A new credit register was set up in Ireland in 2017 – called the Central Credit Register.
It is backed by Government legislation and was a condtion of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland after the bailout. It is supposed to help stop loans being given to people who then can’t (or won’t) repay them .
Credit report requests by consumers are free and you have the right to request your own credit report at any time and check your credit rating. (See www.centralcreditregister.ie )
All lenders are now obliged to provide data to this Central Credit Register .
It is expected that the new Central Credit Register will eventually remove the need for the Irish Credit Bureau (see below for more on this). For the time being – both registers will operate side by side.
The Central Bank of Ireland is in charge of operating the Central Credit Register.
Data about loans made since June 2017 is stored on it and all lenders who give out loans of €500 or more are obliged to transfer information on these loans to the register .
Since Sept 30th 2018 all lenders considering loan applications of €2000 or more are obliged to enquire on the Central Credit Register for a borrowers credit report.
In addition, lenders may obtain credit reports if borrowers seek to restructure a loan, are in arrears on any loan repayments, or are seeking a loan under €2,000.
Initially the Central Credit Register only stored information on loans such as credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans and mortgages. Since 31st March 2018 – lenders had to start providing information on business loans, and loans from licenced moneylenders and local authorities.
Eventually – data on other types of lending, such as hire purchase agreements and personal contract plans, will also be included.
Getting Credit reports from the Central Credit Register (CCR)
The idea is that lenders will be able to access the information on the CCR to get a more detailed picture of a consumer’s credit history, which will help them to make better decisions about loan applications. (Hopefully avoiding lending to people who might not be able to repay the loan.)
Consumers will also be able to see what credit information lenders hold about them. Consumers have been able to request their own credit reports from the Central Credit Register since 26th March 2018 . Requests by consumers are free and you will have the right to request your own credit report at any time. ( See www.centralcreditregister.ie )
Only a consumer or a lender can request a credit report.
The Central Credit Register report will not:
• tell you if you can be approved for a loan;
• decide if a loan is approved or not – the lender makes that decision;
• include a score or grade.
Once you receive your credit report, it’s quite possible that you may spot an error . For example, you may have completed a direct debit form incorrectly and missed a loan repayment due date as a result, or your lender may have granted you a payment holiday on a loan but forgot to show this on their report.
Financial institutions must ensure that information they hold about you is correct and up to date. You have the right to insist that they correct any incorrect information about you
For many years it has been possible to check your credit rating or credit score with the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB) to see what information it holds. It used to cost €6 to do the check – but since early 2018 it is now FREE.
It is pretty easy to get a copy of your credit report. You can apply online at www.icb.ie .
You can also telephone all the ICB on (01) 2600388 to request an application by post .
The ICB is owned and financed by it’s members (banks and other financial institutions). Only ICB members provide data to the ICB register .
Your Credit Bureau Score (CBS) will sometimes be shown on your credit report. It will only appear if a lender has requested it as part of a credit check about you. Your Credit Score is based on your credit history at a point in time, and will depend on criteria such as how many late repayments you have had, the number of credit cards and bank accounts you hold and the number of applications for credit you have made in the last year. A high credit score is a positive one. A low credit score is negative.
It is expected that the new CentralCreditRegister.ie will eventually remove the need for the Irish Credit Bureau. For the time being – both registers still operate side by side.