Checking credit scores or ratings seems to be a big thing in the UK – with several firms regularly advertising apps offering to check your credit score for free. Some of the UK companies include Experian , Equifax, Credit Karma and ClearScore.
There used to be two possible ways to check your credit rating in Ireland – however since November 2021 there is now only one credit checking agency – the Central Credit Register.
Central Credit Register.
The Central Credit Register. (CCR) was set up in Ireland in 2017 and the Central Bank of Ireland is in charge of its operation.
It was set up to help prevent loans or credit facilities from being given to people who might not be able to repay them.
If someone ever missed any repayments on a loan, didn’t clear a loan or credit card debt, or settled a loan for less than what was owed, it will show up on their credit history for five years after the loan is closed. This could result in that person being refused another loan.
Credit report requests
Credit Reports on the Irish Central Credit Register can be requested by consumers for free . You have the right to request your own credit report for free at any time and check your credit information . (See – www.centralcreditregister.ie ). The CCR will not give you a credit score as a figure – they just tell you the information they hold on you.
Your credit report gives a full picture of your credit history, good and/or bad. A bad credit report may mean that you could be refused a loan, even if you have the income to repay it.
Each month personal information is submitted by lendesr to the Central Credit Register. This is to ensure that all your loans that you may have with different lenders are correctly matched on the Central Credit Register.
Credit information includes positive credit information, for example, that a credit card payment has been made; and negative credit information, for example, that a payment has not been made.
If a lender requests your credit report, they will only see the most recent two years’ information on your credit report.
Data Held on the Central Credit Register
All lenders are now obliged to provide data to the Central Credit Register.
Data about all loans and credit cards since June 2017 is stored on the Central Credit Register and all lenders who give out loans of €500 or more are obliged to transfer information on these loans to the register.
All lenders considering loan applications , PCP or hire purchases of €2000 or more are obliged to enquire on the Central Credit Register for a borrower’s 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.
The Central Credit Register stores information on debts such as credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans and mortgages , business loans, and loans from licenced moneylenders and local authorities.
Getting Your Credit Report from the Central Credit Register (CCR)
Consumers are 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 credit report will show – for each loan in the past 5 years
- Type of loan (credit card, mortgage, overdraft)
- Name of the lender
- Amount of the loan
- Outstanding balance
- Number of overdue payments, if any
- Date of next payment
- Amount of next payment
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 credit score or grade.
Errors on Your Credit Report
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 the 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
Irish Credit Bureau
The Irish Credit Bureau stopped operations in Autumn 2021.
Prior to 2017 – the (ICB) was the main credit reference agency for individuals in Ireland.
It used to cost €6 to do your own credit check – then in early 2018 it became free
The ICB was owned and financed by its members (banks and other financial institutions). Only ICB members provide data to the ICB register.
As expected , the new CentralCreditRegister.ie has removed any need for the Irish Credit Bureau and it closed down in late 2021.
Credit Scores in Ireland
Your Credit Score was sometimes shown on the old ICB credit report. It only appeared if a lender had requested it as part of a credit check about you.
The Central Credit Register does not provide credit scores – just the facts and figures about your finances.
A 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.
What is a Good Credit Score in Ireland?
Credit Scores are not currently Issued in Ireland.
A good credit score in Ireland is a high one. The highest credit score you could get in Ireland was 581, this meant that you are one of the lowest risks to lenders and you were highly likely to repay on time.
The lowest credit score you could get is 224. This is a bad credit score and meant that you were a high risk to creditors and you were highly likely to not repay credit on time.
Credit Scores in the UK
In the UK there are three credit scoring agencies and each agency scores differently. A credit score is simply a view from one agency. Lenders use their own scoring systems.
- Experian uses a 0-999 point scale (best score 961-999)
- Equifax issues a score within the range of 0-1000 (466-700 is ideal)
- Transunion provides a score of 0 to 710 – with anything over about 600 classed as “excellent” credit.