Complete Hong Kong Credit Score Guide
What is a credit score? How will it affect your loan application, employment and immigration plan? How can you improve your credit score? Find out everything you need to know about credit score below.
What is a credit score?
Credit score, as its name implies, is related to your credit. If you have any credit accounts including credit cards, loans or mortgages, you have a credit report, detailing how you manage your money. This data is then used to create your credit score, which lenders will use for reference when approving your loan application. It is rated on a grading scale from A to J, with letter grade A being the best and J being the worst.
What is in your credit report?
Your credit report includes information listed below:
- Your basic personal information
- Your credit account information (e.g your lender, loan amount and repayment history)
- Your public records (e.g. money owed, bankruptcy and discharge of bankruptcy)
- Number of enquiries made by TransUnion’s members about your credit file for your credit application in the past 2 years and your credit score
- Lenders may review your credit report for your loan application
- The negative information on your credit report usually falls off five years after the accounts are settled, or eight if you have been bankrupted.
Things You Need to Know About Credit Score - How does your credit score affect your daily life?
1. Credit Card Application
When applying for credit cards, lenders will review your credit report to determine whether or not to approve your application.
2. Loan application, loan amount and interest rate
Credit score will have an impact on the interest rate of your loan application. The better your credit score, the lower your rate.
3. Mortgage Application
Your credit score impacts your choice of lenders as all banks use it to get a better understanding of your financial situation and it will affect your final mortgage loan amount.
4. Others: Immigration/ Employment
Some employers/ countries would consider a good credit score to be a positive factor so it is important to keep a good credit score.
Factors affecting your credit score
- Repayment history: this is the most important as it affects how you manage your finances.
- Total loan amount
- Credit history length: If you don’t have credit history or if it is too short, it is difficult, if not impossible, for lenders to understand your financial history, which will affect your loan application negatively.
- Types of credit account
- New credit account
Moreover, your credit score changes as time goes by. It will also change according to your repayment history.
Apply for a credit card through MoneySmart today!
If you only rely on one credit card, it will affect your credit score negatively. Check out our range of credit cards to see which one suits you the most. Some even offer extra rebates when you apply through MoneySmart! Check it out today!
How to improve your credit score?
Settle bills in full and on time
It is important to understand that even a day delay in payment will affect your credit score negatively. So you may consider setting up automatic payments to avoid delayed payments due to oversight. Also, if you only pay a minimum payment on your credit card, you just let the snowball get bigger. Lender will then be doubtful of your ability to repay.
Avoid excessive credit applications in a short period of time
Your credit report shows the number of enquiries made by TransUnion’s members about your credit file for your credit application. If too many enquiries are made within a short period of time, it implies that your financial situation is unstable. Therefore, it is better to wait for a few months before you apply for the second credit card again.
Establish a healthy credit history
If you do not have any credit history, lenders couldn’t determine your situation. Therefore, you should apply for a few credit cards and repay them in full and on time to establish a healthy credit history.
Don’t rely on only one credit card
You are given a credit limit when your credit card is approved. You shouldn’t use more than 30-50% of the approved credit limit to keep a good credit score. Therefore, it is wise to keep two credit cards to improve your credit score.
Check your credit report regularly and fix any questionable data
It is a good habit to check your credit report regularly so you can find out questionable data in time and amend it accordingly.
Check your credit score before your loan application
If you are planning to apply for a loan, you can check your credit score 6-12 months in advance to understand your situation and find ways to improve it.
How to check my credit score?
You can either check your credit report online on TransUnion or book an appointment online and go to the TransUnion office to get the report.
How to apply for bad credit loans?
Even if you have poor credit, you may be able to apply for loans. However, it is important to note that the loan amount is usually lower and it often comes with a higher interest rate. You can first check out what loan products are available to people with low credit score on MoneySmart before applying.
Credit Score FAQ
Do enquiries affect my credit scores?
- Yes. If too many enquiries are made within a short period of time, it implies that your financial situation is unstable.
Does having no credit history affect my credit score?
- Yes. If you have little or no credit history, it is likely to negatively affect your credit score. Check out the benefits of having credit cards here.
Does having too many credit cards hurt my scores?
- No. If you have more credit cards, it means that you have more credit limit, which will positively affect your credit scores.
How can I build a credit score?
- You can establish your credit score by applying for a few credit cards and paying off your debt on time.
Does credit score affect my mortgage application?
- Yes. The better your credit score, the better the interest rate.
Does paying off a loan early help my credit score?
- No. You just have to pay off your loan on time.