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A credit report is a comprehensive document that details an individual’s borrowing history and repayment record. It provides potential lenders with a detailed picture of an individual’s credit-worthiness based on past and current credit behaviour. It allows lenders to have quick access to accurate information when they receive new applications for credit, and allows them to make a faster and transparent lending decisions.

A credit report is issued by 4 authorized credit bureaus in India which are CIBIL™, Equifax, CRIF High Mark and Experian. It can seem technical in its format and language. However, it is possible to learn how to understand the salient information contained in your credit report.

In a typical credit report, you will see demographic and identification data on your credit report like

  • Date of birth
  • Current and previous address
  • Email ID
  • Telephone number
  • PAN number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Passport number
  • Type of employment
  • Annual income

It is important to ensure that all this information is correct, so that there are no administrative errors when you apply for a loan. It is also a good practice to check your credit report every year. If there are any errors it is vital to coordinate with the lender and the credit bureau to resolve these immediately so that it does not impact your loan application.

Next you will also find details of every single loan that you have ever been granted. Your report will list the names of all your lenders, type of loan (personal loan,credit card, auto loan, etc.), date the loan was disbursed, total amount of the loan, the current outstanding, interest rate charged, the period of the loan, monthly EMI amount, current status of the loan, 36 month history on your repayment behaviour, etc. Late payments, if any, are recorded as DPD or Days Past Due. All overdue repayments are listed, and the status field will signify if there is any negative status – e.g. if the loan is in a WRITE-OFF status, previously SETTLED, if a legal suit has been filed or whether the loan is considered CURRENT, which means all repayments are being made in a timely manner. This is important data in the computation of the credit score and you should ensure that this section is always and completely accurate.

Lastly, the credit report will list the number of times that you have ever applied for a loan or credit card – this is called a credit enquiry. Too many credit enquiries without a corresponding approved loan could adversely affect your credit score. This means that the customer is ‘credit hungry’ and could have a negative impact on your credit score.

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