A credit score is a crucial number that lenders and credit card issuers use to determine your creditworthiness. Since your credit score is based on your credit history and repayment habits, lenders look at it before deciding whether they should approve or reject your loan application, how much loan amount they can sanction to you, and at what rate of interest.
Since your credit score is a determining factor that can affect your loan eligibility, we are enlisting the five biggest factors that may affect your credit score.
1. Payment History
When a lender goes through your loan application, they want to ensure that they will get their money back. To ensure your creditworthiness, lenders look at the following factors before sanctioning your loan:
- Are you regular with your credit card bills and loan EMI repayments? Missing or delaying payments can have a negative effect on your credit score.
- How frequently and how late do you make your repayments? The more frequent and the later you pay, the more your credit score will be reduced.
- Did you have any accounts sent to collections? Lenders look at collections as a red flag.
- Do you have any debt settlements, charge-offs, foreclosures, bankruptcies, liens, public judgements, or lawsuits against you? These items are the most dangerous for your credit score.
2. Amount That You Owe
The amount that you owe also plays a crucial role in determining your credit score, even if you are regular with your payments. Lenders look at your credit utilisation ratio, which is the percentage of the credit limit you have used up. Ideally, you must not use more than 30-40% of your available credit limit. The less credit you use, the more your credit score will be. To keep this ratio down, set balance alerts, make extra payments, and keep expenses within the limit every month.
3. Length of Your Credit History
How long you have been a credit user also affects your credit score. These cover questions such as, How long have you been managing your finances responsibly? How old are your oldest accounts? Have you been successfully managing them and paying their due amounts on time? Having a long credit history is often preferred by lenders, however, a short history of regular payments would be helpful too.
4. Diversity of Accounts You are Managing
Basically, there are two types of credit accounts: Instalment credit and Revolving accounts. You must have both types of accounts to have a high credit score, as it indicates that you are capable of managing different types of credit accounts with responsibility. Apart from credit cards, you would have a higher credit score if you also hold secured loans like Healthcare Equipment Finance or Loan against Property.
5. Number of Loan Inquiries
Each time you apply for a loan, the lender checks your credit report and places an inquiry on your credit. Too many loan inquiries reported within a short time can affect your credit score. So, keep your loan inquiries to a minimum. Compare the terms and conditions of different lenders online and contact only the ones that you have shortlisted.
Also Read: 5 Credit Score Myths & The Truth Behind Them
Tips to Improve your Credit Score
Before you apply for a loan, follow these tips to improve your credit score and improve your loan eligibility:
- Keep your credit utilisation ratio low by using less than 30-40% of your available credit limit.
- Pay your credit card bills and loan EMIs on time.
- Don’t open several accounts within a short period.
- Don’t make too many loan inquiries within a short period.
- Retain old accounts and credit cards even if you are no longer using them.(this is advisable if these accounts are not incurring any membership charges)
- Check your credit report a few months before you plan to take a loan. This will give you some time to identify and fix any errors in it and improve your credit score.
Most lenders ask for a credit score of 630 or above to approve your loan application. Now that you know about the factors affecting your credit score and what you can do to improve it, check your credit score . Once you reach there, you are ready to apply for a personal loan, or business loan from Clix Capital.
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