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:
The following factors form the basis for calculating your credit score
This refers to the degree of compliance with agreed payment terms. Ideally, it should be at 35% however, factors such as bankruptcies, late payments, and default in payment affects the outcome.
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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%
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%
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%.
Installment loans, credit cards, and personal lines of credit can slightly increase your credit score. The rate is over 10%.
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 payments for your bills, and the lists of businesses that have most recently viewed your credit history. These credit checks are inquiries.
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. You can check out this post for USSD code for loans in Nigeria.
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 Paylater. Carbon also offers free credit reports to Nigerians.
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Knowing your credit score not only helps you take control of your finances but also makes you better prepared for applying for a loan in Nigeria. 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 month. It is also important you learn about control, we have an article on it and you can read it here.