As you know, your CIBIL™ score plays a crucial role in helping you secure a loan and credit card at the best possible rates. Even if you don’t plan to apply for a loan shortly, your credit score will continue to impact your life in several other ways. Having a good credit score can help reduce the premiums on your insurance policies, help qualify for a higher limit on your credit card and more.
But what is a good credit score? Is it possible to get the highest credit score? Continue reading as we explore the answers to these questions and more.
What is the highest possible credit score in India?
Theoretically speaking, the highest possible credit score in India is 900 as all the four credit bureaus compute credit scores on a scale ranging from 300 to 900. Here, 300 is the lowest and 900 is the highest. With that said, achieving the highest possible score is challenging and often not possible.
Aiming for a perfect credit score of 900 may be tempting, but it may not be realistically possible. Let’s explain this with a real-life example. Take a language paper. Though the maximum possible marks are 100, the highest marks are generally 90+ and not the full 100 out of 100. Similarly, though the highest possible credit score is 900, it’s not given out. Having a credit score of 750+ is sufficient to put you in the top tier.
Focus on Reaching an Excellent Credit Score Range instead of a Specific High Score
Your credit score plays a crucial role in determining your overall credit health. The three-digit number helps lenders evaluate quickly whether you will repay your debts on time. While lenders consider several factors in deciding your loan eligibility, the credit score plays a crucial role in influencing the final lending decision.
Working your way up to the perfect score of “900” may be appealing. But it isn’t necessary. Having a credit score above 750 is enough to indicate that you’re a responsible credit user. Remember that a score of 800 is likely to get you the same terms on a loan application as another person with the perfect credit score of 900.
So, instead of spending your efforts on trying to get the highest possible credit score, try to ensure that you reach the maximum credit score range.
What is a good credit score range?
A credit score between 750 and 900 is considered excellent. Banks, NBFCs, HFCs and credit card companies prefer borrowers with credit scores in this range. If you aren’t sure where you stand, check your credit score for free online at CreditMantri. Just enter a few basic details like your PAN, email, age and mobile number to get your latest credit score within a few minutes.
Now that you have your credit score in hand let’s see where it falls and how it impacts you.
Credit Score Range
What does it mean for you?
750 – 900
● Best chances of loan/credit card approval
● Low-interest rates on future loans
749 – 700
● Good chances of loan approval
● But, it can be better
699 – 650
● Credit approval is possible, but limited options
● Unfavourable interest rates
649 – 600
● Challenging to get approved for loans/credit cards
● Even if approved, interest rates and loan terms are unfavourable
Of High Concern
● Credit approval chances are dismal
As you can see from the above table, lenders are more concerned about your credit score range than the actual credit score. For example, Borrower A with a credit score of 780 and Borrower B with a credit score of 810 will be treated similarly. So, as mentioned above, aim to get your credit score within the “Excellent” range instead of striving to get the elusive highest-possible score.
Benefits of Having an Excellent Credit Score
There are several reasons why you need to work on bringing your credit score to the excellent category. They are:
- Score lower interest rates on car/bike loans
Unless you have lakhs of rupees lying idly in your bank account, you are likely to require a loan for purchasing a new bike or car. Having a good credit score (750+) can help you get a loan at the best possible terms. Consumers with credit scores in the excellent range qualify easily for a car loan and enjoy lower interest rates.
- Get the Best Credit Card with Great Rewards
It’s possible to get a credit card even with low credit. Having a high CIBIL™ score can help you get the best credit cards with a high limit and excellent rewards and benefits.
- Get the Lowest Interest on your Home Loan
A home loan is one of the biggest debt commitments in your life, and you’ll want to get the lowest interest rate possible on it. Even a slight decrease in the interest rate can help you save tens of thousands of rupees over the loan term. Home loan borrowers with excellent credit scores enjoy the lowest possible interest rates.
- Get Better Premiums on Insurance
Having a high CIBIL™ score is not only beneficial for your credit cards and loans but also help you qualify for lower premiums on your insurance plans.
- Refinance loans to Reduce Interests
If your credit score has increased recently, then you can opt to refinance your ongoing home loans to reduce the interest rate and save money on it.
As you can see, a high CIBIL™ score opens the door to better loans and credit cards. It not only increases your loan eligibility chances but also helps you save money by lowering the interest rates on loans and credit cards.
How can I get a CIBIL™ score of 800+?
You don’t have to aim for the highest possible credit score. But, if you want to bring your credit score to 800+ (the excellent range), here are the steps that you can take.
- Check your credit report and scores periodically.
You can check your credit score for free at CreditMantri.com. You can also get a detailed credit health check and credit report. With this information in hand, you get a clear picture of where you’re going wrong. This helps you address areas of your credit history that need to be rectified.
- Dispute any errors on your credit report
While credit report errors are not common, there may be chances of wrong information on your credit report. If you notice any inaccurate information on your credit report – identity errors, fraudulent transactions, accounting errors – then you can file a dispute with the credit bureau and get it rectified.
- Pay your bills and EMIs on time
On-time payments account for the biggest factor determining your credit score. So, make sure to pay your credit card bills, loan EMIs and other utility bills on time. If you’re behind on specific payments or have accounts in collection, make sure to take care of them immediately to boost your credit score.
- Keep Credit Card Balances Low
Next to on-time payments, the credit utilisation ratio plays a crucial factor in deciding your credit score. To find your credit utilisation ratio, divide your credit card balances by the total available credit limit.
Aim to keep your credit utilisation rate by 30% or lower. A high credit utilisation rate damages your credit score. If you want to reach the highest credit score range, aim to keep the credit utilisation rate below 6%.
- Avoid Multiple Hard Inquiries within a Short Span
When you apply for a credit card or loan, the lender runs a credit check on you. This causes a hard inquiry and is recorded on your credit report. Multiple hard inquiries within a short time-frame can pull down your credit score.
With that said, keep in mind that not all credit inquiries are bad. Checking your credit score by yourself results in a soft inquiry. Soft pulls (or soft inquiries) do not harm your credit.
*Keep in mind that credit scores don’t improve overnight. It takes a long time of dedicated on-time payments, no derogatory remarks on your credit report to reach (and maintain) a high credit score.
Don’t Be Disappointed that You Don’t Have the Highest Credit Score
Despite all your efforts, you may not be able to achieve the highest possible credit score. Don’t be disheartened. Keep in mind that a good credit score (750+) is more than sufficient. As you develop good credit habits over time, you can watch your credit score rise. Having a credit score that falls in the excellent category shows to lenders that you’re reliable. It helps you secure the best deals on loans and credit cards.