Maintaining Your Credit History

Optimizing your credit score is one of those things you don’t know you have to do, until it is too late. Good credit history takes time to build, while late payments and defaults blot your record for up to five years. Start today to ensure that you have access to credit when you really need it.

The premise of the credit score is that punctual repayment of debt is a good habit. People who pay their bills on time are more likely to continue paying their bills on time, barring exceptional circumstances. To improve your credit standing, start by applying for credit facilities such as credit cards.

Making use of credit facilities such as credit cards will start the ball rolling on your credit history. Conversely, consumers who have never applied for credit facilities before may find their credit score to be sub-optimal due to the lack of data on payment habits. Late or non-payment of bills will also negatively affect one’s credit score.

Besides maintaining a squeaky clean credit history, here are three other things you can do to improve your credit standing:

Avoid taking up too many credit facilities in a short period of time.
The number of credit applications is tracked in the credit score. A large number of credit applications could signal that a consumer is credit hungry and thus counts negatively towards the credit score.
Should you find yourself in a financial hardship, sign up for a Debt Management Programme (DMP) offered by Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS).

Keep your credit utilization low.
Your credit balance is measured against your credit limit to calculate your credit utilization. A higher credit utilization could indicate that you are spending more on debt payments and increases your risk of defaulting on your payments. Strategies to improve your credit utilization include paying down the debt, refinancing with a personal loan (ideally at a lower interest rate), asking for a higher credit limit and/or applying for another card. Just be mindful to manage your expenses if applying for another card.

Monitor your Credit Report for Material Changes
Identity theft and fraud, when successful, allow perpetrators to apply for credit in your name, potentially wrecking your credit history. Getting regular credit report from Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) at $6.42 per copy is one way to stop this in its tracks. Now with My Credit Monitor (MCM), this process is even simpler. In addition to sending you a quarterly report, MCM will alert you to material changes to your credit report so that you are always kept up to date with your credit standing. Subscribe now for peace of mind. You may refer to to find out more.

Written by Credit Bureau Singapore

Credit Bureau (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CBS) is Singapore's most comprehensive consumer credit bureau that has full-industry uploads from all retail banks and major financial institutions. It is a joint venture between The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and Infocredit Holdings Pte Ltd.

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