Credit Bureaus and Credit Scores in India: All That You Need to Know

By Ashish Katkar . June 25, 2024 . Blogs

The significance of credit scores in India’s financial arena has witnessed a sharp incline, significantly affecting crucial aspects such as loan authorizations and interest rates. Despite its paramountcy, however, the majority of Indians are unacquainted with the mechanisms underlying credit bureaus and the variables that intrude on their credit scores. This blog aims to dispel ambiguities surrounding credit reporting in India by delving into pertinent topics including major credit bureaus, computation methodologies for credit scores, and the importance of upholding a healthy credit score. A thorough grasp of India’s credit system is vital for all consumers, whether you are seeking a loan or striving to enhance your financial well-being.


What are Credit Bureaus?

In India, credit bureaus are the keepers of your financial name. They gather information about how you borrow and pay back money, acting like a personal museum for all things related to credit history. But don’t think these details are collected just for display – they have a very important reason.

India has four main credit bureaus, they are TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, and CRIF High Mark. These bureaus function in the following manner:

  • Collecting Information: Credit bureaus gather details of your credit cards, loans, and debts by partnering with banks, financial bodies, and other lenders. They collect this data through cooperation to confirm its precision and entirety.
  • Creating Your Credit Report: A credit report is a complete document that holds your credit past. This history includes facts about how you have borrowed money, if payments were made on time or not at all, the rates of usage for available borrowing power, and any public records related to debts such as defaults or bankruptcy declarations.
  • Calculating Credit Scores: Credit bureaus create a credit score for you which depends on the details in your credit report. This score, typically from 300 to 900, shows how much trust people can place in you for returning borrowed money on time and also helps estimate if they will get their payments back promptly.


What are the Major Credit Bureaus in India?

1.      TransUnion CIBIL

TransUnion CIBIL, fully Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited, features as one of the largest credit reporting agencies in India. It represents a very integral unit of the American multinational group TransUnion and has created a specific space for itself concerning trust in credit information. This huge data relates to 600 million individuals and 32 million businesses in the form of credit files. This is why, at the very least, CIBIL forms a very important source for lenders and financial institutions in India.

2.      Experian

Experian is a multinational well known for data analytics and consumer credit reporting services and thus helps pool the global experience into the Indian market. Headquartered in Ireland, Experian is an international company with huge data gathering and aggregation of information from more than 1 billion people and businesses across the world. With operations in India, Experian joins the “Big Three” of credit-reporting agencies globally in its intimately connected network, helping deliver information rich in insights on consumer credit behavior.

3.      Equifax

Another influential credit bureau in the Indian scenario is Equifax Inc., an American multinational consumer credit reporting agency. Similar to Experian, Equifax forms part of the global “Big Three” credit-reporting agencies. It covers over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses all over the world. Equifax provides credit and demographic data services to businesses and Finserve credit monitoring and fraud prevention services directly to the consumer for enhanced financial security in the market.

4.      CRIF High Mark

CRIF High Mark is an RBI-approved credit bureau, domiciled in Mumbai, driven by the vision to serve the various sectors that make up the Indian economy. Starting its operations in 2010, it has very rapidly become a major credit information player. The largest database involves more than 120 crore credit records and almost 38 crore unique borrowers; it is with CRIF High Mark. It has been reported that the company is managing the world’s biggest microfinance credit bureau database. It facilitates over 4,000 credit institutions, cooperative banks, and insurance companies with very vital credit information, analytics, and scoring products and software solutions.


What are Credit Scores?

Okay, the credit history is put together by credit bureaus. But how does all this complex information get translated into one simple number? This number is what we call a credit score. It’s usually three digits long, between 300 and 900 – showing your overall reliability with money matters in essence.

The better your financial reputation, the higher your score seems to lenders. This is how it works out:

  • A Higher Score is Golden: When your score goes over 750, it’s like having a shining achievement. Such scores are superb and show a very good track record with borrowing responsibly and paying back on schedule. This top position can mean that getting approved for loans becomes easier, and there might be chances of lower interest rates also. Access to more improved credit card deals could be possible too!
  • The Middle Area: From 600 to 750 points is seen as good. Even though this might not make you eligible for the best interest rates, it shows that you are reliable with your credit and should not create a big barrier when getting loans or credit cards.
  • Fair: Scores between 500 and 600 are considered fair, which means you possibly had some credit issues in the past but there’s still space for improvement. You could be eligible to get loans or credit cards, though at higher interest rates.
  • Below Average: Scores between 300 and 500 are seen as poor. This means there are serious credit difficulties, and you might find it hard to get approved for loans or credit cards. If you do get approved, the conditions could be unfavorable.


How to Access Your Credit Report?

Now that you understand the importance of credit bureaus and credit scores, you might want to verify what these bureaus have on record about you. Thankfully, in India, you are entitled to access your credit report from every credit bureau (including TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, and CRIF High Mark). Here is how:

  1. Through the Credit Bureau Websites: Every credit bureau has its own website from where you can ask for your credit report. You have to sign up and confirm your identity with details such as PAN card number, birth date, and other personal info. There could be a small fee linked with getting the credit report.
  2. Via Your Bank: In India, a few banks offer credit reports for free to their customers as an additional service. You can inquire with your bank about this option. It is possible that they have included the facility to directly access credit reports in their online banking or mobile app services.
  3. Fintech Platforms: Some FinTech companies and websites team up with credit bureaus to offer credit report services. While these platforms may have added bells and whistles or fancy analysis tools, you need to keep an eye out for any fees they might charge you.


How to Maintain a Good Credit Score?

Understanding your credit score is very important, but tips on how to build a good one will give you real liberty. Here are some key strategies that may help in keeping your credit score shining:

  1. Pay Your Bills on Time: The most important rule one should follow is the payment of all dues on time, be it loans, credit card debt, or utility bills. Not doing so is sure to take a negative toll on your credit score.
  2. Keep Your Credit Utilization Ratio Low: This is of the utmost priority – maintaining a low ratio of credit use to the total limit. It should always be borne in mind that the ratio has to be less than 30%. So, for example, if your limit stands at ₹100,000, you should never spend more than ₹30,000 at a time.
  3. Build a Credit History: Those embarking on credit-building can seek to attain a collateralized credit card. This form of payment necessitates an initial fund deposit, subsequently serving as your cap for credit utilization. Proper utilization of this card can aid in cultivating a positive credit history.
  4. Don’t Apply for Too Much Credit at Once: Requesting numerous loans or credit cards in rapid succession can adversely impact your rating. Therefore, apply discerningly and only when absolutely essential.
  5. Maintain a Healthy Credit Mix: Effectively manage a diverse credit portfolio by utilizing different credit offerings such as a credit card or an extended loan, such as for purchasing a vehicle or home. This demonstrates your responsible handling of varying types of credit.



Comprehending credit bureaus and credit scores is imperative for maneuvering India’s economic terrain. By upholding a commendable credit score through conscientious financial conduct, one can access superior loan conditions, reduced interest rates, and enhanced fiscal prospects.

Is your organization prepared to optimize its credit management systems or enhance the quality of its financial services? Look no further than Verinite, a trusted partner for banking institutions, third-party payment processors, and fintech companies with over ten years of experience. Our extensive knowledge in this domain and technological proficiency make us the perfect choice to streamline credit reporting procedures, implement strong credit scoring mechanisms, or create groundbreaking financial products.

Do not allow the intricacies of credit management to impede your progress. Reach out to Verinite now and discover how we can customize our offerings to cater to your individual requirements for credit bureau utilization and scoring.

Ashish Katkar

Ashish is Managing Director @ Verinite. His passion is to build a next generation technology company focused on BFSI industry in emerging economies. An ardent Arsenal, Amitabh, Kishore Kumar and Sachin Tendulkar fan.

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