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A Walkthrough Top Credit Reporting Agencies in India

A Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) or credit bureau is basically a business that keeps historical information of credit of an individual and business. These companies gather information related to credit history from the lenders and different other financial sources to compile credit report that carries the credit score. 

The credit information provided by these credit reporting agencies can be used by different providers or businesses who want to know the financial background of a person in order to deny or approve the request for services or credit.

Purpose of Credit Reporting Agency

The credit reporting agencies serve different purposes of the credit industry. Apart from maintaining credit information, these agencies give credit reports, calculate the credit score, and for marketing make credit issuer their partner. 

All three credit reporting agencies get different types of information that may be included in their offerings for their customers. Generally, credit reporting agencies are of two types – agencies that report either to individuals or to businesses.

Major Credit Reporting Agencies in India

There are six major credit reporting agencies in India that are registered under the Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):

  • TransUnion Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited or CIBIL
  • Equifax
  • Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL)
  • ICRA, which was formally known as the Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited
  • Experian
  • CRIF High Mark 

Each of these credit reporting bureaus is perfect in every way and it is really difficult to judge which one is the best. However, most of the financial institutions and individuals prefer and think CIBIL as the most prominent out of the available six. In India, if one is applying for a credit card, then it is suggested to know the credit score provided by a credit agency to get the best deal.

An Overview of Different Credit Reporting Agencies

  1. CIBIL: TransUnion Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited is more commonly known as CIBIL. This is one of the most popular credit reporting agencies in India. The popularity of this company is so much that many people know credit reports as CIBIL report. This credit reporting agency is associated with a large number of banks and NBFCs. The company came into existence in the year 2000 and since then it is providing the credit reports and helping financial institutions in taking an informed decision. An individual is scored on the scale of 300 to 900, where 300 is the lowest and 900 is the highest. Higher the CIBIL score of a person, the greater is his/her chances of getting loans and credit cards smoothly. Some of the products offered by CIBIL are – Credit Information Report, CIBIL TransUnion Score, Market Insight, etc. For organizations, one can get CIBIL Bureau Analyzer, Portfolio Reports, CIBIL Company credit information report, etc. Most of the times it takes only one week to process the credit report from CIBIL.
  2. CRISIL: This Company is in effect since 1987 and today is known as one of the largest global analytical company that provides ratings of companies, offers risk advisory and policy services, does detailed research of the market, etc. for its clients. The company has its existence in China, Singapore, the UK, Argentina, Hong Kong, Poland, and the USA apart from India. The major stakeholder of CRISIL is Standard & Poor, which is one of the biggest credit rating agencies of the world.
  3. Experian: This credit reporting agency was established in the year 2010 and offers credit rating between 300 to 900 where 900 is the highest. For an individual one can get access to the credit report provided by Experian easily. However, corporates can get their Customer acquisition report customer targeting and engagement, money and collection recovery report, etc. It takes approximately 20 days to get the Experian report, however, it is cheaper.
  4. ICRA: The original name of this company was the Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency, which was listed in NSE and BSE in the year 2007. This credit reporting agency provides the ranking of mutual funds, performance ratings, and corporate governance ratings to the companies of real estate, hospitals, and construction companies.
  5. Equifax: This Company got its fully functional license in the year 2010. In its reports, the company rates an individual between 1 to 999, wherein 999 is the highest. An individual can get a credit score, portfolio score, risk score, etc. from this credit reporting agency. For a company, this credit bureau provides risk management report, credit fraud report, complete industry diagnosis, portfolio management, etc.
  6. CRIF High Mark: It is one of those credit rating companies of India that provides seamless credit report services to each and every borrower. The list of borrowers can include commercial borrowers, MSMEs, microfinance and retail consumer borrowers, etc.

Final Words:

These credit reporting agencies of India are responsible for accessing the credit worthiness of an individual and organizations. However, each credit bureau has a different scoring system and hence the rating may vary. Therefore, despite opting for any bureau, it is recommended to maintain a good credit history so that one can get different loans and credit card without any problem.