Credit Bureaus in India: Everything you need to know

In case you are using a Credit Card, or you have taken a Loan or BNPL Card, you will start building your Credit Score.

In India, the Credit Scores are given out by 6 Institutions, whom we call Credit Bureaus. They are in charge of maintaining our credit profile. All banks and financial institutions report our credit behavior to these credit bureaus every month, which they use to measure our Credit Score.

Whenever we take a new loan or credit card, financial institutions refer to our Credit Profile to determine our creditworthiness. In simple words, Credit Scores help financial institutions decide whether someone is capable of repaying back their loans/credit dues on time.

In today’s post, we will talk about the Credit Bureaus in India.

List of Credit Bureaus in India:

In India, we have 6 Credit Bureaus.

  1. CIBIL.
  2. Experian.
  3. Equifax.
  4. CRIF Highmark.
  5. CRISIL.
  6. ICRA.

1,2,3, and 4 are the most important. 5 & 6 don’t provide credit scores to individuals. They are more into maintaining records.

Apps & Websites to check your Credit Scores:

You can check your Credit Scores for CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, and CRIF from different apps and websites. Check out my post How to Check My Credit Score for FREE? (CIBIL / Experian / CRIF / Equifax) for a complete list of apps/sites where you can check your Credit Score for free.


Q: Is there a difference between Credit Score and CIBIL Score?

Ans: In India, CIBIL is the most popular Credit Bureau, and most banks and financial institutions refer to your CIBIL profile while offering you new Credit Cards or Loans. Hence, most people refer to their Credit Score as CIBIL Score. It is like a commonly spoken word.

However, Credit Score may refer to any of your Scores: CIBIL, Experian, CRIF, or Equifax.

Q: Why do we need 4 Credit Bureaus? Isn’t 1 Bureau sufficient?

Ans: It is the same as asking: Why do we have so many telecom operators? Just 1 is sufficient. There is no answer to this. It’s just how these bureaus were created at different points in time and they started gathering a lot of user data.

And yes, as I said earlier, CIBIL is the most powerful amongst all the bureaus since most financial institutions fetch your CIBIL score only.

Last but not the least, it is not in your hands. As you start using credit cards or taking loans, it is going to reflect in all bureaus, so it is better to keep a check.

Q: My CIBIL Score is different from Experian or CRIF or Equifax:

Ans: Each Credit Bureau applies its own algorithms to calculate your Credit Scores. So, having different scores across different bureaus is completely normal.

Banks and financial institutions feed data about your credit behavior (your credit utilization, repayment) to the bureaus and they calculate the scores from that. You should only make sure that the data fetched by the bureaus are error-free.

Q: I noticed an Unknown Loan in my Credit Profile. What do I do?

Ans: Refer to my post: Q: I noticed unknown loan entries on my CIBIL Report. I haven’t taken any loans. What are they? How to close them?

Factors that determine your Credit Score:

  1. Repayment History

  2. Credit Utilization

  3. Credit Mix and Duration

  4. EMI to Income Ratio

  5. No of HARD Enquiries

How to improve your credit score?

  1. Pay your dues or EMI on time.

  2. Maintain a balance between secured and unsecured loans.

  3. Do not use your credit card to its maximum limit.

  4. Do not enquire about loans from multiple banks.

  5. Do not borrow multiple loans in a short duration of time.

  6. Always avail longer tenure for repayments and try to pay the part payments on time.

To learn more, refer to this article from FreeFincal: Factors that determine your CIBIL score and how to improve it (

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