Perseverance and knowledge are the two intrinsic ways to self repair credit score.
A credit score of 750+ is considered an ideal benchmark for banks and NBFCs to extend various loans to a borrower. A 2019 survey report from PaisaBazaar reveals that only 6 out of 10 salaried employees and 5 out of 10 self-employed professionals have a credit score of 750 and beyond.
In a broad sense, almost half of the Indian working population does not have access to credit facilities because (1) they have never taken any credit service (implying they do not have a credit score to begin with) and (2) they have loan defaults, repayment delays, foreclosures, or erroneous credit reportage which reduced their credit score to below 750.
Banks and NBFCs review the credit information report of a prospective borrower before granting a credit line. A credit score of 750 and above translates to easier credit facilities and less interest rates. Borrowers with 600 – 750 credit score find it hard to get any credit line and even if they do, the interest rates are exorbitantly high.
Therefore, the question is – what can people with > 750 score do to repair credit score? The answer lies in the credit information report file which is unique for every borrower.
The article discusses 8 proven ways to self repair credit score in the next 60 days.
8 Proven Ways to Self Repair Credit Score in 60 Days
Here they are:
#1 Download the latest credit score report.
All the three functional credit bureaus in India – TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, and Experian – offer a single credit score report free of charge per year. Utilize them. Go to their respective official websites, create an account, and download the credit information report. If the once-a-year free report cannot be availed, purchase the report.
#2 Analyse the credit score report.
Common sense is enough to analyse and self repair credit score successfully. Undertake the following tasks:
– Itemise the number of active and closed loan accounts. There should not be any errors. If any loan account was closed recently, give in 60 days to reflect on the credit report. If it has been over 60 days and a closed loan account still shows as “active”, there is a big problem – note it down.
– Check for any unknown loans. Loan frauds are common. Aadhaar numbers and PAN details can be misused to take out small loans in time when instant personal loan apps are growing increasingly popular. Ensure that all the listed accounts are genuine.
– Check for loan inquiries. The end of the credit information report contains an itemised list of the dates when a loan was applied for with a certain bank or NBFC.
Excessive loan inquiries negatively impacts the credit score because it implies that the potential borrower is desperately looking for a loan. Desperation does not equal credit stability, as in the borrower is in a financial turmoil and is thus looking for a loan, which makes repayments unsure for the lending institution.
– Check for the number of times a bill payment was delayed. For example, delay in credit card bills often reflect as a “red mark” on the credit report, along with the account outstanding amount.
Once the above information is collected, the next step is to begin the process to repair credit score.
#3 STOP applying for credit immediately.
Depending on the current situation of the credit score, immediately stop applying for new credit options such as unsecured personal loans or a new credit card to successfully repair credit score.
If the score is between 600 to 750, impose this self-rule for the next 6 months. If the score is below 600, wait for at least a year.
Why? Every time a loan is applied for, the lending institution sends a hard inquiry on the credit report. An increase in the number of inquiries hurts the credit score a bit and a couple of points are lost. Too many inquiries is considered as an increased risk by lenders and is detrimental to repair credit score process.
#4 Reduce existing debt.
Irregular credit card payments is the single most common cause of decrease in credit score. Scores dwindle down like a house of cards! Calculate the current outstanding amount and try to clear it at the earliest. If not, the score keeps on reducing while late payment penalties keep on increasing, and it becomes impossible to repair credit score.
Once the current outstanding is clear, start paying upcoming bills consistently on time. It will take another few months of regular bill payments before the score begins to improve.
#5 Improve credit utilisation.
The ratio of available credit and utilised credit makes a big difference. Regularly maxing out credit cards hurts the credit score definitely. Keeping a credit card payment balance of more than 50 percent of available credit affects the score negatively.
For example, if the credit card limit is Rs. 50,000 and there are consistent arrears of Rs. 25,000 upwards (50% of the available credit limit), it impacts the score negatively. Add to this the persistent delay in clearing dues, it is a sure way of going deeper in debt.
The purpose behind undertaking the repair credit score process is to create a sense of trust with the lending institutions, which will not happen if the borrower keeps on falling in bad debt.
#6 Clear “new” loan accounts.
The age of credit matters in a credit report as it displays the credit journey of the borrower. It shows a favourable credit history and repayment discipline to future lenders.
Follow the debt snowball method. Clearing off new loan accounts helps to increase the average length of the credit cycle which helps in improving the credit score and reduces chances of paying high interest rates.
#7 Do NOT close credit cards.
Most borrowers hurt their credit score by impulsively closing a credit card., sending the process to repair credit score pedaling back.
How? Simply put, a credit card means a lender has given an approved line of credit to be used at any time, either by swiping the card or withdrawing cash. Consistent delay in credit card payments can lead to a card block, making it difficult to get a credit card in the future. Prevent a situation like this from happening by paying the minimum payable balance on time every month.
Once the credit card bill is settled in full, borrowers fear they will get into a debt trap again and make the mistake of closing the credit card account – this is a grave misstep.
The borrower needs to be disciplined with credit card usage. Keep it for emergency usage but retain the card actively. It shows up on the credit score statement positively.
However, if the borrower has multiple credit cards, closing the newest card is better than closing the oldest one.
#8 Raise a dispute for incorrect entries.
Apart from the above, if there are erroneous entries that are beyond control for self credit score repair, the only option is to raise a dispute with the lending institution.
Remember that the credit bureaus update the credit score based only on the information received from the lending companies. Contact the lending institution to give a No objection Certificate (NOC) of closed loans and request an update with the credit bureau. In the process to repair credit score, this takes the longest time but remember, perseverance is the key to succeed.
A lot of patience and perseverance is necessary to self repair credit score. Start today, follow all the above steps, and within 60 days, there will definitely be a positive impact on the overall credit score.
Ensure not to fall behind payments or request account foreclosures as it kills credit score and future credit availing possibilities, and then no measure of self repair credit score strategies will work.
After 90 days of starting the repair credit score process, download the updated credit scores again and check the progress.