The world can’t help but talk about the so-called Tinder Swindler, the soft-spoken con artist who used dating apps to meet lots of women.
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He then accumulated huge lines of credit and loans in their name, leaving them with massive debts.
And if you think it couldn’t happen to you, think again.
Every day people take out loans for other people or sign a guarantor for someone else’s loans. If for any reason there are any breaches of the agreement, you could put your credit report at serious risk and it could take several years to recover.
“What few people realize is that it’s not just late or missed payments that hurt your credit score or make lenders suspicious,” said Davina Myburgh, director of Consumer Interactive at TransUnion Africa.
“Borrowing too much credit in a short time can hurt your credit rating and your ability to get credit in the future.
“And if you take out these loans for someone else, for whatever reason, the risks to your financial health increase exponentially,” Myburgh said.
Myburgh said there was no problem opening a new credit card or taking out a revolving credit facility.
“But if you suddenly open two or three new credit facilities in a short period of time, what you’re telling lenders is that you might be in financial trouble.
“At the very least, you will attract attention the next time you ask your bank for credit.
someone else’s debt
“When you sign bail on a loan for a child or parent (or someone you met on Tinder), that debt can get you in trouble if they don’t keep their payments.
“You will be held accountable, and it will reflect on your credit report and negatively affect your credit score.”
He said that when you apply for new credit yourself, lenders will consider your guarantor as part of your indebtedness.
Many “difficult” credit applications
“Every time you apply for credit, the lender will do a credit report on you, what is known in the trade as a ‘hard’ inquiry.
“Many people don’t realize that too many tough requests to check your credit can negatively impact your credit score, as it can be seen as a sign of financial stress.
“Be aware that difficult searches can often come from unexpected sources, such as a request to open a new cell phone account or a request for a credit limit increase.
“A lender should tell you this and ask your permission before doing this type of research, so make sure you only apply for credit when necessary to avoid lowering your score.
“To make sure you stay on top of your credit score and keep your finances healthy, make it a habit to check your credit report regularly.”
You get a free credit report every 12 months from providers like TransUnion.
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