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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Equifax Credit Report – A new credit score in India

Today we will look at Equifax Credit Report given by Equifax – a worldwide credit bureau. It has started giving credit reports and credit scores in India just like CIBIL (read about CIBIL Credit report). CIBIL was the first credit bureau in India that initiated giving credit scores for individuals. Banks and other lending institutions have started looking at these individual credit reports before approving any sort of loans and hence these credit reports have become the backbone in deciding whether or not you will be given any loan now or in future.

What is Equifax Credit Report

Equifax credit report is a consolidated report given by Equifax Credit Information Services Ltd. This report contains details of your past and current credit behaviour. It also has the details about all the outstanding loans and enquires done in the past. Equifax is the second credit bureau in India to provide such credit reports after CIBIL. Just like CIBIL, Equifax Credit Bureau also provides CIR (credit report) and Credit Score + CIR. If you just want a credit report (without score) it would cost Rs 138, however if you need Credit Score (comes with CIR), it would cost Rs 400.
Equifax Credit Report is said to be more useful as it is represented with graphs, pictorial description and better colour coding as compared to CIBIL reports and hence should be more user-friendly for the individual as well as loan/credit approving authority to understand the minutes. As much as 150+ institutions share the data with Equifax regarding their customers credit behaviour (CIBIL has 500) and it has past 48 months of credit history.

What does Equifax Credit Report Contain ?

Your credit report has many components and gives a full overview of different parts of your credit behaviour . Lets see which are those -
1. Identification and Contact Section: Confirm application information with access to the consumer’s name, date of birth/age, address and ID information
2. Credit Summary: Get a quick overview of consumer’s key credit characteristics.
3. Recent Activity: Helps you quickly access consumer’s recent activity including accounts which have gone delinquent, new accounts that have been opened, etc.
4. Account Details Section: Account-wise details of the consumer’s repayment history.
5. Inquiries Section: Details the Inquiries made on a consumer.

What is Equifax Credit Score ?

Equifax Credit Score is a numerical score ranging from 1 to 999 that is assigned to each person. This credit score will determine how good or bad your score is. Higher the credit score, better your repaying capability is. “The risk score is designed to predict the likelihood of a customer defaulting over the next 12-month period. An account is said to be a default when it crosses the 90 days mark of no payments. The score will help banks monitor their loan portfolios,” says Samir Bhatia, managing director and chief executive officer, Equifax.
Equifax Credit Score

What makes Equifax Credit Score ?

A credit score depends on almost 600 different kind of variables which affect your equifax credit score , but the top most variables are
  • Past credit payment history
  • Current credit usability
  • Number of credit cards you hold
  • Number of secured loans you have
  • Number of unsecured loans
  • Demographic variables such as address
  • Your Income

Who can get credit score ?

Equifax Credit score is available to anyone – whether he has any credit history or not. Unlike CIBIL who scores only for those individuals who have some kind of credit history in the past, Equifax scores individuals with no past credit history as the individual being assessed will have some kind of score based on parameters like address, city and income level.

How much does Equifax Credit Report cost ?

It would cost Rs. 138 to get a credit report and Rs 400 to get your Credit Score (along with Credit report). However those who want to monitor it throughout the year can choose an option to get their Equifax credit report 4 times a year for Rs 1,000. Those who are looking for any kind of loan can choose this option as they can monitor their report every quarter.

How to apply for Equifax Credit Report ?

You can follow these 6 steps by step procedure to apply for Equifax credit Report
1 : Download and fill in this equifax credit report application form
2 : Attach a self-attested copy of Identity Proof (Pan Card, voters ID card, driving license, passport)
3 : Attach an address Proof (electricity bill, Telephone Bill,Credit card or Bank Statement, Gas Utility Bill, Ration Card)
4 : Make a demand draft depending on what you want. ( Credit information report (CIR) will cost Rs 138 , Credit Score (with CIR) will cost Rs 400 and a 1 yr subscription with credit score every quarter will cost Rs 1,000)
5 : Send the above documents through Courier/ Regular Post/ Speed Post to – “Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited , Office Number 2 Ground Floor, Lotus Estate, Madhusudan Mills, Near Peninsula Corporate Park, Shankar Rao Naram Path, Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400013 . Maharashtra , India”
6 : Post receipt and validation of documents, the credit report shall be sent via courier or postal service within 7 working days on a best effort basis.
Other Points to remember

  • All photo copies should be self-attested
  • Please ensure that ID card numbers and photographs are clear and visible.
  • All bills should be within 3 months from the current date.
  • All ID proof documents with validity dates should be valid at the time of sending the request.
  • The name and address on the documents should be of the requestor
  • The address should be clear and visible

Wrong information in your Equifax Credit Report

Incase you find some mistakes in your credit report or any kind of mistakes , you can raise a Dispute resolution with Equifax by filling this Dispute Resolution Form . All you need to do is fill up the form , attach the required documents mentioned in their website and send it to them. Equifax will followup with the banks and try to resolve the dispute.

Equifax Credit Score vs CIBIL score – What it means for you

Now there are two credit bureaus in India, CIBIL and Equifax – So the obvious question is, “Which one is better?” and Does it make sense to have credit score from both the companies? You will be surprised to know that in India many banks are already looking at more than one credit report and are expected to look at multiple sources of information before lending to anyone. So having a credit report and credit score from two credit bureaus will help a lot. So if you have good credit score with both CIBIL and Equifax, it really works in your favour as it’s a double confirmation for the banks that you are a good customer.
Whereas if you have a bad score – “god save you”… It would be extremely tough to get a loan in that case. Also incase there is any discrepancies in the scores then banks can give more weightage to one score and less to other or just choose one score which it feels right. So incase you want to check your Equifax credit report go ahead and apply for it.

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