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  • Understand where you stand and know the health status of your credit history
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Frequently Asked Questions on Credit Score

Many of us come across advertisements such as "Check your credit score for free"! Ever wonder what a ‘credit score’ is, why it is given for free and what you can do with it, is it useful for you in any way? Surely questions such as these must have got your attention.

If you were not familiar with the term credit score, then we’re sure that terms like good credit score, best CIBIL™ score, poor score, low score, how the CIBIL™ score is obtained, etc. would have overwhelmed you. Worry not. On this page, we simplify all that you need to know about credit scores in India. Let us start from the basics.

What is a Credit Score?

We measure everything based on ratings. Whether you’re watching a movie or dining at a restaurant, you check the ratings of the movie or restaurant to decide whether it’s worth your time and money. Similarly, your credit score is a 3-digit number that rates your creditworthiness. This rating varies from 300 to 900. It is generated once you start borrowing from banks, NBFCs, credit card companies or online. You can maintain a high credit score by completing all your payments on time, monitoring your credit reports periodically, paying off existing balances on your credit cards and keeping your credit use below 30% of your income.

Who issues the Credit Score?

The credit score and credit report are calculated and provided by four credit bureaus in India, namely Equifax, CIBIL™, HighMark and Experian. The lenders report their borrowers credit operations to the bureaus at frequent intervals. Based on the report, the credit bureaus calculate the credit score or credit rating of individuals and businesses. Each credit score uses its own credit rating algorithms to compute the score that ranges between 300-900.

How is the credit score calculated?

Each credit bureau has its own formula to calculate the credit score. Common man finds it baffling to understand the calculation of that 3-digit number that determines their creditworthiness. The parameters used to calculate the score are very simple. However, you might find variances in the credit scores from different bureaus as they allocate different value to each parameter. Following are the key parameters that determine your credit score.

  • 1. Payment history – On-time and consistent repayment provide a positive score.
  • 2. Credit Utilization Ratio– Having low credit usage on your credit card provides a much-needed boost.
  • 3. Credit history – The longer the credit history, the higher the credit score.
  • 4. Credit mix- Having a mix of secured and unsecured credit is proof to the lender that you are able to handle the credit efficiently.
  • 5. Hard enquiry – Taking out credits within a short time negatively affects your credit score as there are too many hard enquiries involved.

What is considered a good credit score range for my age?

It doesn’t matter how old you are. Having a credit score of 750+ is considered the best and offers multiple benefits for your financial well-being. Banks and NBFCs deem you to be a creditworthy person if you usually have a credit score of 750 and above. You will normally have a score of 700+ or higher after taking a loan or using a credit card, provided you repay the EMIs and settle bills on time. The score will steadily improve with consistent repayment, and you will benefit from several benefits like reduced loan interests, easy loan eligibility, etc. A decreased credit score could result from delinquencies, settlements, foreclosure, defaulting on payments, high credit utilization ratio, etc. Until you have fixed the problems with the lender, the negative score will stay on your report.

Why should I maintain a good credit score?

You are not alone if you have the same question. Scores of people wonder why they should maintain a good credit score. The answer is, a good credit score is important to get the best terms on your loans and credit cards. With banks implicitly declaring a discounted interest rate for consumers with a good credit score, a high credit score offers various financial advantages. With the force of compounding to reckon with, even a modest drop in the interest rate on big-ticket loans will save you a great deal on interests paid. Even if you can save a few thousand rupees on a home loan with a decent credit score, you can invest the money in a saving instrument and use it for an emergency, holiday, college etc. Remember, money saved is money earned.

What causes poor or bad credit score?

A poor or bad credit score does not just happen out of the blue; it is the result of bad credit management. Here are the most common factors that result in a bad credit score:

Irregular Payment history: Inconsistent, missed, or irregular payment history on your past loans and credit cards can lower your credit score

Write-offs and Settlements: Any reports by a lender (banks / financial institutions) against your name stating written off or previously settled debts, are likely to raise the risk perception and cause a negative impression.

High credit utilisation: If you are using more than 50% of your credit limit on your credit card, there are chances your credit score will get affected.

High number of Enquiries: If you have applied for a number of loans in the recent past, the chances of your new loan getting approved is likely to suffer. Simply put, this credit behaviour indicates that you are "Credit Hungry" and in urgent need of money. It is likely to make lenders more cautious while evaluating your credit application.

How often can I check my credit score?

There is a general misconception that frequent checking of your credit score affects it. To clear that misconception, when you check your credit score it results in a soft inquiry against it. Soft inquiries DO NOT affect your credit score or bring it down. You can check your credit score any number of times you want, and your score is not affected by it.Checking your credit score helps you to keep your credit activities updated. It is also an opportunity to look at your credit report for mistakes and raise a dispute with the lender for resolution. CreditMantri makes it super easy to check your credit score for free online. Just provide a few basic details like your name, date of birth, PAN and email to get your latest credit score for free.

How to get your credit score for free?

You can quickly check your credit score for free at CreditMantri. Follow the steps listed below to get your latest credit score for free:

  • Visit the CreditMantri website and navigate to the “Free Credit Score” tab
  • Enter your mobile number to get the OTP to authenticate
  • Enter details like your PAN number and date of birth
  • You will get your credit score for free
  • Along, with the credit score, we also offer a free credit health analysis

Which is the best free credit score?

Credit scores from all four credit bureaus are accurate. While there may be slight variations in the score due to different algorithms, all four scores are equally valid and accepted by lenders.

Where can I check my credit score?

There are 4 different credit bureaus in India that record your credit score. As per RBI regulations, you are entitled to one free credit report every year from either one of the credit bureaus. You should avail of this facility and get your credit report. You can also apply for a credit report through CreditMantri and get other professional services like deciphering your credit report, improving your credit score and resolve issues that are impacting your credit history. CreditMantri provides a free credit health assessment for all customers who check their credit scores on our site. You can make use of this facility to get a detailed understanding of your credit health and find out the best loan and credit offers for you.

How can I get my free credit report?

At CreditMantri, we provide 12 credit reports per year for a nominal fee of just Rs. 499 annually. It is very easy and simple to get your credit score and credit report from CreditMantri. Follow the steps listed below:

  • Visit the CreditMantri website
  • the ‘Free Credit Score’ option
  • Enter your mobile number to get the OTP to authenticate
  • Enter details like your PAN number and date of birth
  • You will get your credit score for free
  • Along, with the credit score, we also offer a free credit health analysis
  • You can also pay the fee to receive detailed and accurate credit reports delivered directly to your inbox, 12 times a year

How can I check my CIBIL™ score online?

One can check their credit score from any of the credit bureau’s websites. CIBIL™ score is easily accessible on the CIBIL™ website.

  • Visit the official CIBIL™ website
  • Click on the ‘Get Yours Now’ option
  • You have to enter your personal information like name, date of birth, phone number, ID type and ID number. It will create your own username and password.
  • An OTP is sent to your mobile number for authentication.
  • Once the information is authenticated via OTP, your CIBIL score will be generated and you can download the same for future use.

Can I improve a poor credit score?

Most people go through this kind of situation. Tough times are unavoidable and there are chances, you may have defaulted on your repayment. With bad credit, it becomes difficult and expensive to get loans and fresh credit cards. However, the good news is that a poor credit score is not permanent, you can always improve it by taking appropriate steps. Though it might take a while, it is worth improving your score before applying for a new loan. Repairing a poor credit may feel overwhelming on your own, but with a little help, it is possible. Get in touch with CreditMantri to find out the best ways to take your credit score from bad to perfect.

Can I get a loan or credit card with a poor credit score?

Getting a loan with a poor credit score is difficult but not impossible. But, the catch here is that your low credit score will cost you more. You’re likely to be charged higher interest rates and offer unattractive terms on your loan like a lower loan amount. So, it’s always a good idea to improve your credit score before applying for a new loan or credit card.

How long does it take to improve my credit score?

The time taken to bring your credit score to good depends on where your current score lies. For example, it takes lesser time to take your credit score from 700 to 750 than taking your score from 600 to 750. Generally, it takes 3 to 12 months to improve your credit score.

Are credit scores from all the bureaus the same?

No. Your credit score is likely to vary depending on the bureau. Though lenders share the same information across credit bureaus, the credit scores generated are not the same, since each bureau has its own scoring method.

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