Free Annual Credit Report to Individuals
Reserve Bank of India on September 1, 2016 issued notification and letter to Credit Information Companies (CIC) to provide one free Credit Information Report (CIR) in a year (January to December). CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau of India Limited) is the leading CIC and most of the banks/ FIs use CIBIL to draw CIRs for analysing the credit history of the prospective borrowers.
Presently, CIBIL charges Rs.550 for a single Credit Information Report. CIBIL report can be accessed from www.cibil.com. Effective from January 2017, public can get a free CIBIL in a year so that they can improve their credit history. Equifax, Exparian and Highmark are the other Credit Information companies apart from CIBIL.
RBI has directed that this free credit information report should be detailed one i.e., the same as accessed by the Financial Institutions/ Banks while granting fresh loan. RBI has directed the CICs that the report should also provide an opportunity to the borrower to have the errors, if any, in her/his credit history rectified.
Banks and Financial Institutions reports the details of loans or credit cards to these CICs, who maintains a database of the same, which can be accessed by banks or public (own report only) on payment of a certain fee. Presently, in India most of the Individuals are not aware about their credit history and sometimes due to ignorance (like late payment of loans, credit card bills, write off of small amounts of credit card bills etc.) destroy their credit history. Credit History is very important for getting any kind of loan from banks because this is the first thing which banks analyse when someone approach for a loan.
RBI’s move to provide free Credit History (CIR) will help individuals to access their credit score and can improve it and also will help them to rectify errors due to the fault on the part of lenders (because of wrong reporting) which leads to bad credit history.