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Be a Credit Champion

When it comes to being a winner with your finances, having a strong credit report can be one of your greatest assets. Understanding the ins and outs of a credit rating however, can be a mystery for many. To help provide clarity and answers around this topic, we’ve compiled some credit basics and shared them with you below.

The ‘What’
The concept of a credit report is somewhat novel to many in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. A credit profile is essentially a report on how current loans are being repaid, as well as how previous financial obligations were serviced by the prospective borrower. To elaborate further, here are some of the details that are likely to be provided on a credit report:

  • The types of credit facilities that have been granted, i.e. consumer loan, credit card, mortgage etc.
  • The amount of credit granted.
  • The length of time that the accounts have been open.
  • Whether or not the loans were paid on time.
  • Whether any additional requests for credit were made.

The ‘Why’
Now that you have a little more understanding about what your credit profile is, you may be asking why it’s so important. Your credit report is often taken into consideration by lending agencies when determining the feasibility of loaning funds to a borrower – and this borrower could one day be you! One of the circumstances where this commonly arises is when individuals are seeking to obtain new or additional mortgage financing. Just imagine, you’ve been putting money aside for years and are now ready to take the big step towards owning a home. In the process of applying for a mortgage your credit report will likely be examined and this result can play an integral role in the decision made by the mortgage provider.

The ‘How’
At this point, you might be wondering what steps you can take to improve your credit report. Don’t worry, we’ve come prepared and have compiled a few helpful suggestions for you:

  • Be thorough – Pay the full amount you owe on any of your bills whenever possible
  • Be timely – Submit your bill payments on or before the due date
  • Be vigilant – Monitor your credit card spending and try not to exceed your credit card limit
  • Be proactive – For any debt owed, attempt to pay this as soon as you can. There’s no need to drag out the payments over a longer period of time if you have the means to pay it off more quickly.

We hope this has helped you learn a bit more about credit reports and what actions you can take towards becoming a credit champion!