Credit Sudhaar, a non-specified user entity is sending mails to people whose loans have been rejected. It not only claims to enhance and protect but also 'restore' credit of individuals for a yearly fee of Rs16,000. However, the firm has no answer about how it could do the job
Is Credit Sudhaar, a firm set up by former bankers Gaurav Wadhwani and Arun Ramamurthy, again misleading people through tall claims in a mail campaign? (http://www.creditsudhaar.com/welcome_3.php ) Its inability to answer Moneylife’s queries about its claims would suggest it is the case. Earlier too the firm had claimed to have a tie up with Credit Information Bureau (India) or CIBIL and was offering credit advisory services at CIBIL Market Place. Till today, both Credit Sudhaar and CIBIL have kept mum about their ‘strange’ collaboration. But more about it later.
Meanwhile, at an open house with Dr KC Chakrabarty, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) an inmate claimed that when CIBIL sends a defaulter report, that person also gets an SMS from Credit Sudhaar, suggesting a partnership.
In the recent email campaign, Credit Sudhaar is asking people to become its members by paying an annual fee of Rs16,000 (earlier it used to ask Rs10,000 for the same job at CIBIL Market Place). It claims with this kind of membership fees, one can “restore, enhance and protect” one’s credit! Here is what Credit Sudhaar claims to provide in lieu of the Rs16,000...
When we asked Mr Wadhwani and Mr Ramamurthy to explain, how exactly this works, they avoided providing answers. Instead, Mr Ramamurthy, forwarded our mail to their PR agency, which, sought a week to reply. When we requested the agency for answers, T (Talari) Anand Mahesh, managing director of Mavcomm Consulting Pvt Ltd (the PR agency) cautioned us against publishing any content pertaining to Credit Sudhaar without receiving a suitable response by the authorised persons or directors.
“If you choose to go ahead, you and your company shall do so at your own peril and costs,” Mr Talari said.
Here are the questions we asked to Credit Sudhaar...
1. As mentioned in our stories (Credit scores are a big zero and http://foundation.moneylife.in/?th_galleries=experian-credit-score-camp ), not all credit bureaus in India are providing detailed CIR or credit scores to individuals (due to lack of data). So how "Multibureau Analysis of CIBIL, EQUIFAX, EXPERIAN Credit Reports" works?
2. As per our information and understanding, there is no training facility or institute for credit counsellors in India. How and from where your counsellors are trained and received certification?
3. Is the National Association of Certified Credit Counsellors (NACCC) accreditation recognised or accepted in India? If yes, then can you please tell us names of the entities who recognise or accept this accreditation in India?
4. Your mailer claims to provide "error tracking and reconciliation". Can you please explain what exactly does one (and how) reconcile a credit report?
Till writing the story, neither Mr Wadhwani and Mr Ramamurthy nor Mr Talari has provided any answers. We will incorporate their answers as and when we receive it.
Coming back to Credit Sudhaar's earlier tall claims, there is still no word from CIBIL on this strange partnership. Earlier, in an email, CIBIL had said, “It is important to note that to access CIBIL Market Place, consumers access their own credit report and score. The service is available to the consumer if he chooses to avail of it and not otherwise. This approach works well for consumers who have good credit health but is not effective for consumers who do not. Consumers who are in a debt trap and not financially literate are not able to identify assistance easily if they need it.”
Surprisingly, at that time Credit Sudhaar sent us a screen grab of the CIBIL Market Place . The images showed Credit Sudhaar as the only entity providing any service to customers at CIBIL Market Place.
Moneylife then pointed out to CIBIL that Credit Sudhaar was neither registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as a non-banking finance company (NBFC) nor it was a specified user entity of the credit bureau and was still accessing credit records of crores of individuals.
Credit Sudhaar is just a specific services provider. CIBIL was allowing credit institutions and others to sell their loan products or other services on its Market Place. Credit Sudhaar was only registered on Market Place to offer “credit advisory” service for which the charges were Rs10,000 (it was mentioned as processing fees).
In an email reply, the firm had said, “Credit Sudhaar is associated with both Safe Capital and Dipran. Both Safe Capital and Dipran are members of CIBIL”. This also means, Credit Sudhaar may be using either Safe Capital or Dipran’s login credentials to access the CIBIL database, especially the portfolio review, which gives complete details of an individual.
CIBIL replied, saying, "With specific reference to the suggested misuse of benefits by certain of our Members, we are investigating the same and will take appropriate action." There is still no word from CIBIL on the investigation.
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