A credit score is an important parameter considered by lenders when you borrow money or apply for a credit card. But you may wonder, what exactly does a credit score do? Firstly, a credit score is a 3-digit numerical summary of your creditworthiness. Your creditworthiness shows how reliable you are as a borrower.
Credit information bureaus licensed by the RBI, like TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, CRIF High Mark, and Equifax, check and track each individual’s credit history and experience. These authorised institutions then assign individuals with a credit score based on their repayment behaviour.
So, the likelihood of getting affordable loans or a credit card with a high limit is higher when you have a good credit score. Here is a brief glimpse of some essential do’s and don’ts that can boost your credit score, helping you get credit on favourable terms.
What To Do For a Higher Credit Score
Here are 3 tips to follow to ensure your credit score is high.
Make Repayment a Priority
A significant factor affecting your credit score is your payment history. Credit bureaus check if you have made timely repayment for debts, such as personal loans, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) facilities, car loans and more.
They also check to see if you have cleared your credit card bills by the due date, repaying the full balance. So, by paying attention to EMIs and credit card bills, and ensuring you give them precedence, you can increase your score.
Check Your Credit Report
Your credit report says it all since it has all your details of past and current debts and credit activities. Make sure you go through it at regular intervals. This not only helps you understand the effect of harmful credit behaviour, but also correct any mistakes.
For instance, a closed loan account may not be updated in your report. By checking your credit report, you can raise a dispute, and this can help improve your credit score. As per an RBI mandate[EW1] , you can check your credit report and score free once a year.
Diversify Your Experience With Credit
Have you taken just personal loans in the past? This is common for a lot of borrowers. However, a part of your credit score is linked to how many types of credit you have had past experience with.
Be it collateral-free loans, secured loans, credit cards, or BNPL solutions, having a mix of credit types in your history can help you enhance your score. This way, lenders are assured that you are a responsible borrower who has managed different types of credit in the past.
What Not To Do For a Higher Credit Score
Here are 2 financial habits to avoid so you can maintain a high credit score.
Applying for Credit Immediately After Rejection
If your loan application gets rejected, be patient instead of applying for a new loan right away. That is because rejections are recorded in your credit report and lower your overall credit score. A rejection is a sign that you need to review your application and find out why you didn’t qualify.
Applying immediately for new credit sends the message that you are credit hungry and cannot manage your finances without a loan. It is for the same reason that you should avoid applying for multiple loans or different types of credit at the same time.
Going Overboard With Credit
How much credit you use from the amount you have available is called a credit utilisation ratio. Keep this term in mind, as it plays a big role in improving or reducing your credit score. If you exhaust your credit card limit every month, your score is bound to decrease.
As explained earlier, this makes you look overly dependent on credit. So, utilise up to 30% of your available credit limit to boost your score. Consider this example: Say you have a credit limit of ₹2 Lakhs, and you want to stop at 30%. In this case, use ₹60,000 for a positive impact on your score.
Building a solid credit profile with a high credit score can help you get the loan amount and tenure you desire along with wallet-friendly terms. By following the dos and don’ts above, you can improve your creditworthiness.
To check your credit report and score for free, download the Bajaj Markets App from Google Play or the App Store. This one-stop financial destination can only help you understand your score, but also brings a range of credit solutions to your fingertips.