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Credit Bureau/Credit Information Company(CIC)

A Credit Bureau/Credit Information Company is licensed by the RBI and governed by the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act of 2005. Credit Bureau is a repository of information, which collates the credit history of commercial and consumer borrowers from lenders. It provides this information to its members and individuals in the form of credit information reports (CIRs).

The Consumer Credit Bureau covers credit availed by individuals while the Commercial Credit Bureau covers credit availed by non-individuals such as partnership firms, proprietorship firms, private and public limited companies, etc.

The four Credit Information Companies in India are:

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • Highmark

Comparison of the 4 Credit Bureaus in India

CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and CRIFHighmark, all work on proprietary algorithms and are alike in a number of ways. However, there are a few differences as given below :







Year of Incorporation





License Date










Score Range









Online Dispute Resolution Link

Online Dispute Form

Online Dispute Form

Online Dispute Form

Online Dispute Form

Annual Free Credit Report Link

Annual Free Credit Report

Annual Free Credit Report

Annual Free Credit Report

Annual Free Credit Report

Credit Information Bureau of India Limited(CIBIL)

CIBIL is India’s first credit information company, established by SBI and HDFC with necessary technical and software support provided by Dun & Bradstreet Information Services India Private Limited (D&B) and Trans Union International Inc, USA. in the year 2000. It’s services got operationalised in 2004.

Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Ltd

It’s a joint venture with GUS Holdings BV(Netherlands), Axis Bank ltd, Union Bank of India, Indian Bank, Federal Bank Ltd, Punjab National Bank, Sundaram Finance Ltd, Magna Fincorp Ltd, VIC Enterprises Private Ltd. It provides credit information services in accordance to the CICRA Act of 2005.

The first Credit Information Company in India to be awarded a license under the new Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act (CICRA) 2005 was Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Limited . On 12 August 2010, the Experian Credit information Company of India became the first CICRA licensed credit bureau to go live with its operations.

Free Equifax Credit Report
Get Free Equifax India Credit Reprot

Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS)

Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS), a credit bureau/credit Information company (CIC) licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (under the CICRA 2005) is the Indian arm of Equifax Incorporated, a consumer credit reporting agency, founded in 1899 in the US with its operations currently spread across 15 countries. ECIS is a joint venture between Equifax Inc and seven Indian financial institutions namely, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Sundaram Finance Limited, Union Bank of India, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Prime Ltd,  and Religare Finvest Limited. Equifax is currently headquartered in Mumbai and has branch offices located in Delhi and Bengaluru. It has around 1300 registered members.

CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Private Limited

High Mark was founded in 2007 and received a Certificate of Registration from The Reserve Bank of India to operate as a Credit Information Bureau in India in 2010. CRIF, operates in 4 continents supporting more than 6,300 banks and financial institutions and 44,000 companies. CRIF manages credit bureaux in Italy, the Czech Republic and in the Slovak Republic.

Difference between a Credit Score and a Credit Information Report(CIR)

A Credit Score is a three-digit numeric representation of your credit history usually ranging between 300-900. All four CICs in India use their proprietary algorithm to arrive at the credit score. Hence, you may notice some variation in the credit scores of different CICs. The score is calculated using the credit history of loans and credit cards collated in the CIR. A CIR is an individual’s credit payment history across loan types and credit institutions both as a borrower and as a guarantor over a period of time.

Importance of Credit Score

The Credit Score plays a important role in the loan appraisal process. After an person submits a loan application form to the lender, the lender first pulls the credit report of the applicant and check the credit score. If the credit score is low, the lender may not even consider the application further and reject it at that point. If the credit score is in the acceptable range, the lender will consider other details to determine if the applicant is credit-worthy. The credit score works as a first filter for the lender, the higher the score, the better are your chances of approval of loan or credit card. The sanction of credit facility is at sole discretion of the lender and Credit Bureau does not decides if the loan/credit card should be sanctioned or not.

 6 Simple rules to Improve your Credit ScoreFree Credit Score

  1. Pay your EMIs/dues on time
    Late payments attract negative marks in your credit score. If you face difficulty in doing this, contact your lender as soon as possible to explore if some options are available to you
  2. Keep your outstanding balances low
    Always use credit with prudence and keep your credit utilization under control. Close all accounts you no longer use like credit cards etc.
  3. Maintain a healthy credit mix
    It is better to have a balanced blend of secured (such as home loan, auto loan) and unsecured loans (such as personal loan, credit cards). Too many unsecured loans may attract a negative score.
  4. Apply for new credit in time gaps
    You should not appear to be credit hungry; apply for new credit cautiously with time gaps
  5. Monitor your co-borrower and guarantor loan accounts monthly
    In co-borrower and guaranteed loan accounts, you are held equally liable for delay in payments. Your first applicant’s (or the guaranteed individual) negligence could adversely affect your ability to access credit when you need it for yourself
  6. Review you credit history frequently throughout the year
    Purchase your CIR at a set frequency(monthly/quarterly/annually) to avoid unpleasant surprises in the form of a rejection of loan application. At times, erroneous reporting of loan accounts/credit cards by the lenders can also lead to lowering of credit score. In case of any error is spotted, immediately write to the concerned credit bureau. The bureau will in turn take it up with the lender for rectification.

 Also Read : 5 Reasons you need to keep a close tab on your Credit Score

4 Major factors that affect your Credit Score

  1. Payment History- Making late payments of your EMIs or dues (recently or consistently) shows you are having trouble in paying your existing credit obligations and will negatively affect your score.
  2. High Utilization of Credit Limit- While increased spending on your credit card will not necessarily affect your score in a negative manner, an increase in the current balance of your credit card indicates an increased repayment burden and may negatively affect your score.
  3. Higher Percentage of Credit Cards or Personal Loans (also known as unsecured loan)- Having a balanced mix between the secured loans (such as Auto, Home loan) and unsecured loan (such as Personal loan, Credit Card) is likely to have a more positive affect on your score.
  4. Many New Accounts Opened Recently- If you have recently been sanctioned multiple loans and credit cards, then lenders will view your application with caution because this behaviour indicates your debt burden has increased increase, which will negatively impact your score.

Free Credit Report

The Committee chaired by HDFC Bank Chairman Mr. Aditya Puri constituted by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had recommended that each customer of a credit institution should be provided with one consumer Credit Information Report (CIR) free of cost every year by each Credit Information Company (CIC) commencing January 1, 2017.

All Credit Information Companies (CICs) now provide access, upon request and after due authentication of the consumer, to a free full credit report (FFCR) once in a calendar year to consumers whose credit history is available with the CIC.

Now, a consumer can get a Free CIBIL Report, Free Equifax Report, Free Experian Report and Free CRIFHighmark report once in a calendar year.

Free CIBIL Report: You can visit free CIBIL Score page. On this page you will find ‘click here to try your Free Annual CIBIL Score & Report‘ link to access your free CIBIL report.

Free Experian Report: You can get an Experian free credit report, by click here. On filling the information, you get a voucher to access your Free Credit Report with Score from Experian.

Free Equifax Report: To get your free Equifax credit report, you have to download and install Equifax App on your mobile from Google Play store or iOS store. Click here to know the process of getting you free Equifax credit report. Alternatively, you can also download your credit report from by using this link

Free CRIFHighmark Credit Report: You can get your fee CRIFHighmark Report by creating an account using the this link

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