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Text : Credit and Credit Ratings
Credit is the lending of money, either directly or indirectly, to enable a person to buy goods and services now but pay for them at a later date. It can take the form of a loan from a bank or other lender or the use of a credit card to make a purchase. In other case, you are borrowing money with the promise to repay it at some time in the future.
Credit enables people to buy things and enjoy them sooner than if they had to save and pay cash for them. However, using credit also means going into debt. A bank, a store, or a company is lending you money so that you can buy an item without having to pay for it at the time of purchase. In return, you usually will have to pay interest or a fee for the privilege of buying on credit.
Every month you will have to pay a portion of your debt. It is very important to pay your debts on time to avoid obtaining a bad credit rating. A credit rating is an estimate of the probability that a potential borrower will repay a loan with interest when due. The higher your credit rating, the easier it will be for you to obtain credit. A bad credit rating can make it difficult for you to obtain credit in the future.
For purposes of illustration, let us suppose that ten years from now you apply for a loan at a bank. How will the bank decide whether or not to approve your loan application? It will determine your credit rating, which will be based primarily on three factors: 1) your ability to repay the loan; 2) your past credit history; and 3) the amount of collateral that you have to offer as security for the loan.
Your ability to repay the loan will depend on both your income and how many other debts you have. The bank will want to know where you are employed, how long you have held your present job, and how much you earn. If you have a record of steady employment, the bank will continue to have a steady income in the future. However, if you have held several different jobs in the past two years, the bank probably will have doubts about your income stability. In addition to your income, the bank also will want to know how much money you owe to other lenders. Even with a good income, you may not be able to repay the loan if you have too many other debt obligations.
The second factor that will affect your credit rating is your past credit history. The bank will view your credit history as a good indication of your trustworthiness. If in the past you have always paid your debts on time, the bank probably will assume that you will continue to do so in the future. If, on the other hand, you have had a poor repayment record over the past few years, the bank may deny you credit on that basis.
A lender can obtain information about a person´s past and present credit status from the local credit bureau. A credit bureau is a private business firm that collects credit information about consumers and sells this information about consumers and sells this information to lenders for a fee. A credit bureau has credit information on almost all individuals who use any form of credit, and it can provide a lender with a list of an individual´s current debts as well as a record of the individual´s credit history. Furthermore, through a system of computer networks, the credit bureau can find out about any debts, including overdue ones, that an individual has anywhere in the country. Thus, an individual cannot move to another city or state and start with a clean credit slate.
The third factor that will affect your credit rating is collateral. Collateral is something of value that a borrower pledges as assurance that a loan will be repaid. The bank may ask you to use your car, your home, or some other item as collateral before approving your loan. You will sign an agreement that allows the bank to seize and sell the collateral to obtain repayment of the loan if you fail to repay it.