There are many easy ways to quickly improve your credit history and score. But if you are not careful, these measures may even jeopardise your financial security
Shaikh Zoaib Saleem | First Published: Mon, Nov 27 2017. 12 37 AM IST | Livemint.com
If you need a loan to buy something you cannot fund immediately, you approach a financial institution—typically a bank or a non-banking financial company (NBFC). When you do that, the financial institution runs a background check on you, from its own database (if you are an existing customer) and also from a credit information bureau. The credit information bureau is authorized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to gather information on loans and borrowers from banks and analyse it to arrive at a score of creditworthiness of an individual. If your creditworthiness is good, you would get a loan relatively easily and at better terms. If not, either the loan will be rejected or you will be charged a higher interest rate. This is especially true in case of personal loans. The institutions’ decision to lend is based in large measure on the credit score and the credit report.
What is a credit score?
It is a number based on your credit report, which is a summary of your past and current borrowing and repayment history. If you were regular with repaying loans, including your credit card bills, your credit score is likely to be higher. This score helps banks assess your loan repayment capacity and your chances of defaulting on it. “Credit score is derived from the credit history of an individual. A consumer needs to have a minimum of 6 months of repayment track record on a loan or credit card or closed credit accounts less than 2 years old before a credit bureau can generate a credit score,” said Hrushikesh Mehta, vice-president and head of direct-to-consumer business, TransUnion CIBIL. A credit score is created as your lending and repayment relationship with financial institutions evolves. However, if you are new to credit, here are some ways you can quickly start to build a credit score.
Credit cards or personal loans
If you are new in the workforce, you can start by getting a low-limit credit card from the bank where you have a salary account, said Sumit Bali, senior executive vice president and head-personal assets, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. “Based on their income, banks can give them a card with low limit. Use that card sensibly and build a credit history,” he said.
In the past, people considered taking personal loans to build their credit score. However, with a personal loan you will necessarily have to spend your money in paying the interest, whereas with credit card repayments within the stipulated time, you do not have to shell out extra money. For slightly older professionals, about 35 years old, credit history is not much of a worry if their bank account status and average balance are good, and investments and tax returns are in place. They “don’t really need a credit card to prove credit worthiness. Any bank would sensibly look at it and take a call,” Bali said.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms are an emerging option for creating and enhancing your credit history. The RBI has recognized these platforms as special category NBFCs and has mandated them to share lending data with credit information bureaus. “Once the P2P lenders receive their licence, they will be able to begin data submission. Once that happens, P2P lending will become a viable option in helping one build a credit score,” said Mehta. However, in this case too, you will have to pay an interest on the borrowed amount.
In some cases, especially where customers have a long relationship with their bank, the banks may also look at own data to determine creditworthiness, Bali added. “Credit score by and large is a good indicator but it may not be the only indicator,” he said.
Alternative credit scoring
Evaluating someone who has never taken a loan can be difficult. This is where alternative credit scoring comes in. Here, instead of relying on a credit score, lenders consider your transactions and behavioural data like bill payments, online buying behaviour and information from your social media platforms to understand your repayment capacity.
“Often people are refused big-ticket loans like a home loan for the lack of credit history, even if their finances are in order,” said Abhishek Agarwal, chief executive officer and co-founder, CreditVidya, a credit advisory that also works on alternative credit scores.
While the RBI-regulated credit bureaus are currently not allowed to use alternative data for credit scoring; in other developed markets parameters like utility bill payments, insurance premium payments have been used for credit scoring (read more on it here.
However, financial institutions including top public and private sector banks and NBFCs in India, have started using alternative data in multiple verifications and validations across the credit value chain, Agarwal said. “Innovative offerings like pre-approved offers or instant loans are leveraging alternative data from multiple sources to provide seamless customer experience,” he said, adding that leveraging alternative data for credit risk assessment of secured loans is still distant. Banks use the alternative scores “in conjunction with other things, like data that you have about the customer. This is happening for personal consumption products like credit cards and salaried personal loans. We are putting it to use but what is the outcome from that, it is too early to say,” Bali said.
While credit cards and loans help to build a credit history and score, caution needs to be exercised. If used carelessly, these can put you in a debt trap, and ruin your credit history too.
Not just that, you should also keep your digital and transactional behaviour in check, as going forward more and more data could be used to assign you a credit score.
Source : https://goo.gl/m7Ns7g
The platform owners & investors hail the move as regulation gives RBI’s stamp of approval to a business that is completely banned in countries like Japan & Israel
Anup Roy & Abhijit Lele | Mumbai | April 29, 2016 Last Updated at 00:25 IST | Business Standard
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday came up with a discussion paper on peer-to-peer lending (P2P), seeking to regulate the fast emerging crowdfunding platforms as the new financing model has assumed importance too significant to be ignored.
Interestingly, the platform owners and investors welcomed the development as regulation gives RBI’s stamp of approval to a business that is completely banned in countries like Japan and Israel.
“Any space where money changes hand should be regulated. Regulation is good for the industry, but it should be light regulation” said Mohandas Pai, former board member of Infosys and investor in Faircent.com, a P2P lending platform. “Regulation will help us in our business and we can approach the court of law as legal entities for our needs and even for recovery,” said Bhavin Patel, co-founder of LenDen Club, a P2P platform.
In fact, RBI itself is aware of this and sounded a little hesitant in giving this recognition to the business model. But the central bank officials, including Governor Raghuram Rajan, have said the RBI cannot remain indifferent to new innovation in financing activities and growth in P2P sector. To allow regulation, RBI’s discussion paper said the platforms should adopt a company structure that can then be regulated by the central bank. Currently, the P2P platforms are run by individuals, proprietorship, partnership or limited liability partnerships — areas outside RBI’s jurisdiction. The P2P platforms are largely technology companies registered under the Companies Act and acting as an aggregator for lenders and borrowers thereby, helping create a match between them.
“Although nascent in India and not significant in value yet, the potential benefits P2P lending promises to various stakeholders (to the borrowers, lenders, agencies etc.) and its associated risks to the financial system are too important to be ignored,” RBI said.
Presently, there are around 30 start-up P2P lending companies in India, RBI said. Globally, the cumulative lending through P2P platforms at the end of fourth quarter of 2015 reached £4.4 billion, from just £2.2 million in 2012. While banned in some countries, in some other jurisdictions, the P2P platforms are either considered part of banking, or are intermediaries.
RBI’s own discussion paper favoured the platforms to act as intermediaries, to be registered as non-banking finance companies with a minimum capital of Rs 2 crore, so that promoters have “skin in the game”. The discussion paper also sought to curtail the freedom of these companies significantly and said funds raised through the platforms should go directly from the lenders’ bank account to the borrowers’.
P2P LENDING BUSINESS
- The business size globally is £4.4 billion but nascent in India
- Completely banned in Israel and Japan but allowed elsewhere
- RBI plans to treat it as intermediary NBFC
- Minimum capital requirement is Rs 2 crore
- Should not take deposits
- Cannot show lending and borrowing funds in its balance sheet
- Money should go directly from lender to borrower
- Can only take fees, provide creditworthiness info
- Should not provide cross-border transactions
- Management should be stationed in India
Source : http://goo.gl/HB0yhG