to reduce your credit utilization ratio, especially if you max out your credit card limit regularly
  • In case of errors in your credit report, get it rectified at the earliest from the credit bureau. For this, you should check your credit score online regularly through Paisabazaar and if there’s a fall, do check the report for errors.
  • Avoid applying for multiple loans or credit cards very frequently. It is advisable to wait for six months to avail the latest credit instrument before you apply for credit again.
  • Avoid closing your oldest credit card. A longer credit history helps lenders make credit-related decisions with more confidence.
  • Keep a good mix of secured (home loan, car loan, etc.) and unsecured credit (personal loan, credit card, etc.) in your profile.
  • Seek expert advice from Paisabazaar’s Credit Advisory Services to improve your credit score significantly.

Why Check your CIBIL Score from Paisabazaar?

Apart from the fact that Paisabazaar offers CIBIL score report for FREE with monthly updates, you can also check, monitor, and compare your credit scores from other credit bureaus like Experian, CRIF High Mark, and Equifax. Paisabazaar helps you check, track, and build your score by enabling you to:

  • Check your credit score seamlessly: Through Paisabazaar.com (web & app), you can check and compare your credit score from multiple bureaus, including CIBIL, instantly and for absolutely free. Since it's a digital instant process, you can access your latest credit score in a few seconds from anywhere, anytime for free.
  • Get customized offers: Those with healthy credit profiles can also check and avail of the best pre-approved loan and credit card offers from India's top banks and NBFCs. These offers have no/minimum documentation and usually have instant disbursals and issuance. Through Paisabazaar's unique
  • ‘Chances of Approval’ feature, you will be matched with the most suited lender and offer for personal loans, based on your CIBIL score along with other eligibility factors. This will help you apply for the right offer from the right lender, minimizing the chances of rejection of your loan application.
  • Build your credit score: To improve access to formal credit, Paisabazaar also offers a personalized credit advisory service that helps customers understand their credit report and improve their CIBIL score or credit score. Paisabazaar also provides an exclusive credit health report, with deep analysis and insights.
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FAQs on Credit Score

You can check your Credit score for free every month through Paisabazaar.com which is one of the best platforms to check credit score online from various credit bureaus.

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

Maintaining a Credit Score of 750 and above is generally considered good as it depicts that you have shown discipline while handling your finances and it also makes you a creditworthy customer. A good CIBIL Score of 750 and above also improves your chances to get approved for credit products like loans and credit cards.

The minimum CIBIL score for personal loan required for approval varies from one lender to another for unsecured loans such as personal loans or business loans.

However, if your CIBIL score is 750 and above, it becomes relatively easier to get the loan approved. Many lenders approve personal loan applications even if the CIBIL score is 700 but they may have to pay high interest on the loan.

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.

Some authorized entities that can access your CIBIL score/report include financial institutions and banks, who are trusted CIBIL members.

When you check your credit score on Paisabazaar, you get scores from multiple bureaus. Your CIBIL report is provided on the dashboard where your CIBIL score is published. You can download your CIBIL report here and use DDMMYYYY as password.

Any change in any of the credit score factors can bring a change in your CIBIL score. Thus, little-noticed factors, such as late payments and maxing out your credit cards, and more noticeable factors that include a new home loan or car loan can also change your credit score.

Also, if you keep applying for a new loan or credit card often, it is perceived as credit-hungry behavior and can reduce your credit score. One should, hence, avoid making too many new applications for credit within a short span of time.

You can apply for a credit report any number of times. However, as lenders report your CIBIL score information only once a month, you might not observe any change in your credit score before an interval of at least 30-45 days.

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 scores or reports.

However, the "hard inquiries" made by banks and financial institutions for your credit report affects your credit 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.

Your CIBIL score is calculated from your credit history. So, if you have never taken any credit product like a loan or credit card, CIBIL will assign you a "New to Credit" tag, which means you have no credit history.

It becomes difficult for the lender to determine the risk category you fall into in case you have never taken a loan or never had a credit card.

You can provide your Aadhar Card as an ID proof while checking your CIBIL Score. It is not possible to check your credit score using an Aadhar Card only. You need to provide your PAN card to check your credit score from any credit bureau in India as your CIBIL Score is directly linked to your PAN card.

At Paisabazaar.com all you need to do is to provide your mobile number to check your updated credit score for Free. Once you enter your mobile number, you will receive an OTP for login/verification, once verified, you will be redirected to your credit score dashboard where you will be able to see your credit score with detailed credit report and other pre-approved loan and card offers for your profile.

However, if you are a first time customer on Paisabazaar, then you will be required to provide other details like Name, PAN, Address, Mobile Number, etc. to get your credit score report for the first time that too for free.

To get your credit score report through mobile number, you need to make sure that the number you are using is linked with your PAN card.

Credit report or credit score is applicable for the individuals, which is provided by the four credit bureaus available in India, namely, CIBIL TransUnion, Experian, Equifax or CRIF High Mark. On the other hand Credit rating is provided by CRISIL, ICRA, etc. and is applicable for companies and organizations.

Even though a few factors might impact your credit approval, some do not impact your credit score. The most common factors among those can be your take-home salary, location of residence, employment history, age, etc.

So, instead of these, you should focus primarily on timely repayments, credit enquiries only when required, regularly checking the credit report for errors, etc.

Checking your credit score free on Paisabazaar platform is a convenient and hassle free process that takes not more than 2 minutes. All you have to do is follow these steps to access your free credit score online and detailed credit report.

  • Click on Get Free Credit Report tab at the middle of the page and Login with OTP by entering your mobile number, for existing customers.
  • For new customers you can enter the basic details like Name, Mobile Number, PAN Card, etc. and click on submit.
  • Enter the verification OTP received on your mobile number.
  • After verification you will be redirected to Credit Score Dashboard.

On the Credit Score Dashboard, you will see your latest credit score along with other details related to your credit report like active account, payment history, new enquiries, detailed credit report, etc.

Along with that, you will also see the pre-approved loan and card offers available for your account as per your eligibility criteria.

The basic differences between the CIBIL report and CIBIL Rank are mentioned below:

CIBIL Report:

  • CIBIL report is a detailed summary of consumer’s credit history generated by TransUnion CIBIL.
  • It contains historical data of all the loans and credit cards repayments.
  • Credit report consists of data compiled from the applicant’s payment history, length of credit history, credit utilization, amount owed, etc.

CIBIL Rank:

  • Credit Rank represents a company's creditworthiness that is denoted by numbers scaled from Rank 1 to 10.
  • It holds the historical record of the company’s all loans and business credit card repayments.
  • Companies with CIBIL Rank 1 are the most preferred borrowers while those with CIBIL Rank 10 are the least preferred.

Currently, 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 good 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 determine 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.

There is no evident data available at present regarding the minimum, good or high CIBIL score for getting loans or credit cards. The discretion of providing approvals on loans or credit cards solely depends on banks, NBFCs and financial institutions.

However, lenders generally prefer a credit score of 750 and above for approving a credit application.

No. CIBIL does not have the authority to delete or make changes to your credit report on its own. They are only involved in collating data provided by member banks and NBFCs.

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 makes such changes.

In case you find errors in your CIBIL report, like incorrect mention of default in repayments, wrongly assigned loans/credit cards, errors in personal information, etc. you can request CIBIL to correct it through their Consumer 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 a nominal fee to get your records updated. Please note, these errors in your credit report may have a minor impact on your credit score, thus it is advisable to get them corrected at the earliest.

You can reach out by opting for below mentioned customer care information, along with corporate address.

CIBIL Helpline Number: (+91) 22-6140-4300

Timings: Monday to Friday between 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Email Id: nodalofficer@transunion.com

Address: TransUnion CIBIL Limited (Formerly known as Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited)
One Indiabulls Centre, Tower 2A, 19th Floor,
Senapati Bapat Marg, Elphinstone Road,
Mumbai - 400013

A lender first looks at your credit score while considering your application for a loan. If your credit score is low, your loan application can get rejected even if you have a high salary or low credit utilization ratio. You should check your credit score free online to see the reason behind a poor score.

All banks and NBFCs are CIBIL members and provide details of loans and credit card repayments to CIBIL monthly. When you request the credit report, CIBIL accesses these details and calculates the score based on the data provided by the members.

The same logic holds true for credit scores prepared by other 3 leading credit bureaus, such as Experian, Equifax and CRIF High Mark.

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 still reflect in your credit report.

Applying for a lot of credit products in quick succession represents you as a credit hungry person. So, many banks do not approve your loan or credit card application, even if you have a high credit score and low credit utilization ratio.

Becoming a guarantor for someone 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.

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