Remember Credit Sudhaar, the firm that used to charge money for improving one’s credit score? It is now claiming to provide ‘free credit score’ that too when neither CIBIL nor Experian India nor Equifax gives free credit report
Credit Sudhaar Services Private Ltd, the so-called 'credit health improvement' has come up with another idea to mislead people. Its new idea is called 'Free Credit Score' and promises to provide 'credit rating absolutely free'. What is more shocking is the page title of its website, freescoreIndia.com says "Free CIBIL Score Online" to attract more people who are looking for their credit reports and score. Another issue with Credit Sudhaar is constant bombarding through SMS. But more about it later.
There are four credit information companies in India cleared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Three of them give credit reports, which have details of one's borrowing. They are CIBIL, Experian and Equifax. The fourth is in a transition process. Most importantly, none of them gives free credit report and charges certain fee for the reports (Rs138-Rs142). Credit score costs more money, with CIBIL charging Rs470 for the same.
So how come Credit Sudhaar is providing free credit reports? The truth is Credit Sudhaar is actually providing 'Credit Score Estimator', its new product, which simulates the estimated range of credit score with personalised product recommendations from the company. Credit score and report are different from credit score estimates and credit health report, both brainchild of Credit Sudhaar.
Credit Sudhaar claims to provide CIBIL score and report online. However, Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd or CIBIL has once again categorically denied any relations with Credit Sudhaar. In an email reply, a senior official from CIBIL said, "We would like to inform that CIBIL does not have any tie-up or association with Credit Sudhaar or any entity offering credit counselling service."
Credit Sudhaar Finance Pvt Ltd, a Credit Sudhaar group entity says it is a specified user and is authorised to obtain credit information about borrowers from credit information companies.
However, when pointed out that its name is again being used by FreeScoreIndia, CIBIL has no answers.
Credit Sudhaar also offers credit health report (CHR) service that allows it to assess credit worthiness of and provide credit report to borrowers, clients and customers. Under the terms and conditions on freescoreIndia.com, (it was there till Tuesday but not on Wednesday!), Credit Sudhaar Finance, says, "The Client understands that there will be a one-time payment. The details of the plans being offered by the Company, the specification of the services available and the fees payable for availing these is provided by the Company on the website – www.creditsudhaarfinance.com from time to time."
Coming back to the SMS harassment, this is happening because people are mandated to provide email, mobile number and chose one from four reasons for seeking own credit score. All four reasons are related with giving Credit Sudhaar a chance to target the customer.
MS Rao, one of the readers of Moneylife, has been bombarded with SMS from Credit Sudhaar. He says, "I am getting unsolicited repeated SMSs from freecreditscore India. These SMSs are irritating. I have a very high score from CIBIL. Without even caring to verify, the team sends SMSs in the hope of getting business. Pls stop the harassment."