Consult Hour

Importance of the credit score

With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting salaries and jobs across the globe, it’s very important that residents in the UAE stay on top of their finances and in turn their credit score. The Central Bank of the UAE’s Dh256bn Targeted Economic Support Scheme helps lenders handle problem debts during the pandemic, with many residents receiving payment holidays on credit facilities such as loans and mortgages. Now as the economy starts to open up, those who have lost their job or are struggling financially may need to rein in their spending, particularly if they are burdened with debts they cannot repay.

The first step towards resolving any debt challenge is to download a copy of your credit report from the Al Etihad Credit Bureau. Set up in November 2014, the bureau brings transparency to the lending industry by assembling a credit record of the nation’s financially active residents. AECB later launched credit scores for individuals – a three-digit number between 300 and 900 that represents a borrower’s creditworthiness. So why is this number important for borrowers to know – particularly in the current climate? How do you find out what it is? And how can you improve your score?

What You Should Know

Creditors keep their evaluation standards secret, making it difficult to know just how to improve your credit rating. Nonetheless, it is still important to understand the factors that determine creditworthiness. Periodically reviewing your credit report can also help you protect your credit rating from fraud–and you from identity theft.

Credit Evaluation Factors

Many factors are used in determining credit decisions. Here are some of them:

  • Payment history/late payments
  • Bankruptcy
  • Charge-offs (Forgiven debt)
  • Closed accounts and inactive accounts
  • Recent loans
  • Cosigning an account
  • Credit limits
  • Credit reports
  • Debt/income ratios
  • Mortgages