Having late payments from CIBIL report can prove detrimental to your credit score, and indeed is something that requires your attention. If not addressed in time it can snowball into a much bigger, more significant problem that not only affects your credit report but your overall financial fitness in the long run.
What is a CIBIL report?
A credit report provided by CIBIL, India’s oldest credit information company or bureau is known as the CIBIL score. It is the fundamental document lenders access when determining whether to extend any credit facilities to a borrower as it helps them gauge just how risky a customer may prove to be.
This report details information pertaining to any loans or credit cards that you have availed of, and your repayment behaviour is emphasised upon. Hence, ensuring that you do not have a pattern of late payment on your record is crucial.
While you can request for a copy of your CIBIL report, it is currently not offered as a free service. Upon payment of a small fee, the report is made available by way of a quick, hassle-free process.
What is defined as a late payment?
Let us take an example – Borrower A has a credit card, which has a payment due date of the 25th of each month. When Borrower A makes a payment any day after the due date, the payment is considered to be a late payment. Simply put, therefore, any amount outstanding past the due date will be a late payment once received by the lender.
However, for the sake of categorization, lenders universally slot late payments into buckets, denoting how many days past due (or DPD) they are. These buckets are tagged at 30, 60, 90 and 120 days past the due date, and the more number of days past, that much more serious is your problem.
Impact of late payments on your CIBIL report
Sometimes, a person defaults on a loan or card payment simply because they have forgotten the due date. In most other cases however it is a willful default wherein the borrower does not intend to pay the amount owed to the lender.
Whatever be your reason for delaying a payment, know that your credit report does not consider the same, and every late payment is meticulously captured in the document. Of course, data received by bureaus is only that sent by its member institutions (banks and other financial institutions) and bureaus do not generate any information on their own. Hence, the moment your lender updates your account with a late payment remark, the same is transferred on to your bureau report.
Delaying a payment or missing it as a one-off instance will have a short-term, immediate impact on your CIBIL rating, it is true, but not as much as a regular history of payment defaults would. When you are 90 DPD, for example, your record is already tarnished, and building your score back up is a tedious exercise, one that takes time and patience. When you go as much as 90 days past the due date, it conveys to a lender that you have not only defaulted on payment once – and for a relatively long period – but are likely to do it again. In most cases as a global standard, late payments stay on record for a period of 7 years. Hence while erring may be simple, it is far more complex to rebuild your score.
How do you remove late payments from the CIBIL report?
In order to know how to clear CIBIL issues, you first need to identify them in your CIBIL report; hence calling for a copy is your first step in the process. Once received, go through it carefully and check for any errors or inaccurate information, which includes late payments.
If your late payment is on account of having forgotten the payment due date, you can request for the information to be struck off on the basis of goodwill, which is known as a ‘goodwill adjustment’ to lenders. If your credit history – and most importantly, your repayment track record – is otherwise good, a lender is likely to consider this favourably and delete this information from their records. Once they send this revised update to the bureau, your record is struck clean. Of course, this is purely at the discretion of the lender and your relationship with them, so even when you do send a letter, do not assume that it will be automatically done.
Further, if the information in your report is accurate, chances are that the lender is unwilling to strike it off your report without any assurance from your end. Therefore, some lenders globally request for the borrower to sign up with their banks to ensure auto-debit towards payment on the due date. On doing this, they are willing to consider erasing the late payment record. However, as with a goodwill letter, this depends solely upon the lender.
You can also negotiate with the lender with regards to making either a partial or full payment towards the amount outstanding, thereby not only reducing your debt burden but also having the late payment record struck off.
However, do keep in mind that a late payment is not looked upon favourably by any lender, and getting the remark struck off from your credit report can be an uphill task.
Follow up is the key
When you request for removal of late payment remarks from your report, follow up with the lender to keep periodically checking the status. Once the lender agrees to removal, it can take up to a month (or sometimes longer) to have your credit report updated with the new data. Hence, do call for your credit report and check the details yourself.
Note-This is a guest post written by Arun Ramamurthy, author of “Unlock the Power of Your Credit Score” : India’s first book on credit scores.
BasuNivesh in no way associated with the author or the organization he represents. Also, we not received any monetary benefit for publishing this post. This is purely based on knowledge sharing purpose.