Growing numbers of Rwandans are taking control of their credit health through an innovative mobile credit reporting platform, Menyesha, which allows them to check their credit status in Kinyarwanda using their mobile phones.
TransUnion Rwanda country manager, Jacqueline Mugwaneza, says “there has been steady growth in the use of the service since its launch nearly two years ago, as consumers increasingly realise the need to know their credit status. This is vital for anyone wanting to apply for a credit or a bank loan” being on mobile or classic lending.
“It is estimated that Rwanda has a credit-active population of more than half-a-million people, and the increasing uptake of mobile loans has driven a greater awareness of credit health”, says Mugwaneza.
“The more people know about their credit status, the more empowered they are to manage their credit. When you have a good credit history, you increase your chances of getting better products from lenders. However, if you have a bad credit history, it can be fixed! TransUnion can help and guide you to fix your credit profile to a good one,” she said.
Menyesha gives consumers accurate, up-to-date information about their credit status in real time. It is easily accessible and convenient. People can check their credit status and order a credit report, a credit score and a clearance report, in either English or Kinyarwanda, by SMSing their ID numbers to 2272. This is particularly important for Rwanda’s large rural population, where little English is spoken and access to physical financial services infrastructure is a challenge.
A credit report tells consumers why their credit status is in default or good standing, while a clearance certificate proves their credit status is good and confirms their debts have been settled. Mugwaneza says, “it is always advisable for people to check their credit status, and get their financial affairs in order, before applying for credit to increase their chances of being approved for a loan”.
“Our role is to help Rwandan consumers to be more informed about their credit and financial status to enable them to achieve their personal objectives, whether it’s purchasing a house or accessing a loan to further their studies. Understanding your financial background is critical to ensure access to credit,” said Mugwaneza.