The most convenient way to access your credit report and check CIBIL score is through the website of CIBIL. When you log on to the website you will have to provide some personal details and then enter your PAN details for verification. There will be questions about your credit history to answer and another personal ID may be required. If you are checking your CIBIL score for the first time then you don’t need to pay any fee as it is completely FREE for the first time.
Once you have submitted all the required details, they will email your credit report.
How important is checking your CIBIL score before applying for a loan?
Experts recommend that you should at least check your credit score once a year to avoid any surprises at the time of applying for the loan. If you are considering applying for a loan then you should check your score one year before applying so that you have enough time to improve your CIBIL score, if required. As good credit score improves your chances of getting accepted for loan and lets you enjoy low interest rate.
How CIBIL Credit Score is Calculated
We know that CIBIL (or any other credit bureau) has a collection of data that yields comprehensive details about the applicant. The major components of it are:
- Your repayment history
- Available credit balance from all sources
- The number of your loans and their age
With all this information in hand, CIBIL uses a complex mathematical formula to calculate your credit score.
What’s the CIBIL score required for Loan?
Similar to a credit card, there is no minimum cibil credit score that guarantees acceptance of your loan. Every bank follows its own norms to approve an application. But as a general rule, a cibil score of 750 or above significantly increases your chance of acceptance. Don’t think it’s a completely bad news forc those with less than 750 scores, some banks offer loan to even such prospects.
Should you apply for a loan with poor credit score?
A bad score would be anything less than 750 and yes, it is possible to get a loan even with a poor cibil credit score. But, the only difficulty is that the process might take longer than usual and the lower your score; the difficult it becomes to get a loan. You would be a risky customer to the lenders with a low score, the lender might even put some strange terms and conditions on your long. Not only you may face longer processing time but maybe your lender would grant you a loan at a higher rate of interest, or even more number of documents. Moreover, a lower amount of loan and shorter repayment period. That is why it is advised and highly recommended that you have a CIBIL score of 750 or more.
Minimum time required to improve your credit score
Generally, it should take somewhere between 4 to 12 months to improve your score. This also one of the reasons for why you should check your CIBIL score at least 12 months prior to applying for a loan. In this way, you have enough time to improve your score if your score is low. It should take less time if you are closer to 750 and vice-versa.
Getting loans without CIBIL score
CIBIL score is not mandatory to apply for a loan and you can apply for a loan even without it. However, the process will be difficult; more documentation will be required, longer processing time, and obviously higher risk of rejection.
Is there any Defaulter or Negative list?
People too often have this misconception but let us break the myth that no credit bureau maintains a list of defaulters. Credit bureaus collect information from all the banks and financial institutions of every payment, irrespective of whether it is defaulted or paid on time. Information of every type of customer is collected by the bureau. So, you can be sure that CIBIL (or any other bureau) does not keep a tab just on defaulters. However, your credit score may segregate you as a defaulter or a reliable borrower.
Role of CIBIL score in your approval process
CIBIL directly has no control over your approval process and it holds no responsibility for approval domain. CIBIL only provides the information that might be useful to the lenders in making decisions about the applicants. The credit report saves time and money of the lenders on carrying out background checks.This makes the process more transparent and convenient for both the parties. The cibil credit score helps in making a quick decision about the applicant. Once shortlisted the lenders make a complete judgment by looking at the credit information report.
What’s a Good Cibil Score?
Usually, lenders consider a score of anything above 750 as a good score. CIBIL score is a three-digit number which ranges from 300 to 900. This cibil credit score is mentioned in your CIBIL report along with all the comprehensive information about you.
Benefits of having a good CIBIL score
If your score is above 750 then it means that the applicant has a good repayment history. With such a score chances of your loan application being accepted rise manifold.
- Faster Approvals
Your goof CIBIL score will expedite the acceptance process and rather than taking months or weeks; it will get done within days.
- Lower rate of interest
A high score means that the customer is reliable and banks would like to deal with such customers. Banks may even offer you a lower rate of interest to allure you as their customer.
- Repayment tenure might increase
Your good credit score makes the lender confident that you will repay the amount and thus, it may even offer you a longer time to repay your loan.
- Higher credit limit or loan amount
How much credit score is sufficient to apply for a credit card?
A score of 750 and above is considered sufficient to apply for a credit card. Banks, NBFC and credit card companies consider such customers as low-risk borrowers and thus, your application process is expedited. However, one must not think that it is some threshold which has to be met.
People with credit score less than 750 also get credit card
Lenders approve credit cards to even those borrowers who have less than 750 credit score.
But as a general practice, most lenders don’t approve credit card applications with a lower credit score that is less than 750. However, not all customers with low credit score have poor credit discipline. There could be many other reasons for low credit score, like a medical emergency which might have gone hefty of your pocket leaving you with almost no money for repayments, or you don’t have sufficient credit history to judge as you don’t have much credit, even then your credit score would be low.
An alternative can be a ‘secured’ credit card. Such a credit card works the same as a normal credit card but you have to open a fixed deposit account in the bank to be eligible for that. Additionally, your credit limit will be only 80-90% of the amount you have in fixed deposit. In those cases when you are unable to make the repayment; the bank will automatically deduct the amount from your fixed deposit account. Banks have zero risks of losing money in such a case. You can build your credit score by making timely repayments on this credit card.
What do you mean by a CIBIL credit report?
In layman terms, a credit report is a document that encloses details of someone’s borrowing history and repayment record. The document provides a comprehensive insight and helps the potential lenders have a detailed picture of that person’s (or company’s) credit-worthiness.The decision is made on the basis of the past and current credit behaviour. Lenders can make right decisions with the report as it is a quicker way to have accurate information of the applicant. They get instant access to so much information that it expedites the lending decision and maintains transparency while making decisions.
If you have ever borrowed money from Banks,NBFCs, or credit card companies, then your credit-related behaviour is always being tracked. All your transactions (only related to credit) are sent to the credit bureaus, including CIBIL, and over there it is maintained properly and taken care of. The information passed on to credit bureaus include details of all your loan and credit card repayments including the details of late or missed payments; details of all the things inquired by the lenders on loan or credit card applications made in the past; all of your current loans and currently running credit cards; total credit limit provided to you; and other coherent credit-related information about you.
Thus, the credit report is just a single document that serves as a compilation of your credit history across all the different lenders you have ever interacted with in a significant period of time. Here’s a list of the things that are included in your credit report.
- Personal information such as name, age, gender, and correspondence address.
- Details about your employment.
- All the hard enquiries ever made by potential lenders on receipt of your loan/credit card application.
- Everything related to your previous and presently going on loans, including your payment records.
- All ‘settled’ loans, if any
- Credit Utilization Ratio, it is your credit limit and the percentage of your consumption out of it
- Credit card payment defaults, if any
- The most important component, Credit Score.
CIBIL Report is important
As we know, CIBIL Report is a documented briefing of an individual’s or firm’s creditworthiness. It holds great value because of several reasons and here we are mentioning them.
- It is a single document with a comprehensive report of the customer’s past and ongoing borrowings with the history of repayments.
- Potential lenders can literally scrounge through every aspect of customer’s spending discipline and ability to fulfil debt.
- It provides customer’s credit strengths and their weaknesses. The customer can also use it to make smarter focused decisions to improve credit health.
- Transparency is maintained. It also streamlines the loan approval process. This is because the customers and lenders share the same information for credit. Customers can clearly witness the reason for being rejected and lenders make quick decisions on customers. Lenders also save money on field verification and checking background.
Detailed description of a CIBIL report
We have already discussed the overview of your CIBIL report but now we will go in depth of it. A usual credit report has the enlisted demographic and identification data on the report.
- Date of birth
- Current and previous address
- Email ID
- Telephone number
- PAN number
- Passport Number
- Income per annum
- Driver’s license number
One should make sure that this information is up to the mark as this can cause a number of problems while applying for a loan. A good practice would be to check the CIBIL report at least once every year. In case, if there are issues in details, then get them resolved by coordinating with the lender or the credit bureau.
The next thing is the details of every loan that you have taken so far. There will be a list with particulars such as name of those lenders, type of loan (personal, credit card, auto loan etc.), date of disbursing the loan, the amount of loan, current outstanding balance (if any), rate of interest, time period of loan, monthly EMI installments, current profile of loan, 36 months repayment history behavior, etc. If you have made late payments then their recorded DPD or Days past due, every overdue payment recorded, and a status field for signifying the presence of negative status- like if it was settled, or it is in write-off status, whether the loan is current or if some legal suit has been filed. This information holds considerable sphere in deciding your credit score. Thus, it is crucial that this area is completely accurate all the time.
The last section has the number of times you have applied for loan or credit card- the section is called Credit Enquiry. If there are a number of credit enquiries but a corresponding loan has never been passed then it leaves a bad impression on the lender and affects your score. Such a customer is considered ‘credit hungry’ and holds a negative impact on credit score.
How to Improve Cibil Score?
After knowing the factors that affect your cibil credit score let us talk about ways to improve your credit score. But remember, there is no quick fix to improve your credit score but significant improvement can be made in the short run.
- First, get your credit report
How will you ever know which area to focus without a credit report? Go to the CIBIL branch to apply for a credit report. Once you have the reports in the hands, you should look for any possible errors or mistaken entries that might be affecting your score involuntarily. Examples of such errors are a loan put under your name by mistake or some loan that you have already paid in full but it shows up as active overdue. If any errors are found, then jot them down and file one dispute resolution with the bureau for acknowledging the mistakes as soon as possible. If these negative things are removed from your report then you can expect your cibil credit score to increase significantly.
- Maintain low credit card balance
The best practice is to keep the credit card balance as low as possible. Everyone knows the benefit of having a bigger credit limit –keeps your balance low and you have more flexibility for payments. Your score will see a direct impact of this.
- Keep the old cards and don’t get new cards
Your focus should be more on improving your score with existing cards. Yes, new credit cards will offer you a higher credit limit but think about the extra spending that you will make. That means you will be risking yourself for not making timely payments. That extra spending can disrupt your budget and credit score, both. Also, try not to drop your old cards because it causes your overall limit to drop. If your credit limit drops then, it will decrease your score. Concentrate on making the least possible use of your existing cards for improving your credit score.
- Spend less than 50% of your limit on credit cards
Your credit utilization ratio is another major factor in deciding your credit score. If you keep it low, you keep your credit score as low as possible. Considering that a person has 50,000 INR credit limit then that person should not exceed 25,000 INR benchmark expenses on his card.
- Try reminders if you forget dates
Many people complain that they forget the deadlines of bills. Luckily, you are living in the era with smartphones to remind you of everything. Set up reminders of deadlines. Repayment history, as said earlier, accounts for 30% of credit score. Thus, it makes it of utmost importance to make repayments on time and in full. Your bank or respective billers can send you SMS about the payment deadlines. Tech has also enabled automatic payment of bills as well, try that.
These steps can be carried out in a very short amount of time and show some positive effect on your score.
Low Cibil Score Reason
Most of the times the main cause of low cibil credit score is people’s lack of awareness about how the credit score is calculated. The following mistakes are commonly observed
- Late credit card or loan repayments
There are plenty of reasons why people skip or delay them. Mostly, they are unexpected expenses like medical emergencies; children’s might need money etc. you may think that skipping one or two payments won’t make much of a difference if you make the full payment later on. You are wrong if you think the same. Even one late payment can drop your score significantly. Even your full payment won’t compensate anything and can’t do anything to raise your score back.
People also forget the billing date due to oversight. Reminders are the best way to help in such a situation. Banks also have automatic billing option for people like you. If you get the auto-debit arrangement in place then make sure that you have enough money in your bank account. These are some silly mistakes that people can easily fix and also easily commit.
- Applying for loan at multiple lenders
Every time you make an application for a new loan to a new lender, the lender carries out a hard enquiry on your credit report. Every hard enquiry drops your cibil credit score. You can avoid this mistake by looking at prospects of various lenders online and then applying for loan or credit card to that lender where your chances of succeeding are the most. Only apply to those places where you think you have a great chance of being accepted as every loan rejection drops your credit score.
- Large number of unsecured loans
Those loans which do not require collateral securities are called unsecured loans. The best examples are personal loans and credit cards. Having too many unsecured credits signifies that you have too many monthly repayment obligations.
- Spending more than 50% of your credit card limit
Yes, we talked about it above but when you spend more than 50% of your credit limit, then it implies that you don’t have strong spending discipline. This definitely has a negative impact on your credit score. As easy it is to commit these mistakes, it’s of the same difficulty to avoid these mistakes.
What could be the possible reasons if your loan is rejected even after having a good credit score?
There could be times when your loan application got rejected even after having a good score of 750. While you may think you have done your best, but in actual, there are some areas which could have possibly lead to rejection of your loan.
- Some of the previous loans were settled or written off
Having account loans that were not repaid in accordance with original terms of the loan, warns the future lenders of your lack of financial responsibility. This is a clear indication that you were unable to pay the loan, and you are not a responsible even if you have paid all the recent loans fully.These types of loans leave a bad impression on your lender and you become a risky customer in their eyes.
- You were a guarantor for a defaulted loan
It may come strange to you but if you have been a guarantor for a loan that was not paid completely, then your credit score also suffers.
- Maybe you are mistakenly marked as a defaulter
You may not know about this, but if you have recently shifted to a new house that was occupied a defaulter previously, then you will be considered a defaulter. Banks will reject your application right away because your address will match that of a defaulter. You can get it fixed it easily though.
- Ratio of debt to income
Your loan can be rejected even if you have many current loan obligations. Too many obligations would require a large part of your monthly income to go into maintaining your existing debt. You may have a great cibil credit score because of your timely repayments but it is not worth it because lenders would think you are not capable of maintaining a new loan. There’s a limit to the percentage of your income that can be put into maintaining your loans. After that, lenders doubt your ability to take on further loans. Consider if you earn INR 30,000 monthly and INR 20,000 goes in paying debts, then you are left with only a little amount to spend on personal expenses. Banks would consider that you can’t afford another loan.
- High number of unsecured debt
Unsecured loans (those without collateral security) are not good for your credibility. Their impact won’t be visible on credit score but it matters. You should have more of secured loans than unsecured loans.
- Live in only some particular postal codes
This may sound very odd to you but sometimes your loan could be rejected just because you live in a place which is considered ‘high-risk’ locality by your bank. Banks describe some localities as highly risky with the help of statistical data. It depends on incidences of default from the localities. Even your good credit record can’t help you in such a case.
CIBIL score for Home Loan
In order to qualify for a home loan, your credit score should be above 700. Closer your score is to 900, better chances your application has of being approved. A higher credit score will attract offers like lower interest rate, more amount on loan, easy documents, and longer repayment periods. You can loan up to 80% of total cost of the property.
CIBIL score for Car Loan
There is no fixed minimum required to qualify for an auto loan. However, chances of rejection are high if your score is less than 750. People also get an auto loan with a low credit score as the automobile itself can work as the collateral security.
You can even get the loan without CIBIL score because the bank will take your car into custody if you can’t pay the bill. Though, it’s a tardy process.
Effect of Education Loan on CIBIL score
Education loan is like any other loan; you have to repay the loan completely to keep up with good credit score. There is a leniency in it that it can be paid after the borrower gets employed or completes his course of study.
A lender looks at an education loan as any other loan and like any other loan; information about its payment is shared with credit bureaus. All the information is reflected in the borrower’s credit report. Non-repayment of education loan will surely affect the credit score of the borrower.
Education loan with low CIBIL score
Generally, it is difficult to avail any type of loan with a low credit score. But education loan is a bit different as the lender can consider the performance of borrower in academics, the reputation of the college, placement prospects of the college and annual income of the family. You can also put some collateral security. If you have more chances of withdrawing a handsome salary then you have higher chances of the loan being accepted.
You may need at least 700 CIBIL scores to apply for an education loan.
CIBIL score for personal loans
Personal loans are unsecured loans i.e. they do not require any security for acceptance, therefore, the acceptance of such loans solely depend on your credit information report. They are different from auto loans or home loans as in such cases the vehicle or home can work as the collateral security. So, lenders do extensive background research of the applicant to judge his reliability. The borrower should apply if his score is above 750 and banks are strict on this one.
Other factors affecting personal loan
Personal loans are hard to be sanctioned; lenders also look at the annual income of the borrower, company profile, and present loan obligations.
What is a personal loan used for?
As the name suggests, personal loans can be used for any personal expense. These can range from wedding expenses, hospital expenses, or home renovation or a vacation. The loan amount comes with no restriction on how you spend it.
Interest rates on personal loans
The rate of interest on personal loans differs from lender to lender. While in respect to other loans (home loan, auto loan, business loan etc.), personal loans have the highest rate of interest. The reason is, obviously, no collateral security. The credit history of borrower and amount of loan also decide the rate of interest.
Effect of savings account balance on CIBIL score
There is no effect of savings account balance on CIBIL score. A credit score is completely based on credit-related activity regarding loans and credit cards only. Neither your savings nor your current account balance has to impact your credit score.
How can zero credit affect your creditworthiness?
You might think that it might be a positive thing on your report. But, it can actually backfire. Lenders are interested in knowing your repayment history and how good are you at repaying debts. If you don’t have a credit card or loan then how will the lender know about your repayment habit? You become a risky deal for your lender and thus, processing may take time and additional documentation would be required. Not having a sufficiently long credit history could make your credit score suffer.
CIBIL uses a nine-digit number to track your reports that are also known as the control number. The control number is generated when banks have to access your credit report. You can see it at the top right corner of your CIBIL report. This number serves as a reference to all your information and connection with CIBIL
How can you correct errors in your CIBIL reports?
If you find any errors in your CIBIL report then you can rectify your errors online at the website of CIBIL. Go to “Dispute resolution” in the Consumer Bureau section.
Can CIBIL carry out the corrections in my report?
Obviously, but this can only be done if the change is approved by the concerned bank or lender.
Can employers access my CIBIL credit score?
Generally, employers check the credit score of employees to evaluate their financial maturity and stability. If you look at some more developed countries in the west then even potential landlords, electricity companies or mobile phone providers also look at your credit score for examining your credit potential.
Does my employer’s credit profile affect my loans?
Yes, if you work for a company that is a defaulter or if it has been blacklisted by lenders, then for sure you have great chances of loan rejection.The reason is quite obvious, your employer’s defaulted loan indicates that they are not reliable and consequently your source of income also becomes non-reliable. Therefore, lenders would doubt your ability to repay the loan.
Difference between credit score and credit information report
Both of these things are issued by a credit bureau but they are very much different from each other and one should not confuse them. However, they are related to each other.
- In respect to format
A credit score is just a three digit number that ranges from 300 to 900 and is a numerical representation of your credit-worthiness. It can be used to get a quick idea of your credit repayment history and other credit-related behaviours. The score is present in the credit report.
On the other hand, a credit information report is a comprehensive report like a document with all your credit-related activity mentioned in it. It contains details of your current loans, repayment history, all the applications you have made for credit card and loan, settled or written off accounts (if any), your frequency of hard enquiries.
- Time Window
A cibil credit score takes account only of your last 24 months. That includes recent activities and credit history.
On the other hand, the credit information report records your history for a time period of years. It usually takes more time to remove any negative remark from your credit report.
- Calculations indulged
Your credit score has been calculated after so many statistical algorithms. There is a complex mathematical process indulged in concluding down to a single number.
A credit report is not a number, therefore, there are no calculations included in this. Rather it is a document with all your information related to credit.
Factors affecting credit score
The most deciding factor is your repayment history; it is accountable for about 30% of your credit score. It’s very obvious as lenders are interested in customer’s ability to repay the borrowed money and they won’t have to settle for something less. If the customer has paid all the payments on time and in full amount, then his/her credit score will be good. Hereby are listed the other factors that impact your credit score.
- Frequency of negative marks
There are a number of things that can be denoted in the negative mark, it could be foreclosure, account that yet needs collection due to defaults in repayments, ‘Written Off’ or ‘Settled’ status on previous loans. It holds great weightage in deciding your cibil credit score. A lot of negative marks would make your credit score poor, and restrict eligibility for loans. The significance of a negative mark is that it indicates your inability to properly manage the credit you have taken and warn your potential lenders. Erasing a negative mark from your credit history would take a lot of time.
- Timely payments
There’s a direct relationship between your percentage of timely payments and credit score. More the number of timely payments, higher your credit score. As told above, your repayment history has the highest weightage among all. A customer with consistent repayment history is a reliable borrower and almost every lender will grant a loan to such customers. While on the other hand, even one or two late payments also have a bad impact on your credit score. The direct implication comes that you cannot be replied in such a case for timely payments. Thus, it is crucial to make payments on time for a good cibil credit score.
- Your credit history length
This factor has relatively less importance than others but can give a much more detailed summary of your repayment history. Let’s consider two cases, first –you have been using a credit card for 10 years, second- you have recently started using a credit card for 2 years. In the first case, lenders have a darn long time to witness your credit behaviour and make a rational decision. While in the second case, the lender does not have sufficient information to make a judgment on your credit behaviour. Hence, you can see that it is not advised to drop using an older credit card. Older credit cards can improve your credit score.
- Frequency of hard enquiries made
When you go to a lender for borrowing some money and the lender accesses your CIR for seeing if you are eligible for the loan or not, then it is called a hard enquiry. Even one hard enquiry may marginally drop your credit score. And if there are multiple hard enquiries without any loan being sanctioned, then it only means that you are ‘credit-hungry’. You are applying to as many lenders as you can for securing your chances. A large number of enquiries made in a short span of time can have a significant impact on your credit score.
Improve your CIBIL score after credit card settlement
What if you ever have to do a ‘settlement’ of your credit card? You will probably be worried about how you can fix your CIBIL score. There are ways by which you can turn around the situation but remember that there is no quick fix. It takes time and you have to be patient. You will need commitment, and discipline as well.
Below are the ways in which you can help your situation:
- Turn ‘Settled’ to ‘Closed’ status
It is better to pay off your bill and change your status from ‘settled’ to ‘closed’. While you may think ‘settled’ means you have made the payment but it actually was not a full payment. Settled status will haunt every loan application you will make. Try to talk to your credit card company to agree on an acceptable amount that will let you convert the settled to ‘closed’ account. Make sure the amount is affordable. Your cibil credit score will significantly improve.
- Make a vow to never delay payments and pay all outstanding amount
Any outstanding loan can have a bad impact on your credit score. Don’t think it is hard to pay off all the due, talking to your lender may bring both of you on a mutually acceptable amount. You should not wait a lot as interest is going to pile up, waiting will only increase your worries later. Also, when you delay the payments your credit score also drops. There is no benefit in holding up the payments.
- Don’t stop the use of credit
When people get burned by their credit they stop using credit. It is no way a good idea. In order to rebuild your cibil credit score, the only thing that can help is your discipline in credit behaviour. The best way is to use less credit and make payments on time and in full.
Set a target score of at least 750. It has to take time and the time depends solely on your credit behaviour.
CIBIL stands for Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited. It is for the first time India has got a Credit Information Company or Credit Bureau. The primary work of this organization is to maintain all credit-related activities of many individuals and companies, comprising of loans and credit cards as well. All the registered member banks and other financial institutions send the reports to CIBIL in a specific period (usually per month). The data goes for analysis and on its basis, CIBIL issues a Credit Information Report or CIR (also known as a credit report) and a credit score.
In 2000, the foundation of CIBIL was laid for bringing making the credit space more efficient and transparent. CIBIL’s technical partners are TransUnion International (a renowned global credit bureau), and Dun & Bradstreet (another renowned global provider of credit information). CIBIL holds a mission and that is “To catalyze the growth of Credit in India through solutions that enable well-informed Credit decisions; technology that enables superior information availability; and people that provide high-quality services.” Moreover, CIBIL is an ISO 27001 rated organization that is the highest security standard on the globe.
TransUnion International, ICICI, SBI, IOB, HSBC, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, and Allahabad Bank are the shareholders in CIBIL.
There are two areas where CIBIL focuses: One is the consumer bureau. It deals with consumers’ credit records. The other one is the commercial bureau. This deals with the records of companies and other institutions.
Things to keep in mind about CIBIL and Credit Score
CIBIL has an information base of about 250 million consumer trades and 8 million commercial trades. The database keeps on stretching as its 175 member base continues to add more and more information on the principle of reciprocity.
The idea to start CIBIL was to integrate all the existing consumer and commercial credit information and then put it in one place so it becomes easier to access it. Every individual and company could have several bank accounts and credits from a number of institutions. This piles up to be a big heap of data. CIBIL does the work of compiling every entity’s credit information for a quick reference.
A common misconception people have is that CIBIL has the name of defaulters only. That’s not true, every member of CIBIL’s network gives data of everyone be it a defaulter or an ardent customer. The data is used to calculate a credit score and the summary report is called the credit information report.
CIBIL score is important for your credit application, lenders shortlist you on the basis of it and then see your credit report for a comprehensive insight into your credit behaviour. If you are thinking about applying for a loan then check your score well in advance.