How To Boost Credit Score In Singapore & Get Loan Approval?

Young lady researching on credit score in Singapore using her laptop, diligently taking down notes on how to check her credit score
Young lady researching on credit score in Singapore using her laptop, diligently taking down notes on how to check her credit score

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Is credit score important in Singapore? Well, yes, a low credit score in Singapore sets precedence for multiple financial hurdles that may negatively impact you right now and in the future. You could be disqualified from obtaining crucial loans, lenders might extend smaller loan quantums than you’d have liked, or even slap you with higher interest rates and harsher loan terms.

Therefore, it is important you know how to improve your credit score in Singapore if you want to address the question on how to get your personal loans approved as well as get the lowest interest rates for a loan.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to increase your credit score, how to get approved for a personal loan, and whether it’s possible to get a personal loan with a bad credit score.

What is a credit score? Understanding the credit score system in Singapore

A credit score is a four-digit number used by lenders as an indicator of how likely an individual is to repay his debts, and also to predict the probability of an individual defaulting.

An individual’s credit score ranges from 1,000 to 2,000, with those scoring nearer to the 1,000-mark having the highest likelihood of defaulting, and those scoring closer to the 2,000-mark the lowest probability.

Score Range Risk Grade Probability of Default
Min Max
1911-2000 AA 0.00% 0.27%
1844-1910 BB 0.27% 0.67%
1825-1843 CC 0.67% 0.88%
1813-1824 DD 0.88% 1.03%
1782-1812 EE 1.03% 1.58%
1755-1781 FF 1.58% 2.28%
1724-1754 GG 2.28% 3.46%
1000-1723 HH 3.46% 100.00%

Credit: Credit Bureau Singapore

Why does credit score matter? Banks will assess your creditworthiness based on your credit score. A better score makes it easier for you to qualify for loans, credit cards and other financial products.

How to check your credit score in Singapore

Now that you know the importance of your credit score, here are some options available for you to check your score.

  1. Free credit report for new credit facility applicants: This option is available to consumers who have recently applied for a new credit facility with members of the Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS). Keen on learning more about how to obtain one? Read online for the latest credit updates.
  2. Free credit report by HSBC: This is a credit bureau report promotion by HSBC which is extended until 30 November 2024.
  3. Purchase of credit report: You can purchase a copy of your credit report from CBS for S$8.00.
  4. Report submission to HDB or NCPG: With your consent, a copy of your credit report will be sent to the selected agency for a fee of S$8.00.

Credit score and personal loans

“Do personal loans affect credit score?”

“Will personal loans affect credit score?”

“Does a personal loan show up on your credit report?”

The answer to the above questions is yes. Personal loans affect your credit score. Depending on how responsible you are, your credit score may be positively or negatively affected.

Like it or not, a personal loan from a bank or financial institution will show up on your credit report, and future lenders will be able to view your payment history and credit score.

If you don’t have any credit history, it is difficult for banks to ascertain your creditworthiness, hence tougher for you to get a personal loan.

Naturally, banks are more cautious of those with a bad credit score, as it indicates to them that these people are at a higher risk of default.

Using a personal loan to improve your credit score

Would a personal loan help my credit? Does taking a loan affect credit score? Truth is, it is possible to use personal loans to improve your credit score. Taking and repaying loans on time can help to repair damaged credit scores over time.

However, it is important that you make the repayments punctually, or else your credit score will worsen — the opposite of what you want. Wondering how to boost your credit score quickly? Be consistent and patient; boosting your credit score is not an overnight process, it takes time to work.

How else to improve your credit score in Singapore

There are many ways to improve your credit score. Does having a credit card improve your credit score? It certainly can, but only if you use it right and are responsible. Foremost, always ensure that your credit card bills are paid on time — never default on them.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to pay off your loan, seek out the help of a credit counsellor who might be able to help you restructure your debts using a debt consolidation plan or balance transfer loan, to help you better manage your loan repayments and credit card debts.

Ensure that you do not have too many credit facilities open. It is difficult to keep track and manage many different credit cards and loans. To avoid the mismanagement of loans, always keep a close eye on the credit facilities that you have.

If you have a bad credit score, the easiest way to repair it is by paying off any short-term or small loans, and this will show lenders and the CBS that you are making repayments on time and in full. It shows them you’re responsible.

How does cancelling a credit card affect your credit score?

While cancelling your credit card might seem like a straightforward thing to do, it can affect your credit score.

Cancelling a credit card is especially damaging if it has one of the highest credit limits amongst the credit cards you hold. Your credit utilisation ratio will increase so long as you carry balances on your credit card, which may negatively impact your credit score.

Can you build your credit score with a debit card?

The answer is no, you cannot build (or rebuild) your credit score with a debit card. This can only be done by paying off all credit card bills and loan instalments in full before their due date.

Getting a personal loan in Singapore with bad credit

“Can I get a personal loan with bad credit?” is a common question for those in need of money but don’t have the best credit history.

This will surprise you but yes, you might be able to get a loan despite having bad credit history in Singapore.

Since your credit score is used by banks to assess how likely you are to repay your debts, having bad credit is disadvantageous as you’re unlikely to be approved for a loan.

However, some banks may still allow you to take out a loan, although the eventual loan offered is likely to be a smaller, more conservative sum. The interest rates offered may be higher, too.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why personal loan applications are rejected by the bank. It’s not the end of the world if you have a bad credit score at this point in time. Take actionable steps to improve and build up your credit score.

Thinking of getting a loan from money lenders or banks? The former option may be a better choice. Banks are not the only legal loan providers in Singapore. Legitimate, licensed money lenders do exist. These money lenders allow borrowers to obtain a loan even though their credit history may not be the best.

In case you’re wondering if personal loans are secured or unsecured – it’s the latter. Borrowers can borrow up to six times their monthly income regardless of whether they are Singaporeans, PRs or foreigners.

While private loan providers are more lenient when it comes to extending loans to people with poorer credit scores, it is still important to ensure that you are able to pay off your loans, and borrow only what you need and are able to repay. Use a personal loan EMI calculator to help you ascertain your loan repayment capacity.

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