How to check your credit score and why it matters

When you apply for any form of credit or a loan, credit providers use a report generated by the Credit bureaus to evaluate whether or not you will be a good candidate to lend money to depending on the credit score given to you by the credit bureaus. The terms of the credit (interest rate, amount etc.) are based on this risk profile.

The usual risk factors when borrowing money such as: do you have a steady income, what is your monthly fixed expenditure and do you have any other financial security such as assets will still play a role in determining whether you qualify or not and for how much, when applying for credit even though you may have a good credit score.

A credit report contains information on your credit history and financial dealings. It shows how you have handled debt in the past, how much you borrowed and from whom and if you repaid it on time and whether or not you stuck to the terms and conditions of the deal.

Everyone in South Africa is, by law, entitled to a free credit report once a year. The credit bureaus are obliged to provide it when asked for one, but should you request a second report in the same year, you will then be asked to pay a fee. You can use one of the following sites to get your free annual credit report:
https://www.mycreditcheck.co.za/ or
https://www.transunion.co.za/assistance/free-credit-report or
https://compuscan.co.za/my-free-credit-check-your-free-credit-report/

Credit providers use different scoring methods but usually the score range range is between 330 and 830. Above 750 is an excellent score and the applicant should easily obtain credit on the best terms.

If you have no history of unpaid debt, a good salary and perhaps some savings or assets as security, you should not worry too much about a credit score. People with no credit history (no loans, no credit cards, cell phone or other accounts) will of course have no credit reports.

When should you check your credit score?
If you’re intending to apply for a substantial loan (for instance to buy a house or a car) it might be a good thing to check on your credit report/score. (Use one of the links mentioned above).

Be aware that although unlikely, your report may contain errors. Checking your score before applying for credit gives you the opportunity for any such errors to be rectified before getting an unpleasant surprise when your application for a loan is rejected because of an incorrect credit report based on wrong information.

At StokFella, we make credit available to stokvels from R1000 up to R20 000 with a Nala Club Account and your stokvel earns income from your loan. Why borrow money from a bank when you can borrow it from your own “bank”?

Get in touch with us today to find out more.
StokFella is a licensed FSP 48812 and Credit Provider NCRCP12735 T&Cs Apply.