Preeti Kulkarni, ET Bureau|May 14, 2018, 06.30 AM IST
Are you feeling tempted to access your credit report for free? Before
you rush to share your personal details with a little-known third
party in return for the free report, remember you can get it directly
from the credit information companies (CIC). You are entitled to
receive one report per year from each CIC— TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax,
Experian and High Mark. However, third-party fintech portals such as
Paisabazaar, Bankbazaar, Creditmantri, etc. offer customers access to
more than one free credit report in a year, along with some other
“Some fintech firms help
consumers understand their credit situation and guide them to improve
their credit score. Others help compare and find the best credit card
and loan offers based on one’s credit score,” says Manu
Sehgal, Head, Business Development and Strategy, Equifax.
These are the services that CICs do not offer. Also, as third-party
portals do not have any restrictions on how many times you access the
credit report, you can take corrective steps quickly, if needed, to
improve your credit score.
“Even a small discrepancy in the records or a single day’s default in
EMIs or credit card bills has an impact on your credit score. Easier
access to credit report allows you to quickly initiate steps with
CICs/banks to correct mistakes,” says Navin Chandani, Chief Business
Development Officer, BankBazaar.
Approach with caution
Given the recent reports
of data leaks and its misuse, should one part with personal
information in exchange for free services? Third-parties typically
seek PAN, identification, address, mobile number and email details.
Also, you will have to give your consent before CICs can share your
credit history with a third-party. “We can share credit reports with
portals we have partnered with only if the customer consents to it,”
says Harshala Chandorkar, COO, TransUnion CIBIL.
Once you give consent, you cannot hold the CIC responsible for any
misuse of your information by a third party—so be careful whom you
give consent. “If the customer is not diligent and gets lured into
giving out his information—PAN, date of birth, mobile—required to get
the credit score, he risks misuse of his credit history and other
information in the report,” says Chandani.
Additionally, sharing personal details with third parties may invite
spam calls and emails. “Read the terms and conditions when accessing
the services of these portals and avail services of only the
betterknown fintech portals,” says Sehgal.
Before you share your details, verify if the portal has a
tie-up with a credit bureau. “The portal should mention the name of
the bureau offering the credit report and it should also provide
consumers the option to unsubscribe or delete their details from the
platform,” says Radhika Binani, Chief Products Officer,
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