In Singapore, three things go hand in hand – credit score, Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS), and credit card. These three are inseparable from adulthood for as long as you stay in Singapore.
Can you remember the feeling when you first received your first credit report? It must have sounded like a wakening call to adulthood. However, many people understand just a portion of it, thanks to the jargon used in the report.
A credit card can be a good thing and a nightmare simultaneously – it all depends on how you use it. On the brighter side, it is among Singapore’s most convenient payment forms.
However, credit cards can mess you up big time and throw you into financial problems if you misuse them.
The best thing you can do is understand how the credit card and credit reports work in Singapore. And that’s precisely what this article entails.
What Is A Credit Report?
A credit report is a financial record showing how you have been paying back the different credit providers you owe. The credit report unveils your paying behaviour and uncovers illicit behaviour for those who like defaulting or delaying credit repayment.
Importance Of Credit Reports In Singapore
Credit reports in Singapore are important to you as an individual and to the credit providers. The report helps you determine your financial position and lets credit providers know your creditworthiness. A credit report helps them decide whether to give you a loan.
Your credit report will also affect the fees, interest rates, and terms for the credit facilities you’ll apply for.
Role Of Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) In Producing Credit Reports
The Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS), privately owned by DBIC Holdings and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), plays a crucial role in credit reports in Singapore. They are responsible for the production of the credit reports of all Singaporeans.
They also serve as a financial risk management tool for financial institutions like banks. They help these institutions assess the risks of granting credit to a borrower, whether new or existing. They have been a significant player in streamlining and improving the loan application assessment procedures.
Where Can I Get My Credit Report?
There are various platforms where you can get your credit report. Let’s take a look.
Online Methods In Singapore
To access your credit report online in Singapore, go to the Credit Bureau website. You can access the report anytime other than 5 am to 6 am and 12 am to 7 am on month ends when the bureau carries out maintenance works.
Physical Locations Like Singpost Branches And Credit Bureau offices in Singapore
Any SingPost Branch
You can visit any of the 57 SingPost branches across Singapore to access your credit report. On your request, the Singpost branch will send the application form to CBS, which will send you the credit report within one business day.
Credit Bureau Office
You can also access your credit report at the credit bureau office at 2 Shenton Way, #20-02, SGX Centre 1, Singapore 068804. Note that the office is open only on weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm.
CBS will verify and process your request and give you a copy of the credit report. You can take a hardcopy/softcopy copy of your credit report on the spot or opt for a mailing service.
How Much Does It Cost To Get My Credit Report?
It costs $8.00 to get a credit report. However, you’ll incur S$2.02 more if you opt for multiple delivery modes.
Credit reports requested from the SingPost branch can be delivered via express service for $19.44. You’ll receive a soft copy within two hours after your application.
Payment Methods In Singapore
CBS accepts the following modes of payment:
Payments at office
Payments made online
Options For Obtaining A Free Credit Report In Singapore
To the relief of many Singaporeans, you can get your credit report for free. You can do so by applying for a new credit facility with any of the CBS members. The redemption channels for the free credit card are shown in the approval/rejection notification letter. Get it before 30 calendar days elapse.
What Is A Credit Score? Specifically, What Is A CBS Credit Score?
A CBS Credit Score is an algorithm-calculated number (four digits) determined based on your past loan payment history. The number is fluid and changes with the changes in your credit information.
A score close to 2000 indicates good financial health and a low risk of default. On the other hand, a score closer to 1000 indicates a higher risk of credit defaulting.
A Step-by-step Guide To Reading A Credit Report In Singapore
The jargon used in a credit report can be confusing. Below are the terms you’re likely to encounter.
Account Status History
The account status history is a record of the consumer’s product types. They include credit facilities like personal loans, secured/unsecured credit cards, car loans, and mortgage loans. The listed product types must be in possession by a CBS member.
Scanning through this section, you’ll see payment patterns spanning over 12 months. There are payment codes that reveal how prompt you are in repaying your monthly instalments.
This section records all your previous credit applications spanning over two years. Too many applications signify a credit-hungry individual, subsequently lowering your credit score. However, it is unclear how many applications are deemed too many, and credit score calculation remains mysterious.
How frequently you request your credit report is also recorded in this section. The good news is that this one doesn’t affect your credit score.
A default results when a consumer struggles to repay their credit, and the sign of default is a deteriorating payment code.
The default record area contains the default details. These records are retained for three years and show the product type and the CBS member the consumer owes. The status default: outstanding, partial, full, or negotiated settlement is also uploaded here. The amount the CBS member writes off in a negotiated settlement is also recorded.
A non-scored grade (HX) is given to a bankrupt consumer. The credit report will show the bankruptcy status for five years after the consumer is discharged from bankruptcy. The said consumer will take years to rebuild their credit score and find it challenging to get credit facilities.
Is Credit Score Important In Singapore?
Yes, a credit score is essential in Singapore. Let’s find out how.
Importance In Loans And Financial Decisions
Banks use your credit score to assess how likely you are to repay your debts. So, before considering a bank loan, ensure you have a healthy credit score.
You need a good credit score to apply for an HDB loan, especially if you’re not a full-time employee with regular CPF contributions. HDB will cross-check your credit report to ascertain if you can service your loan accordingly.
A good credit score will earn you any form of credit or loans. Education loans, renovation loans, or a new credit card demand a healthy credit score. That’s where Credit 21 steps in. We have loan facilities tailored for people like you. Our ready-customised loans will help you navigate your lowest financial moments. Do not hesitate; click here to apply now!
Importance In Employment
If you aspire to be employed, ensure you have a positive credit score. Many employers check credit scores before hiring new employees.
Also, banks and other financial institutions in Singapore check your credit score before hiring you, although their risk appetite depends on the position you’re applying for.
Be careful even after you get employed. Some employers still check their existing employees’ credit scores, especially during a recession.
How Is My Credit Score Determined? What Causes A Bad Credit Score In Singapore?
Your credit score is determined through an algorithm application on your current credit data—however, the credit score changes depending on your credit transactions.
Factors Affecting Credit Score In Singapore
- Immature credit history where you have insufficient credit history.
- Credit exposure, which happens when you borrow more, increasing your credit risk.
- Delinquency presence. Delinquent and criminal activities lower a credit score.
- Not enough clean history. You lack a positive loan history.
- Adverse credit history. Incomplete or late credit repayments.
- Too many inquiries. Frequent credit application lowers your credit score.
Why Do Some Banks In Singapore Reject While Others Approve The Same Applicant With The Same Credit Score?
Different lenders have different eligibility criteria they apply to award credit facilities. The fact that there is no universal standard for assessing credit score and risk among lenders means that a particular bank may reject a consumer, but a different one accepts them.
Another reason is that each bank has its own risk profile and internal credit score. So, depending on the bank’s risk appetite, a client application may be accepted or rejected.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score In Singapore, And How Long Does It Take?
You can improve your credit score by considering the tips below.
- Timely bill payments.
- Ensure you maintain at least one active credit card.
- Refrain from applying for too many loan facilities.
Adhering to responsible prompt repayments will improve your credit score after a few months.
Before rebuilding your credit score, you’ll find it challenging to access credit facilities.
Is There Anything In My Credit Report In Singapore That Cannot Be Remedied?
Yes, you can not remedy three things in your credit report in Singapore. These are bankruptcy, default, and debt management programs. While default records will appear on your credit card for three years, bankruptcy records will appear for five years. Throughout this period, it’ll be challenging to get a credit facility.
Don’t let your credit score ruin your financial integrity or goals. Get a loan facility with competitive rates, friendly terms, and better repayment plans. You have limited options in Singapore, but we’re your best option. Credit 21 loans will ensure you achieve your business goals and repay at your own pace to maintain a healthy credit score. Click here to get started.