Starting January 2017, Govt. of India has requested credit reporting agencies to provide a free annual credit report to its customers. Here’s how you can get your free credit report in India.
Free Credit Report
A credit report is like your mark sheet in school. It will contain marks you’ve collected for each subject.
Just that in a credit report case, it will have all your financial credit transactions that help build your credit score. Note that a credit report is different from a credit score. A credit report has all your financial transactions (that helps build a credit score) while your credit score is well, an aggregate score of your credit report. (Think of it as your final grade).
There are four institutions in India that keep track of your credit reports. Equifax, Transunion, Experian, and CRIF High Mark Credit Information systems. All three tracks your financial (credit-related) history. And you can get access to your credit report for free, one report every year.
Who can get a Free Credit Report in India?
Basically, anyone with an active credit card or has ever taken a loan from banks and has a valid PAN card can get their free credit report from one of the credit reporting institutions.
So, if you’ve ever taken a loan or owned a credit card, it is very likely that your information is with one of the credit reporting bureaus. They would know which banks you’ve taken loans from, which credit cards you use, whether you’ve paid them back on time etc.
What is Included in Credit Report
A free annual credit report will contain everything from your current credit accounts (loans, credit cards), their history, how long you’ve had them, have you been paying them on time, how much loan is outstanding, how much credit have you utilized, etc. It will also have reports on credit inquiries you’ve had on your account (like when you applied for a loan) and also any accounts that went to collections, are outstanding, etc.
Basically, it will have all the financial information that will help any financial institution make a decision on whether or not you’re a creditworthy individual. Obviously, there’s also going to be your personal information. (PAN card, Bank account details, etc).
How to Get a Free Credit Report
This is the easiest part. You can get your free credit report by applying on the website of any of the four credit monitoring institutions.
You don’t need to pay for the free credit report if you’re getting one every year. It is mandatory.
Hw to Apply for a Free Credit Report
I suggest getting a free credit report every year at the same time. Say April of every year. That way, you know what kind of information you have on your account, figure out if there are discrepancies, and clear and fix them. Also, it’d prepare you to apply for other financial products like loans or credit cards.
CIBIL Credit Report
CIBIL India offers a free credit report in a year. To apply for one, all you have to do is go to this page and apply for it, with your details.
All the best! Got questions, ask in the comments.