Complete Guide to AECB Credit Score in 2024

25 May 2024

Ever wondered what your AECB score is and how it affects you? Here is the latest and most complete guide to your AECB credit score in 2024. Whether you are planning to buy a house, finance a car, or simply enhance your financial standing in the UAE, this guide will provide you with essential insights and practical tips to navigate the credit landscape effectively.

AECB 101: Introduction and Fundamentals

AECB stands for Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB), and it is Public Joint Stock Company wholly owned by the UAE Federal Government. The AECB plays a pivotal role in the financial sector of the UAE by providing credit reports and scores that help lenders assess the creditworthiness of individuals and companies.

AECB Credit Score is a numerical value assigned to every individual, which ranges from 300 to 900. It forecasts the probability of you making timely payments on your loans and credit cards. A lower score suggests a greater risk of default, while a higher score suggests a lower risk. Finding your Credit Report and Score is easy — all you need to do is visit the AECB website or download their mobile app, where you can register and purchase your report.

Understanding Credit Bureaus

Credit bureaus play a very important part in a country’s financial system. Also known as a credit reporting agency, a credit bureau collects and compiles financial data about individuals from various sources, such as banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions. This data includes information on credit usage, payment history, and outstanding debts.

The primary function of a credit bureau is to provide this collected information in the form of credit reports to lenders, creditors, and other authorized entities to assist them in making informed decisions on your creditworthiness. Their credit information on you will determine your credit score, which will affect your ability to borrow money and the terms under which credit is available to you.

Costs to Getting your AECB Score

It is highly recommended that you check your AECB score once per year as an annual health check-up. This will help you spot any issues that may potentially cause you problems in the long term. Whilst you can potentially obtain a free AECB Credit Score Report, a more comprehensive credit score report is more preferred and can be accessed through the AECB website, their mobile app, or by visiting one of their branches in person with the following costs:

  • Credit Report and Score: AED 100 + VAT.
  • Credit Report Only: AED 80 + VAT.
  • Credit Score Only: AED 30 + VAT.

These fees apply each time you request your credit score or report from AECB.  

Calculating Your AECB Score

Your AECB score is calculated based on your credit activity and payment history, reflecting your financial reliability.

It is impossible to calculate your AECB score by yourself, due to the complex and proprietary nature of the credit scoring algorithms used by credit bureaus. These algorithms analyze a vast array of data points and use sophisticated statistical methods to generate your credit score.

There is however a list of factors that we know are included in calculating a credit score. It includes information in your credit reports, which include data on your credit activity such as the use of credit cards, payment of loans and credit card accounts, and any applications for new loans and credit. Following is a more detailed list of factors the AECB takes into account when calculating your credit score:

  1. Payment History: Your payment history is a critical factor in calculating your credit score. It indicates whether you make payments on time and has the most significant impact on your score.
  2. Credit Utilization: This measures the amount of credit you are using compared to your available credit limits. Lower utilization rates are viewed more favorably.
  3. Length of Credit History: Longer credit histories can contribute to higher scores, as they provide more data on your borrowing behavior.
  4. Types of Credit in Use: Having a mix of different types of credit (e.g., installment loans, revolving credit) can affect your score positively.
  5. New Credit Inquiries: Applying for new credit can impact your score, as it may indicate financial stress if there are many inquiries in a short period.
  6. Adverse Status Indicators: Severe derogatory events like bankruptcies, foreclosures, and vehicle repossessions can have significant negative effects on your credit score.

Uses of AECB Scores in the UAE

Your AECB scores in the UAE are crucial for a variety of financial and professional decisions. First off, they are instrumental to your ability to secure a loan or credit card. Financial institutions will refer to your AECB scores to evaluate your creditworthiness, determining your ability to repay borrowed funds. A higher score indicates a lower risk to them, often resulting in more favorable loan terms, such as lower interest rates and higher borrowing limits.

Aside from affecting your financing, your AECB scores can also influence employment opportunities. Some employers review credit scores as part of the background check process, especially for positions that involve financial responsibility or access to sensitive information. A good credit score can be seen as a marker of reliability and sound financial management, which may potentially make you a more attractive candidate for certain roles.

Analyzing Your AECB Credit Report

Understanding your credit report is crucial to helping you improve your credit score, by identifying areas for improvement. Following are the steps to take to effectively analyze your credit report:

  1. Verify Your Personal Information: Verify your personal details such as your name, address, and employment information. Ensure that all the information is accurate and up-to-date. Any discrepancies in personal information could indicate errors or fraudulent activity.
  2. Credit Accounts: Review the list of your active and closed credit accounts, including loans, credit cards, and other credit facilities. Check the account balances, credit limits, and the status of each account (e.g., open, closed, settled). It's important to ensure that all accounts listed are indeed yours and that the details are correct.
  3. Payment History: This section is critical as it shows your payment behavior over time. Look for any late payments, missed payments, or defaults reported. Consistent on-time payments positively affect your score, while late payments can significantly lower it. If you find inaccuracies in your payment history, such as payments marked late that were paid on time, these need to be addressed.
  4. Credit Inquiries: Check the section detailing credit inquiries made by lenders or credit card issuers. A high number of hard inquiries in a short period can negatively impact your score. Ensure that you authorized all the inquiries listed, as unauthorized inquiries could be a sign of identity theft.
  5. Public Records and Collections: Look for any listings of bankruptcies, court judgments, or accounts handed over to collection agencies. These items can have a severe negative impact on your credit score. Verify the accuracy of these listings, as errors can unfairly lower your score.
  6. Credit Utilization Ratio: While this may not be explicitly listed in your report, calculate your credit utilization ratio by dividing your total revolving credit balances by your total credit limits. A high utilization ratio can indicate over-reliance on credit and negatively affect your score. Aim to keep this ratio below 30%.
  7. Review for Errors: If you identify any errors or inaccuracies in your report, such as accounts that don't belong to you, incorrect account statuses, or wrong amounts, you should dispute these with AECB. Correcting these errors can help improve your credit score.

The UAE government ensures that the AECB operates within strict regulatory frameworks to protect consumer rights. The framework is primarily defined by the Federal Law No. 6 of 2010 on Credit Information, which lays the foundation for AECB's operations, empowering it to collect and analyze credit data to generate credit scores and reports. This law, along with its Implementing Regulation (Cabinet Decision No. 115/2021) and the Central Bank Decision No. 67/5/2015 on the Work Regulations of Al Etihad Credit Bureau, ensures AECB's adherence to principles of transparency, data confidentiality, and consumer consent in the handling of credit information.

The regulatory oversight of AECB is further reinforced by the UAE Central Bank, which plays a vital role in supervising financial institutions and credit activities within the country. The Central Bank's regulations are designed to ensure that AECB and other financial entities operate in a manner that prioritizes consumer protection and the integrity of the credit reporting system.

In short, the AECB is strictly regulated with a strong emphasis on protecting consumer rights, maintaining data privacy, and fostering a transparent and ethical credit reporting ecosystem.

Authorized Entities for Credit Information in UAE

Rest assured that access to your credit information in the UAE is strictly regulated, ensuring your privacy and security. Only entities approved by the UAE government can access your credit information, and this includes institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and other entities that have a legitimate need to evaluate creditworthiness or financial stability. Even in these instances, approved entities are obligated to comply with the UAE's stringent data protection and privacy regulations, ensuring that credit information is handled responsibly and securely.

Overall, the system in place for credit information in the UAE is designed to balance the needs of approved credit providers and related entities, along with the need to protect your privacy and data security.

Advantages of Maintaining a Strong AECB Score 

There are many advantages to maintaining a strong AECB score. Some of the key benefits include better interest rates, higher credit limits, and easier loan approvals. A good credit score also gives you negotiating power when it comes to negotiating terms of loans, interest rates and repayments, and access to premium financial products. This is because many financial institutions reserve their best products, such as premium credit cards with better benefits and rewards, for customers with excellent credit scores. These products often come with additional perks like travel rewards, higher reward points, and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Aside from financial institutions, there are many other perks in maintaining a strong AECB score. For example, some insurance companies offer lower premiums to individuals with higher credit scores under the assumption that a high score correlates with responsible behavior and lower risk.

Also, another thing to consider is that landlords also take into account credit scores during the tenant screening process. So, should you wish to rent a place, you would get easier rental approvals and better terms with a good credit score.

Interpretations of AECB Score Ranges

It is important to understand and interpret the AECB score range properly as it is crucial for gauging your credit standing and potential borrowing power in the UAE. The AECB score ranges from 300 to 900, with different ranges indicating varying levels of creditworthiness. The following is an explanation of the AECB scores range.

  1. Poor (300-619): Scores within this range are considered poor, indicating a high risk to lenders. Individuals with scores in this range may face difficulties in getting loans or credit cards approved and are likely to be offered very high interest rates if credit is extended.
  2. Fair (620-679): A fair score suggests medium risk to lenders. While individuals with scores in this range may get credit approvals, the terms, including interest rates and credit limits, might not be as favorable as those with higher scores.
  3. Good (680-730): Scores in this range are deemed good, reflecting a low risk to lenders. Individuals with good scores are likely to experience easier loan and credit card approvals, access to higher credit limits, and more favorable interest rates.
  4. Excellent (731-900): An excellent score indicates very low risk to lenders. Individuals with scores in this excellent range enjoy the best borrowing terms, including the lowest interest rates, high credit limits, and fast-track approvals for loans and credit cards.

By understanding where your AECB score falls within these ranges, you can better assess your current credit health, work towards improving your score if necessary, and understand the kind of borrowing terms you might be eligible for.

Strategies for Credit Management

You have more control over your credit score than you think. As long as you understand the factors that affect your credit score, you can easily bring it up to a satisfactory level.

Negative Influences on Your Credit Score

The first thing to understand is what are the negative influences on your credit score. By eliminating negative influences on your credit score, you will be able to bring it up very quickly. Following are some of the most detrimental factors to your credit scoring.

  1. Late Payments: One of the most damaging factors for your credit score is late payments. Payment history is a critical component of your credit score, often accounting for the largest percentage of the score calculation. Even a single payment made 30 days late can cause a significant drop in your score.
  2. High Credit Utilization: The next is high credit utilization — utilizing a large portion of your available credit can signal to lenders that you are over-reliant on credit, which can negatively impact your score. Credit utilization, especially on revolving accounts like credit cards, is a major factor in credit scoring models, typically accounting for a significant portion of the score. Keeping your utilization rate low, ideally below 30% of your total credit limits, is recommended to maintain a healthy score.
  3. Defaults and Collections: Defaulting on credit obligations or having accounts sent to collections are severe negative marks on your credit report. These occurrences indicate a substantial risk to lenders, as they reflect serious difficulties in managing credit responsibilities. These kind of events can drastically reduce your credit score and affect your ability to secure future credit.
  4. Frequent Credit Inquiries: Applying for several credit lines in a short period can lead to multiple hard inquiries on your credit report, each of which may slightly lower your score. While the impact of a single inquiry may be minor, several inquiries can accumulate and significantly affect your score. This is particularly true if you do not have a long credit history or many existing credit accounts.
  5. Public Records: Negative public records such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, and court judgments related to debt are among the most damaging to your credit score. These records stay on your credit report for a significant period, continuing to impact your score long after the initial financial misstep.

What Affects Your Credit Score in UAE?

Now that we understand what type of negative influences can affect our credit score, the next thing to look at is what are the factors that can affect our credit score in the UAE.

  1. Payment History: Your payment history is the most significant factor that affects your credit score. It accounts for a substantial portion of the score calculation, reflecting how consistently you meet your debt obligations. Timely payments positively impact your score, while late payments, defaults, and collections can significantly decrease it.
  2. Credit Utilization: This refers to the amount of credit you are currently using compared to your total available credit limits. High credit utilization can be a sign of financial distress and can negatively affect your credit score. It is recommended to keep your utilization below 30% to maintain a healthy score.
  3. Length of Credit History: The duration of your credit history also influences your score. A longer credit history provides more data and can indicate reliability, thus potentially boosting your score. Conversely, a short credit history may not provide enough information for an accurate assessment.
  4. Types of Credit Used: Having a mix of different types of credit (such as credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, and car loans) can, paradoxically, positively affect your credit score. This diversity shows that you can manage different types of credit responsibly.

Reasons for Low Credit Score in UAE

Sometimes, your credit score may be low, and you don’t understand why. If that is your case, here are some of the common factors in the UAE that can lead to a low credit score.

  1. High Debt Levels: Carrying high levels of debt relative to your income can lead to a high credit utilization ratio. This automatically reduces your score, as lenders perceive high debt levels as a sign of financial stress, which in their perception increases the risk of default.
  2. Late Payments: Constant late payments or worse, missed payments, is one of the most significant contributors to a low credit score. Payment history is a critical component of your credit score, and even a single late payment can cause a noticeable drop as this signals to lenders that there may be a risk of future defaults.
  3. Lack of Diversified Credit: This may be counterintuitive, but not having a mix of different types of credit accounts (such as credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages) can negatively impact your credit score. In the eyes of lenders, credit diversity shows your ability to manage various types of credit responsibly. A lack of diversified credit means less proof of this ability, which can lower your score.
  4. Frequent Credit Inquiries: Constantly looking for a new line of credit may suggest that you are overextending financially. This signals lenders that you may not be a good paymaster as in their eyes, are financially overextended.

There are several other factors that could reduce your credit score, such as having accounts in collections, defaults, or carrying balances too close to your credit limits. Understanding these factors is important, as by addressing these issues, you can improve your credit score.

Tracking and Managing Your AECB Score

If you want to maintain a good financial health score in UAE, you should track and manage your AECB credit score regularly. Regular monitoring of your credit score will allow you to make informed decisions that can help improve or maintain your credit standing. Here’s how you can track and manage your AECB score:

  1. Check Your Credit Score Once Per Year: You can check your AECB credit score by using the AECB app or visiting their official website. There are charges for checking your credit score, but it’s worth it to ensure that your financial standing in the UAE is always strong.
  2. Understand the Factors Affecting Your Score: Familiarize yourself with the factors that can impact your credit score, such as payment history, credit utilization, and types of credit used. This knowledge can help you avoid any action that will negatively impact your score.
  3. Set Up Alerts: Some services, including the AECB app, allow you to set up alerts for any significant changes to your credit report. These alerts can notify you of any new inquiries, accounts opened in your name, or potential errors that could affect your score.
  4. Review Your Credit Report for Accuracy: Review your credit report when you purchase it, for any inaccuracies or discrepancies. If you find errors, contact the relevant financial institution or the AECB to correct them. Removing negative errors can help improve your credit score.
  5. Use Tools for Credit Monitoring: Consider using credit monitoring tools that provide regular updates and insights into your credit activity. These tools can help you track your score over time and understand how your financial behaviors impact your credit.
  6. Make Informed Financial Decisions: By monitoring your credit score regularly, you can make better-informed decisions about applying for new credit, managing existing debts, and improving your financial habits. This proactive approach can prevent declines in your score and ensure your credit score remains strong.
  7. Educate Yourself on Credit Management: Continuously educate yourself about credit management practices and stay informed about changes in credit reporting standards and practices in the UAE. This will help you adapt your financial strategies to maintain or improve your credit score.

By regularly tracking and managing your AECB score, you will be able to always make informed decisions to improve or maintain your credit score.

General Strategies to Enhance Your AECB Credit Score

There are a few key strategies you can adopt to enhance your AECB credit score. First of all, you should always ensure timely payments across all your financial obligations, including credit cards, loans, and utility bills, as these impact your payment history directly, and are a major factor in credit scoring.

Next is to maintain responsible credit management by keeping your credit utilization low, ideally below 30% of your available credit. This will help demonstrate your ability to manage credit effectively. Also, regularly checking your credit report for inaccuracies and addressing any errors promptly can also improve your score. And another thing to consider is diversifying your credit by responsibly managing a mix of credit types, such as installment loans and revolving credit. Doing so can positively affect your score.

Finally, avoid excessive credit applications within a short period as this can cause your score to be negatively impacted by too many hard inquiries. These are just some of the general strategies you can adopt to enhance your AECB credit score.

You have more control over your credit score than you think. As long as you understand the factors that affect your credit score, you can easily bring it up to a satisfactory level. One way to manage your finances effectively is by leveraging modern investment platforms like StashAway.

StashAway is an advanced investment platform or robo advisor that uses sophisticated algorithms to manage your investments and savings efficiently. It offers personalized and diversified portfolios tailored to your risk tolerance and financial goals, ensuring optimal returns with minimal risk.

By integrating such tools into your financial strategy, you can ensure more consistent financial growth and stability. Regularly saving and investing through platforms like StashAway can demonstrate responsible financial behavior to credit bureaus, thereby enhancing your creditworthiness. This proactive approach not only helps in improving your credit score but also ensures that you have a solid financial foundation for future endeavors.

How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Credit Score in the UAE?

The timeline for improving your credit score in the UAE depends on your financial situation and the specific actions you take to increase your creditworthiness. However, with consistent effort such as making timely payments, reducing debt levels, and correcting any inaccuracies on your credit report, noticeable improvements can generally be observed within a few months.

It is important to remember that significant changes, especially if starting from a lower score, might take longer to become evident. Continuous monitoring and responsible financial behavior are key to achieving and maintaining a healthy credit score over time.

Understanding how to navigate advanced credit concepts will allow for a better-informed decision-making process in regard to your financial matters. In this section, we teach you how to improve your credit scores with the ultimate goal of achieving a strong credit report.

Achieving Optimal Bank Credit Scores

You can achieve optimal bank credit scores by maintaining a diverse and healthy credit portfolio. You will need to obtain a variety of credit types such as revolving credit, installment loans, and mortgages, which demonstrates your ability to manage different forms of credit. The next step is to keep your credit utilization ratio low, ideally below 30%, and ensure timely payments.

Also, always keep a close eye on your credit report and make sure to address any discrepancies promptly. Additionally, limit the frequency of your new credit inquiries and maintain long-standing credit accounts to further enhance your credit score.

By collectively performing all the above actions, you will be able to achieve the best possible bank credit scores.

Challenging Discrepancies in Credit Reports

You should always address any discrepancy in your credit report as soon as you can, to ensure it doesn’t affect your credit score. If any discrepancies are found in your AECB report, you can use the data correction tool on AECB’s website and submit a data correction request. Alternatively, you can email AECB at disputes@aecb.gov.ae with all your supporting documents, such as bank statements, payment receipts, and a clearance letter if applicable. Additionally, you can call AECB's Contact Center at 800 287 328 for further assistance or visit one of their customer experience centers in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Steps to Take if Lacking a Credit Score

Should you find yourself lacking a credit score in the UAE, here are some practical steps to establish your credit:

  1. Get A Secured Credit Card: One of the easiest ways to start building your credit is by obtaining a secured credit card. This type of credit card is backed by a cash deposit you make upfront, which typically serves as your credit limit. By using this card responsibly and paying off your balances on time, you can begin to establish a positive credit history.
  2. Take A Small Personal Loan: Consider applying for a small personal loan from a bank that reports to the Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB). Make sure to make your repayments on time and consistently to build a record of timely payments, which can positively impact your credit score.
  3. Put the Utility Bills in Your Name: Having utility bills like electricity, water, or internet registered in your name and paying them promptly can also help in establishing your creditworthiness. Ensure these payments are recorded and reported by the service providers to the credit bureau.
  4. Obtain Retail or Store Cards: Some retail stores offer credit cards with lower credit requirements. These can be easier to obtain than major credit cards and can help in building your credit score as long as you manage them wisely and avoid high balances.
  5. Become an Authorized User: If a family member has a credit card, you can ask to be added as an authorized user. This allows you to benefit from their credit history, though you should ensure that the primary cardholder has a good credit history and maintains healthy credit habits as their habits will reflect on you as an authorized user.

These are some simple steps you can take to start building a strong credit history. Always remember that the key to building a good credit score is managing your credit responsibly and ensuring all payments are made on time.

Significance of Changes in Your Credit Score

Monitoring your credit report is important, as any significant change in your credit score could be an indication that you are a victim of fraud or that there are errors within your credit report.

For instance, a drop in your score might suggest unauthorized activities such as identity theft, where someone else is using your personal information to open new accounts or make transactions without your consent. Similarly, unexpected changes could also point to inaccuracies in your credit report, such as incorrect reporting of payment history or wrongful debt listings.

Hence the importance of monitoring your credit score regularly, as it allows you to quickly identify and address these issues, either by disputing inaccuracies with the credit bureaus or by taking steps to protect your identity if fraud is suspected.

Distinguishing Between Score, Rating, and Report

There are subtle differences between a credit score, credit rating, and credit report. Following is an explanation of each.

Credit ScoreNumerical value, typically ranging from 300 to 900, summarizes your creditworthiness based on your credit history and is used by lenders to quickly assess risk.
Credit RatingAssessment of your creditworthiness, which predicts your ability to repay debts and the likelihood of defaulting. Credit ratings are more commonly used to assess the credit risk of corporations, financial instruments, or sovereign nations, as they provide a broader evaluation of financial health beyond numerical scoring.
Credit ReportDetailed document that provides a comprehensive history of your credit behavior, including your credit accounts, payment history, outstanding debts, and other financial data. It serves as the basis for calculating your credit score and is used by lenders to make informed decisions beyond just the numerical score.

It is important to understand the difference between each of the above to effectively manage your financial profile.

Navigating credit requirements in the UAE is crucial if you are seeking to secure financing or manage existing debts effectively. Understanding these requirements will help you achieve better loan terms, lower interest rates, and higher approval chances.

Credit Score You Need to Buy a House in 2024

The required credit score to buy a house in the UAE in 2024 depends on the lender you select and the specific mortgage product. But generally, a credit score of at least 620 is required to qualify for most home loans. Higher scores are however preferable and can lead to better mortgage terms. For instance, scores around 700 or above are considered good and may result in lower interest rates and more favorable loan conditions. It is important to note that while 620 might be the minimum, lenders often look for scores of 740 or higher for the best terms.

Minimum Credit Score Required to Get a Car Loan in UAE

The minimum credit score required to get a car loan in the UAE varies depending on the lender, but a score above 600 is typically preferred for securing car loans with favorable terms. However, higher scores are often necessary to unlock better interest rates and more favorable loan conditions. For example, a score of 700 or higher is considered good and may be required by some banks to approve a car loan with favorable terms.

Minimum Credit Score Required to Get a Credit Card in UAE

The minimum credit score required to get a credit card in the UAE varies depending on the credit card issuer. But generally, a score above 650 is considered decent. A  credit score above 700 is the most suitable for obtaining a credit card, as individuals with scores in this range are deemed credible enough to manage and repay their debts effectively.

Recent Developments and Changes

The Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB) has recently made significant strides in enhancing its credit reporting services. It has notably expanded its credit registry to include court-imposed financial obligations in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Justice, providing a more comprehensive view of an individual's or company's creditworthiness.

Additionally, AECB has partnered with Nova Credit to enable newcomers to the UAE to leverage their home country credit history when applying for financial services, facilitating easier access to credit for expatriates. These developments are part of AECB's ongoing efforts to deepen the scope of its credit reports and support the UAE's vision of becoming a global financial hub.

AECB Increases its Scoring Capacity

The Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB) has recently expanded its scoring capacity by incorporating a wider range of data sources into its credit scoring model. This enhancement includes data such as cheque clearance history, monthly payslips, and utility bill payments, which allows AECB to offer more precise assessments of creditworthiness. This development benefits both consumers and lenders by providing a more comprehensive view of an individual's or company's financial behavior, especially for those with limited traditional banking interactions. This will consequently lead to fairer credit opportunities and more informed lending decisions.

This guide aims to empower you with the knowledge to manage your credit effectively in the UAE. By understanding and utilizing your AECB credit score, you can enhance your financial stability and achieve your financial goals.


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