Expert speak: The benefits of a free credit report

The Reserve Bank of India has directed credit information companies (CICs) to provide a free annual credit report, on request, from 1 January


From left: Arvind Kapil, Rajiv Raj, Vinay Mathews and Harshala Chandorkar
From left: Arvind Kapil, Rajiv Raj, Vinay Mathews and Harshala Chandorkar

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed credit information companies (CICs) to provide a free annual credit report, on request, from 1 January. Will this alter customers’ behaviour? Here’s what the experts say.

ARVIND KAPIL,
country Head—unsecured & mortgage loans, HDFC Bank Ltd

Availability of credit information ensures greater transparency, so that customers understand the importance of re-payments and maintaining a positive credit habit. A healthy credit history is important to avail credit. Any effort that helps create self-awareness is a step in the right direction, as it will ensure that customers try and maintain a positive credit history.

RAJIV RAJ,
co-founder and director, Creditvidya

RBI’s mandate will help in building awareness on managing credit and would help borrowers to analyse their creditworthiness for future loans or credit cards. Borrowers will be able to track errors in reporting of data across bureaus and the same can be duly rectified before the damage is done. Also, a credit report will help in getting approval of loans or credit cards seamlessly.

VINAY MATHEWS,
founder and chief operating officer, Faircent.com

Individual credit report will change the repayment behaviour of customers and access to this report will be beneficial for customers in the long run. Going forward, the indiscipline of non-payment or re-payment will not just affect the ability to borrow or buy on credit, but it can also affect your future job prospects, the premium you pay for insurance and also your marriage prospects.

HARSHALA CHANDORKAR
chief operating officer, TransUnion Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd

Reviewing your Cibil score and report will provide you insights into your financial health with reference to your credit exposure. How much debt do you hold? How have you been repaying your loan EMIs and credit card bills? This credit health checkup will help you take corrective and preventive measures in time for maintaining financial hygiene and a healthy credit report.

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