CIBIL score is becoming very vital in recent times to get approved for anything and everything right from a credit card to Housing loan, card loan, etc. That being said, its very important to keep your scores high so you can be sure about getting approved for loans in future without any surprise.
As you might know, a CIBIL score of 750 and above increases your probability for getting approved for a loan or credit card. Here i am sharing my experience in attaining 800 and above score which is considered excellent by the lenders.
Here are 7 Effective Ways to Improve CIBIL score
1. Get Secured Credit Cards:
Secured credit cards are the ones issued against FD and its a surefire way to improve your CIBIL mainly because they don’t pull a hard inquiry on your CIBIL account. If you use your secured credit cards properly, you can expect a good rise in score within a year.
My Experience: I had been using ICICI platinum credit card for about 4 yrs and Axis bank insta easy credit card for around 3 yrs both of which contributed a lot to my credit score as i had always paid my bills on time without a single default. Both of them were secured credit cards.
2. Take an Housing Loan
While credit cards and personal loans are considered as a “bad credit”, Housing loan is considered as a “good credit” and if you have an active housing loan on your name or as a joint holder, it contributes well to your CIBIL score positively.
My Experience: It took about 1 Yr or so of taking housing loan for my score to go above 800, before which my score was somewhere around 750
3. Educational loan Helps too:
Educational loan is also considered as a good credit. If educational loan doesn’t apply to you, other loans like Car/bike loans and Installment loans are also considered as “good”.
My Experience: My educational loan was active for about 5 years and i closed it recently and i’m sure it should have contributed very much to the score.
Above 3 were the only active loans on my CIBIL records with which i was able to get 800+ CIBIL score (by around 2014 mid). Infact, my Education loan EMI’s were paid with a 3 months delay most of the time which was marked as “STD” on my CIBIL report which means “Payments being made after 90 days” and it doesn’t seem to affect my score at all.
My major credit/loan activities started by around 2009.
Here are few more ways to help you improve your CIBIL score:
4. Credit Card loans like HDFC Insta Jumbo Loan:
HDFC Insta Jumbo Loan is nothing but a credit card loan given on HDFC credit card without reducing your credit limit. Its more like a personal loan, however, its reported to CIBIL as a “credit card” which is a good thing and moreover, you don’t get any hard inquiry on your a/c when you avail this Jumbo loan.
- More in detail: Insights into Insta Jumbo Loan on HDFC Bank Credit Card
Am unsure how other banks deal with credit card loans, however, if you’re given a credit line without affecting your credit limit it has to work more or less in a similar way.
5. Increase the Age of your credit history:
You’ll lend 10 Lakhs to your childhood friend than to someone whom you know a yr back. Right? That’s because of the trust. It applies to Credit history too. Your oldest loan, preferably credit card can help to improve your CIBIL score.
Make sure you never close one of your oldest credit card accounts. It not only adds weight to your score, its also a good sign for new lenders to see how loyal you are and how good you can repay for a long time.
6. Stay within 30% Credit Limit:
Make sure your expenses are within 30% of your credit Limit. It means the outstanding amount on your card shouldn’t exceed this number. If you spend more, you can always pay in advance to your card a/c to make sure you’re not using much of your limit.
Its however good to go near the credit limit, maybe once, so your bank knows that you need more limit.
7. Keep your Credit Cards Active:
After looking into my friend’s latest CIBIL report, i came to know that his ICICI credit card usage is not being reported to the CIBIL and it was blank in respective months when there were no usage/outstanding on the card.
- The credit score is all about how you payback the credit you owe.
If you never take the credit, how does CIBIL can rate your credit handling capacity? So, its always good to charge a minimum amount like Rs.500 or so on you card and payback full before due date, so your credit card is reported active to CIBIL and other Credit Bureaus like Experian.
To sum up, improving your CIBIL score takes time. you cannot increase your CIBIL score instantly overnight, which is the sad part of the system. It took me over 6 years to cross the 800 mark with very low activity. Maybe if you have higher activities with mix of Good/bad credit, you can climb the ladder faster.
What’s your CIBIL score and what do you think helped to get you there? Share your views in comment below.
Which is preferred credit buarues for banks like.cibil,experian, credit sudhaar
Hi. I have a las account and the account became overdrawn. I regularized it within 20
Days. Bank reported it as dpd. My cibi score dropped from 790 to 719. When i regularized within 30 days how can the bank report. Bank is not answering nor correcting score. What to do
How to increase cibil report 100 points in shorttime
But how can one check their CIBIL Score?
You have to Pay Rs.500 or so and get it from CIBIL website.
Got it, thanks.
But the report doesnt indicate my Home Loan details. The loan is on my name along with my mother’s but the loan bank account just on my mother’s name.
I wonder if this could be made to reflect in my CIBIL report, as I have been doing the transactions from my account.
It has to be updated by the Bank. Ask them.
One time CIBIL Score and Report – 550
Bi-Annual Subscription – 2 Score Reports – 800
Quarterly Subscription – 4 Score Reports – 1200
Hey Siddharth, thank you very much for an informative and much needed article. I usually spend over the limit of my card (without incurring charges) by paying midway through my cycle. So for example on one of my cards with limit of 1,00,000. I spend around 1,25,000 in a month but my statement is of 45,000 since I paid remainder of the amount on two occasions during the cycle. Will this have any negative on my credit score? (My question with regards to point 6 of your article).
Also how many cards are recommended limit? I have 3 cards (SC, Amex, Citi). I am planning to get one more, is this wise or not recommended?
That’s perfectly normal and i used to do it for about 3 yrs or so in the past when the limits were less. Try to reduce the bill to 30k in that case.
There is not certain said limit. 3 is fine. The more you get, more tough to manage them.
Thanks a lot for guiding all of us Siddharth. :). I hope you upload your points earning strategy soon 🙂
I had to ask you this since number of flights I take has shot up to 6 a month mostly between mumbai to delhi. Which credit card would you recommend for my air ticket purchases? I usually travel Air India but I don’t mind switching to Jet Airways or even Vistara if you feel their FF’s are better.
Thanks a million for this! 🙂
Highly suggest to use Diners Black. You can redeem the points back to revenue tickets. Keep the FF program miles to play later 🙂
Ok second choice please. I don’t want to go to HDFC. I have had the worst of experiences with them. 🙁
I started earning about three months back and have been using my credit card on my salary account since the past 2 months. I don’t like the credit card that I have on my savings salary SC account and get much better rewards through my debit card (about 2% cashback). I’m not inclined to use my credit card instead of my debit card, however, I need a higher credit limit or a CIBIL score to change cards. Any suggestions on how to do that?
Use the existing card for sometime and then apply from a different bank, maybe HDFC, you should be approved and you can improve the CIBIL score from there. Keep charging a little bit every month on your SC card to keep it active in CIBIL’s eyes.
Which debit card are you using?
Hi Siddharth, wonderful article. I dont have any credit cards, just an education loan. Infact I’ve not applied for any other loan in the last 10 years. However I started a business 1 year back & took a bussiness loan. This was from a public bank. My annual turnover for the 1st year has been over 50l. However, I checked my credit score today – Its 752. I want to get to a credit score of 800 and above to be safe. What is your advice – should I get a credit card or get an fd? Any suggestions?
750 is good.
Start with 2 or 3 cards FD or unsecured. Anything is fine.
U have gone icici bank for cc against FD. But they require bank account. Pls help
CIBIL says “Ideally” the usage should be 50% so as to get the credit limit increased.
Whats that thin borderline of “ideal” usage ??
I have a zero balance saving salary account of HDFC, does it impact my credit score if i don’t maintain balance of 5k/10k like normal savings accounts??
since it is zero balance account it should not but recently one banker told me to maintain min balalnce though it is zero balance account?
Just wanna check with you whether his perception is right or wrong?
No, Savings a/c doesn’t affect CIBIL.
does Cheque bounce affect CIBIL? if yes, upto what extent and how they calculate?
Depends on what Loan/CC it bounces.
Enlightening piece of article indeed!
You may also improve your CIBIL score by regular credit report checks. First, get a copy of the report and check for errors. Particularly check whether there are any late payment charges erroneously levied against your accounts. Also, ensure that all amounts you owe for each of the open accounts are correct. Resolve the errors immediately. Call up the reporting agency and the credit bureau or shoot an email asking for a clarification.
How will my CIBIL score impacted in below case.
My bill generation date is 7th of every month and my credit card limit is 1lac. If I spend 1lac on 8th of the month and pay the same amount on 6th of following month i.e., just one day before bill generation date. I know CUR should be 30% for good CIBIL rating. In this cases, what will happen? Will My CIBIL score decresed or intact?
Thanks in advance.
Nice Question Mahendra.
It will affect badly if you keep doing same every month.
Banks report the usage on last day or first day of the month and in your case it will show 100% at that time, which is not good.
However, some do say that it maybe report at any time of the month.
So its better to keep the usage under 30% at all time 🙂
A great initiative from your side. I am hooked up to your blogs…
I have a follow on query on this 30% limit usage. If I have to use a higher limit, and prepay the amount same day or next day( as some bank like HDFC update payments to CC overnight and not immediately).
Will this be good?
Yes Manav, that works.
I need a credit card but because of no credit history it doesnt reflect my CIBIL score and bank rejected the application. Can you please tell me how to get CIBIL score to go for credit card or to apply any loan.
Take FD based cards and build your CIBIL score.
Check the above article for link to FD based cards in India 🙂
Thanks for your reply. Can you please tell me how much time it will take using FD based secured credit card to build CIBIL score. I also got to know about DCB bank provide secured credit card with less amount FD so is it good to go with because I didnt heard about this bank before.
No idea if they issue Credit Card on FD.
I have score less than 600.I dont know how to increase it .I have one Personal loan remaining of 25k .last two month was pending but it is before 2014 .I have not bother that but get impact for my home loan.
Last three month am trying to settle this am not getting support from bank.
I had multiple cards and settled few of those due to unemployment and 2 cards are pending which i am planning to settle shortly. Can I go for secured card (FD based). According to your view, will it be approved or rejected due to bad credit history.
2. What are my options to build good credit history.
Settling is big black mark in the report.
You can only get FD based cards here on, most likely for first few years.
Which cards did you get ? I am also on the same boat.
Does closing credit cards affect the CIBIL score. I have CIBIL score of 816 at present. I have 2 cards which I don’t use. Can I close the cards?
Also, does CIBIL score gets affected if I apply for 2-3 cards in a month, however if all gets approved?
Don’t close any CC as long as you can hold it for free. Charge something on it once in a while to keep it active in the eyes of CIBIL.
This is Venkat, i want to increase my CIBIL Score >775,my current score showing that 722.
Please help how to increase my score to required level and i didn’t taken personal loans from the bank.previouly i applied for loans,but its not approved due to my is indial level based.
But ,i took loan on my credit card and am paying regular EMI’s on time.
Loan on credit card doesn’t count unless it is “insta Jumbo loan” on HDFC. Consider holding 2-3 cards and one secured loan, like Home/Car/bike loans.
As per RBI guideline you can get one credit report free from each agency each year. There are four agencies in Inida currently- CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd, Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd, Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd & CIBIL. So you can get 4 reports for free each year(1 report free from each of them each year).
CIBIL is paid though.
Currently cibil also free 1 time in a year
I never know this. Thanks for sharing guys. Its time for the new article 🙂
I think we get only the report and not the score.
I checked today. Score+report is available for free 🙂
Whats the procedure Siddharth for free report???? cant find the link on cibil website.
Checkout my latest article 🙂
Hello Siddhartha I am having Diners black card as my main card and also a sbi IRCTC card issued all most 6 years back though I keep it only as being a Visa card and is used mainly when diners are not accepted and such uses are in scale of around 5-6 K per month. After following your blog I applied for yes bank exclusive and sc visa infinite but will it going to lower my cibil rating. Also is paying card dues before due date and not setting auto pay option a better way to increase credit ratings, one last thing should we put limit on number of cards we hold.
All new card applications will hurt your score temporarily, but it will recover in few months. Better to keep utilization ratio at 30% and auto pay is personal preference. You can have any number of cards, as long as you get value out of it.
If Bill generation date is 5th and due date is 25th, does it make any difference to my CIBIL score if I pay bill on 25th v/s if I pay bill on 5th or 6th..??
Doesn’t make any diff if your utilization ratio is less.
I have a lesser limit of 60k, on my credit card, often use around 50% of it(above ideal of 30%)… Does it still won’t have any impact?
It does. Try to keep the usage at around 30% at “all times”
I have just generated my cibil report on the official website and my score is 765. Yet none of the card companies are giving me a card. It’s getting rejected everytime. I never had a card before and applying for the first card. My income is 1L+ per month.
Please let me know what could be the reason for this.
Any settled/overdue loans on CIBIL?
If not, start with FD based card, or apply card based on ac transactions – HDFC/AXis may help on this.
Dear sir I would like to know how long civil will be impct means our bad CIBIL score how many year will effect.
Do you mean remain within 30% of each credit cards limit or overall combined limit of your cards? I use one card which has the best rewards as my primary where I often go over 50% and sometimes even go over 90%. My other cards are used regularly but well below 30%. Is it worth forgoing points on your main high rewards card to divide spends on others so none are above 30%?
30% On each is best, but yes overall 30% is also fine too.
Just prepay if you hit the limit anytime. Simple as that.
Spending more actually helps. Study TransUnion models which are open online. 90% credit limit spend and payment will boost your score. The problem becomes when you are over utilising your limits for more than 6 months with limit increase, which signals that the present limit is the most the bank is willing to offer, which in turn signals your maximum loan capacity. Spending near to your overall credit capacity (not current limit) is a problem because it signals that if you are delinquent, you cannot refinance this loan and are likely to default and bankrupt.
Keep spending a lot, ask your bank to raise limits. Get other card-on-card in six months if your current card doesn’t increase limit. Keep signalling to TransUnion that your loan taking capacity is high.
If you forcefully try to stay within 30% you’ll most likely never breach 850 score as per CIBIL model used by TransUnion. If you want 880+, spend!
How does 30% utilization affect the score if in the cbil report no limit is mentioned (limit appear as “-” in the report) while monthly usage is being reported in cibil and there is a limit fixed mentioned on the monthly card statement from the bank??? (Just reports the highest usage.)
Yes you’re right. There maybe additional relaxations on the a/c without CL being reported to Cibil.
No one can say the exact formula, we can assume to certain extent though.
With regard to your first point – “Get Secured Credit Cards”, does having 2 secured cards work better in improving the CIBIL score compared to having just 1?
My credit score in CIBIL is very low between 550-600, and some of my credit cards and loans got settled/write off.
Please advise how to increase my cibil score .
I have a query. I am holding 2 Citi bank card (cash back and premiermiles). Cashback card is almost 8-year-old and permiermiles card is 2 years old. permiermiles card does not have a good limit. So to increase limit I called customer care, they said you don’t have any offer. They suggested me if I want to increase limit I can merge both card and limit of cashback card will be merged with this card and that card will get close. My concern is if I close 8-year-old card will it affect my credit rating as far I know older the card stronger the credit history.
Hi Siddharth, a very informative article.
7. Keep your Credit Cards Active:
Does this mean that even if I keep my credit card in idle state (no transactions), it would be wise to keep it active?
As long as its LTF with Good limit, its better to even keep it active and maybe transact once/twice a year in worst case.
Tell me,my credit cards pending annual fee affect my cibil score?
Thats a charge that needs to be cleared by due date. So it will affect ur score.
Insta Jumbo Loan is @ 19.2% for 12 months now! I think this rate varies with the card variant you hold.
So i visit the ICICI branch to open a Young star savings account for my lil one.. The executive kept pushing me to take a LTF credit card which i politely refused a few times. And guess what? 2 days later i get a message saying my credit card is approved and dispatched. I usually have a credit score of 810 to 825. But now i checked my credit score and for the first time in a while it has dropped below 800 and is now at 790. I already hold Amex Plat travel, Citi PM, HDFC Regalia first and HSBC Platinum Visa. So i want to know can i close this ICICI card and will it affect my credit score in any way? I am sure i will never use that card since I am using my other cards to the fullest and in the best ways possible. Really concerned and annoyed with ICICI 🙁
I’d love to know which card variant they issued to you. Coming to your query, the damage to your cibil has been done, you can’t do anything about. If you cancel it, the decrease in score would go in vain and it won’t also look good in your cibil report. I’d suggest keep it for icici bank offers and if you’re so motivated then cancel it after few months.
I got a free ICICI credit card but then the salesperson called and told me I could increase the limit. I signed his documents and instead of a limit increase I got another credit card with all sorts of charges and useless promotional offers. I cut the credit card and sent it back to the address in the brochure stating the reason for rejecting the card. After two years, I have got no acknowledgement and still paying annual charges for the unused and returned card. Really bad experience with ICICI.
Hi all credit card enthusiast
My dad has a cibil score of 633 ( something i cannot comprehend)
He has hdfc, hsbc and icici credit card. always pay on time, i recently help him apply for SBI elite but was rejected due to low cibil score. Went to check his cibil and the report says he has Rs 2556 written off in 2006 , I asked him, he said it was a scam by some caller from ABN amro credit card and he never paid that since it was a scam.
Now i see that its written off in 2006. but the payment status keeps updating every month with 900 days late.
What do you guys suggest? how to go about it to fix his cibil score? does settling with ABN ( now taken over by Kotak) helps? it just some 2 thousands rupees. But my dad is just adamant not to pay for these scam.
Suggestion would be highly appreciated
Has anyone noticed Pay Later Facility Providers like Ola Postpaid Plus (Aditya Birla), Flipkart Pay Later(IDFC First), Paytm Postpaid(Clix) are now reporting these accounts as Personal Loan/ Consumer Loan in CIBIL Report?
Suddenly, my CIBIL is showing 3 new accounts in one month and just because of this and my score has gone down by 8 points.
I doubt that taking loans on credit card help to increase cibil. I took one on Citi bank and my cibil score came down from 780 to below 750. Only thing I can think of is in cibil it showed as credit card limit and since it increased my credit card utilisation percentage by more than 10 times my cibil score came down. Additionally gst is applicable on interest of loans on credit cards so it will prove costlier taking even lesser processing fee in account.
I have not taken any loan yet, but my cibil report shown one loan from Bajaj Finance two wheeler in Jammu location on 2012 where I have not visited yet and no EMI filled by the fraud guy, SO My cibil score is less, I have no idea about that loan and I have applied for home loan and due to low score my loan got rejected, any other options to increase the CIBIL score in short period and resolved that issues.
Does Cibil take in account the “Enquiry Amount” in Hard Enquiry or simply it counts the number of enquiry in short time
What amount gets reported to Cibil? Is it the dues as per statement generated, or the total spends made on credit cards? For eg, I spend 1L on my card and repay off 70K even before statement is generated. So what amount does my card issuer report to Cibil, 30K or 1L ?
I left India 11 years ago and now live in Germany. I had 2 defalts from 2009, one personal loan of 60k rupees and Credit Card 22k. I applied for a home loan in India last year and then saw my old defaults. My Score was 615 then. I paid the outstanding balance ( not settled) and my credit score increased to 680 in October. Now its 715. I want to increase it to 775-800 so i can apply for a Home Loan. What can i do now ? Can i take a personal loan of 5 lakhs, or get a Credit Card and use it or get a Motorcycle loan and pay it pre pay it ? Will this help to increase my score in the next 4-5 months ?
Prashant , 9 March 2022.