Factors That Affect a Low CIBIL Score

Low CIBIL ScoreA Credit Information Report (CIR) offers an individual a numeric summary of their credit history. It plays a major role should an individual want to apply for a loan, or a credit card, as all banks and financial institutions run a CIR as part of their loan approval process.

A credit score constitutes a part of the Credit Information Report. Basis the financial information provided by lenders to Credit Information Companies, a score is determined. This score, based on a scale of between 300 and 900, is what is taken into account by a lender prior to offering a loan.

With Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL) a score of 750+ points is considered to be good. For a first time borrower with no previous track record, a score of -1 is displayed.

Different Credit Information Companies however, may have different scoring parameters. Most companies use the definition of ‘bad loan’ as a customer going more than 90 days past in 12 months.

Let us take a look at the factors that can negatively impact your CIBIL score.

Multiple loans and credit cards

Having too many loans and cards can prove detrimental, as it can indicate a high level of borrowing. This would mean that a potential lender may choose not to sanction any further loans as your repayment capacity may already have been maxed, your income. Further, it may get difficult to manage payments between multiple cards, and can lead to your having to stretch your income in order to keep up.

Not using your credit card

Having a credit card with no usage, makes the customer’s file inactive as there is no transactional data. This in turn can negatively impact the score.

No loans at all!

On the other hand, having no loans or no credit cards makes it difficult for a lender to assess your repayment capacity. Hence it may be a good idea to maintain a loan or card well within your means, to set a benchmark for future borrowing.

Delayed and skipped payments

This is typically the case with credit cards, wherein a customer does not make a timely payment owing to the fact that it slipped out of the mind. What would help in this case is to set up payment reminders and ensure that the outstanding dues is paid up as per the payment dues date. Even a single skipped payment can have an adverse impact on your score.

Increased credit limit

While this may have a feel-good factor, it may not have such a positive outcome after all! Constantly increasing your credit limit may again indicate a high level of debt. Instead, keep your card dues to approximately 30% of the assigned limit.

Not using your credit card

Having a credit card with no usage, makes the customer’s file inactive as there is no transactional data. This in turn can negatively impact the credit score.

Too many unsecured loans

Personal loans or an excessive number of credit cards can mean higher payments owing to higher rates of interest, these being unsecured loan products. This can result in a lower score.

Now that we know what can affect your score.

Financial discipline

Timely and full payments on loan and credit card outstanding go a long way in maintaining your CIBIL rating.

Having a healthy product mix

Balance of secured and unsecured loans shows that an individual is capable of handling finances well. This can help you to improve your CIBIL score.

Track your credit report regularly

An erroneous entry in your CIR can prove detrimental, as the score can go down. It would be prudent to check your report at regular intervals and ensure that the score is not adversely affected.

Understanding the Importance of CIBIL Rating & Ways to Improve It

CIBIL RatingA credit rating is nothing but a number, which is computed by an approved credit rating agency. These days the masses are more conscious than that in the past. It is because of this risen awareness that jargon like credit rating and CIBIL score are heard often across almost every tier of the society. The rating or the number actually provides a hint of an individual’s credit worthiness. This score proves to be a crucial tool for conventional lending agencies while processing or approving a loan application of an individual. Before borrowing the money, creditors need to have an indication of the probability of default of every loan seeker who approaches them, for obvious reasons.

There is still a way of explaining the importance of credit score. Flatly, it tells a lender or credit institutions like banks, how likely is it that a borrower will repay a loan based on the individual’s

  • Pattern of credit usage in the past and
  • Loan repayment history

It is possible for every individual to check his or her own credit history. In order to check the history, one should obtain a copy of one’s credit report. In India, one can avail this from any of the three rating agencies, namely CIBIL, Experian or Equifax. The records include every loan or credit account that one has along with detailed information of the concerned individual’s entire payment history. Thus, the credit score is calculated based on a person’s financial track record as noted in the individual’s credit report.

Thankfully, it is possible to improve one’s CIBIL score. However, one should remember that there is no quick-fix procedure to achieve this overnight. It takes some time for the process to take effect. But, it is possible to improve one’s score significantly within a short time frame and to achieve it one has to adhere to a set of rules. As such, it is an excellent habit to check one’s credit scores at regular intervals so that one remains updated about one’s financial health in a periodic manner.

As the first step towards improving one’s CIBIL rating, one should keep the credit card balance as low as possible. A higher credit limit allows an individual more flexibility in making payments and also helps in keeping the balances low. Setting up payment reminders proves helpful in avoiding missing payment deadlines. Credit score drops because of missing payment deadlines. In this age of digital technology, it is pretty easy to ensure the monthly balance paid automatically through electronic transaction directly from one’s bank account. Moreover, one can have the bank shoot timely reminders through SMS or emails as well. If one spends over 30% of one’s credit card limit on monthly basis across all existing cards, it negatively affects the individual’s credit rating. So, ask for higher credit limit and maintain or cut down the monthly expenditure below 30% of the credit limit. This is an effective means to improve one’s credit score. In fact, improving one’s credit score is not impossible, provided one sticks to the right strategies with dedication and involvement.