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6 factors that DON’T affect your credit score

Posted: 29 Jun 2023

3 mins to read

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Here are a few factors that may NOT influence your credit report or score.

A credit score is a reference on how well you manage your monthly debt and service repayments. It is used by credit and service providers to determine how well you will pay for the credit or service that they offer and helps them decide on the best offering to approve for you. 

There are many factors that could influence your credit score, however, there are also factors that do not affect your score. Here are a few that may NOT influence your credit report or score.

Paying for bills that are not reported to the bureau do not influence your credit score. There are many types of bills, from subscriptions to streaming platforms to rates and taxes. A few examples include: TV Licence, property levies, layby purchases, municipal accounts (in so far as it is not reported to the bureau). This could also include paying someone else’s bills or credit accounts.

Checking your own credit report. You can check your own credit report as often as you’d like; some bureaus like Experian offer platforms on which you can access your full credit reports for free. At a minimum, all South African consumers are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from the credit bureaus. Note: Lenders perform a credit report enquiry when you apply; if you apply for credit at multiple lenders in a short time, each enquiry is recorded on your report; multiple enquiries in a short period will likely affect your credit score.

Your income – Your salary doesn’t have any direct impact on your credit score (it’s not used in the calculation of the score, nor is it stored on your credit profile). However, if your income is reduced and you suddenly aren’t able to make payments on your credit accounts, those missed payments could affect your score.

Debit card charges – debit cards aren’t credit cards. Making payments with your debit card uses your actual money – remember to budget, so you know what you’re spending.

Getting married – Irrespective of your spouse’s credit record and score, this won’t affect your score. However, if they have a good score or credit profile and you make a joint application (e.g. for a bond), this could improve your chances of being successful in your application.

Being declined for credit – Credit bureaus don’t record if a credit application is declined. If your application is approved, a credit bureau will only get information on your payment behaviour. If an application is declined, this information isn’t sent to the bureau. Note: the fact that you have applied for credit will be available on your report for 12 months.

Even though these factors don't affect your score, review your budget regularly to make sure your income can pay for your other bills, debit card charges, and of course your current debt.