Know your Credit Health - find out what credit providers say about you


The bank manager has turned down your home loan application. His words you are a "credit risk" reverberate in your ear. How can this be possible? You have always been responsible with credit.





The importance of knowing your credit health cannot be over-emphasised.





Make use of the opportunity provided by the National Credit Act and request your annual copy of your Credit Report from any one of the main Credit Bureaus. Take responsibility for your credit health, study this Credit Report carefully to verify that there are no inaccuracies and establish if there is any activity indicative of possible identity theft. It is for this reason that it is recommended that you obtain a credit report at least three months prior to your needing to make application for credit for a big purchase as this will give you sufficient time to take any necessary corrective action.





A good indication of ID theft is excessive and rapid inquiries into your credit health status by credit providers unknown to you. This is damaging and when you legitimately require credit. Your credit provider may view the frequent credit inquiries as an indicator that you are desperate for credit and therefore a credit risk. Fraudsters who deceitfully obtain your ID will apply for credit on your name providing false addresses. When this debt is unpaid and accounts returned to the credit provider, tracing agents will find you. By this time you may be blacklisted for debt that you have not incurred!





You don't know where to begin to obtain the necessary information? "Mattfin Money Matters" can help! We can act on your behalf, request and study your credit report. Furthermore, we will dispute any inaccuracies immediately with the respective Credit Bureau who will investigate the matter on your behalf. Any information unsupported by the Credit Bureau must be removed from your record within 20 days.





In addition, should you find that you are blacklisted and unable to obtain credit for legitimate expenses, "Mattfin Money Matters" can analyse your current financial position and provide a tailor-made solution to help you address your financial need. By using the tools available to us we help create a positive credit record so that you become an acceptable risk to the banks.





The trick with credit is to get into a position of power so you can make credit work for you rather than the other way round. Credit providers make profit from the interest they charge you, rule for or against your credit application. They put a black mark against your name if you miss two or more payments which stays on your record for two years. If you consistently miss payments they get a judgement against you which stays on your record for five years. Knowing this you would think it is best to avoid credit. This in most instances is a really good idea but its not always possible especially when one wants to buy a house or a car. In order to get credit for these large purchases you need a credit record, a history of how responsible you are in terms of managing your debt.





How can you build a good credit record? Apply for credit in some form for something small, affordable and worthwhile and then build a wonderful credit record by never missing or short paying an instalment.





Consumers need to understand that your Credit Report is your financial CV and can be used for or against you by prospective employers and rental agents when deciding to employ or lease property to you.





Remember knowledge is power and if you know your credit health you can confidently approach credit providers for credit when you need it for those essential purchases.