Credit score has taken a non-negotiable position in the world of credit. There can't be much possibility of availing credit on competitive interest rates and favorable terms with bad credit scores. In India, the 4 credit bureaus that issue credit reports are CIBIL™, Equifax, Experian, and CRIF High Mark. Credit scores are represented on a numerical scale of 300-900. The higher the score, the better, as it is an indicator of your creditworthiness.
However, you might have committed certain mistakes earlier which would have affected your credit score. One thing that is good about credit score is that it can be repaired or improved. It does take time to build up your credit score, but you must take heart in knowing that it is not impossible.
Credit Repair is a process by which an improvement in the credit scores is brought about. It may be done on your own or through a professional help of a qualified organization/person. Now you might be wondering if credit repair will involve a lot of expenditure or is it very difficult to go about doing?
We are here to clear your doubts. We present to you more details on both the ways of credit repair.
The Do-It-Yourself (DIY Method)
Repairing your credit score is not a very difficult process if you know the right way to go about doing it. As you know, a credit score is based on certain factors, such as your repayment habits, number of loans/credit cards applied by you, number of unsecured to secured loans, number of hard inquiries in the past year and the credit utilization ratio. It is a combination of all these factors that determine your credit score.
The first and the foremost thing to do is to obtain a copy of your credit report and study the underlying problems that are causing a dip in your credit scores.
A credit report can be obtained from any of the credit bureaus once a year absolutely free of cost. You could also take a subscription/membership with the credit bureaus for a certain period of time during which you can have free access to your credit report.
You could also choose to get your credit score from one of the fintech companies like us for free. It is not just your credit score, at CreditMantri, you can also get a brief picture of how each of these factors is affecting your credit score. This puts you in better control to be able to repair your credit score in a more effective manner.
Below are some of the more common issues involving credit repair and how you could go about resolving them on your own:
1. Administrative/reporting errors: Your lenders report all details about your repayments, fresh borrowings, delayed/missed payments, loan closures and settlements to the credit bureaus. There might be certain errors that might have occurred during the process like using the term Settled instead of Closed when you close a certain loan. etc.
If you identify any erroneous entries that are dragging down your score for no fault of yours, you need to report it to the credit bureau immediately and file a dispute.
2. A large number of missed or delayed payments: You must be aware that making all your payments on time and in full will significantly help increase your score. Check your credit report to see if there have been instances of late or missed payments. If you notice many such incidents, then it is essential that you resolve those issues and take care that same is not repeated in the future.
A single missed/delayed payment can pull your credit score down by even a hundred points.
The drop in your credit score caused by 1 missed/delayed payment will depend on your existing credit score. If you have a good credit score of 750 and above, the drop could even be 100 points. Whereas, for a credit score of 680, the drop might not be that much, but the effect of the drop will be more significant.
3. High credit utilization rate: Credit utilization ratio is the ratio of your credit card spend to your credit limit on your card, and its value is shown on your credit report.
If you spend more than 30-40% of your total credit limit on your credit card, it signals that you are hungry for credit. This will cause your score to drop. You will need to bring down your credit utilization ratio by either reducing your monthly expenses or asking your lender to increase the limit on your credit card.
4. A large number of credit accounts: If you have numerous loans and credit cards accounts, it implies that you are out of sync with your spending vis-à-vis your income and hence, use multiple sources to fulfill your financial obligations. This also portrays you as a credit hungry person.
If this is an issue for you, you will need to optimize the number of credit accounts so that you have a healthier credit profile. There should be a good mix of secured (backed by an asset) and unsecured loans (not asset-backed) in an individual's credit portfolio.
Once you get on with steps/actions needed to repair your credit score, it is good to make sure that you keep your efforts towards repairing your score consistent. Credit score does not change overnight. Sustained and prolonged responsible behavior towards credit can only be the way you can see an improvement in your credit scores.
It might take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to see an uptick in your credit scores. In the meantime, keep up with your actions and keep checking your credit score often to see if your efforts are bearing rewards.
Seeking Professional Help for Credit Repair
While all the above steps may seem easier to some, there might be others who find the entire process too intimidating and complicated. Or there might be individuals who have tried on their own but did not meet with much success due to various issues.
There might also be individuals who like to choose professional help because
The credit issues are too serious or complex and require expert help to resolve
To get the best repayment terms
They do not have the time to do it themselves
If you have a similar reason of not acting on improving your credit score yourself, you can also get a professional help from an organization like CreditMantri. With CreditMantri’s professional help, you can get the following benefits:
Coordinate with the lender - We will coordinate with the lender on your behalf to resolve the issues. You would be updated on every stage of the process
Best Repayment Terms - We will get you the best repayment terms from the lender
EMI Options - We will get you the best possible EMI options available with the bank
Credit Score Update - We will ensure a clean closure of your negative accounts and follow up with the bureau to get your Credit Score updated
All these services for a nominal cost of Rs. 845+tax
Through CreditMantri, you can obtain a free credit report, analyze the contents, get specific actionable steps on how you can rebuild your credit health, and can avail our Expert Help to improve your credit score as well.
Credit Score improvement is a gradual process. So, when choosing someone to help repair credit, it is important that you identify a company that does not offer an instant increase in your credit score. A proven track record in repairing credit score is someone you should look for.