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Volume IconWhat is credit score & why is it important?

A good credit score can help you tide over financial challenges. When you take a loan or a credit card, the lender checks your credit score to know your credit history. Find out what's credit score

ImageBhaswar Kumar New Delhi
Loan, home loan, credit growth

The State Bank of India recently announced interest rate on home loans at just 6.65%. But not everyone can avail the loan at such a low rate. For that, his or her credit score has to be excellent.

The country’s largest lender is providing home loans at attractive interest rates for those with good credit scores. And not just loans, a decent credit score will also help you get credit cards too.

So a good credit score helps you avail personal, consumer and other types of loans and credit cards easily. But, what exactly is the concept of credit score? Let us find out.

There are four credit information companies or credit bureaus in India whose credit scores are popular with both lenders and borrowers. These are TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, and CRIF High Mark.

A borrower’s credit score ranges between 300 and 900. For a bank or lender, your credit score reveals your creditworthiness as a borrower. Scores that are at least 750 or above are deemed to be good.

Your credit score is based on your credit history, which encompasses whether you have been making timely repayments, the number of times you have borrowed, the amounts you have borrowed, the type of loans you have availed of, and other relevant factors.

Timely repayment of EMIs on loans as well as credit card bills is also an important factor.    

The score is assigned to you based on your data mentioned in the Credit Information Report, or CIR. For example, Experian’s CIR has detailed information of the concerned person's credit and loan history, including identity information, credit cards, credit accounts, loans, payments, and recent enquiries.

Experian updates this CIR every month based on the consumer credit information its member banks and other institutions send it once a month.

This data considers the number of times you have applied for credit cards and the number of requests you have made for different loans. Lenders might seek such information, including the credit score, before approving any card or loan.

Such requests from lenders are called hard inquiries. Note that a higher number of hard inquiries can lower your credit score because you will be considered a credit-hungry borrower with a greater risk of default. 

The percentage of credit limit utilised on your credit card also affects your credit score. It is advisable to only utilise around 30 to 40 percent of your credit card spending limit each month to keep your credit score high. Having multiple credit cards or outstanding unsecured loans can also impact your credit score.

A healthy credit score will ensure that loans are available to you at more benign terms with lower interest rates, which will save your money. On the other hand, an unhealthy credit score could lead to your loan or credit card application being rejected or being approved on not-so-favourable terms.    

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First Published: Apr 29 2022 | 7:00 AM IST

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