MANY Mzansi people still don’t know their credit score.

But experts warn that the three digits that represent your creditworthiness are three important pieces of personal information.

Mocheko Chaka, head of Pulse, part of financial services provider, DirectAxis, said your credit score can determine if you will qualify for a loan, what interest rate you’ll pay, whether you’ll be able to finance a new car or if a landlord will consider you a suitable tenant. Even potential employers may want to see your credit report.

“Everyone, from banks to retailers, will make up their mind about your financial trustworthiness based on your credit score. It’s more influential than any other reference you can provide.”

That’s why it’s a good idea to check it regularly.

By law, you are entitled to one free credit score a year from any credit bureau. But checking your credit score once a year may not be enough.

“A lot can happen in a year and if there’s a sudden downward move in your credit score you must respond quickly. It could be anything from an error to identity theft.”

Why check your credit?

Knowledge is power: It pays to know your financial profile. A better credit score lets you to get lower interest rates on loans and other credit offers.

Early scam warning: Credit bureaus can and do make mistakes. You’re more likely to pick these up if you regularly check your credit rating. A sudden drop may indicate that something’s wrong.

Checking gives you control: Regularly checking your credit profile informs you of how to improve it. By limiting bad behaviour such as not paying accounts on time and managing your debt you can gradually increase your credit score.

Check your credit score at an online tool such as Pulse at www.directaxis.co.za/pulse