At a glance....
Credit scores significantly impact the way financial institutions view you as a borrower. This is why it’s crucial to understand how credit scoring works and work on building your score. First things first, you need to find out what your score is.
The Credit Bureau Singapore is the organization that gathers data and creates risk profiles of borrowers. Lenders will then use this information to determine how much they can lend you and what interest will be attached to the loans.
Continue reading to find out how to check your credit score in Singapore and why it’s essential to improve yours.
Understanding your credit score
Credit scores are formulated and presented as a score between 1,000 and 2,000. People with scores closer to 1,000 are rated HH and considered high-risk. On the other hand, people with scores closer to 2,000 are considered low-risk. Lenders are more likely to give out loans to low-risk people who have proven they can repay debts. If you have a poor credit score, lenders will likely attach high-interest rates to your loans or deny your loan altogether.
Lenders consider your credit score when making decisions about loan applications. Other than your credit score, lenders also look at your income, employment status, and any litigations against you.
Nowadays, it’s not just lenders who take an interest in your credit score. Employers are also beginning to check the credit scores of potential employees, which means a low score might affect your ability to get a job. Additionally, a good score will also be beneficial when it comes to getting insurance and acquiring other utilities.
How to obtain your credit report
In Singapore, there are two standard methods to obtain your credit score. One option is free, and one is paid. Explore your options below.
Paid Credit Report
Most people in Singapore pay to get their credit report from the Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS). This report can be obtained online, costing $6.42, and you can pay using a credit card.
Free Credit Report
Any person applying for new credit, whether a personal loan or car financing, is entitled to receive a free credit report. This is provided to you regardless of approval.
A credit report will also capture other data about you, including terminated accounts, bankruptcy records, outstanding balances, credit limits, and all your data, such as telephone numbers and addresses.
What to do if you disagree with your credit report
Third parties can use all the information in your credit report. Therefore, you will need to inform the credit bureau if an institution has reported incorrect details that can damage your score.
Once you inform the bureau of the errors, they will contact the party that listed the data to provide the correct information. If amendments are made to the report, the bureau will notify you. Once you receive the updated credit report, you can send the revised version to the bank where you applied for a loan.
How to build your credit score
The next step after figuring out how to check your score is learning how to build it. With a well-devised plan, you can increase your credit score in a matter of months. Here are the most significant factors that come into play when working to improve your credit score.
Pay Down Your Debts On Time
There are several common ways people go into debt, such as student and personal loans. Regardless of the debt, late payments will significantly decrease your credit score. When you agree to pay off the debt, stick to the payment plan and always pay on time. If you’re struggling to repay the debt, do your best to make a payment within 30 days, or it can get reported to the bureau.
Get On A Debt Consolidation Plan
If you have multiple sources of debt, such as a loan and a high credit card balance, you can get hit with heavy penalties for late payments. The best way to manage multiple debts is to get on a debt consolidation plan. These plans require you to take out another loan to repay your current debts, leaving you with one low-interest loan to repay.
Pay Your Bills On Time
Most importantly, you need to pay your credit card bill on time. Many debts such as utility and cell phone bills won’t be reported to the bureau unless you get far behind on the payments and it is reported to a collection agency. Paying bills and debts on time is a guaranteed way to improve your credit score.
A few other ways to improve your credit score are to limit the number of credit cards you have to one or two, ask for a higher credit limit, and if your credit card doesn’t get much usage, put monthly bills and groceries on the card, so you have a debt to pay down.