Being financially fit has many benefits, least of all making it easier for you to qualify for credit. However, many of South African’s don’t maintain healthy financial profiles, making it more difficult for them to qualify for credit when they really need it.
Your financial wellness is measured by a number of factors, so the more you work at being financially fit, the better your results.
Financial fitness can be likened to being physically fit – a process that involves several things like eating right, maintaining a healthy weight and measuring your waistline as you work to reach your ultimate fitness goal. From a financial fitness perspective, you need to work on lowering your credit hungry tendencies in an effort to lower your credit score and polish up your credit record.
It takes a lot of discipline to say “No” to that delicious doughnut or those designer jeans, because every once and a while you get a craving. The temptation to binge shop is like giving into junk food. Before you know it, you are feeding your credit hunger and your financial wellness goes off course.
“With debt levels on the rise, consumers need to know how their credit profile affects their present and future budgets. They must be disciplined and train themselves to become financially fit instead of being credit hungry,” says Rudolf Mahoney, Head of Brand and Communications at WesBank.
To understand the importance of a polished credit profile and being financially fit we have illustrated some good and bad case scenarios through the lives of Thembi and John.
Thembi has a healthy credit record and is the perfect picture of financial fitness. She has a stable job and her scenario looks something like this:
- She has a good credit history
- Her accounts are up-to- date
- She can easily afford her car and repays the loan
- She is seen as a low risk by banks and is likely to be charged a lower interest rate
John’s financial realities are very different. He doesn’t have a stable job and has become rather credit hungry. John finds himself in the worst case scenario:
- John is a high risk lender as he doesn’t have a stable job or income
- He juggles many loans and is on the brink of missing payments
- He is considering debt review
- The car he bought is becoming too expensive to maintain as the interest rate goes up
Alarm bells are ringing, and the next time he applies for credit he will likely be declined.
When you are financially fit and ready to apply for a loan remember Thembi and John’s financial circumstances. Then, ask yourself, do you want to be more like Thembi or John?
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