Rebuilding Credit from A Major Financial Set-Back
Borrowing beyond your means can leave you struggling financially as you go further into debt and affect your daily lives. Debts can leave you with long-term financial scars that will take a period of time to recover and get back on your feet.
Debt Management Programme
Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) offers the Debt Management Programme (DMP) to assist borrowers struggling to address problem debts arising from excessive credit use such as credit cards, overdrafts, and personal loans. CCS has an experienced team of credit counsellors and support staff who can provide debtors with credit counselling, facilitated debt repayment arrangements as well as conduct talks and workshops on improving financial capability.
Debt Repayment Scheme
The Debt Repayment Scheme (DRS) is a voluntary pre-bankruptcy scheme which is administered by the Official Assignee. It is a repayment scheme to assist debtors who have a regular income and debts not exceeding $150,000, to avoid bankruptcy. The debtor will clear his debts to his creditors through the Official Assignee. The length of the repayment plan shall not exceed 5 years
Bankruptcy is a state in which a person is recognised by the law to be insolvent. Bankruptcy commences with a bankruptcy order made by the High Court against the individual whose particulars will be published publicly to inform the public of his status. The Official Assignee will take over all of the bankrupt's assets which include savings accounts, private properties, insurance policies and private vehicles, which will be sold. The proceeds will then be distributed to his creditors.
Ways to Rebuild your credit reputation
These are some of the measures and tips you can take to build back your credit reputation after you have settled your arrears:
1) Spend within what you can afford
The most important step to repair your credit score is to prevent yourself from falling back into bad debt again, which means to only spend what you can afford. You might want to start tracking your daily expenses and set out a budget for each category. Practice prudency at all and curb overspending on unnecessary items for example: taking public transport rather than owning a car.
2) Avoid excessive use of credit facilities
The first step to getting out of the debt cycle is to reduce your reliance on using credit facilities to pay for your expenses. Avoid applying for too many loans or credit facilities as you will likely go back into your previous debt cycle. You should always use credit with caution and ensure that you always have sufficient cash to pay off what you owe.
3) Always pay your bills, full and on time
Keeping a good and consistent credit repayment record will also help you to gradually build up your credit score. If you are still able to use unsecured Credit Card, you can start off by making small payments and pay back your bills promptly and in full at all times.
4) Check your Credit Report
It is highly encouraged to review your report from time to time so you are aware of any inaccurate or outdated data that is loaded onto your credit report. Alternatively, you can also subscribe to My Credit Monitor (MCM). MCM is a credit monitoring tool that helps you to keep an eye on your credit report on your behalf so you can have an ease of mind wherever you are. MCM comes with a choice of 6 months or 12 months subscription service and complimentary credit reports. The subscriber will be able to receive notification alerts for any predetermined activities on your credit report, providing the earliest possible indicator via SMS or emails. Hence, you will always be notified should there be any new information loaded onto your credit report.
Lastly, be sure to follow Credit Bureau Singapore and Moneylenders Credit Bureau on Facebook and LinkedIn for more useful content and tips on how to maintain a good credit reputation. To learn more about what other services and products we provide, visit CBS website at https://www.creditbureau.com.sg/ and MLCB website at https://www.mlcb.com.sg/
If you are facing increasing difficulties servicing payments to your credit cards or other unsecured credit facilities, consider attending our weekly Debt Management talks (conducted both over Zoom and in-person at our office), where you will learn more about what to do, when and how to communicate with creditors, what are the common collection actions creditors can take, what are the various debt settlement options are and what is the CCS Debt Management Programme. Click here for schedule.
After attending the talk, you can submit a request for one-to-one credit counselling. Details on the counselling session and instructions on how to arrange for an appointment will be explained during the talk.
Published 21 July 2023.