Credit score as an essential part of financial services has slowly caught up in India over the past few years. There are also more players in the market compared to as recently as a little over a decade ago. That said, in a shift from purely financial services, the usage of credit scores is now moving towards alternate services including telecom providers.

In fact, landlords tend to refer to credit scores prior to renting out their property, as do prospective employers to understand how reliable and trustworthy an employee will prove to be, especially when it comes to hiring for job openings involving confidentiality and trust. On a more personal front, people are requesting for credit reports even when finalising marriages!

What is a CIBIL score?

CIBIL is India’s oldest credit bureau, and hence enjoys the privilege of having credit scores being referred to as CIBIL scores colloquially. A score ranges between 300 and 900, and a higher score can prove to be advantageous when applying for a fresh line of credit.

In addition to CIBIL, there are three other credit bureaus, namely Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark operating in India as on date.

What is a free credit score?

In the USA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the credit bureaus – namely Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to provide a consumer with a free copy of the credit report, at the customer’s request, once every 12 months. These reports can be ordered simultaneously, or one from each company at a time. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the consumer protection agency in the United States enforces the FCRA with respect to credit information companies or bureaus.

In India however none of the credit bureaus offer free credit reports or scores currently, they are available to purchase on payment of a nominal fee. The process to obtain a score is both quick and easy, and it is recommended to check your score at regular intervals.

However, if you wish to have a free credit report, log on to www.creditsudhaar.com, wherein India’s premier credit health management company in conjunction with the bureau offers a free credit report.

Why do we need CIBIL reports?

Seeing the significance that CIBIL report has assumed in the recent past, it is only prudent for an individual to monitor and keep track of their scores. Hence the requirement for scores is paramount, and a free score would go a long way in promoting awareness and increasing usage of reports countrywide.

Take for example a case wherein Nitin applies for a home loan. Owing to a good score, his loan is approved at a competitive rate of interest in comparison to Sumit, who has a relatively lower score and hence gets a similar home loan at a higher rate. This results in substantial savings for Nitin over the tenure of the loan, a privilege that Sumit does not enjoy.

Hence, in order to remain credit healthy and financially fit, it is imperative to have a good credit score.

What should be my next step?

From the options currently available, do call for a report and check it at length together with your credit score. You can choose to avail of the services of a credit health management company if you believe that your score needs attention, and can be improved. Working with a trained credit counsellor, you can rebuild your score and even enhance it given time and financial discipline.

Remember, it is the first step towards ensuring a secure financial future, so get started now.

(Written by Arun Ramamurthy, author of “Unlock the Power of Your Credit Score” : India’s first book on credit scores)

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31 responses to “Free CIBIL score: on every Indian’s wishlist”

  1. Sia says:

    I don’t think they are claiming to give out free CIBIL scores in the article! They have raised a pretty good point of how USA gives out a free credit report to its citizens every year and how Indians should be entitled a free credit score every year too. It’s such an important part of our financial life, and every citizen should be allowed to know about them free. It helps us maintain our credit easier if we are aware of our credit scores

  2. Sia says:

    I don’t think they are claiming to give out free CIBIL scores in the article! They have raised a pretty good point of how USA gives out a free credit report to its citizens every year and how Indians should be entitled a free CIBIL score every year too. It’s such an important part of our financial life, and every citizen should be allowed to know about them free. It becomes so much easier to manage your credit if you are aware of your credit scores

  3. Sia says:

    Should I post this? – I don’t think they are claiming to give out free CIBIL scores in the article! They have raised a pretty good point of how USA gives out a free credit report to its citizens every year and how Indians should be entitled a free credit score every year too. It’s such an important part of our financial life, and every citizen should be allowed to know about them free. It becomes to manage your credit if you are aware of your credit scores’

  4. Rajesh says:

    TAG GURU ! WAKE UP ! Once your Site’s reliability is damaged and someone else takes over, It will almost be impossible to restore faith. Please show courage to reply to readers posts / perception about the useless article posted as above.

  5. Raj Kumar says:

    Tax guru website has to take care before publishing article. When CIBIL score is not free, how Tax guru website allowed to publish this article in the website.

    These kind of Marketing tricks, degrade the reliability on Tax Guru website.
    Hence, I request to Tax Guru website to take care before publishing the same.

    • ishika says:

      Hi Raj Kumar,

      I too went through the entire article and read that none of the bureaus are offering you a free credit score rather CreditSudhaar is giving you a free credit report.

      You can go through the second paragraph in the section of What is a free credit score?

      Please read the article carefully before accusing anyone or else you might have to pay a heavy penalty.

      • S Venkataraman says:

        Dear Ishika,

        When you tell us to refer para go through the second paragraph in the section of What is a free credit score?, I think you might have gone through the 3rd para in the same section also which says “if you wish to have a free credit report, log on to creditsudhaar.com, wherein India’s premier credit health management company in conjunction with the bureau offers a free credit report”.

        I would like to have your opinion, whether we should believe the above and try or we should ignore the 3rd para.

        • ishika says:

          I am a customer with them and would like to inform you that they have a tie-up with Equifax bureau and get the credit health report from them. They simplify this report and provide to us with free of charge which is why they have upfrontly mentioned in the para “in conjunction with the bureau” offers a free credit report”. To let you know Equifax charges Rs.400/ to give you a credit score and report.

          You can definitely rely on this report is what I can say. Off lately there was an article in TOI from paisabazaar and creditmantri which i went through and it was based on credit report too. After going through the article I searched on google using free credit report and came across creditsudhaar.com. I didn’t find any difficulty while dealing with them and just followed the instructions. I am happy with what I have got.

          Again its individual perception and decision. As you have asked my suggestion I would say you can rely on them and get a report for free of charge.

      • Narayana says:

        This is ridiculous. I dont expect taxguru to promote a site like crefitbsudhaar. The worst part is you will get many calls after you giving all ur personal.details

  6. Hari says:

    This website is non functional. It took all my information and didn’t give me anything in return – also they told that they will call back but didn’t call.

    • ishika says:

      Good Morning Hari,

      I didnt find any challenge in getting my report from them. However, even i was facing the same issue recently. I couldn’t view my report on the website and had contacted them via email customerservice@creditsudhaar.com. They responded me within 24 hours and informed that they were transforming their website which is why customers are not able to view the reports. However, it has now been resolved and you can check it again. Or you can also call them on 6788 6788.

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