Thursday, 30 May 2013

Improve your credit score, get that loan

Sachin Shah, 42, a Mumbai-based self employed individual running a computer hardware business, approached his bank in 2012 for a top-up loan on his existing home loan. He was, however, in for a rude shock. The bank denied him the loan, and said they were not comfortable with his credit score which stood at 707.

On the advice of a friend, Shah approached Credit Sudhaar, an entity that helps people improve their credit rating. Amazingly, they helped him perk up his credit score of 859.

"In my case while I had paid my dues to them (my bank), they had not updated it at Cibil. Credit Sudhaar helped me get it resolved after which I got my top-up loan," said Shah.

Few year back, it was fairly easy to get a loan or a credit card purely on the basis of your income. But now an individual's credit character carries an equal weightage when a bank decides to offer a loan or a credit card.

Its not uncommon to find a person, who while seeking a loan or a credit card, is informed by the bank that they are not comfortable with his credit rating and they would not be able to provide him with the loan.
It comes as a revelation for many who till now was unaware of his credit rating. Many do not know what a good rating is or what can bring down his credit score. In many cases its a Catch-22 situation where you won't get a loan till your rating improves and your rating won't improve till you get a loan or a credit card and use it responsibly.

Express Money explores the nitty gritty of credit rating and what Credit Sudhaar did to improve Sachin Shah's score. Also, can you do it on your own?

What do I do?

Arun Ramamurthy, co-founder of Credit Sudhaar, which currently has a client base of 3,500 after one year of operation, claims that they help individuals in restoration, enhancement and protection of their credit scores.

At the restoration stage, any person who comes to know that a bank or a financial services firm has declined to provide him the desired credit can seek their help.

The customer approaches Cibil (Credit Information Bureau India Ltd), pays a fee to get his credit history details, which tells if he has any outstanding with a bank.

After this, the individual can approach his bank and reach a settlement on the outstanding amount or get the 'outstanding' tag removed in case the bank has forgotten to update Cibil even after the payment was done.
An individual can do this on his own, but many seek the help of Credit Sudhaar as they help in interpreting the credit report and also in reaching a settlement with the bank for the outstanding payments.

"If an individual had made mistakes in the past, we handhold the person and help him restore his credit worthiness," said Ramamurthy.

He says that a credit score of less than 700 is considered below par and creates problem when an individual seeks fresh loan.

Even with ratings of around 725-730, an individual will not get the loan at competitive rates and the bank may charge him higher interest.

Enhancing your credit

People with bad credit score are at a risk of not getting a chance to improve their credit rating because it becomes difficult to get a loan or a credit card in the first place. Here is where Credit Sudhaar plays a key role.

When a client joins a credit health improvement programme, the firm provides him/her a loan of Rs 15,000-20,000 through its NBFC called Credit Sudhaar Finance. The client gets a chance to show a good repayment history on the loan. Cibil, which takes data from banks and NBFCs, updates the information on the client's profile and, over a period of time, his/her credit score improves.

In March 2013, Credit Sudhaar tied up with DCB Bank to provide credit card to such customers against a fixed deposit with the bank. The customers are allowed to spend up to 90 per cent of the fixed deposit value.

"The fixed deposit acts as a lien and by using the card responsibly, the customer can improve his credit as the data is updated by all credit bureaus," said Ramamurthy. He says that in a three to five months a customer can get his credit restored and can move on the path of credit enhancement.

Credit protection

You may have a healthy credit score but what if you fall victim to financial, identity and data theft. Ramamurthy feels that this is the toughest aspect among the three stages.

Around four months back, Credit Sudhaar tied up with Tata AIG General Insurance. The insurer took four of its products from their Personal Extended Protection Policy to offer it as a suite to its customers. The products include — identity theft cover, fraudulent charge cover, ATM assault and a lost wallet cover.
In case a customer's identity is stolen and someone takes a loan or credit card in his/her name then the identity theft covers all your legal expenses and financial loss on account of leaves taken for fighting the case.

Within the fraudulent charge and ATM assault, all your liabilities on account of getting credit card stolen or forcible withdrawl of money from ATM are covered by the policy.

Under the lost wallet cover, if you lose your wallet then the scheme covers the cost of replacing all your cards.

"We do not sell these policies in retail as these are small ticket products and thus sell it to banks and to agencies like Credit Sudhaar where we get bulk clients," said Gopa Menon at Tata AIG General Insurance Company adding that he has received good response from Credit Sudhaar.

The services of Credit Sudhaar have become popular. They already have 3,500 clients in just one year of operation. For the credit restoration programme the charge is Rs 11,000 per annum and for the full service of credit restoration, credit enhancement and credit protection, the firm charges an annual fee of Rs 16,000.

Do you need Credit Sudhaar?

Financial advisors say that if you know your Cibil rating has gone down or there is an issue with your rating, then you can directly approach Cibil online.

One can fill up an online Credit Score Request Form and pay Rs 470 as fees to get your credit report.
With the credit score in hand one needs to get in touch with the bank or financial institution where you have a pending issue to resolve the same.

Even for credit enhancement, one can directly approach the bank and take credit card against a fixed deposit with the bank to move on a healthy credit enhancement path.

"Ideally the system (banks and other credit providing firms) should create alerts for people. Banks should inform their customers that if they do not make their payments on time, their rating will dip by this many points. So we need more awareness on what helps in building good credit and what actions can lead to its deterioration," said Surya Bhatia, a Delhi-based financial planner.

However, in the absence of awareness and knowledge on what can hit your credit, Credit Sudhaar may come as a handy advisor. At an organisation level, they seem to be the only one offering a credit health check-up service as of now.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Improve your credit health for better employment opportunities

In today’s competitive world, you cannot afford to be jobless especially after investing so much on your education. The meteoric rise of inflation only adds to woos. On the other hand, it is an uphill task to fetch yourself a decent job that matches up to your caliber. So when you manage to find one, you try to grab it with both hands. But when you keep going up the professional ladder and apply for top positions, chances are that your employers will check a lot of things apart from your illustrious resume. And one crucial thing that they will make it a point to check is your credit report.

Yes, you have heard it right! Though on the surface you might think how is your credit score linked to your job? However, in reality, it does affect your job prospects to a great extent. But before we go deep into the subject, we should first know the importance of a good credit score on your overall credit health. It is primarily a numerical expression that highlights your credit worthiness based on your previous records and experience with financial agencies. The credit score is maintained by credit bureaus like Cibil and Equifax. They in turn collate the information from data furnishers that might include creditors, lenders and utilities, debt collection agencies that a person has had a relationship or experience with.

Being credit healthy has its own perks and benefits. The credit score lies between 300 to 900 points and anything between 700 to 900 points is considered a decent score. If you come under this bracket, then you can avail a lot of benefits like lower interest rates on home loans, car loans and credit cards, can easily get telephone connection, insurance premia, rentals and a lot more.

And of course – a white collar job!

With the growing importance placed on credit scores, it has become inevitable to score good points because a poor credit history is sure to impede your professional growth. Bad credit has an adverse effect on job opportunities; so try to score as much as you can so that you might land up a coveted position in your career. Background check of credit reports have become increasingly common; Hence, know all the when’s and how’s that will improve your situation and increase your chances of getting hired.

One of the main reasons why credit checks are made by employers on prospective candidates is because the company wants to make sure how the candidate handles his finances. They will also check on accounts of debt collection, bankruptcies, a high debt-to-income ratio, foreclosures and tax liens. The employers can also find out from the credit report if the salary level of the candidate is too low for the level of debt the applicant is in. If it is a good report, it shows that he or she handles finances in a judicious manner and if it is a poor history, it indicates otherwise.

The good thing about examining the credit history of an applicant is that the he might fill in a position which requires handling of cash. In such a case, a responsible applicant is preferred over others and this responsibility is reflected in the timely repayments of loans and bills which are shown in the credit report. Of course, the employers will seek a written permission of the job applicant before going ahead with the credit checking process. But if the applicant does not give his permission, it gives a negative impression that he is hiding something. So the best thing to do is to furnish a satisfactory report and give your potential employers the permission to see it for themselves.  

You can access a copy of your Cibil credit report through the credit bureau. Their website is www.cibil.com. Create a Cibil consumer login and password. After this, they will ask you to fill a form containing your personal information and email address. They charge an amount of Rs. 470 which you can pay online. Once the payment is done, they will mail you the online Cibil report on your given mail address. You can then show this Cibil score or Cibil report to your future employers.  


And if you need guidance on how to improve your credit worthiness, then Credit Sudhaar is your answer. It is one of the leading credit health improvement agencies with a reputation of taking credit points of clients to new height through sheer professionalism and expertise. Their team of credit specialist will easily guide you through it so that you are hired for your dream job.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Learn some interesting facts on how marriage can influence your credit health

Marriage has been long considered as a ceremonious institution bringing together two like-minded individuals who wants to spend the rest of their lives together. However, in today’s fast changing lifestyle, marriage has also turned out to be a financial institution. It may sound a little weird, but it is very much advisable by financial pundits that before you commit yourself to matrimony, ask your partner about his or hers financial positions so that you are not disillusioned and have a clear picture ahead of you. This is to ensure that both of you are credit healthy and get your life rolling together.

With the Indian economy grabbing a center stage on the global front, things like a good credit score and such financial terminologies are garnering importance in our day to day lives. A credit score is basically a thorough report that reflects how much credit worthy an individual is. In India, there are credit bureaus like Cibil and Equifax who collate the data from creditors, lenders and utilities, debt collection agencies that an individual has had a relationship or experience with. A credit score starts from 300 to 900 points and anywhere from 700 to 900 points is considered as decent to excellent.

Now coming to marriage, the question looms large in the horizon as to whether or not the Cibil credit report will affect your individual score or not. Though it is taken for granted that after marriage the couple shares everything, it might not necessarily include the credit report. Both of you will continue to have your own Cibil report indicating your credit history without any influence of your partner’s score. Even if your husband or wife has an incredible Cibil score, it shall in no way make your score reach greater heights. Same is the case with a bad credit score.

However, if you both want to apply for a home loan, car loan or even a credit card, the bank will scrutinize both your credit scores. If both the credit reports are satisfactory, chances are very high that the loan or card will get easily and quickly approved. Moreover, you might also be lucky enough to pay a lesser rate of interest. On the other hand, if both the credit scores are on the lower side of the score card, then chances are slim that your loan will be approved, let alone lower rate of interest.

Also, you have to keep in mind that in case of holding joint accounts, both the husband and the wife is responsible for monthly loan repayments as well as payments on credit cards. In case both the scores are lopsided, you two will have to sit down and chalk out a plan as to whether you want to do it jointly or get rid of this plan entirely. And if you want to stick to it, then it will increase the score of the one with a bad credit rating which will help in the long run. However, if the healthy credit bearer applies for a loan, then interest rates will substantially come down.

You can also get the Cibil report online which is easier and faster. You simply have to create a Cibil login and password on www.cibil.com , fill in the form details, pay Rs. 470 through online transaction, and your online CIbil report will be sent to your given email ID.

These are very crucial matters that have to be dealt with in consultation with credit experts. As these issues are coming up on the surface on a daily basis, so are the specialists! But one credit health improvement company that has provided valuable and customized service to its customers is Credit Sudhaar. As the literal meaning of its name ‘Sudhaar’, the company leaves no stone unturned to improve and better the credit scores of its esteemed customer base. They have set a firm foothold in this niche market owing to their team of credit specialists who bring on board years of experience in this domain. They have a straight forward four step approach to resolve any credit related problems, no matter how bad the situation is, and in the process, take your credit score to newer echelons.


All said and done, the bottom line is to see each other through during good times and worse as you had promised while taking your marriage vows. And this essentially includes finances – because money matters!

Author: 
Arun Ramamurthy : Director,
Credit Sudhaar

Friday, 24 May 2013

Reap the fruits of a good credit score while applying for Home Loans


It is after months of savings and years of aspiration that you finally decide to purchase your dream house. And if you are living in any of the metros or tier I cities in India, taking a house loan is unavoidable if you belong to the mid-income group. This again entails a thousand odd processes and acute planning down to the finest detail. In the entire procedure, buying the house at the earliest remains your top priority. But what will you do if your loan is rejected even after providing all the credentials and documents? It is only natural to get disappointed.
However, if you try to find out the actual reason of rejection of the loan, you might be surprise to know that it is due to your low credit score. To begin with, a credit score is basically a number that indicates the credit worthiness of any individual based on a thorough assessment of the individual’s credit history so far. This credit score is collected and collated by credit bureaus – mainly Cibil and Equifax – and they in turn get hold of the information from data furnishers that might include creditors, lenders and utilities, debt collection agencies that a person has had a relationship or experience with.
Now that you are aware of what a credit score is, you should also know how it is intricately related to your day to day life and why it is important to maintain a healthy credit report card. Firstly, whenever you go to a bank or any other financial institution to apply for a loan or a credit card, they will first check with Cibil for your credit score. If the Cibil credit report if satisfactory i.e. you have commendable credit points, only then will the bank approve your loan. Not only in the case of loans, but also while applying for a telephone connection, applying for jobs, insurance premia, rentals and a lot more.
Essentially, if you can boost of a healthy credit score – ranging in and around 700 to 900 points – chances are very good that  you might end up saving thousands or even lacs of rupees in the form of interest. This is mainly because banks provide succor by offering credit facilities at lower rates of interest. The Cibil score also enables the bank to find out who actually qualifies for a loan and at what credit limits. In other words, by referring to the Cibil report, they can easily analysis which customers will prove instrumental in bringing in more revenue for the bank.  
In line with being a credit conscious person, you should also keep in mind that your name does not feature in the defaulters lists. If it does, then it is considered as a discouraging sign which will take dedicated effort to increase your points and bring your score to normal. Also, it is not necessary that timely repayment of loan is the only criteria to avoid being featured on the defaulters list; there are other issue too that come to play.  
You can also get the online Cibil report by registering in their website www.cibil.com . Once you have created a cibil consumer login, you can easily access the Cibil report online. They will ask you to pay a minimal amount of Rs. 470 which you can pay online through credit or debit card.
So now that you have seen a broader and clearer picture, you will be more aware from now on to remain healthy – credit wise. Maintaining a healthy credit regime can only land you on a safer side besides earning you more money in your bank account. You can also up your credit score by avoiding too much loans and credit cards because mongering for them will give an impression that you are a credit hungry person for whom ‘more is less’.
Once you have recorded a satisfactory credit score, you are placed at a comfortable position to start making plans for purchasing your dream home. Make the most of this healthy state of finances and start looking forward to living in a new home and spread the word for a sound credit health.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

A Great Way to Find Credit Repair Agency


Do not despair – simply ‘repair’!

It is a common human tendency to lose heart when you score low and your report card shows a declining graph. And if it is related to your financial matters, it becomes all the more disheartening. Being a common mortal without possessing in depth knowledge about the heavy jargons related to finances and credits, loan defaults and mortgages only add insult to your injuries! So what do you do at such a crucial point of time? Keep postponing so that your debts catapult and take you to the brink of bankruptcy? Well, a little research can save you from facing such a dire situation.

And you can do that by searching out a reliable credit repair agency. Since it is very difficult to cut through the complicacies of credit scores and the likes, the best option you have is to consults the experts. Catering to people who are suffering from a low credit score, credit experts have come up to your rescue and help you to improve credit scores. You can very well avail their services by going through their profiles and zeroing on the best one. Their services are very much dependable and meet all the global standards that are put forth by credit rating agencies.

The reason why it is quintessential to remain credit healthy is because your credit score will invariably reflect when you go to a bank to avail a loan or seek telephone connection or even when you apply for jobs. Being a credit health improvement company, the experts have a serious job in their hands and that is to let you reap the benefits of a healthy and sound financial condition. And this can be done by effectively analyzing the ups and downs of your credit report. Once they have done that, they will put to practice all their expertise so that your performance graph goes northwards.

With the assistance and guidance of a credit repair agency, you can also be hopeful about scoring very high points which will benefit you in numerous ways like easily avail loans, credit cards and other credit facilities. Hence, seeking the advice of credit experts will land you in a secured position without worrying anything about your credit health.  


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

How Healthy Are You Credit Wise?


The old phrase ‘healthy, wealthy and wise’ finds a new meaning with credit health gaining importance these days.
You must be doing your regular health check-ups to ensure that you are in the pink of health.
But have you given a serious thought on your credit health which is as important as your physical health?
The need for a well-planned credit health strategy might not seem significant at a glance.
However, its importance surfaces when you have to avail of loans, credit cards or open accounts and the like.
In case your credit health is not sound, you need not worry because there are reliable credit health improvement companies that would be more than happy to upgrade your credit scores.
But before you avail of their services, you should first know that your credit report is checked by the credit bureau by taking into account interest rates, credit cards, loan approvals, telephone connections, insurance premia, rentals and even job applications.
Once you avail the services of a credit health consultant, he will start off by analysing your reports.
Depending on the assessment, he will offer the necessary guidance to improve your credit health.
The credit issues which are acting as impediment in your growth will also be ironed out so that they do not hamper the overall results.
It is usually seen that borrowers fail to understand the intricacies of the credit system resulting in heavy debt, even bankruptcy.
This is because unresolved debt doesn't just disappear, it keeps growing.
The customer realises this only after it's too late.
However, if you have a good credit score, you enjoy a lot of benefits.
Banks and credit card companies analyse your credit score to determine who qualifies for a loan, at what interest rate, and what credit limits.
They also evaluate which customers can bring in more revenue for the company.
Hence, it is advisable that you opt for the services of a good credit improvement company if you want to stay fit and fine -- credit wise!
The writer is Director, Credit Sudhaar
Gaurav Wadhwani