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More Frequent Credit Score Reports Are Available Now, But They Arenít Free

26-Mar-2018

TransUnion Cibil, one of the four credit bureaus in India, recently came out with a subscription model where customers can access their credit history and report every day. The bureau is offering the subscription for periods of 1 month, 6 months and 1 year for Rs550, Rs800 and Rs1,200, respectively.

While other credit bureaus have also had similar subscription-based products in the past, at present no other bureau offers daily access to updated credit reports as part of a subscription.

What you get

All credit bureaus provide one full credit report at a time, for a fee. Some bureaus show it through an account on their own website while some also send a PDF copy of the report to your email. Even if you check the report in your account on the bureau’s website, you are shown the same report till you pay the fee to get an updated version.

If you subscribe with TransUnion Cibil, the changes in your credit profile, including your score, will reflect in your report without separately paying for that. You can check your report every day.

But how are frequent revisits to your credit profile helpful? According to the bureau, rather than checking credit score just ahead of a loan application, unlimited access allows consumers to continuously monitor their score. “Some lenders offer discount as high as 1% on home loans (to those with high credit score), which can translate into a full year’s worth of EMIs,” said Hrushkesh Mehta, Cibil’s head of direct to consumers interactive. The Cibil interface also has loan offers based on what your credit score is.

Free reports

From 2017 onwards, the Reserve Bank of India had made it mandatory for all credit bureaus to provide a full credit report free of cost to every consumer asking for it. This means you can get the report for free from each of the four bureaus in a single calendar year.

So why pay for a report that is available for free? “The reason behind why consumers want to pay and have unlimited access to their credit report is to ensure that there aren’t any errors in their credit history and their credit score does not get negatively affected,” said Mehta.

Does this mean your credit score will change each day, based on your repayments? “There could be many factors that can impact the credit score, such as delinquency, utilization, inquiries or derogatory reporting. Credit score improvement is a gradual process and it may take even a year for the score to improve,” said Rajiv Raj, co-founder and director, CreditVidya, a credit advisory.

Should you buy?

Let’s say an individual is trying to improve her credit score and wants to monitor her progress. It is possible to access a report from a different bureau every quarter. Though the underlying data that credit bureaus use will remain the same, they have their own algorithms and the score may vary to some extent. The score range remains 300-900.

“Since now all the lenders are supposed to submit data on their borrowers to all credit bureaus, such anomalies will be minimal. There could be a remote possibility when a derogatory information is not reported on a customer, she may get a higher credit score in one bureau with a lower one in another,” Raj said.

Moreover, some credit bureaus have entered into tie-ups with fintech companies to provide free credit scores to consumers. Some fintech companies also send monthly updates once you take a free report through them. However, this comes at the ‘cost’ of sharing information with the fintech companies.

While you can get regular updates through different bureaus, and frequent checks may not be needed, if you want consistent monitoring from a single source, you could consider the TransUnion Cibil subscription.

Source : LiveMint

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