Tagged: Credit Health

ATM :: Financial Slavery: Do you really need a loan-free life?

Sukanya Kumar, Founder & Director, RetailLending.com | Aug 12, 2016, 10.28 AM | Source: Moneycontrol.com
The more we become ‘social’, the more we tend to show-off. It leads to more bad loans. It is time to shun bad loans and embrace good loans wherever required.

ATM

This is a very sensitive subject. Most of us in the financial broking business will shiver thinking what will happen, if this ever comes to of no one borrowing anymore. But let us overcome this superficial personal gain agenda and see what lies beneath.

A man in his late 20-s or early 30-s is bound to have a couple of small loans like credit cards, personal loans etc. here and there. They may be for shorter periods. As he progresses well in life and gains stability in his profession, he wants to settle himself. A big part of this ‘settlement’ is buying a home. And a home loan is generally taken for 20 years by most.

Given the current property prices across the world, buying a home with your own savings and liquidating your financial papers is not a possibility. You are bound to fall short way beyond the market price. Gone are those days when a man used to build a home with his retirement benefits and borrowing only from his provident fund account. He never used to enjoy the home fully as he has spent his hay-days staying at a rental home/company accommodation which never was his ‘own’.

The more we become ‘social’, the more we tend to show-off. If my colleague has got something which he boasts about, we have to get the better ones to overtake him. Our home-maker (to the true sense) spouse wants to buy a home with more number of bedrooms and amenities, her neighbouring friend could afford. Even our teenage children want to buy better gadgets to make sure they have their friends’ groups flocking around them and think they have the ‘latest’ ones.

There is no end to these needs, no end to loaning to purchase these, and hence the terms ‘financial slavery’. A man pays 70% of his net take home salary to pay off his monthly loan EMI-s and needs to survive with the balance 30% only, and with this lean sum pay for his home rent, children’s education and their extra-curricular activities, day-to-day expenses, food, clothing, entertainment, hobbies and also family trips and shopping.

We are afraid to start our own venture; afraid to opt for a better opportunity, if it requires us to take a study-break for a couple of months, we are even afraid to get married these days (I hear it from many 30-somethings frequently), since we are afraid to take more responsibility, given that we are already under so much debt.

Now, all of it is not that bad. There are two clear groups of loans. The good loans and the bad loans. One needs to let go of the bad loans to relieve himself / herself from being miserable, and continue happily with the good loans and feel good to have them.

Bad loans:
Any item, bought with loan-money, which depreciates in time, is a bad loan. You never recover the sum you paid, plus you pay the interest on that sum too.

For example, you buy clothes or any electronic gadgets via a consumer durable loan or you buy a car with a car loan, or you buy just some books by swiping your credit card…….. The moment you are walking out of the shop, it depreciates by 30-50% to the least. It becomes a ‘second hand’ item. You never regain the price, unless of course your car becomes a vintage one and pays off (pun intended).

So, a loan on credit card, a personal loan, a consumer durable loan, a car loan- all these are bad loans. It only boosts your ego and gifts you a ‘rich’ lifestyle and only brings momentary joy with no permanent effect on yourself.

Good loans:
A loan which enhances the worth of the purchased product over time and even crosses the mark of it, to give a handsome return over the period, also absorbing the interest cost attached to it.

A home and an education loan are in this category. A home always appreciates in price, if bought wisely with proper research in good location, and will supersede the interest cost too. The percentage of people making a true loss while selling their property is negligible.

The added advantage of taking a home loan is also the tax benefit you get under a couple of sections. There are subsidies available on affordable housing too.

An education loan while taken will be with a moratorium so that it is easy on the pocket of the student. This loan enriches you as a person and helps you get a well-paid job or find a business solution for yourself, after getting trained professionally. The return on this is lifelong. You keep reaping the benefit of you educating yourself, till your last day. The interest you pay while taking this loan is negligible, of course.

Strangely enough, the bad loans are the ones which are more expensive too!

So, to avoid enslaving yourself from paying high monthly debts, please relieve yourself of the high-interest rate loans which are eating away your month’s pay and giving no returns other than being depreciated day by day.

One last thing, many people feel themselves under a ‘burden’ of home loan and tends to close that first. Do not make that mistake ever. If you have spare money, invest in retirement plans, SIP and other low-risk debt-funds to reap the benefit when you are old and retired. By foreclosing your home loan early with the liquid cash and hence not having any money left for investment anywhere, will leave you only with a house post-retirement with no money in hand. And, you can’t eat, enjoy and spend the house for next 20-25 years of your retired life. You need money for that.

Be wise. Live a life without any bad loans. No loans at all may not be financially a good choice for the modern generation, since you want to enjoy yourself when you are young. Ultimately, we live longer now than earlier with all the medial attention we get these days.

Happy Good Loaning! Happy Freedom from Bad Loans!!

Source: http://goo.gl/wKmt0d

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ATM :: Credit Score: What you don’t know about it?

Though most of us have heard about CIBIL score, there are so many things many individuals are not aware of.
Rajiv Raj Founder & Director, Creditvidya.com | Aug 01, 2016, 08.06 PM | Source: Moneycontrol.com

ATM

Awareness about credit score is quite low in India and the few who know about it also might not be aware of the finer details of the process of ascertaining the credit score or its importance and what impacts the credit score of an individual. As we move towards a more digital world, everything is more linked, which means that soon the importance of a CIBIL score will go up while taking a loan; it may impact employment prospects, insurance premiums and so on. Thus being aware of credit score nitty-gritty can be use full.

Q. Are credit report and credit score the same thing?
The first thing that we need to know is that credit report (CIR: Credit Information Report) and credit score are not synonymous. While the credit score is a three digit number or sometimes it can be NA/NH or -1, the credit report is a much more detailed document. The credit report carries the details of all the loans and credit card one holds, it lists personal information, contact and employment details, status of dues, credit enquiries etc. Lenders look at the report and not only the score to get a comprehensive picture about the debt status of an individual.

Q. Is CIBIL the only credit score company in India?
CIBIL is the oldest credit score agency for individuals in India. Since it was the first one and was the only one for a long time it is the most well known and almost synonymous to credit score in India. Apart from CIBIL there are three more agencies that provide credit score for individuals; they are Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited, Experian Credit Information Company and High Mark Credit Information Services.

Q. Will my score across agencies be same?
No, the CIBIL score against various credit agencies will not be same. There may be a slight difference due to the scoring model of each agency. While the basics of calculating the credit score remains the same, each agency may use a different algorithm for calculating the score which can cause some variation. However if an individual follows the basic tenets of responsible borrowing then his/her score is expected to be good across all agencies.

Q. What impact does settling an account have on the Credit Score?
If one settles an overdue amount by paying a lesser amount then actually what was originally due then it will be reported in the CIR. How this is reported will impact the score either positively or negatively. If it is simply reported as paid then the impact will be positive as the overdue no longer exists. However if the lender reports it as “settled” then it could lower your score. While negotiating with the lender, make sure you clarify this aspect.

Q. Does checking your own score impact in negatively?
When a financial institution asks for the CIR of an individual it is known as a hard enquiry and impacts the score negatively. However, when an individual seeks his/her report it is known as a soft enquiry and has no impact on the credit score whatsoever.

Q. What does NA or NH mean?
A score of NA or 0 means that the individual has a credit history of less than six months which is not sufficient for a credit score for 300 to 900. NH or no history means there is no credit history so obviously no rating can be provided. Score of NA/NH is not a bad thing but may cause hiccups in trying to get a loan.

Q. At what CIBIL Score can I get a loan?
As per the CIBIL website 79% of the loans get approved for a score of 750 and above. Having said that there may be some flexibility as per the rules of the lender, the kind of loan, special tie-up with corporate and so on. Banks may be willing to consider a lower score for employees of a company with they have tie-up or some co-operative banks may be willing to lend at lowers score at higher interest. While a score of 750 and above is generally considered good, there is still some room for flexibility at lower scores and sometimes a score of 750 may also not be sufficient as the applicant may be overleveraged or there may be some negative comments in the report.

Hopefully the above discussion has helped you in getting better insight into the credit process. As stated earlier the importance of this statistical tool is increasing as we move towards a more credit driven and digital economy.

Source : http://goo.gl/a7sCtz

NTH :: CIBIL to provide one free credit report a year: Raghuram Rajan

Currently, an individual has to shell out Rs 550 for a report and a onetime credit score in the PDF format from CIBIL
BS Web Team | Mumbai | July 22, 2016 Last Updated at 10:53 IST | Business Standard

NTH

The Credit Information Bureau of India (CIBIL) has decided to provide individuals with one free credit report a year, the Reserve Bank of India chief Raghuram Rajan said.

“Going forward, by the end of the year, the Credit Information Bureau of India will start providing individuals with one free credit report a year, so that they can check their credit rating and petition if they see possible discrepancies,” Rajan said.

Currently, an individual has to shell out Rs 550 for a report and a onetime credit score in the PDF format from CIBIL.

Most Indians are unaware of their credit score and have never bothered to check their credit report either. Consequently, they may not know that there may or may not be issues present in their report.

Financial institutions, including banks, check the credit worthiness of an individual before extending credit or loan, through these credit reports. “When an individual knows that a default will spoil their credit rating and cut off future access to credit, they have strong incentives to make timely payments,” Raghuram Rajan said at a seminar on ‘Transforming Rural India through Financial Inclusion’.

Other than CIBIL, there are two other credit bureaus in India — Experian and Equifax. But at the moment, the governor has only talked about CIBIL providing a free report.

Praising the credit bureaus further, Rajan also said: “Credit information bureaus have helped tremendously in solving both the information and incentive problem in retail credit.”

Rajan also pitched for the need to expand the reach of credit bureaus in rural India, even bringing borrowing under Self Help Groups (SHG) into their ambit.

Source: http://goo.gl/2GHs8Z

ATM :: Why Paying Credit Card Bills On Time May Not Be Enough

Creditvidya.com | Last Updated: June 13, 2016 10:38 (IST) | NDTV Profit

ATM

Credit utilisation is the ratio between the credit card spending and the sanctioned limit for the card. This is calculated cumulatively as well as individually which means that it is calculated for each card that one might have and also for all the cards put together. Thus, the overall spending on your card versus the total sanctioned limit is the cumulative credit utilisation.

Why is this ratio important? This ratio is important because after the repayment history this is the biggest contributor that makes or breaks the CIBIL score of an individual.

How does it make a difference if the credit utilisation is high or low? High credit utilisation is indicative of being credit hungry and also poor debt management, both indicate risky borrowing behaviour which makes the CIBIL score low. Then does it mean that zero credit utilisation is good?

No. While a high credit utilisation ratio is definitely not good for the CIBIL rating a nil one is also not good either.

Smart ways to manage credit utilisation ratio

Reduce expenditure: Well, to be honest it is not the smartest way but definitely the most obvious and the simplest way. Yet this is something that might not be the easiest thing to do. If expenditure on credit card is high because of unplanned and impulsive buying then yes you could try to reduce the spending.

Get a bigger credit limit: Either one could decrease the numerator (spending) or increase the denominator (limit) to reduce the ratio. Getting a bigger limit is one of the options. Often for cards that were issued a few years back, card holders forget to revise the sanctioned credit limit even though they are eligible for it. Thus one could check with the card company and find out if they are eligible for a higher limit. If the eligibility allows then one could get a bigger limit sanctioned for their existing card.

Opt for an additional card: If a higher limit is not possible due to the rules by the credit card issuer or you already having a high limit, then one could explore the option of getting an additional card. An additional card will raise the overall available credit limit thus making it possible for you to control a high credit utilisation ratio. However this option will work only if the expenditure is spread smartly over all cards and if one easily manages paying the dues on all cards.

Distribute expenditure smartly between cards: An additional card will not work if the expenditure is not distributed judiciously over all cards. It also makes sense to time the spending depending on the billing cycle and due date and charge it to the appropriate card accordingly. If the credit utilisation ratio is low overall but is too high for one card then also it is not a good indicator for the credit score.

Try paying mid-cycle once a while: If in one billing cycle due to some festivities or unforeseen circumstances there is very high spending on the credit card, then one could consider paying before the actual due date to keep the credit utilisation in check. Paying mid-cycle some amount will ensure that the ratio does not become too high.

Disclaimer: All information in this article has been provided by Creditvidya.com and NDTV Profit is not responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the same.

Source : http://goo.gl/Cxof7c

ATM :: Lender utters the word “deviation” approval, know what that means?

By Munir Kulavoor | 15th Apr 2016 | Mumbai

ATM

Over the past decade and more, being in the home loan business the one thing that stands out in my view and experience is that every borrower application is unique. There are set of challenges in 90% of the cases. While every credit team of banks would love to have “clean” cases, more often than not, some or the other deviation/exception is required to be taken by the Bank/HFC. The word Deviation is self explanatory, banker has to deviate or depart from the accepted norm or policy of the bank. Following are the common deviations that Banks have to contend with:

Salaried:

  • Employed in unorganised sector/proprietorship/partnership firm: To consider the salary certificate tallying with salary credits reflecting in bank statement
  • Incomplete income documents: Form 16 not available for the entire 24 months (usually required); Form 16 Part A or Part B unavailable
  • FOIR (Fixed Obligation to Income Ratio): Higher FOIR required to meet the customer requirement
  • Rental Income: To consider additional rental income either without registered leave & license agreement OR to consider future rental income
  • Pension Income: To consider additional repayment tenure in case of government employees expected to earn pension income post retirement date
  • Perquisites: To include Car Hire Receipts provided agreement is executed and some Reimbursements to arrive at eligibility

Self Employed:

  • Vintage of Business: Shorter tenure in business to be accepted in exceptional cases depending on line of business & profile
  • Interest Income from Unsecured Loans: In rare cases (profile based) interest income from unsecured loans may be considered
  • Depreciation: Depreciation to be added back to income in some cases
  • Provisional Income & Balance Sheet: To accommodate the loan requirement in some cases the provisional income & balance sheet (>6 months) is accepted to arrive at loan amount

Borrower Relationships:

  • Son with Parents: To avoid any future trouble in ownership issues banks insists on declaration from borrowers on the ownership or exclusion of rights of other siblings.
  • Two Brothers: Individual capacity to repay the entire loan may be ascertained for the reason mentioned above
  • Daughter with Parents: To avoid any future trouble in ownership issues banks insists on declaration from borrowers on the ownership or exclusion of rights of other siblings.

CIBIL:

  • More than two DPD: Cases where existing loans have more than two instances of (dishonour of ECS/SI/PDC) Days Payment Due (DPD) in CIBIL OR DPD exceeded 30days in last 6 months with acceptable justification from borrower
  • Overdues more than Rs.10000: Cases where the current overdues appearing in CIBIL exceed Rs.10000 with acceptable justification from borrower
  • Asset classification as ‘SUB” (Substandard), “DBT (Doubtful), “LSS” (Loss), or “SMA” (Special Mention Account): In all such cases in rare exception with acceptable justification from borrower
  • Suit filed (willful default) and/or written-off: In all such cases in rare exception with acceptable justification from borrower

Property Related:

  • Occupation Certificate (OC): OC unavailable is the most common exception, provided the Approved Plan & Commencement Certificate is available and construction is as per the same. Age of the property may be a deciding factor.
  • Unregistered Development Agreement: In such cases legal opinion from empanelled lawyer is crucial in making a decision
  • Unregistered Sale Agreement (in Chain): In such cases legal opinion from empanelled lawyer is crucial in making a decision
  • Nomenclature mismatch in CC/OC: Sometimes CC/OC contains the building number, wings etc as per the approved plan and later the same may have been changed by the builder or society, in such a case proper explanation & architect certificate supporting the same should be available.
  • Old Property: Structural report from empanelled valuer to determine Residual age required. May be considered for lower repayment tenure

The above listed circumstances are not exhaustive but will give borrowers an idea of areas to watch out for and be prepared for delays in processing their application.

I’m sure there are many more situations that may require credit deviation, readers may want to post such interesting cases at the bottom of this post.

NTH :: A credit score for online shoppers is on the anvil

Rachel Chitra | TNN | Feb 15, 2016, 01.08 PM IST | Times of India

NTH

CHENNAI: India with more than 380 million internet users has emerged as the third-largest internet user. And nearly 60% of this user base make purchases online – a user base, whose credit history and risk profile is still unknown.

And credit rating agency CIBIL hopes to step into that gap and maintain credit scores for users of e-commerce websites just as it is currently doing for clients of India’s banks, car dealers and non-banking financial institutions. CIBIL said on Wednesday that it is in talks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for bringing e-commerce customers of online payment processors like PayPal, PayTM and Citrus Pay in the loop.

The rating agency, which has been collecting and maintaining records on individual’s payments on credit cards and home, car, corporate, agricultural loans, etc, plans to now profile online customers as e-commerce picks up pace in India. Simply put, if CIBIL succeeds, then Amazon, Flipkart, Ebay and others will know the credit profile of their buyers and can plan their strategy for payment on an instalment basis and payment by cash.

CIBIL currently puts out reports based on the inputs it received from member banks and credit institutions on a monthly basis. The decision to extend its reach to e-commerce sites will bring with it challenges in terms of confidentiality of information and setting up a network with the current players in the online payment space, said Satish Pillai, CEO and MD of CIBIL.

“Thanks to the way we keep a tab on a person’s spending habits and credit history, payments and loan sanctions have become a lot faster. If you are sitting at a car dealer and waiting for the EMI amount to get clearance – real-time clearance will happen if your credit score happens to be good. So CIBIL’s credit scores make for faster risk assessment and less due diligence from the credit giver – making for faster sanctioning on loans. We are now hoping that to add additional layers of information to our existing database,” said M V Nair, chairman, CIBIL.

CIBIL also said that it is in talks with the regulator for extending this facility for customers of utility companies and telecom providers. “We are seeing a real need in this area. Say your postpaid bill with a mobile service provider has a credit limit of Rs 500 – if CIBIL scores come into play in that arena – and say your credit history is good – then it could be instantly raised to Rs 2,000 without any need for a check from the service provider. CIBIL scores would make for seamless transaction with greater ease and smoothness,” said CIBIL’s Pillai.

“The current system of sending a person to come and verify the address, customer profile and authenticity of documents will get outdated. It costs time, labour and money. With CIBIL, the utility or telecom provider would have all the information that they would need a click away,” he added.

Source : http://goo.gl/H06Kss

ATM :: Barricade your credit score from a fall

Tania Kishore Jaleel & Sunita AbrahamSunita Abraham | Last Modified: Mon, Feb 01 2016. 01 46 AM IST | LiveMint.com
Understand and manage your credit behaviour to protect yourself from a low credit score

ATM

You know by now that big brother is watching your credit behaviour. One misstep in how you meet your financial obligations and your credit score will feel the effects for a long time. The credit score is a number based on your credit report—which is a summary of your past and current borrowings and your repayment history—that a credit bureau agency prepares. Currently, there are four such companies in India—Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (Cibil), Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd, Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd and CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd.

A good score will help you get credit and loan facilities easily and on better terms, while a bad score will harm your borrowing interests. However, it is easy to make errors and have oversights that pull the score down.

“There are specific elements from one’s credit report that shape the scores; these are called credit score factors. These include amounts owed by a borrower, type of credit in use or the total number of credit accounts maintained, appetite for credit through credit inquiries and the number of late payments,” said Mohan Jayaraman, managing director, Experian Credit Information, and country manager, Experian India. It is important to understand and evaluate these factors, since an increase in these could result in one’s credit score being lowered.

It is good to know what may harm you if you want to protect yourself from the ills of a low credit score. Here’s what you can do about it.

Validate credit report

Check your credit report at frequent intervals to make sure that there are no errors or mistakes in the data, which may, in turn, be affecting your credit score. For example, there may be errors in your personal information. The balances reported on the loans and credit cards may be incorrect or may not reflect the repayments you have made. All of these have the potential to needlessly pull down your credit score.

To avoid that you just need to periodically purchase your credit report for a nominal sum, and if there is any disputed information, you should give an application for correcting it. The cost will vary across credit information companies. For instance, Experian charges Rs.399 for a credit score and Rs.138 for your credit report. Cibil charges Rs.500 for your credit score.

The credit bureau will make the changes after the credit institution confirms the error and provides the correct information. “It is recommended that one checks her score and report once a year. This is because it is good to know where you stand and also if there are any discrepancies,” said Aparna Ramachandra, founder director, http://www.rectifycredit.com, a credit repair and advocacy firm.

Delay or default

Delaying or defaulting on making loan payments and other obligations reflect poorly on your score. While even a one off case of delay or default will have an effect, frequent delays or defaults will indicate financial difficulties or lack of discipline and an inability to meet repayment obligations. Have systems in place, such as automated payments, to make sure that you don’t inadvertently miss a payment, if funds are not an issue.

Use credit in moderation

Just because you have been approved a high credit limit on your credit card or some other type of a loan doesn’t mean you take on the offer. Using a high percentage of the credit facility that you have been sanctioned, or a high credit utilisation ratio, may indicate a lack of control over spending habits and the risk of not being able to service the debt.

“Taking too many loans may be depicted as being credit hungry while applying for no loans means that a borrower will have no credit footprint on the bureau. Neither of these scenarios augur well for someone who plans on taking a loan,” said Jayaraman.

“Credit information companies consider consumers who apply for several new credit lines in a short period of time to be at a higher risk and hence adjust their credit scores accordingly,” he added.

Closing a line of credit, such as a credit card or an overdraft facility, while a financially prudent step, may also push up the credit utilisation ratio now that the available credit has gone down without an equivalent reduction in credit usage. Consider the impact of any credit related decisions, like applying for more credit, closing credit lines, or increasing usage.

“Taking too much credit, especially if it is unsecured credit, has a higher negative impact on the credit score. Lenders always look at debt in relation to the income for a more balanced view,” said Kalpana Pandey, chief executive officer and managing director, CRIF High Mark Credit Information.

Go slow on new enquiries

Each time you apply to use a credit facility, the credit institution will access your earlier information and this is recorded as an enquiry in your records. Too many enquiries reflect negatively on your credit score. “Space out your credit applications and limit making several applications close together as lenders may see this as a sign of financial stress,” said Pandey. It also indicates an inability to live within the available income and lenders may view this as a risk to your ability to meet repayment obligations.

Ramachandra said that a particularly big red flag in the eyes of a lender is if one makes regular enquiries about a particular type of credit. “This shows that you cannot live within your means,” she said.

Build a credit history

While a clean slate may be good news for your overall financial situation, it can hinder your ability to get a loan or credit facility in the future. Some lenders may look for evidence of responsible repayment behaviour before they lend, and not having a credit history works against the borrower in such cases.

Similarly, if you are considering reducing the number of credit cards that you hold, then retain the older credit cards in which you have a disciplined payment history, and close the newer ones. This will strengthen your credit score.

Monitor guarantees and add-ons

Standing guarantee for a loan, and holding and giving add-on cards may seem harmless but they can have an impact on your credit score. If the primary borrower defaults on the payment obligation, then as a guarantor it will be your responsibility. Similarly, whether you have given an add-on card or hold one, a default will reflect on both parties’ credit reports. Regularly monitor these obligations to make sure that there is no default. Else, you could be penalised for no fault of yours.

Since it’s difficult to avoid credit or loans, protecting the credit score should be a priority. “The most important factor to improve a credit score is to clear all outstanding credit card dues and then start paying back outstandings on your loan regularly (month on month). Once a borrower pays all her outstanding instalments and has started paying regularly, her score will improve,” said Jayaraman.

Close unused credit accounts if you no longer need them. Lenders take into account the credit limits available to you, and not just what you currently owe.

Have an emergency fund in place so that loan repayment obligations are not affected if there is a fall in income. It will also help pay for expenses such as medical situations, which may otherwise push you into additional debt.

To improve financial discipline, take simple steps like automating debt and bill payments, keeping contact details updated so that there is no missed information, periodically checking credit report and signing up for intimation by SMS or email for payment obligations.

The consequences of a poor credit score may not be immediate but it is an expensive mistake that you will pay for a long time. It will also take a long time to repair.

Source : http://goo.gl/oRVsfj