How CIBIL goofs up credit records, resulting in denial of loan
Moneylife Digital Team 06 June 2013

A consumer was denied home loan because CIBIL mixed up his credit history or record with someone else. Another was denied a loan due to gender mismatch. This could happen to you as well

Moneylife and Moneylife Foundation have been continuously raising question on the quality of credit reports and data in India. Here is a shocking case of Umesh Dhawan, who was denied a home loan of Rs5 lakh because his credit history or record data was mixed up with someone else, who was a defaulter. Mr Dhawan has been wrongly blaming ICICI Bank for the problem, while Credit Information Bureau (India) (CIBIL) was at fault.


CIBIL, the credit bureau while accepting its mistake in merging the credit record of Mr Dhawan with another person, has issued an apology and sent a fresh credit report to him, after a mail from Moneylife and strong intervention by ICICI Bank to which we forwarded the customer’s complaint. Even then, CIBIL provided ICICI Bank with an apology meant for the customer and not directly to Mr Dhawan. An explanation was forthcoming only when Moneylife wrote to CIBIL.


While Mr Dhawan’s record would be cleared, there may be several such cases where a person's credit record or data is mixed up with someone else. In a similar case, a senior financial consultant, DM Mahalaxmi also had to go through the same trauma. The question therefore is who will compensate for the loss of repute and trauma experienced by Mr Dhawan and Ms Mahalaxmi.


“Credit information submitted to CIBIL pertained to Umesh Uhawan who had taken a joint loan with Rahul Biswas. Since information pertaining to Umesh Uhawan and Umesh Dhawan were similar, the system matched the details pertaining to Umesh Uhawan with Umesh Dhawan,” CIBIL said in an email to Moneylife.


However, this raises bigger question on the credibility of credit bureaus, their data and ability to crunch the data. Matching data fields like name, date of birth, address, telephone numbers and identifiers like PAN, passport number and voter ID card is a challenge, especially in a country like India. However, over the years credit bureaus like CIBIL have developed an algorithm that is supposed to consider several fields before making a match.


When information in relation to a person whose credit information report (CIR) is to be obtained is fed into the system, a best possible CIR is generated based on the match rules with the available data. When sufficient data elements between two sets of personal data overlap, the information of two different accounts are merged in the CIR, CIBIL said.


In the case of Mr Dhawan, CIBIL said, “Based on the dispute raised by the consumer, we had done an in-depth analysis, it was observed based on the data submitted to us and our match riles, the CIR generated for the consumer had details of another individual mixed in the consumer’s report. We have immediately taken corrective action to separate the information.”


This is a verbatim of the reply received by Ms Mahalaxmi from CIBIL. There may be several such cases, but the credit bureau has refused to divulge the numbers. It said, "The rate at which incorrect merges occur at CIBIL is very low, and is competitive with bureaus of similar size and maturity globally.” Strangely, CIBIL is not answerable to the public as it continues to have a near monopoly on customer credit data or records.


CIBIL is also silent on the exact number of fields that are matched before deciding to merge data of two persons and creating a single CIR. “When enough data elements between two sets of personal data overlap, the information for the two subjects is merged together. The rules, which decide when enough data has overlapped to trigger a merge have evolved over the lifetime of CIBIL, based on annual analysis of the overall consumer dataset. In order to present the consolidated credit history of a person in a credit information report there are a few sets of match rules. The CIR is generated only when such rules are satisfied,” it said.


In the case of Mr Dhawan, were the fields like date of birth, address, PAN number, matched? Looks unlikely. This also means there is something wrong in the process itself.


Moneylife has been raising the issue of credit tracking system, which the above mentioned incidents show, is still in a mess and crippling financial life for no fault of the consumer.


According to sources, following the letter from Moneylife Foundation to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor D Subbarao on 13 December 2012, there has been quite some progress on the issues. The RBI has also set up a task force address some of the data parity problems between credit bureaus and lenders, the sources said.


Earlier, following the complaint letter, the RBI has asked banks and financial institutions (FIs) to share historical data with new credit bureaus, of which they had become members.


The financial literacy initiative of Moneylife Foundation, has led to the discovery that credit-tracking remains faulty in several ways. The Foundation also discovered that licensing of four credit bureaus without a level playing field, in terms of access to credit information and historical data, has created a system that is not functioning as it was supposed to.


Moneylife Foundation, through a day-long workshop and counselling on credit reports and issues and through few case studies, also discovered that most of the lenders only look at CIBIL data while others do not even bother to look at a credit report at all before making lending decisions.


There has been much discussion over the accuracy of the data in consumer reports. In general, industry participants maintain that the data in credit reports is very accurate. The credit bureaus point to their own study of 52 million credit reports to highlight that the data in reports is very accurate. The Consumer Data Industry Association testified before the US Congress that less than 2% of those reports that resulted in a consumer dispute had data deleted because it was in error. Nonetheless, there is widespread concern that information in credit reports is prone to error. Thus, the Congress has enacted a series of laws aimed to resolve both the errors and the perception of errors.


However, the goof up in the above mentioned two examples of Mr Dhawan and Ms Mahalaxmi, clearly highlights the need for audits and scrutiny of credit bureaus as well.


NOTE: If you are facing similar issue, you may want to get help from Moneylife Foundation's free Credit Helpline

6 years ago
I am also a recent victim of this. In my Credit Report, I found that a home loan from a United Bank of India has been issued against my name and on the other hand, I have never visited any branch of United Bank of India (UBI) This loan does not belong to me.
However, I am still confused that if somebody fraudulently has used my name and identity to avail the loan. I have also emailed to Experian, one of the credit information company regarding the issue. As per Experian's investigation and confirmation received from United Bank of India, I was asked to follow up with UBI.
I have also raised this dispute with CIBIL Transunion and awaiting for their reply.
Without any reason, I am facing unnecessary hazards. Can anyone suggest me how proceed?
Sucheta Dalal
Replied to KRISHNA KUMAR GUPTA comment 6 years ago
Mr Gupta. This is a serious issue. You will have to deal with it on an emergency basis and with full attention. You may want seek free help from Moneylife Foundation's and our credit help line. Please go to and search for details. If you google moneylife also you will get some ideas. If you are in Mumbai, call 49205000 -- but only after you have made the effort to read what we do . You can get free counselling from experts here
Kumar Sambhav
7 years ago
I think CIBIL is enjoying monopoly and other it should be made mandatory to banks to look at other credit agencies and look for average.
Sucheta Dalal
Replied to Kumar Sambhav comment 7 years ago
suggest you attend our financial literacy seminar this week. Register for our newsletters. There are 4 credit bureaus in India. You must understand how it works. Moneylife Foundation also offers FREE guidance on credit issues. It is a pity that NOBODY wants to use it and understand issues -- in general , or their own case!
Amit Sharma
7 years ago
Hi, great article. I read recently that cibil identity theft has become common these days. This scares me a lot, is there a way to avoid them?
Ravindra Hulsure
7 years ago
Hi , i had settlement of my crdit card in 2007 of ABN AMRO bank,hsbcbank & detushce also detusche bank convert in Indusind bank may in 2007 i already settled with detusche bank after that again same settled with indusind bank,that reflected in my cibil report pl. request you to my cibil report at liberty to withdraw, pl. give us contact number and contact person name
Ravindra Hulsure
7 years ago
Hi , i had settlement of my crdit card in 2007 of ABN AMRO bank,hsbcbank & detushce also detusche bank convert in Indusind bank may in 2007 i already settled with detusche bank after that again same settled with indusind bank,that reflected in my cibil report pl. request you to my cibil report at liberty to withdraw, pl. give us contact number and contact person name
8 years ago
Hi friends if you want to improved your cibil score or if you have any issues about your cibil score then call to prisha 7208205581, She is a expert from Credit 4 Loan who helped me too improve my score very well or visit them at
8 years ago
I have been a victim of CIBIL, standard chartered and shaha finlease. i had closed my loans way back in 2001 but scb showed an overdue 0f 1.99 lac & shaha finlease showed 17.8 lac for the same account. finally i closed the account with shaha for 37k out of which 12k went to credit sudhar.i dont know what to do inspite of clearing it my score has not been updated. common people like me are suffering bcoz of these people and Rs. 1.14 Lakh Crore Of Bad Debts Written Off Using Public Money statement was given by these banks.v r small people & v need small loans which v pay promptly but still v r the ones whop r suffering whereas big people can take big loan and live happily
Suresh Naik
9 years ago
On receiving CIBIL report shocked to see so my entries in my name

Date of Birth mentioned in the report as “11-02-1965” whereas my date of birth is “17-03-1967”.

1 Out of 33 loan accounts listed in CIBIL report , after Cross checking with 11 banks to get this verified, only 8 belongs to me and which don't have any outstanding , remaining all the accounts belongs to P. Satyanarayana of Hyderabad which has large outstanding and written off entries.

Don't understand on why the entries of other customer is appearing against my name who is no way related to me.What kind of IT systems are used by CIBIL. can we highlight this case of RBI

Suresh S Naik
Replied to Suresh Naik comment 9 years ago
Hello Suresh,

I am also in similar situation when i received my CIBIL report as you had. did you get any resolution on the disputed account.
Please provide me you contact email so i could get some suggestions on this.
Replied to Suresh Naik comment 9 years ago
Thanks for your comment Mr Naik.
We suggest you to immediately send your query to Moneylife Foundation's Free Credit Helpline so that our experts can advise you properly.

1 decade ago
Last year I too faced a similar situation wherein I was made to run between ICICI Bank and CIBIL.
I discovered that CIBIL can commit a crime and get away Scot free for it as rightly pointed out by you they are not accountable to anybody!!
I fail to understand why RBI cannot intervene and make them accountable for the serious lapses made by them.
My query to them has remained unanswered :
How is a OD account against securities a liability ? How and when does the same become a default if you are meeting the regular interest payments ? I am still seeking answers, both the financial institutes never bothered to reply. Complaining to the banking ombudsman also drew a blank. Hope the RBI governor takes up this very serious issue or will they address it only when a cabinet minister falls victim to a defective CIBIL report?
Tapas Bhaduri
1 decade ago
Quality of CIBIL report in INDIA is very bad.False or wrong credit score from CIBIL destroying hopes of common people in many cases.Banks and other financial institutions should avoid these wrong reports to help common people.
Ashish Mishra
1 decade ago
I recently found that my CIBIL report contains 9 credit accounts of which I actually own only one.

Due to bad 9 accounts, my request for car loan has been denied by two banks.

I am not whether this is also one of the data merge issues. Also if moneylife could help me resolve this.
Amit Kothari
1 decade ago
I remember since the year 2007 by gods grace I have not contacted any banks for any kinds of loan still i see 8 enquirers starting from some HARI INVESTMENTS to RANK (Are they even financial insitutes?) mounting for 72 lakhs!!!! If these guys are getting paid salaries then this is the worst phase of humanity!!!!!
Amit Kothari
1 decade ago
I happened to check my cibil report today and see that in the year 2006 Standard Chartered bank has an enquiry for an auto loan in my account for 5.25 crores! Are you serious! I am an ordinary salaried guy and it seems like 56923610 (exact loan amount) is my old office landline number. What a joke!
Sucheta Dalal
Replied to Amit Kothari comment 1 decade ago
Please do not take this lightly. If you account is compromised with wrong information, get it rectified. write to CIBIL, demand details and get it corrected. Challenge them about the source.

It could mean that y our account has been mixed up with another person of the same name. God forbid if that person defaults! best
Manoj Kumar
Replied to Sucheta Dalal comment 9 years ago
Dear Ma'am,

My record has also been mixed up with some other person with same name. I got the shocker when i applied for the home loan. This person has already sanctioned loan amounting to 17 lakhs. I have already deposited 10 lacs to builder and now i am being denied for the loan. I have raised the dispute with CIBIL on 31st October 2014 and still there is no word from them. They just say they are in process of getting the confirmation from banks.
I am very much tensed and don't know what to do as there is no one who could help me out.

Please guide.
Manoj Kumar
[email protected]
Rakesh Choudhary
Replied to Sucheta Dalal comment 10 years ago
When all the banks refused me Credit Card without assigning any reason, a banker friend suggested me to check my CIBIL score.
It was completely goofed up. It took me 5 rounds of corrections and pointing out even clerical mistakes (like DOB, in last round), that I finally have a clean score.
Only God knows their algorithm and data source. I had some bike loan, some loan from individual, some credit cards all reported and captured by CIBIL, which in my real life never existed.
Lot of transparency is required in their functioning.
santosh pathak
1 decade ago
wrong information
A Srinivas Rao
1 decade ago
My Self Srinivas from Hyderabad. Last week when i applied to Axis Bank for personal loan, they rejected my loan application saying that i have defaulted loan & the CIBIL score is low. When i purchased the CIBIL & saw the account loan account number is not at all related to me. Only name is matching. With the same loan account number it was happened to me 2011 also. That time also i have put lot of efforts to prove my innocence. That time Indian Bank & CIBIL issued communication that the loan is not belongs to me. Now with the same loan account number the data is added to my CIBIL data in Nov'13.
I don't know in what parameters CIBIL is deciding common man data.
The severely damaged my credit history.
Please help me how to tackle these people.
I have already spoke with Indian Bank people as well as CIBIL. Yesterday i got a letter from Indian Bank branch where the loan is defaulted that the loan is not belongs to me. I have already wrote a mail to nodal officer of Indian bank with a copy marked to Chairman of Indian Bank & CIBIL with attachment of the letter issued by Indian Bank
Vishrut Patel
Replied to A Srinivas Rao comment 1 decade ago
You can solve this issue by concerning your bank as, CIBIL does not make any changes directly to your Credit Information Report (CIR). Only once the change is authorized and provided by the concerned Bank or financial institute, then CIBIL update your CIR. You already got letter from Indian Bank regarding the loan which defaulted is not belongs to you, you can visit your bank and ask them further to update your credit record with CIBIL. All you need to do is, to fill-in details in ON-LINE DISPUTE FORM ( and submit your dispute to CIBIL. You can access more information on the Dispute Resolution Process on CIBIL site :
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