Lenders assess a person’s credit risk based on a number of factors, including your credit and/or payment history, income and overall financial situation. Here is some additional information to help explain these factors, also known as the “5 C’s”, to help you better understand what lenders look for when appraising such a loan:
Sometimes called credit history, which is the first ‘C’, refers to a borrower’s reputation or track record for repaying debts. This information appears on the borrower’s credit reports. Generated by credit bureaus, credit reports contain detailed information about how much an applicant has borrowed in the past and whether he has repaid his loans on time. These reports also contain information on collection accounts, judgments, liens and bankruptcies, and they retain most information for seven years.
Capacity to repay is the most critical of the five factors, it is the primary source of repayment – cash. The prospective lender will want to know exactly how you intend to repay the loan. The lender will consider the cash flow from the business, the timing of the repayment, and the probability of successful repayment of the loan. Payment history on existing credit relationships – personal or commercial- is considered an indicator of future payment performance. Potential lenders also will want to know about other possible sources of repayment.
Collateral or guarantees are additional forms of security you can provide the lender. Giving a lender collateral means that you pledge an asset you own, such as your home, to the lender with the agreement that it will be the repayment source in case you can’t repay the loan. A guarantee, on the other hand, is just that – someone else signs a guarantee document promising to repay the loan if you can’t. Some lenders may require such a guarantee in addition to collateral as security for a loan.
While your household income is expected to be the primary source of repayment, capital represents the savings, investments, and other assets that can help repay the loan. This can be helpful if you lose your job or experience other setbacks.
Lenders consider a number of outside circumstances that may affect the borrower’s financial situation and ability to repay, for example what’s happening in the local economy. If the borrower is a business, the lender may evaluate the financial health of the borrower’s industry, their local market, and competition.
Some lenders develop their own loan decision “scorecards” using aspects of the 5 C’s and other factors.
The 5 C’s of Credit is a common term in banking. They can help an individual prepare him/herself adequately prior to visiting a financial institution to be advanced credit.