How to check your credit score in Nigeria

Your eleven digits biometric verification number BVN holds more information than you probably think. One of the key information it holds besides your fingerprints, picture and other biometric data is your credit score.

Your credit score is a 3-digit number, ranging from 300 to 850 (using the VantageScoring model), that the banks and other financial institutions use to calculate the level of risk associated with granting a credit or loan to you when you apply for one. The lower it is, the higher the risk and shows that there is a high chance that you may default in payment, and vice versa. The scores are ranked through excellent, good, average or poor. Simply put, a credit score is a representation of your creditworthiness.

Below are credit worthiness scales;

720 and above: Excellent credit
690-719: Good credit
630-689: Fair credit
300-629: Bad credit
Even when you download a seemingly unsophisticated loan app on your phone to apply for a loan, this is most likely the scale the app will use to determine how much loan you qualify for or if you qualify for any loan at all

Good vs Bad credit score

Good Credit Score: your score is determined by your loan history, if you have a track record of repaying your loans on time, clearing debt balance, and taking justified loans, youwill have a good credit score. Any credit score which has credit utilization below 30% is considered a good score.

Bad Credit Score: likewise, failing to payback your loan as at when due will lead to a bad credit score on your BVN. A bad credit score generally falls below 630 on a scale of 300-850 for the most common scoring models, FICO and VantageScore. Scores of 630 to 689 are considered fair credit.

Importance of Having a Good Credit Score?

  • Firstly, it qualifies you to get a loan from lenders. If your loan application is often getting rejected, it is most likely because you have a bad credit score.
  • Secure higher credit limits on credit cards: Although they are not so popular in Nigeria, you can acquire a credit card by making a special request from your bank and enjoy higher credit limit on them. A good credit score is an indicator of your creditworthiness and you can take advantage of that in the form of higher credit limits on your cards.
  • Eligible for a pre-approved loan offer: A good credit score will increase your chances of being able to get pre-approved loans at low interest rates from banks and other financial institutions.

How to check your credit score in Nigeria

You are entitled to one free Credit report every month from First Central Credit Bureau. To get a free credit report in Nigeria, use any of the following sources:

Go to the First Central Credit Bureau online gateway and request for your free credit score report by providing your BVN and your email address.

You Get a free credit report every month, so you can monitor your performance and take steps to improve it.

Who Can See Your Credit Report?

Well, anyone who has the need for it and has your BVN number, these include loan apps you download online and share your BVN with, banks, Employment checks, Prospective tenants etc.

Do credit scores affect loan applications?

Obviously and for practical purposes, they do. The first thing lenders will look out for when considering your loan application is your credit score. This is why it is particularly important to pay attention to your credit report. It determines whether lenders and creditors will do business with you and how good of an interest rate you get on financial products!

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