TransUnion CIBIL Ltd., earlier known as Credit Information Bureau Ltd., is among the leading credit information companies in India. Incorporated in 2000, it is popularly known as CIBIL credit bureau.


What is a CIBIL Score?

A CIBIL score is a 3-digit number that represents your creditworthiness. It ranges from 300-900. The closer your score is to 900, the better the chances are of you getting a loan or a credit card approved. A higher score suggests you have been a responsible borrower and have a good credit history. As per general standards, a score of 750 and above gives you quicker access to loans and credit cards.

What Makes your CIBIL Score?

There are four main factors that make up the score:

Payment History 30%
Credit Exposure 25%
Credit Type and Duration 25%
Other Factors 20%

What are the Factors that Affect my CIBIL Score?

1. Payment History:

This is centre sponsored scheme to help the individual who come in the category of below poverty line (BPL). Those who are engaged in un-organised sector seeking financial support from the government, can avail the benefits of the scheme. By paying a fix small amount of premium, they are entitled to avail the pension after retirement. Basically, this is the scheme to help the poor individuals in case of their financial crisis who are in un-organised sector.

2. Total Amount of Debt:

The total amount of debt you have at a given point of time has a major effect on your CIBIL score. Credit utilisation ratio is the amount of credit used by you in proportion to your combined credit limit. You should maintain a low credit utilisation ratio at all times to get a high score. As per experts, it is advised to use only up to 30% of your total credit limit.

3. Length of the Credit:

A long credit history helps to improve your score. It suggests that you have a good experience with handling credit. Lenders prefer offering credit to people who have a rich history because it makes assessing you as a borrower, easier. Therefore, it is advised to avoid closing old cards as you will lose out on the long credit history and good repayment behaviour associated with it.

4. Type of Credit and Duration:

It is important to have a decent credit mix. Maintaining a healthy balance of secured and unsecured credit helps to boost your CIBIL score. You need to make sure that you don’t have high secured credit or unsecured credit and instead try and maintain a good balance of both.

5. Total Credit Inquiries:

Avoid making multiple credit inquiries within a short period of time. When you inquire to a bank or a financial institution about a loan or a credit card, the lender will pull out your CIBIL report. Such an inquiry is called a “hard inquiry” and it has a negative impact on your score. Multiple credit inquiries can bring your score down. Therefore, it is advised to inquire for credit only when you actually need it. Meanwhile, when you check your own score or report, it is called a “soft inquiry”. You can check your report multiple times and it will not have any effect on your CIBIL score as soft inquiries are not recorded on your report.

How to Improve your CIBIL Score

In order to improve your CIBIL score, you need to be consistent in paying bills on time and be a responsible borrower. Here are some of the ways that will help you improve your score.

1.Use Credit Lines Responsibly:

At the end of the day, any money from a line of credit is borrowed money. You need to repay it to your lender, with or without interest, depending on the type of credit line, and your repayment behaviour. So, use your credit card, loan amount, or any other type of borrowing wisely. Also, do not use or borrow more than you can afford to repay. This could lead you into a debt-trap.

2. Avoid Late or Missed Payments:

Apart from being charged late payment fees on your late payments, this repayment behaviour will also get reported to the credit bureaus, affecting your score. If you have multiple credit card payments and loan EMIs to make, it is advised to set up payment reminders or due date alerts to get more organised. This way you never forget making your payment. You could also set up a direct debit arrangement with your lender, where your payments get automatically deducted from your savings/current account on the due date. This way, you never have to worry remembering due dates, or about late or missed payments.

3. Maintain a Low Credit Utilisation Ratio:

vAs mentioned earlier, you should ideally not exceed 30% of your total credit card limit. This is especially important if you apply for a home loan in the future. When you apply for a home loan, banks will assess your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. This ratio evaluates your total debt with respect to your total income. If your debt exceeds 50% of your income, banks are more likely to reject your application. Another reason why you should maintain a low credit utilisation ratio is to not appear credit hungry. If most of your expenses are being borne by your credit lines, you will appear as a borrower who is unable to manage their expenses on their own.

4. Make Sure to Close Accounts Instead of Settling:

If you have defaulted on any payments in the past, it will be reflected in your credit history and will bring your CIBIL score down. Make sure to pay off the unpaid amount and close the account instead of opting for a settlement. You should ensure that the account gets a 'closed' status. Also, it is best to get a formal closure certificate from the lender for the account.

5. Review your Credit Report:

You should check your credit report periodically to understand your credit health. This should be done to ensure that your credit report is free of any errors related to your credit accounts. This is important because any incorrect information recorded on your report could bring down your score through no fault of your own. It is important to identify and rectify such errors at the earliest.