UAE: Paying electricity, water bills late to affect credit scores

Reports currently also consider monthly salary, cheque clearance rate



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 21 Jul 2022, 11:43 AM

Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB) has added utility billing data to collate credit reports of individuals and companies. This data will be sourced from emirates covered by Etihad Water and Electricity (EtihadWE), including Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.

Credit reports will now consider an individual or company's monthly salary, cheque clearance, and telecommunications and water and electricity monthly bill payments.

EtihadWE has more than 410,000 active contracts, covering over 280,000 individuals and companies. The AECB has recently added payment obligations of EtihadWE-issued utility billing and customer data. The aim is to support the stability of the UAE's credit marketplace by increasing the comprehensiveness of credit reports, "which in turn helps users to make informed decisions".

The AECB's credit report and score is gaining popularity as individuals and businesses are prioritising their credit health.

Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of AECB, said: "Our cooperation with EtihadWE falls in line with AECB's ambitions to broaden access to AECB products, allowing more individuals and companies to add to their credit history using alternative data. In fact, by including this data on top of the existing financial-related credit information, banks, telecom operators, service providers and other subscribers and users are now able to make better credit assessments and decisions."

Mohamad Mohamad Saleh, Director-General of EtihadWE, said the collaboration work in the best "interest of the national economy, as well as consolidate the UAE's position in the relevant international competitiveness indicators".

Data will be shared with a strict commitment to protect privacy and confidentiality, Saleh added.

What's a credit score and report?

A credit score is a three-digit number that predicts the likelihood of an individual or a company to miss payments in the next 12 months.

It ranges from 300 to 900 and the higher your score, the lower the level of risk.

The score is generated using "statistical models that factor multiple data points from your credit profile", according to the AECB.

The AECB collects credit information from financial and non-financial institutions in the UAE to calculate credit scores. Credit reports are made available to individuals and companies in the UAE.

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Credit reports and scores can be obtained from the AECB website or app.

Credit scores can be improved by:

  • Making payments on or before the due date
  • Avoiding cheques bouncing
  • Reducing the number of credit cards and loans
  • Reducing outstanding balances and credit card limits utilisation

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