Having a bad credit history can affect your future ability to obtain loans, credit cards or mortgages. In Ireland most lenders send information about borrowers and their repayments to a central agency, the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB). The ICB holds information about borrowers and their loans for 5 years after any loan is closed. This information is held in an individual credit ‘report’ that is kept by the ICB about each borrower.
When you sign a mortgage or loan application you automatically give your lender permission to send information about your repayments to a credit reference agency such as ICB, and to seek information about your credit history. If your credit history is poor, the financial institution unlikely to give you a loan even if you have the income to repay it. There are some lenders that will lend money to people with poor credit rating – but you will probably pay a higher interest rate. Once you have built up a good repayment history – you should be able to switch loans to another lender.
A bad credit rating would result from missing repayments on loans or failing to clear off any loan or having legal action taken against you by a lender.
It is possible that there could be an error in your credit history – if there is you will need to ask your lender/ financial institution to write to the ICB with details of the change. You should ask for a copy of any letter that is sent .
If you experience problems or delays or if your lender fails to put things right for you, you can consider making a formal complaint and referring the matter to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.
Under Data Protection Acts, anyone is entitled to receive a full copy of any data, which is held in your respect on ICB’s Database.
You must complete an application form to enable ICB to process your request. There is a €6 euro fee.
You can contact the Irish Credit Bureau by phone (01) 2600388 and request an application form.