Credit Information Companies (CICs), also known as credit bureaus are designed to collect, analyze, and/or maintain credit data of the borrowers, organizations, and businesses. The Reserve Bank of India has granted them a license.
In this blog, we will discuss India’s top four credit bureaus and how much credit data they handle on a regular basis. But first, let us understand how CICs function.
How do Credit Bureaus in India Work?
Credit bureaus in India collect all of the borrowers’ credit information from lenders, banks, and financial institutions. The collected information is then used by the bureaus to generate a detailed credit report, which is then used to calculate the borrower’s credit score. The detailed credit report is a combination of multiple factors such as the borrower’s credit repayment history, late payments, loan or credit application rejections, credit utilization ratio usage, number of hard inquiries, and so on. Apart from that, the bureaus consider the borrower’s account, age, credit account status, total credit limit, and other factors while generating a detailed credit report.
Credit bureaus are only required to create a detailed credit report for borrowers. Because the credit report contains sensitive, financial, and personal information about the borrower, the bureaus are not permitted to provide it to unauthorized or any other person who requests it. The report is only given to the people and authorities listed below upon request-
- Borrower’s employer
- Borrower’s landlords
- Utility service providers
- Government of India
- Lenders, banks, financial institutions
- Any third party (only after the written request from the borrower)
Top 4 Credit Information Companies
The top four credit information companies in India are listed below:
Year of Establishment- 2000
Headquarters- Maharashtra (India)
TransUnion CIBIL Limited is a credit information company that was founded in India in the year 2000. TransUnion CIBIL is a subsidiary of TransUnion, an American multinational corporation. It is one of the most well-known credit information companies, with over 600 million individuals and 32 million businesses under its management.
Year of Establishment- 1996
Headquarters- Dublin, Ireland
Experian is a credit bureau in India. It closely works with over 2900 financial institutions, public sector banks, microfinance institutions, and non-banking financial institutions to maintain the credit data.
Experian was one of the few credit bureaus to receive a license under the new Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act (CICRA) 2005 in 2010. Furthermore, Experian was named one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” by Forbes magazine in 2014.
Returning to its core business, Experian provides its own Experian credit reports and credit scores to individuals and businesses. In addition to this, the bureau provides credit information, analytical tools, and marketing services.
Year of Establishment- 1899 (as Retail Credit Company)
Headquarters- Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Equifax is another well-known credit bureau in India, that established its presence in the country in 2010. On March 26, 2010, the RBI granted it a license. The bureau provides a variety of credit-based information services under the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005, as amended by the Credit Information Companies Rules, 2006, and Credit Information Companies Regulations, 2006. (CIC Act).
In India, the bureau is known as Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS) and Equifax Analytics Pvt Ltd. In 2011, ECIS Equifax established a microfinance bureau in the country. The goal of the launch was to collect data from various microfinance lenders and introduce the concept of microfinance loans to the country.
Year of Establishment- 2005
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra (India)
CRIF Highmark Credit Information Services Pvt Ltd is a credit bureau in India that has been approved by the Reserve Bank of India. It began operations in 2005. According to data, from July 2018, the bureau was managing a database of more than 120 crore credit borrowers. In October 2018, the bureau expanded its coverage to include approximately 38 crore unique borrowers.
CRIF Highmark currently manages over 4,000 credit institutions (a mix of around 1,000 insurance companies and cooperative banks) while providing credit information, credit score, analytics, and software. Apart from that, the bureau manages credit information for users and businesses such as credit repayment history, credit default, fraudulent activities, and so on. Additionally, the bureau collaborates with credit rating agencies, SEBI-registered brokers, and telecom service providers.