Credit Score in Nigeria Made Simple: A step-by-step Guide

Credit score in Nigeria. Have you ever wondered what it's all about? Did you know how to check your score in Nigeria?


Credit score in Nigeria
Image Source: Cafecredit.com

If you're applying for a loan or credit card, then it might be a good idea to check your score because the first thing lenders look at before giving you loan is your credit report. If you have a bad credit report, no lenders will give you loan, and even if they do give you one, it will come with much higher interest rates and shorter repayment tenor.

How can i check my credit score in Nigeria? Don't worry you will find it out as long as you continue to read till the end. But before then, you have to first have a clear understanding of what the term "credit score" is all about.

Table of Contents
  • Credit score: what do they mean?
  • Credit report
  • How to check credit score
  • What is a good credit score?
  • How are credit score calculated?
  • How to speed up credit score?
  • Conclusion

Credit Score

A credit score is a 3-digit statistical number given to you by they reference agency, usually from 300 - 850 that is based on a level analysis of a person's credit report, to represent the creditworthiness of an individual. Your credit score in Nigeria takes account on how you pay your bills, how much debt you have and most importantly, how all of that compares to other credit active consumers.

Credit providers, such as banks and credit card companies use credit report to determine their risk in taking you on as a client before they approve or decline your loan application, and to mitigate losses due to bad debt. The main factors that lenders look at that makes up your financial profile in your credit report are known as the five C's of credit.

People with a higher score are often seen as low-risk individuals and they are likely to be given loans instantly even with much lower interest on rate, while those with lower score are seen as high-risk individuals which make getting loans much harder and even if they do get one, it will come with higher interest on rate.

However it's worth remembering that every lender has its own policy for credit scoring. So, if you have a lower credit score, you can still get loans with low credit from other lenders. But it's very necessary to first figure out why you were turned down before making another loan application.


Credit report

A credit report shows the summary of your credit history. It doesn't show other personal information such as your salary, religion or any criminal record. It only shows this following file:
  • Your name and date of birth
  • Your current and former address
  • List of your credit accounts; This includes bank and credit card accounts as well as other credit arrangements such as outstanding loan agreement or utility company debts. They will show whether you have made repayment on time and in full. Items such as missed or late payments or defaults will stay on your credit report for at least 6 years or more
  • If you've committed fraud or someone has stolen your identity and committed fraud, this will be held on your file.
  • Your current account provider, but only details of overdraft etc.

How to check credit score in Nigeria

You can check your credit score in Nigeria through any credit agency near you, either through your bank or via online through any of these credit agencies in Nigeria.

1. CRC Credit Bureau Limited



Credit score: How to check credit score in Nigeria

CRC Credit Bureau Limited is a private liability company duly incorporated and licensed under the laws of the federal republic of Nigeria (FRG), was established by a consortium of eleven (11) leading financial institutions and Dun & Bradstreet, a world player with over 170 years of credit bureau experience, with the aim of delivering credit bureau services in Nigeria.

CRC Credit Bureau ltd provides a Nationwide information repository on credit profiles of corporate entities as well as consumers, thus improving the ability of credit providers to make informed lending decisions.

Making them the leading credit bureau company in Nigeria with the credit information of over 95% of the Nigerian credit industry covering commercial Banks, non-bank institutions, retailer's and utility service providers.

2. FirstCentral Credit Bureau Limited

Credit score: How to check credit score in Nigeria

FirstCentral credit bureau ltd is Nigeria's first licensed credit bureau. The company was incorporated as XDS Solutions ltd in May, 2005 with RC. No 623894 and having satisfied the conditions for the grant of a credit bureau license under the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, No.7 of 2007, was granted final operating license on the 28th of May 2009 to operate a credit bureau in Nigeria.

FirstCentral Credit Bureau Limited is part of an emerging continental brand XDS that is committed to designing and deploying solutions that turn data into strategic tools for information and risk management.

It leveraged on the extensive involvement of it's previous technical partner, Xpert Decision System (XDS) pty ltd of South Africa, with credit bureau operations in South Africa, Ghana, Australia, Malawi, and UAE. In making available to the Nigerian market, a suite of innovative and user-friendly information and credit management solutions.


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You can have access to your credit report within 5 minutes by registering on Snap Check and subscribing to a plan, provided you supply the relevant requirements. You can also request for your credit report by sending a mail to info@firstcentralcreditbureau.com

What is a good credit score in Nigeria?

Your credit score is a 3-digit (300 - 850) number that has a strong influence on your financial life. It can influence how much interest you'll have to pay on loans and credit cards, or whether you'll be able to get them at all.


Credit score: How to check credit score in Nigeria

Every country has it's own lenders, and every lenders has it's own standard for rating credit scores. In Nigeria, South Africa or in USA, 700 and higher (on a scale of 300 -850 base on FICO) is generally considered as a good credit score.


How are credit score calculated?




Credit score: How to check credit score in Nigeria

Credit scores are calculated differently depending on the credit scoring model. Here is a breakdown of how your score is being calculated:


• Payment History (35%)

The first thing any credit providers wants to know is the details of your payment history. Whether you've paid past credit accounts on time or whether you've default on loans. This is the most important factor in a credit scores.


• Amount owed (30%)

Having credit accounts and owing money on them does not necessarily guarantee that you are a high-risk individual with a low credit-score. However, having high balances or too much debt can heavily affect your credit score. Credit providers look at the overall amount of debt you carry, the ratio of your credit card balances to credit limit and the relation of your loan balances to the original loan amount to determine your score.


• Length of credit history (15%)

How long you've held credit accounts make up your credit history. This includes the age of your oldest credit account, the age of your newest credit account and the average age of all your accounts.


• New credit (10%)

Each time you submit an application that requires a new credit check, an inquiry is placed on your credit report showing that you've made a credit based application. One or two inquiries won't hurt much, but too many inquiries especially within a short period of time can indicate increase risk, and as such can hurt your credit score.


• Types of credit used (10%)

The variety of credit products you have on your credit report especially installment loan or revolving accounts increases your credit score because it signifies you have previous experience in managing various types of credit account.

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How to speed-up credit score in Nigeria

Credit score: How to check credit score in Nigeria

The best and the most easiest way to speed up your bad credit score to good credit score with a step-by-step guide can be found here. But without wasting much of your time, let me list it out:
  1. By reducing your credit utilization
  2. Pay your debt before your card issuer reports your balance
  3. Request increase to your credit limits
  4. Apply for a new credit card.

Conclusion

Now that you have understand what credit score is all about, and how to check credit score in Nigeria. Please if you have a bad credit report try to clear it off before seeking for a new loan.

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