With increasing needs and consumerism, we all wish to buy fancy vehicles, luxurious homes, get a degree abroad and much more. But sadly, not everything is within our reach, hence we need credit in the form of a home loan, vehicle loan or even obtaining a credit card. Credit score has become as essential as a PAN number or a mobile number. Without a credit score, it would be difficult for an individual to avail credit at favorable terms.
We know that a credit score is necessary but how do you know what is your score? Or where to look for your credit score?
A credit score is a numerical representation of your past credit behavior and is represented in the range of 300-900. Higher scores are better and preferred by lenders. Off late, many financial institutions have started offering better interest rates for customers with good credit score.
Who Offers Credit Scores?
Credit scores are computed by the Credit Bureaus. In India, we have 4 credit bureaus, Equifax, CIBIL, Experian and CRIF High Mark. All lenders are mandated to report about a borrower's repayment and or loan closure status to the credit bureaus. Similarly, any request for a new credit product will also create an inquiry on your PAN number.
Where and How Do You Check Your Credit Score?
Check Your Credit Scores with the Credit Bureau: Credit bureaus are the agencies that calculate your credit score based on your past credit behavior. The factors that affect your credit score are past repayments, credit mix, number of hard inquiries, credit utilization ratio and errors in your credit report if any.
Normally, credit bureaus allow you to check your credit scores and credit report (details about components of your credit score) for a fee. Credit bureaus run various membership programs which allows you to check your score and report for a certain fee over a certain period of time, like 3 months, 6 months etc.
However, the Reserve Bank of India has mandated that every individual should be able to view his credit score and credit report once a year without any charges. So you can approach the credit bureau and request for a Free Credit Score and Report. This can be done on the website of respective credit bureaus or only on an app (Equifax). This can be done once in a calendar year on the basis of any one of your identity documents like Driving License, PAN No, Aadhar number etc.
You could check your scores at each of the credit bureaus once a year. But remember that the methodology used to compute individual credit scores at each of the bureaus may differ due to which you may end up with a different credit score. So, it is good to check your credit score only with a credit bureau each time.
Check Your Credit Score with Fintech Companies: One year is a long time to wait for your next credit score. There might be many occasions when you need to avail credit and check your credit score before applying. Fintech companies like us come to your rescue! You can check your credit score any number of times here. And don't you worry, it would not be counted as a hard inquiry.
Should you have a low credit score, you can also check out our credit improvement services. Or subscribe for a credit report at our site which will give you a detailed analysis of your credit score, the reasons for low score with suitable recommendations to ways to improve your score. Do check it here.
You could also make use of the pre-approved offers available on our site for various credit products for different ranges of credit scores.
To remain credit healthy, it is good to check your credit score at least once in 3-6 months.