What is a Credit Score in Nigeria? A credit score is a unique credit rating system that shows lenders how risky it is to lend to an individual. Developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FIRC), an American data and analytics company, it helps individuals to know what their credit status is and lenders to make quick and informed decisions. Your credit score is dependent on the information on your credit report, which is your credit history over a period.
Credit score factors shape the credit score and the lower your score, the riskier it is for lenders. A credit score is basically a 3-digit number that has the minimum being 300 and the maximum, 850. In calculating the credit score, the following are the standard measures.
Excellent 800-above, Very Good 750-799, Good 700-749, Fair 650-699, Poor 600-649, Very Bad 300-599.
How to Calculate Credit Score
The following factors form the basis for calculating your credit score
- Payment History: This refers to the degree of compliance to agreed payment terms. Ideally, it should be at 35% however, factors such as bankruptcies, late payments and default in payment affects the outcome.
- Amount Owed: This takes into review the amount owed in your account, the number of accounts with balance and the available credit. This rate is over 30%
- The pursuit of New Credit: If you have recently opened a new credit account, the score will weigh against the rest of your credit history. The rate is over 10%
- Length of Credit History: You can achieve a good credit score with short credit history if the rest of the report shows your responsibility with credit. However, an extended credit history increases your credit score. The rate is over 15%.
- Credit Mix: Installment loans, credit cards, and personal lines of credit can slightly increase your credit score. The rate is over 10%.
How to Access your Credit Score in Nigeria
Credit score plays a vital role in one’s financial life. It is a three-digit summary of your credit report, which determines your creditworthiness by outlining your credit activities for your entire history as a borrower.
If you have ever considered getting a loan, your credit score is what lending institutions evaluate to determine how safe or risky you are as a potential customer. Your credit score is dependent on your account activity.
To access your credit score, you need your credit report because your ratings are dependent on information in your reports. A credit report includes details about your past and existing credit agreements. These include credit, loans, mortgages, debt collections, cards, whether you’ve made on-time payment for your bills and the lists of businesses that have most recently viewed your credit history. These credit checks are inquiries.
How do I get access to a credit report in Nigeria?
As a Nigerian, you can get one free Credit report annually from any Credit Bureau registered in Nigeria. Here are the ways to get access to your free credit report:
1. Apply on the CRC Credit Bureau website. CRC Credit Bureau also has a USSD code (*565*8#) you can dial to check Credit reports instantly. You’d have to be an MTN subscriber to use their USSD option.
2. You can also access a free credit report from the Credit Registry’s website. The Credit Registry offers a free report on an annual basis.
3. Get a free credit report from Carbon (formerly Pay later). Carbo also offers free credit reports to Nigerians.
Knowing your credit score not only helps you take control of your finances, but it also makes you better prepared for loan application. The credit score calculator is easily accessible, and you can purchase for N400 on the Credit Bureau website. We recommend that you check your credit score at least once a month.
Related Post: The Credit Bureau in Nigeria: Facts and Figures