The Central Credit Register is a new secure system for collecting personal and credit information on loans of €500 or more. It has been established by the Central Bank of Ireland under the Credit Reporting Act 2013.
The Central Credit Register is being implemented in phases. In the first phase, lenders commenced the submission of information on consumer loans (credit cards, mortgages, overdrafts and personal loans) and this will continue to be made monthly. This information has been incorporated into credit reports which are available on request at www.centralcreditregister.ie.
Phase 2 focuses on the submission of information on business loans including for example, commercial mortgages, business overdrafts and credit cards, revolving facilities and letters of credit.
The Central Bank is informing the business community that lenders who provide credit to companies, sole traders, partnerships, clubs and associations, etc., must submit personal and credit information on those loans to the Central Credit Register starting from 31 March 2018.
These lenders include
- Asset finance houses
- Credit Unions
- Firms that have acquired loan books from Irish financial institutions in recent years
- Licensed moneylenders
- Local authorities
Information is being submitted in respect of any credit in force as at 31 March 2018 and any new credit taken out after that date. Lenders have until 30 September 2018 to submit this information, all of which must be backdated to 31 March 2018.
The Central Bank owns the information held on the Central Credit Register and is a data controller under the Data Protection Acts. Information transferred by lenders to the Central Credit Register will be used to create individual credit reports.
Once data quality has been assured, credit reports will become available. Credit reports will show the amount borrowed, the name of the lender and the number of missed payments, if any. The actual amount of arrears is not reported.
Loans such as Hire Purchase and Personal Contract Plans (PCP) will be added in the future following a legislative amendment.
From 31 March 2019, business lenders will be obliged to seek a credit report when:
- a borrower has made an application for a new loan for €2,000 or more;
- a borrower has applied to have an existing loan restructured;
- there are arrears on an existing loan or there has been a breach of the limit of a credit card or overdraft.
The Central Credit Register does not:
- score or grade credit reports;
- decide if a loan is approved or not – the lender makes that decision.
In order to obtain a credit report, you will be required to provide certain identification documents. This is to ensure that your privacy is protected.
Borrowers have four key rights under the Credit Reporting Act:
Insert an explanatory statement on a credit report
The right to place an explanatory statement of 200 words or less, relating to any of the borrowers’ information held on the Central Credit Register, and this will be included on the credit report.
Apply to have information amended
The right to make an application to amend information held on the Central Credit Register about the borrower if the borrower believes it is inaccurate, incomplete or not up to date.
Report and be informed of suspected impersonation
The right to give notice to a lender or the Central Bank if the borrower reasonably believes they have been, are being, or may be about to be impersonated by any person.
Obtain a credit report
The right to request a credit report at any time. Credit reports will be provided free of charge (subject to fair usage as set out in the General Data Protection Directive) to individuals. Borrowers who are not individuals (for example companies) may request a credit report once a year free of charge. There will be a charge of €6.35 for any subsequent request within the year.
Your lender will provide more information about the transfer of data, and in the meantime, further information is available at centralcreditregister.ie.