Top Credit Information Companies (CICs)- Know How They Work

CICs or Credit Information Companies are also known as credit bureaus. They are licensed by the Reserve Bank of India. All the CICs are made to collect, analyze and/or maintain the credit data of the borrowers, organizations, and companies.

In this blog, we will talk about the top 4 credit bureaus of India and how much credit data they handle on a regular basis. But before that, let us first understand how CICs work!

How do Credit Bureaus in India Work?

Credit bureaus in India gather all the credit information of the borrowers from lenders, banks and financial institutions. The accumulated information then helps the bureaus to generate a detailed credit report, which then creates the borrower’s credit score. The detailed credit report is a fusion of multiple factors like the borrower’s credit repayment history, late payments, loan or credit application rejections, use of credit utilization ratio, number of hard inquiries, etc. Apart from this, the borrower’s account, age, credit account status, total credit limit, etc. are also taken into consideration by the bureaus to create a detailed credit report.

The credit bureaus are only liable to create a detailed credit report of the borrowers. As the credit report consists of the borrower’s sensitive, financial and personal data, the bureaus are not allowed to hand over the borrower’s credit report to unauthorized or any other person asking for it. The report, upon request, is only provided to the following people and authorities-

  • Borrower’s employer
  • Borrower’s landlords
  • Utility service providers
  • Government of India
  • Lenders, banks, financial institutions
  • To any third party (only after the written request from the borrower)

Top 4 Credit Information Companies

Listed below are the top 4 credit information companies operating in India-

TransUnion CIBIL

Year of Establishment- 2000
Headquarters- Maharashtra (India)

Incorporated in India in the year 2000, TransUnion CIBIL Limited is a credit information company. TransUnion CIBIL is a part of TransUnion- an American multinational group.

It is one of the well-known credit information companies that manages over 600 million individuals and 32 million businesses.

Experian

Year of Establishment- 1996
Headquarters- Dublin, Ireland

Experian is the next credit bureau that operates in India. It closely works for over 2900 financial institutions, public sector banks, microfinance institutions and maintains the credit data of non-banking financial institutions as well.

In the year 2010, Experian became one of the few credit bureaus that has received a license under the new Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act (CICRA) 2005. Further, in the year 2014, Experian was quoted as “World’s most innovative companies” in Forbes magazine.

Coming back to its core working, Experian provides its own Experian credit reports and credit score to individuals and companies. Other than that, the bureau offers credit information, analytical tools and marketing services.

Equifax

Year of Establishment- 1899 (as Retail Credit Company)
Headquarters- Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Another known Credit bureau in India is Equifax, which made its presence in India in the year 2010. It was licensed by the RBI on 26th March 2010. The bureau offers various credit-based information services under the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005 read with Credit Information Companies Rules, 2006 and Credit Information Companies Regulations, 2006 under ‘The Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act’ 2005 (CIC Act).

The bureau works and manages in India under the pen name Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS) and Equifax Analytics Pvt Ltd. In the year 2011, ECIS Equifax launched its Microfinance bureau in the country. The intention behind the launch was to gather data from a number of microfinance lenders and introduce the concept of microfinance loans in the nation.

CRIF Highmark

Year of Establishment- 2005
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra (India)

CRIF Highmark Credit Information Services Pvt Ltd is an RBI approved credit bureau of India. It started its operations in the year 2005. As per the data recorded in July 2018, the bureau was managing the database of around 120+ crore credit borrowers. In October 2018, the bureau further covered approximately 38 crore unique borrowers.

Currently, CRIF Highmark takes care of over 4,000 credit institutions (which is a mix of around 1,000 insurance companies, cooperative banks) while offering services related to credit information, credit score, analytics and software. Apart from that, the bureau manages users’ and businesses’ credit information like credit repayment history, credit default, fraudulent activities and others. Besides, the bureau works with credit rating agencies, SEBI-registered brokers and telecom service providers too.

FAQs
Can a credit bureau fluctuate my credit score?
Credit bureaus are liable to generate borrower’s detailed credit reports. The credit score is created out of the borrower’s credit report. Thus, none of the credit bureaus can fluctuate the borrower’s credit score in any way.
Is it true that lenders always prefer good credit scores?
Lenders generally prefer to approve the loan application of applicants with a good credit score. The reason being, a good credit score is the reflection of the applicant’s responsible behaviour towards the credit repayment process.
Should I apply for a loan with a low credit score?
You should not apply for a loan with a low credit score as it might damage your credit score further.
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