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Have you been blacklisted? This is how to improve your credit record

Being blacklisted can be quite an inconvenience, as it means that you generally can’t get access to the credit you want. If you make the necessary efforts to improve your credit record however, this could change significantly.

If you are applying for credit, one of the first steps you should take is to check your credit record. This will give you a good indication of what lenders will focus on and use to gauge how much of a risk you will be.

It’s important to keep in mind that your credit record is based on your credit report and that it also takes into account how you pay your bills as well as how much debt you have.

Credit providers use credit scores to measure their risk in taking you on as a client.

Your credit record gives credit providers a quick and easy overview of your general credit behaviour.

What you need to work on to improve your credit record:

Review your account payment history
Ensure that you pay the full instalment owing on each of your accounts on time, every month. If you have skipped payments, this will reflect negatively on your report.

Consider the amount of debt that you owe
Try to keep your credit utilisation less than 35 percent of your limit. So if you have a R1000 limit, make sure that you use no more than R350 of your available credit. Maxing out your credit is often a good indicator that you are not managing your credit well.

Check the negative information appearing on your record
If there is negative information appearing on your record, such as old debts which you have settled, you can arrange to have it removed. This will ensure that your credit record is up to date.

Maintain a healthy mix of credit
A good way to improve your credit record is by having a range of credit agreements. This may mean that you can have a credit card, a personal loan and maybe a home loan. You should be paying all of these credit agreements on time every month. This will reflect positively on your credit record. What it will also indicate is that you can afford to repay the credit, which is likely to mean that you can also afford to pay for a new credit agreement.

Avoid shopping around for too much credit at the same time
The last thing you want to do is apply for different loans at the same time. Every time an inquiry is made on your credit score, it reflects on your credit report. What this means to lenders is that your affordability rating is low, thereby making you a high-risk client.

Check your credit report regularly
It’s important to check your credit report regularly so that you can correct any errors that you may come across, which may be preventing you from getting access to credit when you may need it most.

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