Saturday 23 February 2019

Explainer: Everything you need to know about the Central Credit Register and what it means for your loan applications

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

A new official database outlining loans taken out by every person is set go live by the end of March.

What will the database contain?

It will detail all debts above €500 taken out, such as credit card debts, overdrafts, mortgages and unsettled loans.

But the new central credit register, which is overseen by the Central Bank, will only be accessible with your written consent.

Information on the register will be used to determine the credit rating of people seeking loans.

Initially, details of car loans and hire purchase agreements and moneylender loans will be excluded, but these will be added at a later stage.

Banks had until the end of last year to supply the Central Bank with credit details on millions of customers.

The new register comes in despite the existence of the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB), which is a credit ratings agency.

The main difference is that the new central credit register has been established under the Credit Reporting Act 2013 and lenders are obliged to comply in making borrowers information available.

Who is overseeing the register?

The creation of the central credit register was recommended by the International Monetary Fund after it bailed out the State. It was concerned that lenders were unaware of different loans given to developers, in particular, during the boom as not all loans were registered with the ICB.

Why is a new register being introduced?

The new central credit register is intended to help lenders, consumers and the Central Bank in its role of safeguarding stability and protecting consumers.

The new register does not rate a borrower’s performance. Instead, it lists their loans along with details of missed payments.

Once this register is fully up and running the information will be available to over 500 lenders and firms that have acquired loan books from Irish Banks.

Individual borrowers will be able to request their credit report at any time free of charge.

A Central Bank spokeswoman said: “We need to review the quality of the data before confirming but we are on course to introduce it by the end of the first quarter of 2018.”

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