Like it or not, though Nigeria is still predominantly a cash-based economy, we are well and truly on our way to embracing the credit-based system.
With the National Credit Reporting Act, passed into law in 2017, and Fintechs popping up every day, ready to grant loans in minutes, it would be wise, to take advantage of these accessible loans.
However, there is a catch. You need to have a good credit score before you can enjoy the credit facilities that are made available through different marketing techniques. After all, it would not be wise, to grant credit to high-risk individuals that have a history of not paying back loans on time or even at all. For a credit-based economy to truly work, there must be credible and reliable data and easy access to that data to determine who gets to enjoy access to quick funds when they need it.
In a country where the median age is 18.3 and the youth population is above 60% of an estimated population of 205 million, It is important that the youth population have access to the credit facilities that are available and in this regard make sure that they fit the criteria of what the lenders/credit granting organizations are looking for.
So, who are millennials?
They are the generation born between 1981 and 1996. They shop online with their smartphones. They have buying habits that are quite different from their parents, grandparents and they rely on peers and social media for information (Source: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/071715/who-are-millennials-and-why-do-they-matter.asp)
They are the undergraduates, the young graduates and young fathers and mothers who need access to credit, so they can improve their standard of living and live their best lives.
In credit advanced countries, where the fear of a low credit score is the beginning of wisdom, your credit score can determine interest rates, access to student loans, mortgage, health insurance and even buying a car.
In Nigeria, this phenomenon in advanced countries will become the order of the day as fintechs and commercial banks latch on new technologies to deliver credits in seconds and minutes. We need to continuously remind ourselves of the importance of having a good credit history or how it can affect our financial lives and give us access to a better standard of living.
So how can a millennial start to build a good credit history, today, if it so important? He can, by following the steps below:
Consciously develop a credit history: Take micro loans and pay back as at when due to build a credit profile.
Request for your credit report: review and identify areas of improvement. Remember that your credit score is calculated from the information in your credit report. Your credit score is calculated using the following parameters: Payment history, ongoing credit transactions, length of credit history, credit mix, credit inquiries etc. These are details that are found in your credit report.
Correct any errors on your credit report: If your credit report has any errors in your personal information, accounts or repayment history, they need to be corrected. To do so, contact the Credit Bureau and the organization that provided the information to them for prompt resolution.
Never miss a payment: Pay all your bills on time. By staying current on all your bills, your credit score will improve.
Increase your credit limit: You can increase your credit limit by visiting your bank directly and ask for a credit increase on your card or loan. This simply means that the amount of credit you have on your credit card, has been increased e.g., your limit was increased from One Hundred Thousand Naira to Two Hundred Thousand Naira. An increased credit line can help your credit score because it shows that you have been responsible with your credit card spending especially when it is the institution that offers to increase your credit limit.
Stay consistent: building your credit history takes time, staying consistent, paying your bills on time and ensuring errors stay off your credit report will help your credit history improve over time.
Always remember that a journey of thousand miles begins with a simple step- Lao Tzu
Start the journey to financial responsibility and freedom by requesting for your credit report today by clicking on https://www.crccreditbureau.com/product/crc-self-enquiry