Credit scores are a numerical coefficient of your overall performance after handling a loan and other forms of credit. Banks receive hundreds of thousands of loan applications daily. In turn, credit scores — being a summary of a customer’s fiscal performance — make it easy to determine if they’re up to handling the loan amount they’re applying for.
You’ve highly likely received this advice: improve your credit scores before you apply for any loan. Additionally, you are following the tip on avoiding poor credit scores as much as possible to give you better loan opportunities in the future. Besides checking on your personal credit score and credit history, you’ll learn many other reasons why this numerical coefficient is of great importance.
How Does CBS Aggregate Consumer Credit Scores?
When you obtain your credit report (we’ll explain this later), you’ll see the CBS’s aggregation of your credit limit and outstanding balances. The report will categorize your finances in Secured, Unsecured, and Exempted/Excluded Credit Facilities.
- Credit Limits: maximum credit your lender granted you
- Outstanding Balances: amount due per financing you’ve taken out.
- Secured and Unsecured: whether or not the financing or credit required you to pledge collateral
- Exempted/Excluded: Purpose or needs-based financing. The purpose is whether you’re spending it on vehicles and other items. Needs is if it’s for an educational plan or personal loan.
What is a Credit Report?
You can think of a CBS report as your ongoing grade card during your educational years. However, instead of your performance in specific academic subjects, the CBS report talks about your overall financial performance on loans, debts, accounts, credit, and another financial history you got. With a full data report on your payment frequency, ongoing and open credit accounts, outstanding account, and other information, banks have a full history of your credit history and credit performance, which will play a key role in deciding your application’s outcome.
Your credit report contains your credit history, credit score, outstanding balance, payment, debts, defaults, and many other details, including the following:
- ID Type and Number
- Date of Birth
- Postal Code
- Date of Birth
- Marital Status
Additionally, it lists the following information about your financing, too:
- Financial Product Type (Credit Card, Loan, Etc.)
- Name of Granting Bank
- Account Type (Single or Joint)
- Date Opened/Closed
- Overdue Balance
- Activities in the Last 12 Months
- Any other notable financial events, such as bankruptcies and defaults
- Final Credit Score
- Risk Grade (including Description)
- Default Probability
- Payment History
How Does CBS Calculate Risk Grades and Credit Scores?
CBS’ Credit Score appears as a four-digit number. This is derived through complicated mathematics and algorithms, which allow the credit bureau to give you a numerical coefficient between 1,000-2,000. These scores indicate your risk grade and the probability of default according to your payment capability, debts, and credit history.
Scores that reach up to 2,000 have a guaranteed AA risk grade with a probability of defaulting on loan repayments at 0.00-0.27%. On the other hand, Singaporeans with risk grades from 1,000- 1,723 are highly likely to default on a loan from 3.46% to 100% and have a risk grade of HH. These values are the lowest in CBS’s score system.
Here’s the entire table for your reference.
|Score Range||Risk Grade||Default Probability|
Non-Scored Risk Grades
The lowest risk grade consumers in Singapore can get is “HH.” This junk credit rating makes it difficult for applicants to find viable loans and other financial products. However, there are more than two “H” risk grades and one alternative values for grades at “C,” B,” and “G,”
- HX: For borrowers who have declared bankruptcy or a writ of summons for financial crimes or irregularities.
- HZ: Borrowers with outstanding balances on their account beyond S$300 that remain unpaid beyond 90 days, closed with an outstanding balance, closed through loan restructure, and closed through a negotiated debt settlement.
- GX: Borrower has no credit file
- BX: Only bridging accounts. No open credit or loans.
- CX: Insufficient Credit Activity.
Typical Factors That Affect Consumer Credit Scores
The equivalent credit bureau or credit facility of other countries may likely function similarly to Singapore. In turn, you can expect them to generate identical credit reports containing credit score, outstanding balance, credit account history, etc. Consequently, these factors will significantly affect your CBS report and final credit score.
A credit facility will take into consideration these five essential elements and thoroughly investigate them. Once they have enough data, the actuaries, accountants, and other professionals in CBS will calculate your final credit score, risk grade, and the probability of default.
CBS has firsthand information on all your financial transactions and credit report. By aggregating all your financial activities, the credit report bureau can give banks and financial institutions the best picture regarding your previous financial activities. Your payment history information in the credit bureau includes your loan accounts, overdue balances, credit card debt, default history, and others (see “What is a Credit Report” for a full explanation).
It’s crucial to know that Credit Bureau reports aren’t intended to discourage banks from trusting and investing in potential customers. The Credit Bureau aims to provide the clearest, data-backed overview of a borrower’s financial trustworthiness to banks. You can determine you are in favorable standing if you have done the following:
- Taken financing in the past but paid in full and accumulated little to no penalties and interest charges
- Paid for high-amount financing for houses, vehicles, and other substantial financial commitments.
- Currently paying for 1-2 or no financing.
The Credit Bureau calculates your utilization ratio through the following calculation
Credit Utilization = Revolving credit / Total of all revolving credit limits
If you’re utilizing a large number of your open credit sources, which includes credit cards, it gives the Credit Bureau a clear picture of your dependence on non-cash funds. Smaller figures and percentages are better than multiple default on loans and credit cards. Furthermore, any customer who uses more than 30% of their available credit is a big negative to investors.
Being highly dependent on the credit card for spending on your report shows banks that you are incapable of functioning without financing or managing your money wisely. The poor performance reflects on your risk grade and credit score accordingly with a loan default coefficient too.
Credit History Length
If you have a more extended credit history, then you have a higher credit score. Furthermore, borrowers with a long credit history that reflect low to zero penalty and interest charges have an exceptional standing with banks. It will reflect on their Credit Bureau report’s risk grade, credit score, and the likelihood of default in percentage too.
Your credit history’s quality still depends on the level of the financial commitment you’ve undertaken. For example, you have a credit line that has over S $100,000. You’ve maximized it every month, yet you’ve paid it completely before interest can add over the principal. Credit cards and other loan debts will also be considered your credit card history but if you’ve been doing it for a long time, the CBS will evaluate you as a significantly favorable borrower.
Credit Mix/Loan Portfolio
People with top credit scores have a financial portfolio from credit bureaus with a wide range of open loan accounts. If you manage each of them the same way we described earlier, you’ll have a far better credit score and credit history report.
However, this doesn’t mean that getting approval for multiple new loan accounts guarantees you’ll have positive scores immediately. Truthfully, you’ll achieve the opposite; opening so many new loan accounts will leave you with a poor credit score and credit history despite not being in deep debt. Until you prove you can manage all your loan and debts financing correctly, your credit score will remain red.
Where Can I Get My Credit Report?
You can quickly get your credit bureau report by visiting CBS’s website. Make an account and provide all the CBS’ requirements. Once done, the service will give you notice that your report from the credit bureau is ready. Before heading to the following branches to claim your credit bureau report, make sure that you have S $6.42 ready to pay for your request.
- SingPost Branch
- Credit Bureau Office
- CrimsonLogic Service Bureaus
If you ask them to deliver your credit report straight to your home or office, you’ll be charged an additional S $2 for the service.
CBS accepts payments through the following methods:
- eNets (both online and offline)
- Visa and Mastercard (both online and offline)
Credit Products That Typically Affect Credit Scores
Almost every financial product offered by different institutions for financing in Singapore affects your credit score. If you’ve taken out credit cards, car loans, and any bank loans, they will affect your credit score.
Despite the variety of financial products available in the country, we can classify all financing that affects your credit in a binary category.
All personal loans, car, home, or other financings that require you to pay a regular amount with a yearly interest rate increase is an installment credit product. Your credit report will list these in full detail.
The more installment credit you have that has penalties and high interest over its principal, the more your credit score and risk grade turns negative and junk.
Credit cards and credit lines are revolving credit products. If you’ve taken out a line of credit recently, it will negatively affect your credit scores at first. Once you’ve regularly repaid your dues in full and address all possible interest amounts and penalties, you’ll see your score turn better.
Keep in mind that your credit score becomes poorer if your score reflects your increased dependency on credit. Banks and financial institutions place great trust in individuals who can save enough and use their credit practically.
How to Improve Poor Credit Scores
For some borrowers, having poor credit scores feels like the end of the world. However, you can still recover from bad credit. Licensed moneylenders report on borrower performance with their financing as well. These institutions take risks with individuals who have poor credit.
Check out here for the Ultimate Guide to borrowing from Licensed Money Lender in Singapore.
However, if you’re still in the good graces of banks, here are a few ways to avoid getting out of hand when it comes to credit. Keep these in mind, and you’ll always be in good standing when it comes to financial products.
Repay Loans on Time
Banks recognize borrowers who make an effort to pay their loans regularly. Furthermore, repaying your loans on time prevents having added interest over your principal payments. Truthfully, banks stand to benefit from penalties, but continuously increasing interest, combined with penalties and missed payments, shows banks the borrowers’ incapacity to manage their financial activities.
Avoid Multiple Loan Applications
When you have multiple new loan applications in less than a year, your neutral score for these new financing will affect your current credit. Your score will remain in poor condition until you show that you can manage your new financing effectively.
Additionally, banks do not firmly trust borrowers who are heavily dependent on multiple installment payments. Ultimately, these will reflect on your CBS credit score and risk grades too.
Limit Credit Cards and Other Open Credit Facilities
Most borrowers in Singapore have at least the following: a credit card and a purposeful installment payment for a new home or education. If they repay regularly with minimal penalties, CBS will aggregate their credit scores as favorable.
However, if a Singaporean or foreigner has multiple credit lines and their budget reports indicate they’re paying a majority of their wants and needs with credit lines, they can have poor credit scores. Financial institutions are likely to trust borrowers who depend less on credit and can manage full payments on their credit regularly.
Avoid Defaulting on Loans or Reaching Personal Bankruptcy Levels
If you have a bankruptcy or debt consolidation record, you might find yourself at a disadvantage with your poor credit scores and risk grades. Any borrower with good standing but plans to take on more debt should avoid doing so until they’ve finally paid for their current commitments.
In doing so, their activities reflect favorably on their score. Proper spacing between loan applications, regular and timely full payments, and completing contracts helps any Singapore borrower maintain a good credit score.
Good credit scores give you better options with banks and financial institutions. Furthermore, if you performed poorly with your finances in the past, you still have an opportunity to improve it.