Which Is The Best Credit Bureau?



 

The question needs a little more context. Are you wondering: Which provides the best service to a certain subset of customers (like: apartment complexes, car loans, home mortgage, employment screeners)?

Alternatively, which has the best services for consumers (like credit alerts, ID theft protection, customer services, dispute handling and resolution)? Or, do you want to know which has the most correct and comprehensive data/which produces the mosts accurate scores? Finally, do you want to know who is hardest/easiest to deal with as a partner?

While there are no solid answers for the above, as the landscape is always changing, I might be able to give you a way to look at the CRAs and evaluate what meets your needs the best.

CIBIL:

Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited, commonly known as CIBIL™, is India’s first Credit Information Company or Credit Bureau. It maintains records of all credit-related activity of individuals and companies including loans and credit cards . The records are submitted to CIBIL™ by registered member banks and other financial institutions on a periodic (usually monthly) basis. Based on this data, CIBIL™ issues a Credit Information Report or CIR (commonly referred to as a credit report) and a credit score.

CIBIL™ was founded in 2000 in order to bring greater efficiency and transparency in the credit space. TransUnion International (a global credit bureau) and Dun and Bradstreet (a global provider of credit information) are technical partners of CIBIL™ in India. CIBIL™’s mission is “To catalyze growth of Credit in India through: solutions that enable well informed Credit decisions; technology that enables superior information availability; and people that provide high quality services.” It has an ISO 27001 rating, which is the highest security standard in the world.

Shareholders in CIBIL™ include TransUnion International, ICICI, SBI, IOB, HSBC, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, and Allahabad Bank.

CIBIL™ has two focus areas: A Consumer Bureau that deals with consumer credit records and a Commercial Bureau that deals with the records of companies and institutions.

It is important to note that CIBIL™ is a database of credit information. It does not make any lending decisions. It provides data to banks and other lenders who use it as a quick and efficient resource to filter loan applications.

EQUIFAX:

Equifax in India is registered as Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS), and is headquartered in Mumbai. It is a joint venture between Equifax Inc., USA and seven leading financial institutions in India and provides credit information services amongst other credit-related services.

Equifax is a credit information company and is one of four credit bureaus in operation in India. It is an independent entity licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and registered under the Credit Information Companies Act, 2005, to provide its members with credit information products and related services. It has banks, NBFCs and other financial institutions as its members. Member institutions are required to provide data regarding every customer’s credit-related activity. It collates this data on individual consumers and businesses and presents it in a highly readable format

This information enables lenders make informed decisions regarding lending and enables them to function in a more transparent and efficient manner and at a lower cost than is otherwise possible.

Member institutions report to the credit bureau (and the other credit bureaus in operation) on a periodic, generally monthly, basis about individuals’ credit behavior. The credit bureau, as mentioned before, then processes this information into a usable and readable form and provides credit information reports based on the information provided by the members. It also provides a credit score and a host of other services amongst other related products.

Equifax maintains records of all credit-related activity of individuals and companies including all transactions on loans and credit cards. This extensive data present with the credit bureau enables lenders to make informed decisions while evaluating prospective lenders for loans in India.

A credit information company provides credit related services to lenders, borrowers, businesses and consumers.

EXPERIAN:

Experian is one of the world’s foremost credit information services companies offering a wide range of business tools to their clients based all across the globe. Widely known to be among the planet’s most innovative companies according to Forbes magazine, the company is licensed by the Reserve Bank of India and assists clients by providing a wealth of analytical as well as data tools, which help them manage their businesses in a more efficient and effective manner. Experian is also the first credit information company to be licensed by Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act 2005 (CICRA 2005) and currently operate two firms within India, namely:

Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Ltd Experian has tied up with more than 2,900 financial institutions, counting public sector banks, telecom companies, micro finance institutions as well as non-banking financial companies. The company, which is ISO 27000:2013 certified, provides its customers with credit information as per guidelines issued by the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act of 2005.

CRIF HIGHMARK:

CRIF is a global FinTech company from Continental Europe specializing in credit bureau and business information, analytics, scoring, outsourcing and processing services, and credit solutions. it is the leading group in continental Europe in the banking information sector and one of the main operators on an international level for integrated business and commercial informationand credit and marketing management services, and is included in the prestigious FinTech 100, a ranking of the leading global technology solution providers to the financial services industry. 

Established in 1988 in Bologna (Italy), CRIF offers banks, financial institutions, utility companies, insurance companies, telecom players and businesses qualified support inevery phase of the customer relationship: from the planning of development strategies to acquisition, through to portfolio management and credit collection. CRIF has over 500+ software installations and manages credit bureaus in over 20 countries including Italy, India, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Ireland, Philippines, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Jamaica, Russia etc.

Nowadays more than 6,300 banks and financial institutions55,000 businessclients and 310,000 consumers use CRIF services in 50 countries across 4 continents on a daily basis.

So, which one's the best?

As mentioned earlier, it's not easy to say which is the best credit bureau in India. However, the good news is that it's not important.

You don’t really need to find out which is the best credit rating agency in India to improve your chances of a personal loan or car loan approval. This is because while the score calculation methods of different credit rating agencies vary, they are all based on the same principles. To test this, you can even get a free credit report from different agencies and compare them all.

Since different credit bureaus follow a different scoring range, your credit score may vary a lot from one bureau to another. However, you will definitely notice a pattern.

For instance, if your CIBIL score is 400, which is quite low because the score range followed by CIBIL is 300-900, then your Equifax score should be around 100-250 because it follows a range of 1-999. However, what's common in each free credit report is that your score is below average and you need to work on it.

Conclusion

It's important to educate yourself on the good "credit habits" to build a high credit score. However, learning about the "best credit bureau" shouldn't be one of them. This is because the basics of improving your credit score are the same at every bureau.

So, by doing the right things, such as paying credit card bills on time, avoiding high debt accumulation, avoiding maxing out your credit cards, etc. you can increase your creditworthiness. For monitoring purposes, you can focus on the free credit report offered by just one particular credit bureau. If you can improve your score in that report, you will most likely increase it in other reports too.

 
 

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