Credit penetration and participation of women consumers has rapidly increased in India’s credit market

MUMBAI, March 5, 2020: TransUnion CIBIL’s latest insights show that share and participation of Indian women consumers is increasing rapidly in India’s credit sector with 30 million women borrowers gaining access to credit products*. The share of women borrowers to total borrowers stood at ~26% as on Sep-19, up from ~21% in Sep-13.

Speaking on these findings the Chief Operating Officer of TransUnion CIBIL, Ms. Harshala Chandorkar said, “ The significant increase in the number of women who are seeking credit products is a promising indicator of the evolution of India’s credit market which has enabled increased economic opportunities for women borrowers. Financial institutions must unlock the significant potential that lies in customizing product constructs for women borrowers to further drive business growth and enable greater customer experience for women consumers.”

As the number of women borrowers has grown, awareness and credit consciousness amongst them has also improved with *self-monitoring women consumers growing by 62% between 2018 and 2019. This is twice the growth rate of self-monitoring male consumers (30%).

As per the insights, 56% of these self-monitoring women consumers are from the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, and Delhi. (Refer to Table 1) It is important to note that while Andhra Pradesh only contributes to 5% of this segment, 44% of them go on to avail a loan or credit card within three months of checking their CIBIL Score and Report. This shows that they are credit-conscious and aware of the role of their CIBIL Report in getting access to credit.

Interestingly, 64% of self-monitoring women consumers are millennials (Refer Table 2).[1] The average CIBIL Scores in these age groups are noteworthy, with self-monitoring, millennial women consumers having an average CIBIL Score of 735. Overall, the average self-monitoring woman consumer’s CIBIL Score is at 734; higher than the average self-monitoring male’s CIBIL Score of 726.

“In the Indian credit and loan landscape, lenders are looking to onboard credit-conscious consumers who will comply with the loan agreement and will repay the amount in full on time. A consumer’s CIBIL Score and Report is a reflection of this credit-consciousness,” says Sujata Ahlawat, VP and Head of Direct-to-Consumer Interactive, TransUnion CIBIL.

Ahlawat adds, “Indian women consumers are indeed much more cautious, conscious and responsible when it comes to credit, and it is interesting to see that their top loan preferences range from personal loans and consumer durables to credit cards. Women consumers may be viewed more positively because of better credit profiles than their male counterparts, and that will translate into more access to credit and faster loan approvals, too.”

So what are women doing with this access to credit?

Within three months of checking their CIBIL Score and Report, 52% of women consumers apply (enquire only) for at least one loan account or credit card. Additionally, 35% of the overall base will actually go on to open a loan account or avail of a credit card.

Women have also demonstrated their credit-consciousness and within six months of checking their CIBIL Score and Report, 45% of them have improved their credit profiles (CIBIL Scores). This ensures they are ready to avail credit when they need it the most.

The government and lenders are also acknowledging this credit-consciousness among women consumers. They have introduced various initiatives to boost women’s access to loans by providing them with affordable credit at reduced rates of interest. Lenders are also creating loans and credit card offerings that are specifically aimed at the woman consumer.

TransUnion CIBIL Insights

  • ~30 million* women borrowers , increasing at a CAGR of ~26% in last six years (since Sep-13). Male borrowers have increased at a CAGR of ~21% during the same time.
  • Share of women borrowers to total borrowers is ~26% as on Sep-19. This proportion was ~21% as on Sep-13.
  • ~6.2 million women borrowers made inquiries for loan products in Q3 2019; a six fold increase in the last six years. Number of male borrowers making inquiries has increased by 5.3 times during the same period.
  • Similarly ~6.3 million accounts were opened by women borrowers in Q3 2019. This number has also increased by 6 times in last 6 years (~1.1 million accounts opened by female borrowers in Q3 2013). Number of male borrowers opening accounts has also increased by 5 times during the same period.
  • Women borrowers form ~20% of the total inquiry volumes on TransUnion CIBIL Consumer Bureau (up from ~18% in 2013)
  • In line with inquiries, share of accounts opened by female borrowers is also ~20% (up from ~18% in 2013)
  • Between 2018 and 2019, the number of new self-monitoring women consumers has grown by 62%; double the growth rate of self-monitoring male consumers (which grew at 30%)
  • As of 31 December 2019, average CIBIL Score of self-monitoring women consumers is 734; higher than self-monitoring male consumers (726); women millennial consumers stand out with a slightly higher average CIBIL Score (735)
  • The highest number of self-monitoring women consumers are from Maharashtra (20% of total self-monitoring women consumers); average CIBIL Score of women here is at 734
  • After checking their CIBIL Score, 45% of self-monitoring women consumers work towards improving their credit profile (improving their CIBIL Score)

* Note: All above numbers are for top 12 credit products (Home Loan, Loan Against Property, Auto Loan, Two wheeler loan, Commercial Vehicle, Commercial Equipment, Personal Loan, Credit Card, Consumer Durable Loan, Business Loan, Education Loan, Gold Loan)

**Self-monitoring consumers – Consumers who check their CIBIL Score and Report

Period of study – February 2018 – December 2019

[1] Gen Z: Born after 1996; Millennials : Born between 1982 and 1996; Others/Non-millennials: Born before 1982

For additional reference

Table 1: Top 5 states for self-monitoring women credit consumers, as on 31 December 2019

Top States

Percentage contribution



Tamil Nadu










Table 2: Average CIBIL Score among self-monitoring women consumers – Age-wise averages

Average CIBIL Score among women consumers

Gen Z



(older than 35)

Self-monitoring women consumers




Table 3: Loan preferences of self-monitoring women consumers

Type of loans availed by self-monitoring women

(within 3 months of pulling CIBIL Report)

As of 31 December 2019

Personal Loan


Consumer Durable


Credit Cards


Gold loans


Home loans


Two-wheeler loans


Auto loans





About TransUnion CIBIL

India’s pioneer information and insights company, TransUnion CIBIL makes trust possible in the modern economy. We do this by providing a comprehensive picture of each person so they can be reliably and safely represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good. ® TransUnion CIBIL provides solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for millions of people in India. We serve the financial sector as well as MSMEs, corporate and individual consumers. Our customers in India include banks, financial institutions, NBFCs, housing finance companies, microfinance companies and insurance firms.

About TransUnion CIBIL – Consumer Interactive

Consumer Interactive is the direct-to-consumer division of TransUnion CIBIL, India’s largest credit information company with one of the country’s most comprehensive collections of consumer information. Our mission is to help Indian consumers access and understand the opportunities that lead to a higher quality of life by providing them with means to appreciate and manage their credit. This is achieved through a confluence of data and internet-based tools that provide consumers the most accessible, accurate credit information and promote financial literacy, inclusion and protection. We believe in the power of information to help individuals make better and smarter decisions so they can achieve their personal financial goals while contributing to the development of a stronger economy.

We call this Information for Good. www.cibil.com