Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) has announced that it will begin providing information related to the payment of water and electricity bills to Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB).

AECB collects credit-related information from a wide range of organisations across the UAE. This information is used to produce credit reports and credit scores which are made available to help assess credit risks when customers apply for car loans, mortgages, credit cards and other finance arrangements. Customers who maintain a good credit history by paying their bills on time, not borrowing too much and avoiding defaulting on loans will earn better credit scores. Companies can then use this information to decide whether or not to offer credit, and may give better rates to customers with good scores.

From this month, ADDC bill payment data will be used by AECB as part of its assessment, so Abu Dhabi residents and companies should ensure that they pay their utility bills promptly to maintain a good rating.

Saeed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, said that “Paying water and electricity bills on time will improve the credit rating of individuals and companies, which should make it easier and cheaper for them to obtain finance and credit in future. The majority of our customers pay their bills on time and in full each month, and this will now be reflected in their credit ratings”.

He added, “Electricity and water are essential services, so it makes sense that companies want to check how good customers are at keeping up with their utility payments before considering whether to offer them loans”.

Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau said, “We welcome this new partnership. ADDC providing us with monthly bill payment information will help consumers who haven’t previously used credit facilities to build up their credit scores. It will also help in enhancing general awareness of creditworthiness. Giving companies the ability to make better credit decisions and avoid loans with high default risk will strengthen the UAE’s financial system and help to reduce the cost of borrowing”.

He also noted that customers wanting to check their own credit scores can apply to AECB and receive details of their credit score or a copy of their full report by paying a small fee.