If you don’t know where you stand financially, and what a credit score is, you’re not alone. The good news is, it’s not too late to learn or do something about it. iMoney today, launched its free credit score tool–iMoney CreditScore, in Bahasa Malaysia, in tandem with the rollout of its digital-first #JomSkor campaign.
The credit score tool and the #JomSkor campaign runs from now until the end of August, with the goal of making it easier for more Malaysians to check their credit score and take steps towards improving their financial health.
Now available in both English and Bahasa Malaysia, iMoney CreditScore gives you a free and simple snapshot of your financial standing. It also gives you tips on how to improve your credit health, and naturally being a financial portal, give you access to savings from a plethora of credit products.
The scoring system is divided into four grades: Weak (201-460 points), Fair (461-580 points), Good (581-660 points), and Strong (661-781 points). A person with a Weak to Fair score may not qualify for a loan or a credit card, while those in the Good to Strong bracket will find it easier to obtain credit products as well as enjoy lower interest rates.
It’s an understatement to say that the financial health of Malaysians are dire. Based on a report from the Ministry of Finance, over 100,000 Malaysians were declared bankrupt between 2013 and 2017, of which 60 percent were between 18 and 44 years old. To add to that, reports published by RAM Credit Information (RAMCI), a leading credit bureau in Malaysia, state that only 29 percent of Malaysians aged 34 and below have a strong credit profile.
Meanwhile, iMoney said that four out of 10 iMoney CreditScore users who were looking for a credit card or loan have a Low to Fair score, making it challenging to obtain credit products. The insight were drawn from a total of 5,774 users of iMoney CreditScore (June 2019).
“Whilst there has been significant growth in signups since we first launched iMoneyMitul Lakhani, CEO of the iMoney Group
CreditScore in late 2018, we still see the opportunity and need to reach out to and
encourage more Malaysians to check their credit score and financial health. Our data
points suggest more effort is required to help Malaysians take control of their finances
and make smart financial decisions to ensure a prosperous and financially stable future.
Through #JomSkor and the Bahasa Malaysia CreditScore tool, we are aiming to reach
out to more Malaysians, across the country. Our goal is to get more Malaysians to sign
up to get their credit score, understand their financial health and ultimately feel
empowered to make intelligent decisions on their money matters”
“We see a positive trend as the Malaysian public is beginning to understand theDawn Lai, Chief Executive Officer, RAMCI
importance of a credit score and how a consistent and healthy credit score can translate to lower interest rates for future loans, speed up credit application approvals and garner better credit terms. To encourage growth in financial literacy, education and awareness programmes need to be stepped up. We believe such initiatives will go a long way to help the public understand the intricacies of managing their credit well,” said
Dawn advised Malaysians to check their credit scores as frequent as every 3-6 months if they were actively looking out for credit products, or otherwise twice a year, as your score may change over time.
She explained that your three-digit credit score is influenced by, first and foremost, your payment history (40 percent). Do you pay your loans and bills on time or have you missed payments over the last 12 months?
Next, the types of loans and credit cards you currently serve: secured (home, car loans) vs unsecured (credit cards, personal loans); and the total amount owed to the banks account for 30 percent of your credit score.
In addition, the length of your credit history; the number of times you’ve applied for credit products (and approval record) over the past 12 months; the level of utilisation of credit products (for instance multiple credit cards); and any record of legal action or claims against you, play a role.
Also, the higher the income, in theory, the better the ability for you to be able to pay off your loan. Banks use something called the Debt Service Ratio (DSR) to calculate whether you can afford the loan you’re applying for.
The lower the DSR the better; recommended between the 30-40 percent range. However, this is subjective depending on the applicant, and some banks may accept DSR’s as high as 80 percent.
How good and diligent you are at paying your loans and bills is also taken into account. Late payment will reflect badly on your credit score. Being a good paymaster is one of the keys to a good credit score.
What’s interesting though is that the number of credit cards does not have an impact on one’s credit score; how one manages one’s finances is key. iMoney revealed that of those with Good to Strong credit scores:
- 39% do not have a credit card
- 67.9% have one credit card
- 80.0% have two credit cards
- 85.9% have three or more credit cards
The road to financial literacy
iMoney is encouraging Malaysians to sign up with their free tool to check their credit scores regularly in order for them to better understand their financial health as well as helping them make better financial decisions.
The #JomSkor campaign is built around a digital meter that unlocks prizes when specific numbers of iMoney CreditScore signups are reached. Prizes include Apple iPad Air, Nintendo Switch, Fitbit Charge, Lazada, Tealive e-vouchers as well as limited edition #JomSkor t-shirts and umbrellas.
Over the course of the next two months, iMoney representatives will be at various locations to help Malaysians sign up for the free iMoney CreditScore report. iMoney says that in the future, it will be collaborating with respected institutions and experts to provide workshops and training around personal finance.
Head over to http://offers.imoney.my/campaign/jomskor to get your free iMoney CreditScore report or follow iMoney on Facebook for updates.
iMoney’s CreditScore tool is powered by RAMCI.