By Preeti Kulkarni, ET Bureau | May 14, 2018, 06.30 AM IST | Economic Times
Are you feeling tempted to access your credit report for free? Before you rush to share your personal details with a little-known third party in return for the free report, remember you can get it directly from the credit information companies (CIC). You are entitled to receive one report per year from each CIC— TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and High Mark. However, third-party fintech portals such as Paisabazaar, Bankbazaar, Creditmantri, etc. offer customers access to more than one free credit report in a year, along with some other services.
“Some fintech firms help consumers understand their credit situation and guide them to improve their credit score. Others help compare and find the best credit card and loan offers based on one’s credit score,” says Manu Sehgal, Head, Business Development and Strategy, Equifax. These are the services that CICs do not offer. Also, as third-party portals do not have any restrictions on how many times you access the credit report, you can take corrective steps quickly, if needed, to improve your credit score.
“Even a small discrepancy in the records or a single day’s default in EMIs or credit card bills has an impact on your credit score. Easier access to credit report allows you to quickly initiate steps with CICs/banks to correct mistakes,” says Navin Chandani, Chief Business Development Officer, BankBazaar.
Approach with caution
Given the recent reports of data leaks and its misuse, should one part with personal information in exchange for free services? Third-parties typically seek PAN, identification, address, mobile number and email details. Also, you will have to give your consent before CICs can share your credit history with a third-party. “We can share credit reports with portals we have partnered with only if the customer consents to it,” says Harshala Chandorkar, COO, TransUnion CIBIL.
Once you give consent, you cannot hold the CIC responsible for any misuse of your information by a third party—so be careful whom you give consent. “If the customer is not diligent and gets lured into giving out his information—PAN, date of birth, mobile—required to get the credit score, he risks misuse of his credit history and other information in the report,” says Chandani.
Additionally, sharing personal details with third parties may invite spam calls and emails. “Read the terms and conditions when accessing the services of these portals and avail services of only the betterknown fintech portals,” says Sehgal.
Before you share your details, verify if the portal has a tie-up with a credit bureau. “The portal should mention the name of the bureau offering the credit report and it should also provide consumers the option to unsubscribe or delete their details from the platform,” says Radhika Binani, Chief Products Officer, Paisabazaar.