Credit Bureaus in India – A Detailed Guide

Whenever you wish to apply for a loan, you have to provide some security to the bank or have to prove your creditworthiness. But in case of unsecured credits like personal loans and credit cards, you don’t need to pledge any asset; else, you must fulfill some basic eligibility criteria and a good credit history is one of them. A credit score is developed by analysing a person’s financial history, credit dues, transactions method, use of credit cards, repayment of credits, etc. A credit score is an important factor that lenders use to determine your creditworthiness. It influences your loan approval chances and to get better interest rates. But do you know who decides the credit score for each individual? It’s the Credit Bureaus. They analyse people’s financial transactions, including loan dues, EMIs, payments to others, outstanding bills, etc., and provide credit scores to each individual. This credit score becomes lenders’ criteria for examining your responsible credit behaviour and repayment capacity.

In India, Credit scores are issued by four major credit bureaus – Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL), Equifax, HighMark, and Experian. Since CIBIL is the oldest in India, the CIBIL score is widely used. However, some lenders use Equifax or Experian scores as well. The main purpose of credit bureaus is to provide each one’s accurate credit information to banks and lending institutions that help them make decisions regarding loan approval. You have to maintain good credit to ensure that lenders are comfortable with your lending funds. Via Buddy Score, you can check your credit score for free. A poor credit score can affect your loan approval chances. These are the factors that harm your credit score.

  • Delay in Payment -: Payments must be completed on time. Any delay in it can affect your credit score.
  • Don’t opt for a High Loan Amount -: You must utilise your credits wisely. Go for a loan amount that you can manage. Lenders always look into the repayment history and outstanding credits of a borrower. When you use your credit over the limit, the lenders consider your credit behaviour risky.
  • Length of Credit History -: When you take care of your loans properly for a long time, it will have a positive impact on your credit score.
  • Opening lots of New Accounts -: Whenever you open a new account, loan, or credit card, an inquiry will be followed by banks and lending institutions. It can affect your credit score.

Maintaining your credit score is crucial as it determines your approval and availability of credits. Credit score varies from 300-900. A score above 700 is considered an excellent one that shows your responsible credit behaviour. If your score is below 400, then you should be ready to face the consequences of rejection in credits or might be stuck with higher interest rates. 

List of Credit Bureaus 

Experian

Experian is a global credit bureau agency with corporate headquarters in Dublin. It is a licensed credit rating agency started in India in 2010. Typically it analyzes credit reports on individuals and companies. Within 20 days, you can get these reports, which is inexpensive. 

TransUnion CIBIL

India’s oldest and most popular credit bureaus were established in 2000. The credit bureau mostly collects and maintains credit information. Your credit information is 

collected from 3 main bureaus – commercial bureaus, consumer bureaus, and microfinance institution bureaus. TransUnion generates credit information reports(CIR) and credit scores.

CRIF High Mark

In India, High Mark Credit Information Services is very popular. It is headquartered in Mumbai and is regarded as the first full-service credit bureau operated in India. It provides credit information to all lending organisations. Other than credit scores and credit reports, High Mark gives data management, insights, analytics, and related software solutions to banks, NBFCs, MFIs, insurance companies, etc.

Equifax

Since 2010, Equifax has been registered as a credit information company in India. Its credit score ratings vary from 1 to 999. Along with credit scores, it also provides individual risk and portfolio scores. They gave some companies credit fraud reports, portfolio management reports, industry diagnoses, and other reports.

Features of Credit Bureau 

  • All major credit bureaus are licensed by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).
  • Each Bureau has a unique algorithm to measure the credit score.
  • Credit scores issued by two credit bureaus may not be the same. However, both are accepted by lenders and banks.
  • All credit bureaus will get credit information from banks and NBFCs regularly. 
  • Although the algorithm to calculate credit score differs among credit bureaus, they all consider the same factors for determining a credit score, such as credit type, payment history, credit exposure, age of credit, and credit inquiries.

Even though India has many credit bureaus, among them CIBIL, Experian and Equifax stay top. Most lending institutions and banks consider credit scores provided by CIBILTransUnion. Always ensure that you maintain a good credit score order by paying your dues and bills on time, and it will avoid the rejection of loan or credit card applications in the future. So, be credit responsible and manage our finances wisely. 

Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar is a Digital Marketing Strategist in a leading organisation. A creative marketing strategist with over 8 years of experience developing digital marketing strategies and guiding business development