Credit score V/s Credit report

Credit scores and reports are still relatively new to the Indian psyche. To most people they are one and the same and are often used interchangeably in conversation. Though credit reports and credit reports are interrelated, they are not the same thing. Here is the difference between them and why it is important to know the differentiation

March 27, 2014 10:13 IST | India Infoline News Service

Chetan Shah, a successful businessman, applies for a credit card. He was told by the bank that his credit card application was rejected because of some delays in payment of credit card bills last year. The delays were due to a dispute and showed up on his credit report. Chetan was surprised that the bank knew about a dispute he had with another bank. He was under the impression that with a credit score of 720 he would pass muster and his credit card application would be accepted.

What Chetan does not realise is that there is a distinction between a credit score and a credit report. While a credit score is an excellent indicator of what is the overall picture looks like, it is the credit report which has the nittygrities and details.

Credit score: A quick glance

A credit score is a statistical compilation of the facts that are present in your credit report. It puts into numbers various borrowing and payment patterns and histories. The credit score predict the probability the customers defaulting on credit .The variables that go into shaping the credit score includepast payment history, balance outstanding, credit account status, age of accounts etc

There are 4 credit bureaus in India - CIBIL, Experian, Equifax and Highmark. The scoring pattern of each bureau is somewhat different. CIBIL has a score band of 300 -900 whereas Experian has 1- 1000 and Equifax has a range of 1 -999

When a credit application comes across the table of a credit manager, his first judgement will be formed on basis of the credit score. There is a high chance that your credit application will be rejected purely on basis of the credit score if your score is below 600(we take the scores of the most commonly used bureau i.e. CIBIL). Between 600-750 or so the credit risk assessment is done on basis of your credit application as well as a detailed scrutiny of the credit report. Getting credit is nearly sure shot when the score is above 750 unless the credit report shows some strongly adverse behaviour especially in the recent past.

Credit report: A detailed scrutiny

A credit report is a detailed account of your credit history. It has 5 sections

  1. Credit score
  2. Personal Data
  3. Employment information
  4. Accounts information
  5. Enquiry information

As someone who is assessing your ability to repay, the credit officer perusing your credit report will look for information in credit report which will include any delays or non payment of past loans, current outstanding credit of both secured and unsecured loans, number of bank accounts and credit cards and their age, number of enquiries for borrowing etc. Basically the credit history is looking at past behaviour and predicting the future credit behaviour to analyse if you would be a good borrower.

The author is Co-Founder & Director, CreditVidya 

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