You’d be wise to ensure you have a good credit score and that credit providers view you as low risk if you want any chance of being approved for a credit card or personal loan. Carmen Williams, director of research and consulting for TransUnion Africa, says lenders are adapting to changing economic conditions and have shifted their strategies to focus on lower-risk customers over the past year. The latest TransUnion SA industry insights report has found that overall the number of credit cards issued decreased 15% and bank-issued personal loans fell 0.5% year on year. Yet the percentage of credit cards issued to borrowers increased from 87% to 94% and the share of new bank loans to low-risk borrowers went up from 62% to 67%. Low-risk borrowers are consumers with a credit score of more than 730, as measured by the TransUnion internal risk score. The report compared the number of new credit cards and personal loans issued in the fourth quarter of 2018 with the fourth quarter of 2017.

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