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  • Writer's pictureMeurig Chapman

The 3 C's of Credit Risk Explained

Understanding the importance of the three c’s in credit risk management.


Credit risk management is a critical aspect of the financial industry that helps businesses and lenders manage the risk of default by their borrowers. The three c’s of credit risk management - character, capacity and collateral - are used to assess the creditworthiness of an individual or a business.


Character refers to the borrower’s willingness to repay the loan. This is evaluated based on the borrower’s credit history, payment behaviour, and overall financial stability. Lenders use credit scores to assess the borrower’s creditworthiness. A good credit score implies that the borrower has a history of repaying loans on time and is financially responsible. On the other hand, a poor credit score implies that the borrower has a history of missed or delayed payments, which increases the risk of default. Lenders also look for other factors like the borrower's employment stability, income, and other sources of income to evaluate the borrower's willingness to repay.


Capacity refers to the borrower's ability to repay the loan. This is evaluated based on the borrower's income, expenses, and debt-to-income ratio. A borrower with a stable income and low expenses is more likely to repay the loan than someone with a high debt-to-income ratio. Lenders also consider the borrower's other outstanding loans and the total debt obligations to determine if the borrower can afford the loan.


Collateral refers to the assets pledged by the borrower to secure the loan. In case of default, the lender can seize the collateral to recover the outstanding debt. The value of the collateral should be equal to or greater than the outstanding debt. Lenders evaluate the collateral based on its market value and liquidity. Real estate and other tangible assets are considered good collateral since their value is relatively stable and easily convertible into cash.


An effective credit risk management system should evaluate each of these c’s to determine the risk of default and set appropriate interest rates and loan terms. Lenders should also continuously monitor the borrower's creditworthiness and adjust the loan terms as necessary to manage financial risk.


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