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Tuesday Oct 02, 2018

A good credit record key to getting a bond

When it comes to applying for a bond, it is vital to have evidence of excellent credit-worthiness.

This is because it can help you obtain an interest rate concession that will lower your monthly repayment and cut thousands off the cost of your property over 20 years. A borrower who obtains a R1 million loan now at 10.5% instead of 11%, will pay around R300 less a month and save more than R80 000 on the total cost of their house, says Gerhard Kotzé, managing director of the RealNet estate agency group. And with the national average home price now standing at almost R1.2m, there are not many buyers who can pay cash for their property and not need a bond – or the good credit record required to get one.

However, Kotzé notes that it can take years to build up a good credit history, or to clean up credit mistakes. For this reason, good management of monthly accounts and other debts is vital.

Getting an early start on building a good credit record also means that if there are minor misjudgements early in a working career, they will probably be outweighed by a longer period of good credit management when the time does come to apply for a bond, he says.

An important first step is to open a savings or cheque account in your name, keep it balanced and stay within your credit limits.

A history of no defaults on a purchase like a car will also be a great recommendation, as will always paying your rent on time. When it comes to accounts for store cards, your cellphone and city council services, you also need to pay attention to the due-by date for each installment and try to pay before that.

For credit reporting purposes, you need to pay on time and in full to avoid black marks. Accounts are usually regarded as overdue if the minimum amount stated has not been paid within 30 days.

Eye of the tiger: Keep your eyes on the road. If you spend just three seconds adjusting your radio or looking at your playlist while driving at 100km/h, you will cover the length of a rugby field without your eyes on the road.

Turn down for what? Avoid blasting music at high volume as it impairs your ability to focus and drowns out important sound cues of what is happening in traffic around you.

Put your records on: Choose a playlist or radio station that plays the music you like and makes you feel good and relaxed.

In the mood: Avoid getting behind the wheel when you are angry or frustrated.

Under pressure: When traffic or a stressful work day is getting you down, make a conscious shift to more easy-listening music that appeals to your taste.

The lion sleeps tonight: Driving tired is never a good idea, but when you need to buy an extra couple of minutes to get home or to a rest stop, steer clear of music that has a tempo of below 60 beats a minute. On the other hand, when you are charged up and ready to party, don’t listen to high-paced music behind the wheel.

Sound of silence: A bit of quiet time with minimal noise could be just the way to calm your mood or lift your spirits on a difficult day.

Tshifularo says: Music can help you stay focused on long road trips and keep you from raging about the stagnant traffic in front of you.

However, if you find your pulse starting to race, your foot getting heavier on the accelerator or your brain more focused on a stellar karaoke-solo, it’s best to take a step back. Despite your best efforts, it could happen that Greased Lightning turns into Crash and Burn in a matter of seconds, so it’s wise to make sure that your car and music accessories, are adequately insured.


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