New to Credit Cards? Here’s All You Need to Know

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and get yourself a credit card. Unwrapping that shiny little piece of plastic opens you to a world of benefits and privileges. However, there are certain rules to live by if you want to avoid falling into a debt trap that could see your credit worthiness spiral downwards and make you a financial persona non grata.

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A credit card gives you the freedom to spend money that is not debited from your bank account up to a certain sum for a fixed period of time. Thus, credit cards make credit available to you as and when you need it. The amount is to be repaid based on your billing cycle to avoid penalties and fines. While the initial rush of swiping your card everywhere you go might seem the way to go, here are some points to keep in mind so card debt does not loom on your financial horizon:

 

  • Credit Card Charges:

A credit card usually comes with a whole list of Credit card charges, beginning with the joining fee. Additional charges include the annual fee, statement fees, service tax, surcharge, late payment fee, card replacement fee, etc. Exceeding your credit limit on your card will attract a charge as well. Delayed payment of your dues will also result in a penalty, which will be levied on your subsequent bill.

Not paying off the total amount due on your credit card will attract interest charges, which could be anywhere from 3%-4% a month. Doesn’t seem like much, you might scoff, but when annualised, the rate amounts to a whopping 48% on the higher end of the interest spectrum. This amount is also levied on each successive bill that has a balance carried over, which will inflate your overall amount due by a significant amount.

  • Picking a Credit Card that Suits Your Needs:

Picking a credit card that suits your needs is important, as this could be the deal breaker between you enjoying the perks of a card and drowning in a sea of debt. If you’re looking for a card merely to help you keep up with payments and aren’t looking for any perks, a no-frills card is the best bet for you. Looking for discounts each time you swipe at a store? A shopping credit card that offers cashback or in-store rewards is the one for you. Frequent travellers can benefit from a travel card, which converts points into air miles redeemable on flights or hotel stays.

  • Dates to Remember:

With your new credit card comes a host of important dates that you have to keep in mind, such as your bill payment date, the date the bill is generated etc. The date your bill is generated on marks the end of your billing cycle and lists your outstanding dues for that period only. The bill payment date is the date by which you are expected to pay off the outstanding amount or the minimum amount due to avoid late payment charges.

    • Credit Card Application Status

      Different banks have different ways of credit card application status but most of them have an online facility, where you can apply for a credit card online as well. The process then involves furnishing all required documents and information to the bank. Once, the application process is complete, you must track your application status to check how far long has it been processed by the bank so that you can follow up with the bank accordingly. Usually, it takes up to three weeks to receive your credit card from most banks. Credit card may take a month from the date of registration, as it undergoes processing request, followed by dispatch to your home address.

  • Minimum Due versus Full Payment:

Credit cards offer you the chance to pay off your debt in instalments, either before the due date or after it. It is always advisable to pay off your outstanding amount by the due date to keep your credit score and repayment history healthy. However, if you are unable to pay off the whole amount, you are required to pay a minimum amount, usually a percentage of your total outstanding amount.

Getting away with paying just the minimum amount brings with it a set of charges though, since you will be paying interest on the balance amount. You will also lose out on the interest-free period, meaning every successive transaction will incur interest from the day the purchase is charged to your card.

As seen above, there are quite a few pitfalls associated with credit cards that, if you aren’t careful to avoid, could leave you in debt for a considerable amount of time. Being prompt with payments, avoiding maxing out your credit card and being prudent with what you charge to your card will ensure that you reap the many benefits that come with credit cards.

 

Best avenues to invest in 2017 to get higher returns

The last quarter of 2016 saw one of the most landmark decision taken by an incumbent Prime Minister in the country’s 69-year history since its freedom. PM Narendra Modi, with inputs from the Finance Ministry, brought into effect the demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes. This move, although took the country into a near meltdown, has somewhat appeared to stabilise the economy for the long haul.

However, one of the prime effects of demonetisation was that avenues that were deemed profitable for investors lost their charm. In this article, we will talk about a few instruments you can invest in to get better returns for your money.

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  • Post Office Recurring Deposit

The age-old Indian post office has underwent a major paradigm shift over the last few years in a number of ways. Of the many, one of the things that stand out is the introduction of deposit schemes. These schemes offer good returns for investors and is almost matchable with fixed deposits of similar terms. At the time of writing this article, post office deposits offer 7.3% returns, which compounds quarterly, for a 5-year period.

For instance, a regular Rs.100 investment will yield a return of Rs.7,250.50 returns once the scheme matures.

  • Public Provident Fund (PPF)

Public Provident Funds (PPFs) has long been one of the most preferred investment avenues for a vast majority of risk-averse working professionals. These funds mature after a 15-year period and offers a opportunity to renew for 5 years every time from there on. Besides, PPF is also eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

  • Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA)

SSA is basically available for parents of a girl child, which enables them to invest so as to build a corpus to fund the education and other things relating to the girl. This account requires a minimum of Rs.1,000 to be opened and the guardian can add multiples of Rs.100 every time they want to add to the account. The account has an upper limit though, meaning parents can only invest a maximum of Rs.1.5 lakhs per calendar year. A benefit of this account is that it is available for tax deduction while the returns non-taxable. Also, the maximum interest such accounts offer stands at 8.5%

  • National Savings Certificate

National Savings Certificate (NSC) is yet another save avenue that offers guaranteed returns. Currently, the returns offered stands at 8% for a five year term. An account can be opened for as less as Rs.100 while there is no upper limit to the amount that can be invested. An advantage of this fund is that you can use it as collateral for any loans.

These are some of the best investment options you can invest in if you are tired of fixed deposits and their falling interest rates.

 

How to apply for a Canadian Work Permit

The H1B visa offered by the US government has been mired in a number of controversies for quite some time with its immigration board working to reduce intake of foreign nationals. As Donald Trump, an anti-immigrant leader has won the presidential elections, chances of overseas professionals getting an entry into USA seems to have slumped furthermore.

What currently appears to be a downside for US, looks like a clear-cut advantage for Canada. Led by a charismatic, progressive leader namely, Justin Trudeau and equipped with plenty of interesting career opportunities, Canada is turning out to be a new favourite for India’s skilled immigrants. Besides, Prime Minister Trudeau-led country offers a much better lifestyle and has a vastly lower crime rate when compared to its immediate neighbour.

But when considering such aspects,, an important question arises: how can one get a Canadian work permit?

To begin with, it’s certainly an arduous, long drawn-out process, and can often result in a lot of heartache, for sure. However, all hard work seems to pay itself off once an individual settles in Canadia. In this article we will talk about the various Canadian government agencies one can correspond with to get their work permit issue sorted.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Temporary Foreign Worker Program works extremely well in giving individuals with opportunities to get a Canadian work permit. For instance, if an individual is living abroad and the country they are residing in isn’t on the International Experience Canada list or seem to have missed the pool, they need to find an employer who is willing to hire them. There’s a catch to this, though.

Firstly, the employer must be able to recruit or advertise saying that no Canadian willing to do the job. If there aren’t anyone to find, the company need to get Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) documents—which are required before hiring a foreign national—in place. Once these documents are dealt with, one can apply for a work permit, by offering the job offer and contract as proof.

International Experience Canada

International Experience Canada is a federal government program which allows young people from across the world travel to work in Canada. This could either be through a working holiday, young professional, or an international cooperative internship.

While the general age limit to participate in this program is between 18 and 35, certain countries have a slightly different age limitations. To get into Canada, an individual needs to become part of an IEC pool. Every participating will be given a maximum number who could become a part of this pool. For instance, UK in 2011 got only 6000 such spots, which were taken up within a span of days.

In case an individual lands a spot through the IEC, they can stay in Canada for a period of 12 months to 24 months and don’t necessarily need an employment waiting for them. These spots once taken however, cannot be repeated.

International Mobility Program

This program allows employees in a Canadian MNC to transfer themselves to a branch office in Canada. A prerequisite to this is the employee needs to have worked in the firm for at least 3 years. Accepting an individual’s request though is entirely up to the employer’s discretion.Although, the chances of an individual getting into Canada is relatively slim, considering the limitations of these schemes, they are still the best options available.

Maharashtra Linking Social Welfare Schemes To Aadhar

The Maharashtra government, in an effort to reduce dependency on cash, will be making all payments linked to its various welfare schemes by directly transferring the amount into the beneficiaries’ accounts. As part of this move, all beneficiaries’ accounts have to be linked through Aadhar Card, which will be used for authentication purposes.

The state cabinet has approved a Bill to make the Aadhar number necessary for beneficiary authentication. Among the schemes that will come under this scheme are the payments related to scholarships, pension and LPG subsidy.

The government provides up to 44 benefits to eligible individuals, including tarpaulin for farmers, agricultural pumps, seeds and cooking gas pipelines.

The government expects to see substantial savings as it will be plugging leakages in the system by eliminating bogus beneficiaries who claim substantial amounts.

A similar scheme was adopted by the Central government in the previous year. seeing its success, the Maharashtra government also decided to implement it.

Save Cash Using Credit Cards

Many people are aware of the fact that a credit card allows purchase of products or services on credit, but not everyone knows that this same card can help them save money as well. Yes, in India credit cards offer certain benefits using which cardholders can save cash. One must remember that the benefits differ based on the type of card being purchased.

Apply Credit Cards in India

Some of these benefits that help save are as follows:
Protection Against Fraudulent Activities – If you lose your wallet, you will  end up losing all the cash in it for sure, but if you lost your credit card, you do not have to be sad because most credit cards have zero lost card liability feature. This feature protects people from fraudulent transactions made using their cards in case it’s stolen or lost. Some cards protect the customers even before they lose their cards. Apart from this, credit card companies in India protect cardholders against online frauds through various ways. One of those is the multiple steps involved in the online payment authorization process.
Life Insurance – If you have a credit card that offers free travel or life insurance, you can save a lot of money and at the same time feel protected. Some cards even provide insurance against hijack to people when they travel by flights.
Low Charge for International Transactions – If you travel abroad a lot, then buying a credit card that charge less for foreign transactions is a good idea. Credit cards offer really good forex rates and there are some cards that only charge around 2% transaction charge. Even while purchasing products from foreign websites, using such cards might benefit you a lot.
Lost Baggage Claim – Some credit cards offer insurance for lost baggage when cardholders book their flight tickets using them. If you own one such card, then you can claim the amount mentioned in the card insurance policy easily if you lose your baggage.
Free Access to Airport Lounges – If you want to visit an airport lounge, you will be asked to pay an entry fee, but if you own a credit card that offers free access to airport lounges, then you can enjoy the facilities of the lounge and save money.
Free Club Memberships – Some credit cards offers free memberships of different clubs to the cardholders. For example – Golf clubs, Vistara Club, Hotel memberships, etc. These memberships help them enjoy discounts and other deals that are available exclusively to the members.
Credit History – Credit cards help you a lot in building your credit score. This score measures your credit worthiness and is used by banks while deciding if they want to provide a loan to you or not. Use your credit card wisely and pay the bills on time to increase this score.
Loan on Credit Card – Many banks provide loans against credit cards to customers. The credit worthiness in this case is decided based on the cardholder’s card usage pattern and credit limit. If cardholders have a very good history of bill payments, then banks may approve their loan requests easily.
These are some of the many credit card benefits that help cardholders save cash. Many people think that credit cards only offer reward points or miles. It is not true, credit cards have a lot to offer if you know how to use it well. People can end up with serious financial issues if they do not use their credit cards carefully.
All said and done, credit card is an amazing financial tool and if you don’t have one, apply for it today and enjoy saving while spending.

Increase your Equifax,Experian,CIBIL Credit Score

It’s a common misconception that credit scores cannot be changed or increased. Every financial decision you make and step you take that’s on record, and related in any way to credit, is recorded by Credit Information Companies (CICs) like CIBIL, Equifax, Experian, etc. and this is what determines your score.

A lower score is an indication of irresponsible behaviour with credit. For example – not paying back loans on time, delaying credit card dues by only paying the minimum monthly amount, over-borrowing, over-utilizing credit despite a large income, having an unfavourable credit utilization ratio, etc. All these things can damage your credit score and will be mentioned in your credit report. Negative remarks and lower scores will mean that you won’t be able to get loans approved in the future.

A higher score, on the other hand, is an indication of responsible credit behaviour. For example – meeting all your EMI payments on time, clearing off credit card dues in full before they compound, debt consolidation, low credit utilization ratio, etc. All these favourable practices work towards building your credit score and sustained practice of this type of financial behaviour could even send your score well above 750 or even 800.

How to increase your CIBIL score fast?

Well, the honest answer to this is that there’s no real way to fix your CIBIL score overnight. It will take at least a few months to get the ball rolling in that regard. Three months is the soonest you could expect to see any positive change in your credit score, without making huge lump sum payments to clear off pending loans. In 6 months, you could see a gradual incline in your report, and in a year, you could even change your overall score by a huge margin. That is, of course, if you heed the following suggestions and make the right decisions with your money:

 

  • Use your credit card: This may have been what damaged your score in the first place, but using your credit card in the right way is one of the easiest ways to increase your credit score. Using your credit card right means setting a tiny limit – say 10% of your monthly income – and using the card for recurring purchases up to that amount. Suppose you earn Rs.70,000 per month – use your credit card for Rs.7,000 every month on a recurring expense like groceries or fuel. Using your credit card is basically utilizing credit facilities offered by financial institutions. A small amount like this is easy to clear off on or just before the due date, and won’t hurt your wallet. Consistently clearing off these small-term and small-scale borrowings will reflect positively in your report. This is just step 1, however, but it is absolutely necessary.
  • Clear each and every EMI: While the general rule is that you can miss one EMI if you’re in a pinch, but two would result in dire consequences, it’s advisable not to miss any EMI payment for any loan no matter what the reason. People sometimes actively miss EMI payments just to make use of the one month grace period, but don’t realise that it goes on a permanent record. This permanent record is your credit score. Pay all your EMIs as and when they become due, and you won’t have the problem of dealing with penalty interest or a damaged credit score.
  • Check and re-check your Credit Information Report (CIR) for errors: The CIR or Credit Information Report generated by CIBIL is not impervious to errors, and since the data collection is largely computerized – it leaves a lot of room for silly errors and mistakes that could negatively impact your score. Take for example the case involving Mr. A Dutta of Mumbai. He purchased a property at a particular address, and his credit score was destroyed after this purchase. Why? Because the previous buyer of that property had defaulted on his home loan, and the address was marked with a red flag. Mr. A Dutta had his credit score damaged through no fault of his, but just because the system implicated Mr. A Dutta thinking that he was the one who defaulted on the home loan. The system reports all the data it has to Credit Information Companies (CICs) like CIBIL, and CIBIL doesn’t have to verify this information before it makes it available to lenders and financial institutions. What matters at the end of the day is what’s written in the report, and if you’re like Mr. A Dutta, you will have to contact CIBIL through their website and report the fact that there is an error in your CIR.
  • Make sure you take NOCs (No Objection Certificates) from every lender after you’ve cleared your outstanding dues: Usually when we have some overdue outstanding amounts that we owe to lenders, we arrange for a settlement for a lesser amount than the total owed. While settlements do damage your credit report in a small way, not having a NOC (No Objection Certificate) issued by the lender can have disastrous effects on your score. Most people are just so happy after clearing off their dues that they don’t bother getting this highly important document. The old loan details will appear in your CIR as an open loan that’s not been cleared, but can be removed if you have a NOC as proof.
  • Don’t inquire for loans unless you’re sure you want to borrow: Making unnecessary loan inquiries lowers your CIBIL score – yes, that’s true. This harmless act could have serious consequences. Inquire for a loan only when you absolutely need it and when there’s no other way for you to move forward except taking out the loan. This applies for all kinds of loans – home loans, car loans, personal loans, etc. If you are inquiring to find out your eligibility, don’t do so in a formal fashion after approaching the bank – but use any of the loan eligibility and loan EMI calculators available online.
  • Pay attention to your Credit Utilization Ratio: Granted, this may not be a term you’re familiar with but you will in the coming months as CIBIL and other CICs become known as the reason people aren’t getting loans. Your Credit Utilization Ratio is the amount of credit you take on as compared to your regular income. Consider the following example: Mr. A earns Rs.70,000 per month, but uses his credit cards up to Rs.50,000 per month and clears off the dues before the due date, and before they gather penalty interest. While this is responsible financial behaviour in the sense that dues are paid off before they’re due – it is also a form of very irresponsible behaviour, as Mr. A would not be able to meet that large payment if his income should stop for whatever reason, for even a month. It is unlikely that he has been able to save enough with his salary to clear off his Rs.50,000 debt in any given month, and it’s obvious that this will remain as an amount owed until he re-establishes his source of income. By which time the same Rs.50,000 would be a far greater amount thanks for penalty interest compounding. Mr. B, on the other hand, has an income of Rs.70,000 but uses his credit card every month for Rs.20,000. This is a considerably smaller amount of Credit Utilization Ratio, and Mr. B would easily be able to clear off any outstanding debt on his card should his income stop for whatever reason. CICs consider the amount of credit taken on versus the earning capacity of the borrower to decide whether they are intelligent and responsible in terms of financial management.

 

Proving that you are responsible and intelligent when it comes to your finances, and that you can be trusted with credit is what any CIR (Credit Information Report) is all about. It is a document that either instils confidence in the lender that you can repay what you owe, or tells the lender that the chances are high that you may default on your loan.

Clear out the errors and make sure you handle your finances responsibly, and you won’t have any problem with CIBIL, Equifax, or Experian.

Which banks to approach for loans if you have a low Experian Credit score

Are your loan applicants constantly getting rejected due to “insufficient credit score” by Experian Credit score? Well, there are still ways to get a loan depending on which bank you choose and how well you negotiate with the bank representative.

Experian India

Credit scores are only one of the factors considered by banks and lenders before approving a loan. Granted, that it is one of the more important factors, but the way you pitch your loan requirement to the bank could be the difference between having a loan approved or rejected, despite a low credit score.

When you approach the bank, you need to have a well-thought-out idea of why you need the loan, what you intend to do with it, and how the loan would enable you to increase your level of income to such an extent that you are able to repay the loan on terms acceptable to you and the bank. Convincing the bank representative of why you need a loan shouldn’t be that difficult, if you’re smart. If you don’t have a proper plan as to how you intend on repaying your loan, maybe you’re better off not taking the loan in the first place.

A well thought out plan should include the following:

  • Your reason for taking the loan. If you want a loan to travel or go on holiday, and you have a bad credit score, don’t even bother approaching the bank because you going on holiday is not going to generate any money for the bank. If you want a loan to set up a business that you believe will succeed and your customers will be able to pay for the product or service, the bank may consider you to be a viable candidate.
  • Your spending plan. While this is entirely your business, telling your bank where you intend to spend and how much you intend to spend and for what purpose, could instil a sense of confidence in the bank that you have your ducks in a row. Again, spending here shouldn’t be on a dead investment like a fancy new car or a high performance stereo system, it should be spending in the form of investments in assets that can generate income, or can help you generate income.
  • Your business plan. The product or service you wish to produce and sell to the masses must be clearly thought out and all contingencies should be anticipated. The business plan should be constructed in a future where the bank has approved your loan application, and you must be able to communicate the projected growth or planned rollout of your product or service in the market.
  • You repayment plan. After the bank approves your loan and you’re established – how long will it take for you to realize a profit on your venture? You can negotiate the first repayment and when the EMIs start at this stage, by communicating to the bank that the money taken as a loan can only start generating an income after “x” number of months / weeks in your particular case.
  • Contingencies. Any plan is only as strong as the preparation put into it. Preparation is incredibly important, but excellent preparation is only half the battle won. You must plan for everything that could potentially go wrong at every stage of your venture, and plan a countermeasure to deal with it. Communicate this with the bank and they will be confident that you are deserving of the loan as you have every intention of paying it back, and won’t use contingencies as excuses to delay payments.

Most of the above points are for loans taken to start businesses for the selling of goods or the provision of services, but they can be altered depending on your particular case. Just remember that the bank will undoubtedly approve your loan if you’re able to convince them that you can pay them back. A Experian Credit score, at the end of the day, is nothing more than a confirmation that you have performed well with debt in the past, and that you honour your repayments. If you can convince the bank of this without a Experian Credit score, your loan is as good as approved.

Even so, if you aren’t able to (or don’t want to) spend so much time in the branch manager’s office trying to convince him / her to give you money, you can always apply at these banks who accept a score below 750 / 800 for various types of loans:

  1. IndiaBulls offers home loans of up to Rs.50,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 680 at 9.45% for a 20 year tenure.
  2. DHFL offers home loans of up to Rs.50,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 680 at 9.50% for a 20 year tenure.
  3. HDFC bank offers home loans of up to Rs.50,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 700 at 9.45% for a 20 year tenure.
  4. ICICI bank offers home loans of up to Rs.50,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 700 at 9.45% for a 20 year tenure.
  5. IndusInd Bank offers personal loans of up to Rs.5,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 700 at 14.50% for a tenure of 5 years.
  6. HDFC Bank offers personal loans of up to Rs.5,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 700 at 14.49% for a tenure of 5 years.
  7. ICICI Bank offers personal loans of up to Rs.5,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 700 at 14.49% for a tenure of 5 years.
  8. Bajaj Finserve offers personal loans of up to Rs.5,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 700 at 14.49% for a tenure of 5 years.
  9. Axis Bank offers auto loans of up to Rs.5,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 725 at 11% for a tenure of 5 years.
  10. HDFC Bank offers auto loans of up to Rs.5,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 725 at 9.65% for a tenure of 5 years.
  11. ICICI Bank offers auto loans of up to Rs.5,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 725 at 10.75% for a tenure of 5 years.
  12. L&T Finance offers auto loans of up to Rs.5,00,000 to applicants with credit scores as low as 700 at an interest rate that the bank will communicate to you, for a tenure of 5 years.

It’s important to note that banks will hold the fact that you have a lower Experian Credit score against you, and try to get you to sign the papers for a higher interest rate than the one advertised. Negotiation can go a long way here, and you can secure the loan you want for the rate you want.

The banks could also use the fact that you have a low Experian Credit score to approve a smaller portion of the loan. For example, a person with a high Experian Credit score (say around 800) applying for a home loan could have up to 80% of the property value financed through a loan, whereas a person with a lower Experian Credit score (say around 650) could have only up to 50% of the property value financed through a loan.

Don’t apply for a loan at too many banks at the same time. Keep it at one or two, as banks can find out how many other banks you’ve contacted for a loan, and this makes them weary of lending to you.

Approach your bank first. The bank in which you have your salary account or savings bank account already likes you (probably) and will be in a better position to listen to you and understand your situation.

Try NBFCs. Non-banking financial companies usually approve loans where banks won’t. Some may have higher interest rates or stricter conditions, but if you’re confident in your ability to repay – this is a viable option. Steer clear of loan sharks, stick to the registered NBFCs. NBFCs usually don’t care about your credit score, they just care that they’ll get their money back eventually.

 

The Correlation Between CIBIL Scores, Loans and Credit Cards

Any individual looking to obtain a loan or a credit card from a bank or a financial institution will most certainly need to possess a good CIBIL score in order to do so. While there are other factors involved in determining whether an individual is eligible for a loan or not, a high CIBIL score is the most important determinant in this day and age. In fact, it is nigh on impossible to acquire a loan or a credit card without a decent CIBIL score to highlight an individual’s creditworthiness.CIBIL

What Is A CIBIL Score?

A CIBIL score is a numerical representation of an individual’s credit history. Everything from loan and credit payments, bill payments, outstanding dues, etc is reflected in an individual’s CIBIL report, which shows whether he or she is financially stable or not. This is distilled into a numerical representation between 300 – 900 that represents the individual’s CIBIL score. Usually a score of above 750 is considered acceptable by banks and financial institutions to approve a loan or credit card application.

What Can An Individual Do To Improve His or Her CIBIL Score?

There are many ways through which individuals can raise their CIBIL scores in order to acquire a loan or a credit card. Some of the most common ones are as follows:

  • Pay off outstanding dues – Individuals with pending or outstanding dues on other loans or credit cards generally have low CIBIL scores. This severely affects their chances of acquiring loans or credit cards from lenders since it is a reflection of poor financial health on the part of the individual. By paying off these dues quickly and consistently, CIBIL scores are positively affected, which in turn prove the individual’s creditworthiness to the lender he or she is approaching. Outstanding credit card dues are generally considered to be one of the main causes of low CIBIL scores. Therefore it is in the individual’s best interest to pay them off as soon as possible.
  • Maintain low debt – Individuals with huge debts also have a lower chance of acquiring loans or credit cards due to the detrimental effect it has on their CIBIL scores. Lenders look into the amount of loan debt an applicant has acquired over a period of time, as well as his propensity to pay off the debt. Accumulating debts over a considerable duration negatively affects an individual’s CIBIL score, making it less likely for that individual to be granted a loan or a credit card. By maintaining a low debt balance, customers can keep their head above water even after taking on more loans.
  • Make payments consistently – Banks and financial institutions also take into consideration the frequency with which an individual makes repayments towards any other outstanding loans or dues he or she might have. Paying off other debts consistently helps increase an individual’s CIBIL score and acts as proof of the person’s financial health. Lenders are more likely to roll out a loan or credit card to such individuals, safe in the knowledge that the applicant will not default on any of the payments.

Top Credit Card facts for the festive season

The festive season has already hit Indians once again and the market is teeming with offers and discounts across all sectors of the economy. One very important aspect of shopping during festivals is money to pay for. With a host of personal loans and credit card offers making the rounds during festive periods, customers have a lot of paying options to choose from. Banks and other lending entities run special festive offers on credit card spends during such times. However, there are a few facts about these offers that if kept in mind will help you gain maximum out of your credit cards without being tricked into overspending.

  • Check your CIBIL report to see its updated

Checking regularly your CIBIL score and report is the best way to keep a track of your credit history. This makes it easy for you to plan your credit and know beforehand your points of improvement. Also, if you apply for credit without checking on your score and in case you get turned down by the lender, then it has a negative impact on the credit report. However, if you check your score before applying, you can improve it if it is poor before applying with any lending entity.

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  • Credit cards have fees associated with them

 

It is good practice to find out everything about the related fees and charges for a credit card before availing one. Charges pertaining to credit cards include annual fees, joining charges, supplementary card charges etc. Late payment charges and charges for flexible payment via EMI are other fees that may be applicable to certain credit cards.

 

  • Credit cards let you withdraw cash but that’s expensive

 

Most credit cards offer you the flexibility to withdraw cash from ATMs. This is true for both domestic and overseas withdrawals. However, taking out cash via credit cards is an expensive transaction and may attract substantial fees and charges. Customers should take utmost care to avoid using their credit card to avail cash unless absolutely unavoidable.

 

  • Swiping your credit card overseas may be expensive

 

Many credit cards in the Indian market today offer both domestic as well as international applicability. Howevers, cards issued in India may cost you fees when swiped abroad. This is because of two factors, one is the conversion rate that is used to convert foreign currency to Indian Rupee and second is the foreign currency transaction fee that is applicable in cases of these foreign transactions made via your credit card. This fee is generally equivalent to 3.5% of the converted Indian currency amount.

 

  • Credit card reward points are a good bet

 

Credit cards offer various unique and popular features that can work in your favor. One such feature is the credit card reward point scheme that most credit card providers offer. These reward points are redeemable across a host of online and offline platforms. These can be redeemed to obtain shopping vouchers, gift items, air miles, coupon codes etc. However, in order to make the most of your reward points, it is imperative to know their validity. This will ensure that you do not miss out on the redemption scheme and are able to redeem your points before they lapse or expire. Also, big purchases during the festive season, like those of electronics and furniture, add huge number of reward points that can be redeemed to avail a host of products and services.

 

  • Late payments of credit card bills is to be avoided

 

Late payments are one of the foremost reasons of customers getting entangled in a vicious circle of credit card debt. Late payments have dual repercussions of one, piled up payments to be made and two, late payment fee added to the original bill amount. This makes it extremely difficult for credit card users to balance in line with their regular monthly budget. Customers who once get caught in this circle of pending credit card payments make huge payments since late payment fee is charged as a percentage of the pending bill and as such accumulates into heft interest amounts.

 

With the above points in mind, it will no doubt, be easier and more rewarding for you to experience the festivities this Diwali season. Credit cards are a great financial tool to make wise use of and make the most of your purchases. So, happy shopping to you!

Check-up on Your Credit Score in 6 Simple Steps

When one thinks of financial check-ups, the most popular choice that comes to mind is the Credit Information Bureau of India Limited which is also known as CIBIL. CIBIL is the country’s standard format for credit scores and any bank, non-bank financial institution or any other financial institution will check the applicant’s CIBIL score before approving any applications for loans and hence it is imperative that one knows their CIBIL score.

With the New Year, many people set themselves goals of losing weight, being healthy, being fit and giving up vices such as smoking and as important as it is to be healthy and take up healthy habits and keep a check on one’s health, it serves one well if they checked up on their financial health as well. An annual check-up of one’s health is beneficial in many ways and can help diagnose and detect illnesses or anomalies earlier on, similarly financial health check-ups every year will keep your credit score in good stead.

Any person can be up to date on their CIBIL score by following these six simple steps

1)      Acquire and Fill up the CIBIL score request form online: The first step in acquiring the CIBIL score is to log onto the website of CIBIL and go to the section for applying for the credit score. The direct link to this section for accessing the request form can be reached by clicking on the following link. CIBIL.com/online/credit-score-check.do

2)      Filling in the details: Once the request form has been acquired, the applicant needs to fill in the necessary fields of information. The applicant will have to provide all details requested and the more details provided, the better. The details that are normally required to be filled in include PAN card, Passport details and other identity proof details such as a Driver’s license or Voters ID

3)      Submission of the form and Payment: After the applicant has filled in the form and verified it by entering the anti-spam codes, they are required to click on proceed to payment option which will direct them to the next page. This page will require them to authenticate a payment. The payment for credit score request is Rs 500. This payment can be made through Debit or Credit Cards or through Net banking facilities.

4)      Authentication: This step follows the payment. The system on the authentication page generates a set of questions, usually around 5 that are based on the details submitted and may range from details of the current loans or the details of the applicant’s bank account. A minimum of 3 successful answers should be given for authentication success

5)      Confirmation: The final step is confirmation. Once the confirmation message has been generated by the system, the applicant will receive the CIBIL scores within four business days. Applicants will also receive a payment receipt confirming the payment made towards the request

6)      The authentication fail step is needed only if the 4th step is unsuccessful. In case authentication is unsuccessful, a copy of the payment slip along with self-attested documents need to be sent over to the registered corporate office of CIBIL in Mumbai. Applicants can also reach out on the helpline number for any guidance which is +91-22-61404300.

The payment towards acquiring the CIBIL Score is a meagre amount and the process is relatively hassle free. The online process is convenient and allows applicants to view their credit scores and make sure they are on top of scores that are straying or falling below the desired levels.