If you’ve ever taken a loan or are even thinking about a loan, chances are you’ve heard everybody banging on about the all-important CIBIL score. It’s like the elusive passport to faster loans with better terms.

A low CIBIL score can act as an impediment at a critical juncture in your life. However, it’s a common misconception that this problem is irreversible. Here are a few pro-tips 💪🏾  to increase and maintain your CIBIL score:

☑️  Set reminder for your payments | We all live busy lives and sometimes tend to be forgetful. A delayed payment may be just a slip of the mind but can have long-term impact on your CIBIL score. Set a reminder on your phone well before your due date and proactively make those monthly EMI or credit card payments. Do this for long enough and CIBIL will take note and you could see your credit score improving.

🕵️  Keep a close eye on your CIBIL reports |  CIBIL reports rely on a bunch of data and it’s not uncommon for an inaccurate piece of information to cause your CIBIL score to dip. If you see an error, make sure you bring it to the attention of the authorities and dispute it. Monitoring reports regularly will also give you a sense of what’s causing your score to change periodically and give you actionable insights.

🚯  Don’t ditch the old credit cards | Remember that old credit card you applied for after you got your first salary? It might be gathering dust somewhere because your new credit card comes with all the perks you want. Everyone’s accusing you of being a hoarder and you’ve decided to declutter and get rid of things you don’t use. Stop! Keep the old credit cards. Cancelling them sends a signal to the bureau and lenders that you can’t manage multiple credit lines. Do a transaction every now and then if you have to but make sure to keep them operational.

⚖️  Stay well within your limits | Financial advisors will tell you: keep your “credit utilisation ratio” low. What this means is simple terms is you should stay well within your credit limit. If you’ve got a credit card with an available limit of INR 1,00,000 in a month, try not to spend more than INR 30,000 on it. If you need to have more flexibility here, talk to your bank and get them to increase your limit. Those rewards and discounts can be very tempting but keeping this balanced will help you on your journey to a healthier CIBIL score.

📝  Don’t apply for too many credit cards or loans simultaneously | Today it seems like there are too many options for credit cards or personal loans. With lending institutions embracing the digital world, it’s getting easier and easier to apply for a credit card or a loan. You might think it’s a good idea to test the waters and keep as many options available as possible. Trouble is, CIBIL will see this data and think of you as someone who is heavily reliant on credit. This will reflect in your credit score. Instead do your research online and evaluate all your options, before you pull the trigger.

🤝  Don’t keep your lenders in the dark | Life is unpredictable and even the best of us can fall on hard times or have emergency situations to deal with. If you’ve got EMI dates looming and anticipate difficulty in making a payment, set up a meeting with your lender. Explain your situation and restate your commitment. Lenders may offer you leeway or an interim solution that doesn’t impact your CIBIL score.

These pro-tips will help you improve your CIBIL score and, equally, maintain it as well.

Keep these in mind and you’ll be able to get more access to credit at better rates!

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