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What Is CIBIL Score and How Does CIBIL Score Work

CIBIL Score is a three-digit number that ranges between 300 and 900 and indicates your creditworthiness. Scores closer to 900 represent better creditworthiness and vice versa. Nevertheless, the banks typically consider a credit score of 700 or higher, often associated with favourable rates and terms, when you apply for credits such as personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, overdraft facilities, etc. It is calculated based on your credit behavior. These can ideally include your credit utilisation, repayment history, and credit duration.

How do you check your CIBIL Score online?

Let’s examine the step-by-step procedure regarding CIBIL score check for free via the Urban Money website:

Step 1: Visit the official website of Urban Money

Step 2: Click on the “Credit Score” menu at the horizontal menu bar on the homepage.

Step 3: Enter your personal and financial details, such as name, gender, PAN card, and email address.

Step 4: Tap on “Check CIBIL Score”.

Step 5: A 6-digit OTP will be sent to your registered phone number and email address.

Step 6: Input the OTP and click on “Submit”.

Step 7: Your applicable CIBIL Score will be displayed on the screen.

Importance of CIBIL Score

Here are the key important of the CIBIL Score:

  • Loan Approval: A higher CIBIL score increases your chances of loan approval. Lenders consider you to have responsible credit behaviour and low risk.
  • Lower Interest Rates: A higher CIBIL score empowers you to negotiate lower-than-usual loan interest rates, eventually significantly saving your hard-earned money.
  • Quick Loan Processing: A higher CIBIL score can result in faster loan processing. Lender approaches such applicants with moderate eligibility criteria and minimal documentation.
  • Ample Credit Options: A higher CIBIL score opens up various credit options. These can primarily include premium credit cards, high-limit overdraft facilities, and mortgages with lower rates, among many others.
  • Increased Credit Limit: Banks may offer a higher credit limit on your credit card if you have a strong CIBIL score.
  • Better Credit Products: A higher CIBIL score may allow you to access credit products with better terms and benefits.
  • Financial Security: Maintaining a good CIBIL score is a sign of good financial health and can provide security for future credit needs.

CIBIL Score Range

As mentioned earlier, a CIBIL Score ranges from 300 to 900. However, within this range, banks categorise scores into five different levels. These can include excellent, good, fair, subnormal, and poor. Let’s have a clear understanding of these categories:

Excellent Score: This refers to credit scores between 750 and 900. Borrowers with excellent scores can expect to avail themselves of various credit products, such as personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc. They also enjoy lower interest rates and better terms, making it easier and quicker to secure the necessary funds.

Good Score: This pertains to credit scores between 700 and 749. Many lenders consider this range ideal, making it a strong possibility for those requiring credit. Moreover, borrowers can expect more favourable rates and terms, though slightly less favourable than what is offered in the ‘excellent’ category.

Fair Score: This signifies credit scores between 650 and 699. Borrowers under this range might be sanctioned for their loan application but may not qualify for the most favourable rates and terms. Nevertheless, many lenders are willing to offer better deals to such borrowers, enabling them to obtain the necessary funds.

Subnormal Score: This represents credit scores between 600 and 649. Getting a loan or credit product with a ‘subnormal’ score might be difficult. Suppose one can locate any credit offer with this score; expecting a favourable offer is unreasonable. I.e., lenders typically charge higher interest rates and impose unfavourable terms, as borrowers with such scores are considered less creditworthy or higher risk.

Poor Score: Any number below 600 is considered a poor CIBIL Score. This indicates urgent action is required to improve credit health and a very minimal chance of loan approval. Various factors can be behind lower credit scores, such as default timely repayments, excessive credit usage, multiple loan applications in a short period, etc. So, it is recommended that you be informed about the reasons for your credit drop and strive to improve it.

Difference Between CIBIL Score and Credit Score

Here are the key differences between CIBIL Score and Credit Score:

Aspect CIBIL Score Credit Score
Definition This is a numerical representation of your credit history provided by TransUnion CIBIL, a widely used credit bureau company in India. Any credit bureau in India, including CIBIL, Experian, CRIF High Mark, and Equifax, can numerically represent your credit history.
Usage Lenders use your CIBIL Score to assess creditworthiness when you submit a credit application for personal loans, car loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc. Lenders use your Credit Score to assess your creditworthiness when you submit a loan/credit application. Each bureau’s score would be considered equally and taken as an average.
Range Range from 300 to 900, with scores above 750 considered excellent and above 700 considered good. Typically, it ranges from 300 to 900, with a higher score indicating better creditworthiness.
Access An applicant may check their CIBIL score for free via the official website of Urban Money Credit scores can be checked via the official websites of India’s four credit bureau companies.

Benefits of Good CIBIL Score

Let’s examine the applicable benefits of having a better CIBIL score:

  • Easy Loan Approval
  • Lower Interest Rates
  • Higher Credit Limits
  • Better Loan Offers
  • Quick Loan Processing
  • Negotiating Power

Factors That Affect and Don’t Affect Your CIBIL Score

Here is a list of factors that affect and don’t affect the CIBIL Score:

Factors That Affect Your CIBIL Score

  • Payment History: Default on your loan EMIs and bills can significantly negatively affect your CIBIL Score.
  • Credit Utilisation Ratio: A high percentage of credit usage can lower your CIBIL score, so it is advisable to maintain your credit utilization ratio below 30%.
  • Credit Mix and Duration: A diverse credit portfolio and a longer credit history can improve your CIBIL score as the credit bureau considers you to have responsible credit management.
  • Outstanding Debt: High amounts of existing debt can decrease your CIBIL Score as it indicates a reduced capacity to manage additional debt.
  • Number of Enquiries: Too many hard credit inquiries, which occur when you apply for credit, can lower your score.

Factors That Don’t Affect Your CIBIL Score

  • Income Level: Your income does not impact your CIBIL score as it does not represent your earning capacity.
  • CIBIL Score Check Online: Checking your CIBIL Score doesn’t affect your credit, as it does not reflect your credit report.
  • Debit Card Usage: Transactions made through debit cards are not recorded for CIBIL score calculation.
  • Marital Status: Getting married does not affect your credit score, as your financial profile does not merge with your partner’s, and vice versa.
  • Denied Credit Applications: Rejection of your credit applications does not affect your CIBIL Score as it is not reflected in your credit report.

Tips to Improve Your CIBIL Score

Let’s take a look at the applicable tips you can keep in mind to improve your CIBIL Score:

  • Pay Your Dues on Time: Paying your EMIs and credit card bills on time can improve your CIBIL score.
  • Maintain Older Credit Cards: Keeping your old credit cards and bank accounts active can improve your CIBIL score.
  • Limit Credit Utilisation: Making your credit utilisation ratio below 30% can help you improve your CIBIL Score.
  • Have a Healthy Credit Mix: Your score can benefit from secured (like home loans) and unsecured (like credit cards) loans.
  • Check Your Credit Report Regularly: Review your credit report for any inaccuracies and dispute them if necessary via the official website of TransUnion CIBIL.
  • Avoid Multiple Credit Applications: Extensive research and choosing the one that suits you best can help you avoid multiple loan applications and rejections.

How Is CIBIL Score Calculated?

Following is the expected calculation process of the CIBIL Score:

Payment History

This is the most significant factor and includes your track record of paying off credit card bills and loan EMIs. Timely payments improve your score, while missed or late payments can harm it. Your payment history can influence approximately 30% to 35% of your CIBIL Score result.

Credit Utilisation Ratio

This measures how much credit you’ve used compared to your available credit limit. A lower utilisation rate benefits your score because it signals to the credit bureau that you maintain a healthy financial lifestyle. Your Credit Utilisation Ratio can impact approximately 25% to 30% of your CIBIL Score outcome.

Credit Type and Duration

Having a mix of credit types (secured and unsecured loans) and a long credit history can positively affect your score. This enables you to showcase to a credit bureau company that you are good at managing multiple credit options and have good repayment behaviour. This section can influence about 25% of your CIBIL Score result.

Other Factors

These refer to other minor factors that can affect your CIBIL Score. These can include the number of credit inquiries made, your outstanding loan amount, whether any discrepancy occurs, etc. However, this section can influence only 10% to 20% of your CIBIL Score result, making it less significant than others.

What Is a CIBIL Report?

A CIBIL Report is a type of document. This is also known as a Credit Information Report (CIR) and is prepared by TransUnion CIBIL, a widely used credit bureau company in India. It illustrates a detailed overview of your creditworthiness. The report contains personal information, contact details, employment data, and a comprehensive record of your loans and credit cards, including account numbers, loan amounts, and payment history. Moreover, it summarises all this information into three-digit numbers ranging from 300 to 900, recognised as the CIBIL Score. This ideally enables both you and the lender to understand your financial responsibility at just a glance. Namely, lenders use this CIBIL Report to assess your credit risk when you submit a loan/credit application. A positive CIBIL Report can result in faster loan approval, lower interest rates, favourable terms, and more.

Impact of Credit Inquiries on a CIBIL Score

Credit inquiries, particularly hard inquiries, can impact a CIBIL Score. When a lender checks your credit report due to a loan or credit card application, it’s termed a hard inquiry and is recorded in your credit history. Multiple hard inquiries in a short period can suggest to lenders that you may be credit-hungry, which can negatively affect your score. Each hard inquiry might slightly reduce your CIBIL Score. On the other hand, Checking your credit score or inquiries by employers are considered soft inquiries and do not affect your CIBIL Score. This is referred to as soft Inquiries.

What Is a Good CIBIL Score?

Lenders in India generally view a credit score of 700 or above as ideal. Applicants within this range can anticipate loan approval without much trouble. However, it is important to acknowledge that interest rates and terms can vary slightly based on how high their credit score is. Let’s examine a typical breakdown of the score ranges:

CIBIL Score Range Creditworthiness Approval Chances
750 – 900 Excellent Very High
700 – 749 Good High
650 – 699 Fair Moderate
600 – 649 Subnormal Low
Below 600 Poor Very Low

Credit Bureaus in India

Four main credit bureaus are available in India. Credit Information Companies (CICs) are also called and operate subject to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). They collect and maintain credit-related information on individuals and businesses, which is used to generate credit reports and scores. The following are those four Credit Information Companies:

  • TransUnion CIBIL is India’s Prime Credit Bureau. It provides credit scores and reports and plays a significant role in the financial ecosystem.
  • Experian: A global information services company in India that offers credit reports and scores.
  • Equifax is an international credit bureau that provides detailed credit reports and risk analyses, enabling consumers to know their credit position.
  • CRIF High Mark: A credit bureau that offers credit information services in India where one can access detailed credit information.

What Is a CIR and How Is It Related to the CIBIL Score?

CIR stands for Credit Information Report. It is a statement that demonstrates your credit history, including your credit accounts, loan applications (enquiries), and repayment behaviour. The CIBIL Score, on the other hand, is a numerical representation of the CIR. Your CIBIL Score is proportional to your Credit Information Report (CIR). Thus, a more positive credit report leads to a higher credit score, suggesting you have good credit behaviour and a higher likelihood of loan approval. A negative credit report makes you worse as it indicates a potential risk to lenders.

How Is a CIBIL Score Used in Credit Card Applications?

Below are the expected elements that a CIBIL Score can influence regarding your credit card application:

Eligibility Check: Lenders use the CIBIL Score to quickly assess your creditworthiness and determine eligibility for a credit card.

Credit Limit: A higher CIBIL Score can lead to a higher credit limit, as it indicates responsible credit behaviour and a lower risk of default.

Interest Rates: Lenders offer lower interest rates if you have a higher credit score, considering you a less risky applicant.

Approval Process: A higher CIBIL Score, usually above 750, can result in faster approval of your credit card applications.

Loan Offers: A strong CIBIL Score also qualifies you for more offers and better terms, as well as a pre-approved loan and other credit products.

Role of CIBIL Score in Personal Loan Applications

Below are the key elements that a CIBIL Score can influence regarding your loan application:

  • Assessment of Creditworthiness: Lenders use the CIBIL Score to gauge your credit history and repayment behaviour.
  • Loan Approval: A good CIBIL Score increases the likelihood of loan approval, whereas a lower score can lead to challenges and even result in rejection.
  • Interest Rates: Borrowers with higher CIBIL Scores can often secure loans at more favourable interest rates. This is because a high score suggests a lower risk of default.
  • Loan Terms: Better CIBIL Scores can lead to more favourable loan terms, such as a higher loan amount, longer tenure, and more flexible repayment options.
  • Loan Processing Time: A strong CIBIL Score can also expedite loan processing, enabling quicker disbursal of funds.

How Does a CIBIL Score Influence Home Loan

Below are the key elements that a CIBIL Score can influence regarding your home loan application:

  • Loan Approval: Lenders view a high score as an indicator of lower risk and responsible credit behaviour, empowering you to get your application approved faster.
  • Interest Rates: Borrowers with higher CIBIL Scores often qualify for lower interest rates, resulting in substantial savings over the loan term.
  • Loan Terms: A good CIBIL Score can lead to more favourable loan terms, such as a higher loan amount, longer repayment tenure, and flexible repayment options.
  • Negotiation Power: A strong CIBIL Score boosts your negotiation power, which enables you to seize lower interest rates or better loan terms.
  • Quick Processing: A good credit score can facilitate minimal documentation and quicker fund disbursement, making it faster and more efficient.

Common Misconceptions About CIBIL Scores

Let’s examine the common misconceptions about the CIBIL Score:

  • Income Determines CIBIL Score: Many believe a higher income leads to a higher CIBIL Score. However, income does not directly impact the score.
  • Only Loan Repayment History Counts: While repayment history is crucial, other factors like credit utilisation, length of credit history, and number of credit inquiries also affect the CIBIL Score.
  • Debit Card Usage does not Affect your CIBIL Score. Debit card transactions are linked to your bank account and do not involve borrowing, so they do not impact your CIBIL Score.
  • Checking Your Own CIBIL Score Lowers It: Checking your own CIBIL Score is a soft inquiry and does not affect it. However, multiple hard inquiries by lenders can lower the score slightly.
  • Closing a Loan Improves CIBIL Score Immediately: Closing a loan does not erase its history. The repayment record, good or bad, remains part of your credit history for some time.
  • A Low CIBIL Score is Always Bad. A low score may indicate a lack of credit history rather than poor credit behaviour. Lenders also consider other factors, like income and collateral.

CIBIL Credit Report Checklist

Here is a CIBIL scorer checklist to help you review your credit report effectively:

  • Check Your Personal Information: Verify your name, date of birth, PAN, Aadhaar, and other personal details are correct.
  • Examine Contact Information: Ensure your address, phone number, and email are up-to-date.
  • Review Employment Information: Confirm the accuracy of your occupation type and income as reported by banks.
  • Inspect Account Information: Check your loan and credit card records for discrepancies, including lender names, loan amounts, payment history, and current balances.
  • Analyse Credit Utilisation: Assess how much credit you use compared to your available credit limit.
  • Scrutinise Enquiry Information: Check for any hard inquiries and ensure they were made with your consent.
  • Identify Frauds and Errors: Look for any unfamiliar transactions or inquiries that could indicate fraud.
  • Understand Your CIBIL Score: Know where your score stands and what factors might affect it.
  • Dispute Errors: If errors are found, report them to CIBIL for correction via the official website of TransUnion CIBIL.

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