I’ll get to the beach story in a moment but first things first. By Nigerian law, you are entitled to one free credit report each year.
Your credit report shows your SMARTScore (how loan-worthy the banks think you are), your outstanding balances, delinquencies and lots of other information.
It is especially important to detect any inaccuracies (debts you’ve paid off but that still appear) before they lead to financial ruin. Occasionally, fraudsters can steal your BVN and get loans using your identity!
Downloading and viewing your credit report is therefore the first step to financial well being. Just click here (or on the image below) to download yours now. Below is an image of what it looks like.
Now, on to the beach story...
In case you don’t know, Lagos has some of the most beautiful beaches in Nigeria for anyone looking to flex. And I’m not saying this because I live in Lagos.
My parents—especially my dad—loved going to the beach. So he always took me with him, carrying me on his shoulder 🤗🤭
And although I’d been to the beach a lot of times as a little girl, this particular day really stood out to me because it was the day I learned a strong life lesson.
While walking along the beach, I noticed my footprints in the sand, and for some reason, probably my small pikin brain, I thought my footprints would remain there for a long time for others to see.
But it was only a matter of time before the wind and ocean swept in and erased them as if I had never been there. 😧
The experience left a strong mark on my mind.
And years later as a young adult, my experience at the beach became a valuable lesson that helped me understand how to manage my money.
It became clear to me that spending cash or using my debit card was like footprints in the sand.
But like every correct Lagos gal, I was used to paying cash or using my ATM card to pay for things.
Understand that even though I’d believed that buying things with cash or with my ATM card was like footprints in the sand, that they somehow would kukuma help build up my credit score, so I can buy one of my former dream cars, a 2013 Lexus ES 350.
But E shock me when I went to the bank for a loan and the banker told me that my credit score could not support the car loan I wanted.
I was left with two options.
One: I could spend the next three to five years painfully saving like a mad woman so I can buy my own car, or…
Two: I could get a copy of my credit report and start following the steps that’d help me improve my credit score so I could get the loan instanta.
Trust me; I chose the second option and instantly got my free credit report.
And it didn’t take long I qualified for a credit card, which I used to carefully build my credit score.
I used the credit card to buy small things. Then I made sure I paid off the bill sharp sharp.
After doing this for a while, I established a good track record of repaying credit.
I applied for a car loan again, and this time, the bank approved it. 🥳
I bought my dream car, and my life changed.
Owning a car helped me consider job opportunities wey for dey too far for me.
But most importantly, I was able to enjoy life more by going places, including the beach where it all began. (I now drive my dad to the beach 🤭)
I’m telling you this story so you fit understand one thing.
And that thing be say, even though collecting credit get bad rep for Nigeria, you fit use that same credit build your credit score so you fit collect better loan wey go help you make am in life.
But the only way that can happen is if you spend a few moments looking at your credit report.
…and the easiest way to do that is by getting your free personal credit report from CreditRegistry, today.
CreditRegistry is a licensed company that is helping millions of Nigerians just like you, build their financial future.
Our mission dey simple: To provide you with free annual credit reports because we know you have dreams, and we’re here to help make them come true.