Credit score is what makes your financial CV

Angelique Ard

Do you have a credit report? If you've ever opened an account, rented a line from Telkom or borrowed money from a bank or registered lender, then you have a credit report.

Your credit report can best be described as your financial CV. But the scary thing about this "CV" is that you don't get to write it. It is written, in a sense, by all your creditors.

What they say about you, as a consumer of credit, is recorded on your credit report.

So, if you've been late in paying an account, skipped payments or stopped paying an account, this information will be noted on your profile.

If an account has been handed over to debt collectors, this too will show on your credit report.

So why should I care? If your credit report has a lot of negative information, you will have a low credit score, which is like a bad reputation among credit providers.

It means you're considered a risky or a high-risk consumer of credit, and that's going to cost you.

In other words, based on your bad record, credit providers may reject future applications for credit, or they may decide to give you credit at a much higher interest rate than they would give to a consumer with a better record of managing credit.

The flip side is that if you have a good credit record, you should use this to negotiate the best interest rates when you need to borrow money.

What else is my credit report? Apart from detailed information about all credit in your name, your credit report contains personal information such as your full name, identity number, address (current and previous addresses), name of employer and the phone numbers.

It also reflects any properties owned by you and any judgments or court orders against you, such as administration orders and maintenance orders.

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