A report released by the credit bureau on Women’s Day shows that in 2019, women accounted for 23% of consumer loans. This dipped by 400 basis points (100bps = 1 percentage point) to 19% in 2020. Similarly, credit card enquiries by women dipped from 13% to 12% during the same period. However, when it comes to home loans, women have increased their share to 11% from 9% in 2019.
According to TU Cibil chief operating officer Harshala Chandorkar, this is because of factors like reduced stamp duty for women consumers on a home purchase in some states along with lenders offering better terms & conditions and a lower rate of interest for women borrowers. “Also, the fact that women have a higher average Cibil score than that of men indicates that women have a better credit history and therefore lesser probability of default, which makes them better customers for banks and credit institutions. Improved and easier access to economic opportunities have catalysed the financial inclusion of women in India,” she added.
TU Cibil VP and head (DTC interactive) Sujata Ahlawat said, “With improved levels of education and employment of women across our country, their credit consciousness has also grown. This is corroborated by the fact that we have seen a significant surge in the number of women borrowers who monitor their Cibil score and report. This is a promising indicator of increased awareness and financial literacy among women.” This increased credit consciousness is also evident from data that shows women now constitute 12% of self-monitoring consumers — an increase from 10% in 2018.
Women consumers also show better credit history as compared to men, with the average Cibil score of an Indian woman consumer being 719 — higher than that of an average male consumer at 709. Additionally, 61% of the women consumers in TU Cibil’s consumer credit bureau have a score greater than 720, whereas only 56% of male consumers have greater than or equal to that figure. “Increased credit consciousness leads to a positive credit behaviour as consumers understand the impact of their credit activity on their Cibil score and access to finance,” said Ahlawat.
As women turn credit conscious, their overall share in retail loans is increasing too with 4.7 crore active women borrowers. Over the last six years, the share of women borrowers grew to around 28% in September 2020 — up from around 23% in September 2014, which is a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 16%. In terms of the sanctioned loan amount, women borrowers account for Rs 15.1 lakh crore of retail loans, which has grown at a 12% CAGR over the last six years.