Active Stocks
Fri Apr 19 2024 12:15:44
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 159.80 -0.13%
  1. Tata Motors share price
  2. 954.35 -1.76%
  1. Infosys share price
  2. 1,401.05 -1.37%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 422.00 0.73%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 346.90 -1.28%
Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  What is the significance of understanding and improving your credit score?
BackBack

What is the significance of understanding and improving your credit score?

There are four major credit bureaus- TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, Experian, CRIF High Mark that provide valuable insights on the credit history of the individual/business.

credit score concept on the screen of smartphone, checking payment history and ranking in bankPremium
credit score concept on the screen of smartphone, checking payment history and ranking in bank

Embarking on the journey of financial enlightenment is an empowering step and a crucial facet is understanding and enhancing your credit score. Right from the early stage, as a student who may be required to opt for an education loan requires to be informed that it would influence their credit score over a period. 

Similarly, it is imperative for proprietors to understand the significance of their individual credit scores and the need to maintain it positively as it would directly impact their business. Whether you're new to the credit realm or looking to enhance your financial standing, this beginner's guide aims to demystify the complexities of credit and offer practical insights on improving your credit score.

Understanding your credit score

At the core of your financial journey lies the credit score – a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. Ranging from 300 to 850, a higher score signals greater reliability to lenders. Grasping the categories, from poor to excellent, helps gauge your current position and identify areas for improvement. The standard score categories are as follows:

  • 300-579 indicates "Poor" score
  • 580-669 indicates "Fair" score
  • 670-739 indicates "Good" score
  • 740-799 indicates "Very Good" score
  • 800-850 indicates "Excellent" score

Factors influencing your credit score

Payment history: The foundation of your score - Consistent and timely payments across all credit accounts significantly impact your credit score. The importance of maintaining a record of punctuality in meeting financial obligations cannot be overstated. For example-Timely payments across all credit accounts, such as credit cards, mortgages, and home loans, 2 or 4 wheeler ones significantly impact the credit score.

Credit utilisation: Balancing act - Striking a balance between credit card balances and the credit limit is crucial. Aim to keep credit utilisation below 30%, showcasing responsible credit management.

Credit history length: The longer, the better - Lenders appreciate an extended credit history as it reflects a consistent record of prudent credit utilisation. Patience plays a pivotal role in this aspect of credit building.

Credit types in use: Embrace diversity - Cultivating a mix of credit types, such as mortgages, credit cards, and instalment loans can positively influence your credit score. However, exercise caution and avoid opening new accounts solely for diversity.

Fresh credit: The cautious approach - Swiftly opening new credit accounts may be perceived as risky behaviour, potentially having a detrimental impact on your credit score. Thoughtful consideration is essential when acquiring new credit.

In India, we have four major credit bureaus- TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, Experian, CRIF High Mark that provide valuable insights on the credit history of the individual/business. However, it is to be noted that there may be slight variation in the scores basis the algorithm followed by each of the bureaus.

Let us consider a scenario which has resulted in impacting a credit score negatively-it could be either due to loan defaulted, missed payments, high credit card balances, bankruptcy etc., the time taken for rebuilding credit is gradual and observed over a period of time with responsible financial behaviour. 

On an average, in scenarios like missed payments, it may take up to 1 year for the improved scores to reflect in the credit report of any individual or business. However, for instances like bankruptcy, it may take up to 5 years, the time taken would vary from case-to-case basis.

Suggestions to enhance your credit score

Clearing payments timely: Establishing a foundation for excellent credit involves consistently making on-time payments. Utilise reminders, automate payments, and maintain discipline in meeting financial commitments.

Reducing credit card balances: Regularly assess and manage your credit card balances to ensure they stay below the recommended 30% credit utilisation. This straightforward practice can significantly impact your credit score.

Building diverse credit mix: While adhering to responsible credit habits, consider diversifying your credit types like credit cards, instalment loans and mortgages to present a comprehensive credit history.

Elevating your credit score is a journey requiring dedication, comprehension, and proactive financial management. Establishing sound financial habits, maintaining a well-balanced credit mix, and prioritising timely payments are pivotal steps. By embracing these principles, you can not only enhance your credit score but also pave the way toward a healthier financial future. Embrace knowledge, stay vigilant, and take assertive measures to shape a robust financial path.

Winny Patro, CEO and Co-founder, Recordent

 

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 29 Feb 2024, 05:05 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App