When was the last time you accessed your Credit Report or Credit Score? What purpose did you check it for? How did you access your Credit Report and Credit Score?
Your Credit Score is a measurement of your credibility. It tells lenders how good you are with your credit management. Indians are becoming increasingly aware of this financial tool that can get them the best loans in the market. It ranges between 300-900, with 700 considered a good score to have. A score of 700 and above can get you the best loans, with great interest rates and repayment terms.
Now the big question is, ‘Who all can access your credit report and credit score?’!
Your credit report is usually pulled up by lenders when you have applied for some kind of credit. It could be a loan or credit card. Based on the credit report, your application will be processed. Such checks are called ‘Hard Checks’ and affect your credit score slightly.
Individuals can also access their own credit report from time to time to keep themselves updated of their credit health. Such credit reports are called a ‘Soft Check’ and don’t have any impact on their credit score.
Here is a list of people who have access to your credit score and credit report, and the impact it has on your credit score
1. Potential Lenders
The most common instance of a credit check is when you have applied for a loan, credit card or any other kind of credit. Your credit report helps them determine your credibility and repayment capacity so that they can sanction your credit accordingly.
In India, most loans have a ‘Risk Premium’, that is added to the base lending rate to arrive at your effective rate of interest. This risk ratio is derived based on your credit score.
So having a healthy credit score is an important part of your loan process.
Additional Read: Some Tips To Achieve A Great Credit Score
2. Your Current Lenders
If you have current loans and credit cards, your lender might pull up your credit report from time to time. This helps them to decide whether to continue with your current loan terms or modify them based on your credit score.
An improved credit score can get them to reduce the interest rate. But a negative change can affect your interest rate negatively too. So, just because you have got the loan already, you can’t ignore your credit score and let it deteriorate. You have to constantly strive to maintain your credit score healthy.
3. Insurance Companies
Though it is not widely prevalent in India, insurance companies are slowly adapting credit score models in calculating your vehicle insurance or life insurance premium. Insurance costs have increased manifold and have become a significant financial liability for every policyholder. So insurance companies want to ensure that the insured can afford to pay the premiums regularly. They resort to checking your credit score to determine your credibility and payment capacity.
4. Prospective Employers
Credit score is helping scores of employers to make hiring decisions. In this competitive world, with thousands of applicants for one role, your credit report may throw some valuable insights on your attitude to your potential employer. This also lets them find out if the applicant has any bankruptcy filings, or loan default charges against them. But don’t worry, they cannot check your credit report without your permission. Also, they would be going for your credit report and not your credit score.
Apart from the above, you can check your own credit score from time to time. Now, when you check your own credit score, it is called a ‘soft-check’ and will not have any negative impact on your credit score. This helps you to keep track of your debts and manage them efficiently. You can also detect any errors or misinformation in your report and get them rectified immediately.
There are 4 credit bureaus in India; CIBIL™, Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark. Individuals are entitled to one free credit report, as well as their credit score, from any of the credit agencies, every year.
CreditMantri also offers a free credit score and a thorough credit analysis report to help you make informed decisions and find the best credit solutions for your specific needs.
Whenever someone pulls your credit report, it is recorded on your credit history. Your credit report includes every loan or credit that you have availed and the complete repayment history for the same. It is generally established that any lender is allowed to pull up your credit report before sanctioning your credit. You can check your credit report regularly to understand who all have checked your credit report. If you find any discrepancy, you can immediately get clarification from the credit bureau, and if you find any incorrect information, you can get it removed from your credit report.
- Is it free to check your credit score?
No, credit bureaus charge a nominal fee to issue your credit score along with credit report. You can get your credit report for free once every year. Lenders have to pay to pull up your credit report.
- How do I get a free credit report?
You can get your credit report from any of the 4 credit bureaus in India; CIBIL™, Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark. You are entitled to one free credit report, as well as their credit score, once in a year. Alternatively, you can also get your free credit score and a thorough credit analysis report from CreditMantri.
- Can someone look up my credit score?
Yes, potential lenders, your current lenders, insurance companies, and sometimes even your employers can look up your credit score.
- Is your credit record public?
No, it is not public.
- What do people see when they pull up my credit report?
Your credit report shows all your current and past loans and credit cards. With complete details on payment history and defaults.
- Can you check someone’s credit report without their knowledge?
Unless you are a lender, or you hold a legal right to check their credit score, you cannot do that.
- Can someone steal my credit score?
Though there is very less probability of someone stealing your credit score, if you are a victim of identity theft, your credit score will also be hurt due to fraudulent usage.
- Will the credit report show my credit card purchases?
The credit report will only report your bill amount and the payment history. It will not reveal where the credit card was used.
- What are the two main reasons to check my credit score regularly?
One is to keep yourself updated with your credit habits and manage them efficiently. The other is to ensure that there are no errors or misinformation that could affect your credit score negatively.
- What is an excellent credit score to achieve?
A score of 700 and above is considered excellent.