Check Equifax Credit Report
You might think you are eligible for a loan offer until – to your surprise and disappointment- your application is rejected.
While there are many credit cards and loan products available in the market, not everyone qualifies for the loan or card they want. Lenders are cautious about who to lend to as they want to safeguard their money when approving a loan offer. Often the first thing they do is to access your credit report and credit score to check if you are creditworthy. It is always advisable to obtain a copy of your credit report before you apply for a loan or credit card of any kind to avoid unpleasant rejection and monetary loss.
Who issues a credit report?
Equifax India is one of the 3 main credit bureaus that are authorized by RBI to issue credit information reports and credit scores in India, amongst other credit-related services. The other two credit rating bureaus are CIBIL and Experian.
All member banks and credit institutions are required to report every customer’s credit activity to the bureaus. This includes information on the payments on all of their loan accounts and credit cards, their credit limit, the age and number of their credit accounts, status of these accounts, etc. Based on this information, Equifax calculates a credit score for each customer. Besides providing a basic credit score, Equifax also provides lenders and borrowers with a comprehensive Credit Information Report.
What is a Credit Information Report?
A basic Credit Information Report, commonly referred to as a credit report, provides you or your lender with a detailed view of your credit profile - when you have borrowed, where or from whom you have borrowed, how much you have borrowed, how many active / closed loan accounts you have, your repayment behaviour across all your accounts, your applications for credit and the corresponding approvals or rejections, your total credit limit, any ‘Settled’ or “Written Off’ accounts etc. It gives prospective lenders a comprehensive view of your past and current credit behaviour so that they can evaluate your probability of defaulting on payments based on your track record.
Why is having a good credit score important?
Quite simply, a good credit score is a very important factor in determining whether you are approved for credit. A good score also enables you to qualify for the most attractive terms and conditions on your loan. The better your score, the higher are your chances of being approved for a credit card or loan, and at favourable terms.
Having a good Equifax credit score and a healthy credit report is a direct reflection of how responsibly you use credit and if you can be trusted to make your repayments on time. It helps prospective lenders judge if you are at risk for defaulting based on your past credit behavior. A good score assures potential lenders that you can be trusted to make your repayments in full and on time.
Why should I access my credit report?
It is vital to access your credit report periodically so that you remain updated on your credit health – very much like going for an annual medical check-up so that you can be alerted to any problem issues and take early steps to treat the problem. If you have an emergency and an urgent need for a loan, the last thing you need is to be turned down because of an unexpectedly poor score that you are unaware of.
It is very easy to remain ignorant of your credit health and take it for granted. This is due to the fact that people do not access their Credit Information Report as frequently or as easily as they look up their monthly bank statements / records. They often remain unaware of their credit situation.
Checking your credit report helps you keep abreast of your credit health and ensures that you are eligible for credit whenever you need it and have quick and hassle-free access to it anytime.
I have received my Equifax credit report. What should I check for in the report?
You need to check your report for any reporting errors as these can bring down your score for no fault of yours. Make sure that all your personal and credit information is accurate – this could include misspelling of your name, address or misreporting of status of your accounts or your credit limit. Any kind of inaccurate information could lead to your credit score being negatively impacted and your loan application being consequently rejected.
Check for the following when you obtain a copy of your credit report:
Misrepresented information: Look out for addresses of places where you did/do not live, names of employers you did not work for, etc., as these could be indicative of fraud or ID theft. Most importantly, check for incorrect account histories—like a payment you have made on time might have been labelled as late payment, or ‘Closed’ accounts may be incorrectly listed as open etc. If you find errors, immediately file a dispute and have it corrected. Wrongly reported information could cause your credit score to drop.
Having a good credit report can often determine if your loan or credit card application will be approved and it is a good habit to make sure that you are always credit healthy.
How do I access my Equifax Credit Information Report?
You can access your Equifax Credit Information Report in two ways:
On the Equifax website:
- Log on to the Equifax website and download the Credit Report Request form (You can also request for the form by mail).
- Fill in the Credit Report Request Form.
- Self-attest the identity and address proof required (Voter ID, Ration card, passport, Aadhar card, driving license, etc.)
- Attach DD (in favor of Equifax, payable in Mumbai) with the requisite payment for your Credit Information Report or credit score.
- Send the form, documents and DD (by regular post, speed post or courier) to the address mentioned on the Equifax website.
On the CreditMantri website:
Alternatively, if you think you do not have the time to approach Equifax directly, CreditMantri can help you obtain your Equifax credit score. It is quick and easy to apply for it on the CreditMantri website. You will receive your instant Equifax credit score, free of cost, together with a free credit health check to help you identify any potential credit issues you may have.