Your credit rating score and you: What you should know

If you wanted to borrow money, you would go to a lender (bank or a financial institution) and ask for a loan. How does the lender know that you will pay the loan back? The best way for them to know how trustworthy you are as a borrower is to look at your credit rating score.

What is a credit rating score?

Your credit rating score is a three-digit number that tells lenders how likely you are to pay back your debts. A credit rating score is on a scale from 300 to 900. A higher score means you are more likely to pay back debts, while a lower score tells lenders that you are a riskier borrower, and you may not pay your debts back on time or at all.

A score above 700 is considered good, while a score below 400 will make it hard for you to get approved for a credit card or loan. In the UAE, credit scores are calculated by the Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB) and are referred to by most lenders throughout the country.

The AECB takes into account several factors when coming up with your credit score:

  • Payment history - have you always paid back your debts back on time?
  • Number of loans and credit cards - do you have many debt accounts?
  • Credit utilization - how much of your credit are you using vs. the credit limit on your credit card?
  • Bounced cheques - do you write cheques that you do not have cash to cover?

Why you want a high score ?

A higher credit score is good for many reasons. Most importantly, a higher score tells lenders that you will probably pay back your debts on time, in which case they’ll be more likely to offer you credit, and on better terms. Some of the benefits of a higher credit score are:

  • Access to more credit cards and benefits
  • Access to loans and higher amounts
  • Access to mortgages
  • Lower interest rates
  • Better rates on car or home insurance

What happens if you have a low score?

A low score tells lenders that you haven’t been entirely trustworthy in the past when it comes to your debts. This could lead lenders to hesitate when it comes to lending money to you, making it harder for you to borrow money when you need it or making it more expensive for you to borrow. You might run into some of the problems if you have a low credit rating score:

  • Loan application rejections
  • Less credit card offerings
  • High interest rates
  • Trouble getting a mortgage for a home

Know your score

Before you apply for a credit card, loan, or any other debt, know your credit rating score. You’ll at least have an idea of whether or not you may qualify for the type of loan or credit card you’re looking for.

To find your credit score, go to the AECB website at and apply for a credit rating.

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