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What is a credit check?

The Credit Information Bureau (CRIB) is a centralized system that indicates how reliable you are at borrowing and repaying money.

A good report conduct can help you get approved for credit cards, loans and mortgages, while a bad score can stop you getting approved. 

All lending institutions contribute details to CRIB to compile information about your financial history – known as a credit report – and use it to make lending decisions. If you apply to borrow money, banks will look at your credit report before deciding whether to accept your application. It may also help them decide how much to offer you.

What impacts your credit report?

Your credit report reflects the way you've managed your debts and bills in the past. So if you've borrowed money in the past and always kept up with repayments, this will have had a positive impact on your report. But a history of missing or making late payments would have had a negative impact. 


If you've never borrowed money before, it's difficult for lenders to assess the risk of lending to you and your credit report will reflect that. 


What's included in your credit report:

  • all your credit agreements such as loans, leases and credit cards, including any held jointly with other people
  • your history of credit repayment, including payments you've missed over the last two years
  • Your credit report doesn't include things such as your medical history or salary.

Why do credit reports matter?

Your credit score can determine whether you get accepted for a loan or credit card and impacts the type of deal you might be offered. 


If you have a poor credit report, you may find you're offered a higher interest rate.

Building a good credit report

If you want to improve your credit report the best thing you can do is make all your repayments on time and clear any existing debts as soon as possible.

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From managing your spending to building credit, here are some tips to help you make the most of your credit card.
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When it comes to credit cards, there's no magic number you should have or blanket rules that will suit everyone.