Do you remember a time in your childhood when you got back your answer paper and was disappointed that you didn’t score as expected? Did you just sit back and accept your fate, or did you scan each answer to look for errors in marking? If you are nodding in agreement to the latter scenario, then you understand the importance of being justified and claiming what is your right. It is much the same with any report card that will be used to weigh your worth. A good CIBIL rating or healthy is your gateway to availing loans quickly and with lower interest rates. So, as much as it is necessary to maintain a healthy score, it is also important to ensure that it is up-to-date and error-free.
Imagine this. Mr. G. Khanna, a mid-level manager in an IT company has just got promoted. Like any upwardly mobile, middle-class person, he dreams of owning a nice house in an all-inclusive gated community. His lifestyle, till date, has not been conservative. He has a few credit cards; a while ago he had taken a personal loan for an international vacation with his family. However, he has never once defaulted in his payments. What do you suppose his credit score is? On the better side of 700, right? Then, imagine what he experiences when he approaches a public sector bank, reputed for , and finds his credit score a mere 550 – much below the accepted threshold!
What happens next? His application gets rejected because his credit history shows him as a defaulter. He loses his chance at any of the . And what does Mr. G. Khanna feel? Panic. Utter confusion. Disbelief. Disillusionment. It seems unfair that someone who has diligently maintained a fool-proof financial profile should get rejected on the basis of his credit score. But, what if the score is not Mr. Khanna’s at all? What if there are unpaid loans attributed to him that belong to another person. This situation is far from fictitious. Such cases have been reported to happen and time and energy have been wasted to rectify such errors. Would you let an error like this affect your chances for essential loans? Think, not!
At least in one respect Mr. Khanna is wrong. He should have had his CIBIL report generated before approaching the bank. That is the first, and, may well seem, the only error on his part. So, even before you approach a bank or financial institution for any kind of loan or credit facility, your first step should be to apply for and get your credit report from CIBIL. If your credit score is lower than you expect, before you even think of , check for errors, if any, and dispute them.
Your credit report covers five main segments of your credit history. An error in any one section could mean you are not looking at an accurate or current report. Consider, the section on personal details, for example. Look closely to see whether the name, address, birth information and PAN card details belong to you. A simple typographical error in the PAN card number or birth date information could end up as a case of erroneous identity and lead to wrong association of loan or . The importance of looking at the current balance on your credit report cannot be emphasized enough. Look to see whether it is up-to-date. CIBIL reports are updated on a monthly basis. The timing of your report may not have captured the last that you paid. When you are certain that you have not defaulted, you know it is time to act and enquire why the account information is not reflecting accurately. Similarly, check to see whether there is more than one account against your name registered with CIBIL.
All it takes is a bit of alertness and pro-activeness to maintain an updated and accurate credit score. You can reach the team at CIBIL through their online dispute form. Make sure to mention your Control Number, or the nine digit number on the top right of the CIBIL report, when entering your query. If it is a dispute regarding your account details, CIBIL will engage with the credit institution in question and resolve the dispute on your behalf.
Don’t let Mr. Khanna’s plight become yours. Who knows how long it would take him to get to the bottom of his credit history errors and have his home loan sanctioned. It is better to be safe than sorry. It is better to set your record right, even if that involves a route of dispute, than be rejected for an error that’s not your own.