Rachel Chitra | TNN | Updated: May 16, 2018, 09:51 IST | Times of India
BENGALURU : Are banks gearing up to reward you for good behaviour? After Bank of India (BoI) and Bank of Baroda (BoB) announced such measures, IDBI Bank on Tuesday said that it will reward good borrowers by giving them differential pricing on their home loan interest rates based on their Cibil scores.
According to Cibil COO Harshala Chandorkar, this could point to a larger trend of “loan interests more aligned towards a carrot-and-stick policy – where good borrowers can reap the benefits of their financial prudence and bad borrowers get weeded out or have to pay steeper rates”.
With all four credit bureaus in India – Cibil, Equifax, Experian and CRIF Highmark – looking at wider coverage and criteria, from whether you paid your electricity bill on time to whether your parents paid off for the bike they got you in college, this score could affect your loan prospects.
In the last few years, with non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and micro-finance institutions also sending information on borrowers to credit bureaus, lenders now have a wider and more comprehensive data set to assess. This could further widen as Cibil is currently in talks with telecom regulator Trai for access to data on prepaid recharges, and other agencies for utility bill payment history.
Banking analyst Hemindra Hazari said, “The whole point of Cibil assessing a customer’s data is that at some point it should translate into benefits. Corporates are always being graded on their term loans, unsecured debt and convertibles, AAA or BB++ rating, and that gives a better picture of their credit worthiness.”
In IDBI Bank’s case, it will be offering loans at 5-15bps (1 percentage point = 100 basis points, or bps) cheaper for customers whose Cibil score is above 700. A credit score normally ranges between 300 and 900 – based on credit behaviour and repayment history. Therefore, the higher the score, the more the chances of securing a fresh loan. IDBI Bank ED Jorty Chacko said, “We are keen to provide all aspiring consumers with access to credit. But while doing so, it is important to reward those consumers who have exhibited consistent credit discipline through timely payments and responsible credit management.”
But with many customers unaware of the role credit bureaus play and whether decisions taken earlier in life can come back to haunt one, Hazari said, “I am concerned about the privacy of our data. In India, there is a very low premium on methods employed for data collection and aggregation. And also, many a time, your consent is not required before financial institutions share additional sets of information over and above what is mandated.”