How Do Credit Scores Work in the UAE and in Other Countries |

How Do Credit Scores Work in the UAE and in Other Countries

Let’s take a closer look at how credit scores work from different countries.

Posted on

4 July 2018

Last updated on 19 January 2020
How Do Credit Scores Work in Dubai and in Other Countries

When you relocate to another country it's easy to forget that credit scores abroad may not work the same way they do in your home country.

Although we cannot cover every country featured on the map, here at Santa Fe Relocation in Dubai, we’re taking a closer look at how credit scores work across the globe.

South Africa

Much like the United Kingdom, South Africa has a robust reporting system. With Experian TransUnion and Compuscan as the main credit reporting agencies in South Africa, it’s easy to see why. However, the remainder of Africa generally has a poor coverage, which is a daunting challenge for the economy.


China has a public registry originally developed by the People’s Bank of China, and so it has been considerably difficult for the private credit bureaus here to establish themselves in a country where there is little legislation to protect them.

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Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Egypt & Morocco

Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Egypt & Morocco are all examples of emerging markets which are still in the early stages of development. This is especially true when it comes to “micro-crediting”. Simply, a microcredit is a very small loan offered to those who typically lack steady employment, have little-to-no credit history, and generally a lack of collateral. In recent years, a number of new private agencies have emerged such as Equifax India, Experian India, Highmark and SMERA in order to collect and report a wider range of information on this demographic.

South America

As a result of the economic crisis many countries faced in the 1980s, South America now has a relatively robust credit reporting system. In order to avoid a repeat of the economic difficulty, however, many countries here have implemented a carefully thought out credit reporting system in place. Take Brazil for example. This country now has both public and private credit reporting agencies that report a combination of information in order to improve financial reporting. However, before reforms came into practice, only negative information was collected, and as a result, debtors names were removed from lists of offending borrowers once their loans were repaid.

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United Arab Emirates

In the United Arab Emirates, religious restrictions on lending have – and will continue to – prevent the development of a consumer credit reporting systems. While the Al Etihad Credit Bureau did launch a new credit scoring system in April 2017, the chief executive of AECB, Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, said a low or high credit score does not mean anything, and that the final decision is entirely the bank’s decision. While this can be beneficial for some, others are more cautious and prefer borrowers with a clean record. The Etihad Credit Bureau hopes that a good credit score will result in borrowers receiving lower interest rates just like it has in other parts of the world, soon.

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