Singapore has a high standard of living. It is not unusual for you to go to some financial institution to get a loan. You may need a loan for several reasons, such as taking a vacation, buying a house or car, or paying for tuition.
For you to get that loan, from banks or moneylending companies, your credit score has to be sound. Some people don’t pay attention to their credit score till they apply for a loan. Knowing your credit score is important, just as maintaining a good credit score is important.
Then you get your credit report and your score looks horrible. This is because all your repayments are late, and you never pay off your due balances in full. You need to get a loan, but your credit score says ‘that’s impossible’. You are at your wits’ end, fretting over how you can make your credit score look decent once more. If this is you, read on.
Credit Score – What Is It?
A credit score is a group of numbers, or just a number, that financial institutions such as banks use to prove that you can repay a loan, or you are most likely to default on loan repayments. For instance, the Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) uses four-digit numbers to grade, or score, your loan history. This score, called the CBS Credit Score, goes from 1000 to 2000. If your credit report has a score of 1000, it shows that there is a high probability that you will be late on your loan repayments, or even avoid paying them. If your score 2000, it is certain that you will repay your loan, and on time too.
You should note that CBS does not make the decision for banks to give you a loan or note. They just provide your credit information upon request. Note too that other factors affect your eligibility for a loan, such as your income, number of credit facilities you have used, length of unemployment or employment, and so on.
Credit Score – How does it Affect Me?
Your credit score has an enormous effect on your ability to obtain a loan. If you are aiming to get a new car or buy a piece of property, you will have to apply for a loan. This would be a car loan or a mortgage. Once the banks see your poor credit report, none of them will approve your loan request. There go the house and that sweet car.
A poor credit report doesn’t affect just car loans and mortgage. Any type of loan, such as a payday loan, and educational loan, or a loan for a new credit card, will be denied you with that bad credit score.
How Do You Fix A Bad Credit Score?
If your credit score is bad (which is why you are reading this), do not lose hope. You can redeem your bad credit score, although this may take you some months to accomplish. For instance, Credit Bureau Singapore will consider your credit score clean and healthy once they can provide evidence that you have repaid loans and balances on time for 12 months.
Therefore, you can wipe out your terrible credit past by changing your repayment attitude. In the past, you were repaying very late, not completing balances due, and constantly paying below the minimum amount. Now, you are making all monthly repayments on your loans and credit cards on time, always paying above the minimum amount. Do this for 12 months, and you will effectively clear your poor credit history.
There are other things that you can do to keep your credit score in good light, such as:
Reducing the number of credit cards you apply for. Credit cards can lull you into spending too much: try to use cash more often.
Stop all activity on credit cards you aren’t using.
Always make your payments on time. Relating to credit cards, your credit card bills need to be paid on time and in full. Even if you can’t make the minimum payments, the time you pay back every month should stay the same.
Applying for numerous loans in very brief intervals is a no-no. Avoid this at all costs.
Credit Score – The Unfixable
Unfortunately, there are issues on your credit report that can’t be fixed. These problems go past the stage of late loan repayment and advance into the areas of bankruptcy and payment defaults. Irrespective of how healthy your credit report looks, once you have entered those stages, they will always appear on your report. Regardless of how much time has passed since then.
While your redeemed repayments and what-not are reflected in a section called ‘Account Status History’, the issues of bankruptcy and defaulted payments are shown in a section titled ‘Summary’, which is at the top of the report. Specifics of the current state of those problems, such if they are in progress or discharged or outstanding, can be seen as you go on reading the report.
What Else Do Banks Don’t Want To See?
When you pay off your loans or bills, there are certain codes that you get. You can visit the website of the Credit Bureau to get more, in-depth knowledge of what the codes mean. The codes are denoted by letters, each with a different meaning.
However, some of those codes can damage your credit score. These include:
- H –This shows that your account had to be closed (involuntary closure), and it was done so while there was an outstanding balance
- R/S – either one of these codes means that your bank has closed your credit facility or your account. Also, it shows that there has been a restructured outstanding on that account
- W – This code stays on your credit report for life. It shows that you have defaulted on your payments, and it is the most damaging code for your loan application.
While it may take you at least 12 months to clean your credit history, there are problems like defaults that can still affect your credit score. Nevertheless, there are some moneylending companies that can give you a loan, once there is proof that you are good for it.