Your credit score in the UAE plays a big role in determining your eligibility for a mortgage. Some lenders will even offer higher interest rates to borrowers with a higher credit score.
You would therefore benefit from having the best possible credit score when looking to buy property in the UAE, but how can you manage your credit and keep track of your credit file?
This Holo guide illustrates everything you need to know about maintaining and managing your credit report before buying a home.
How does a credit score work in the UAE?
There is one main credit organization in the UAE, the Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB). The AECB has records of all your banking and credit commitments in the UAE and uses these to track payment history and income levels. They utilize this data to calculate a score based on your visible history.
Taking all the data on the records into account, they will then present you with a credit score. The UAE credit score ranges between 300 and 999, depending on your visible history.
When taking out a mortgage, the bank will carry out a credit check by accessing AECB to check your history. Lenders may have a minimum credit score requirement, and if you fall below it, you may be denied a loan.
It is therefore always advisable to check your AECB report prior to applying to a lender, so you can see if there are any issues that might be found by the bank.
How can I access my credit score?
AECB stands for Al Etihad Credit Bureau.
Visit the AECB website and request your report. They currently have three options available.
- Credit Report and Score: AED 100+ VAT
- Credit Report: AED 80 + VAT
- Credit Score: AED 30+ VAT
It is worth requesting the full report with a score so that you have full details to hand.
Can I check my credit report for free?
Currently, there is no free option with AECB to access your credit file. If you did want the peace of mind of knowing your status before applying, you would need to pay.
If you are confident that your report will be OK, then you can wait until the bank carries out an AECB check. Be aware, however, that this will bring up any credit issues from the past six years.
You need to consider any late payments for credit arrangements or utilities at this time, along with any cheque returns that may have happened for any reason. These will all show up on your AECB report and can play a part in the bank's decision.
Is it possible to increase my credit score?
- Always check the information on the AECB report - Mistakes can happen, so always check the information on your report when you receive it. If you have a dispute with some of the information held on your file, it is worth speaking to the institution that has registered the issue. If it was incorrectly posted on your file, you can have it removed. The AECB will also try to assist if you have any disputed records.
- Make payments on time - The AECB wants to make sure you can manage your finances. Making payments on time gives a strong indication that you have a solid profile to lend to.
- Avoid bouncing cheques - A bounced cheque sits on your credit file for up to 5 years with the AECB. Any bounced cheques will have a detrimental effect on your credit score, and banks may not lend to you if there are no clear reasons why.
- Reduce your credit card limits and usage - By keeping lower usage amounts on your credit cards and not maxing out spending to the limits, you will have a more positive impact on your score.
Checking your score and working with the AECB
By accessing your AECB report from the outset and having the information to hand, you will then be in the best possible position when planning to buy a property and applying for your mortgage.
You can make informed decisions based on the information held, and your Holo case manager will also be experienced in assessing the credit file and making the best recommendations based on the information held.
This blog is for educational purposes, but everyone's case is unique, and local guidelines and regulations may change. Our mortgage advisors can help you with any question you may have and have the latest advice. Get in touch.