The Scope of the Central Credit Register

Every month lenders submit personal and credit information on loans over €500 to the Central Credit Register. The Central Credit Register matches this information to create credit reports for lenders and borrowers. The onus is on lenders at all times to ensure that the information reported to the Central Credit Register is accurate, complete, up-to-date and correctly reflects arrangements agreed with you. A full list of lenders is available on our publications page.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, lenders announced the immediate availability of payment breaks to provide breathing space to borrowers. When lenders have agreed those payment breaks with you, they should not report additional missed payments or payments past due in the “Number of payments past due” column on the credit report, or report the loan as being restructured during the payment break. See a sample credit report.

You are encouraged to contact your lender prior to the expiry of the payment break to review your financial circumstances.

The Central Credit Register does not produce a credit score or a credit rating; it simply records the information that is submitted by lenders. It is factual, impartial information. You may also wish to check with your lender to see if they submit information on loans to any private credit bureaux, which may produce credit ratings or credit scores. Please note that only the Central Credit Register is within the remit of the Central Bank and private credit bureaux are not.

 

In the normal course of events, if regular principal and interest payments were being made, the amount recorded in the “Outstanding Balance” column reported to the Central Credit Register would decrease each month. See sample credit report.

If, for example, as part of the payment breaks that were offered at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lender had agreed a payment break with no payments at all for a period of three months, starting April 2020, then:

  • The lender will not report any “Number of payments past due” to the Central Credit Register for April, May and June 2020;
  • The lender will not report a “restructure” event to the Central Credit Register for April, May and June 2020;
  • As no payments are being made during the payment break period, the “Outstanding Balance” recorded will not decrease for April, May and June 2020.

A lender viewing a credit report will see the most recent 24 months of credit history in relation to each loan contained on the credit report. This will include the “Outstanding Balance” column.

While there is no payment break flag or data field contained in the credit report, it would be possible to infer from this information the period for which a payment break was likely in operation as the outstanding balance will not decrease.

The Central Credit Register does not produce a credit score or a credit rating; it simply records the information that is submitted by lenders. It is factual, impartial information. You may also wish to check with your lender to see if they submit information on loans to any private credit bureaux, which may produce credit ratings or credit scores. Please note that only the Central Credit Register is within the remit of the Central Bank and private credit bureaux are not.

You should engage with your lender before the payment break is over.

Your lender will consider the options on an individual case-by-case basis, taking into account your individual circumstances. The Central Bank expects lenders to make clear to you what the implications of any of the options will be for your credit report in the Central Credit Register.

If following assessment, your lender identifies that there is financial distress (e.g. your loan is currently in arrears or may be likely to go into arrears) and a restructure is agreed with you on this basis, then such a restructure is reported to the Central Credit Register. A restructure may be temporary in nature (such as a period of interest only, or reduced payments for a period of time) or more permanent in nature and spread out over the remainder of the term of your loan. A sample credit report is available here.

There are extensive supports and protections in place for borrowers experiencing repayment difficulties. These include the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, the Consumer Protection Code, and Regulations for firms lending to SMEs. Further information, advice, and guidance for borrowers is available on our dedicated COVID-19 Hub.

The first step is to submit a request online. The next step is to upload documentation through our website. We cannot accept any applications by post or in person until further notice.

We will not send a confirmation email to you once we receive your documentation, but will contact you if any documentation is missing or illegible. We cannot accept documentation from external drive sites (e.g. Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox). If you are unable to upload these documents through our website, please contact us by email with documentation attached in PDF or JPEG format.

Once we receive all documentation from you, your request enters a queuing system to be processed by the Central Credit Register. We endeavour to provide a credit report to you as soon as possible.

Correspondence from the Central Credit Register will be sent by email. We will send information to you in PDF format attached to an email. If you have submitted a request, please check your spam or junk folder regularly as some email providers may automatically move the email there. We are unable to send information to you by post until further notice.

To complete your application online, you can now upload

1. your ID documents;

2. the unsigned application form  which will already have been emailed to you; and 

3. a separate photograph of your signature. 

For the photograph of your signature to be acceptable, you must:

1. Obtain a plain sheet of paper;

2. Write the reference number contained on your application form on the top of this page;

3. Sign this page with your usual signature in black or blue ink.  The signature must match the signature supplied with your ID documents;

4. Write the date under your signature;

5. Take a clear photograph of the page, and upload (in PDF or JPEG format) with the rest of your ID documents, including your unsigned application form.

Please ensure that you have read the data protection information on the application form before you upload.

Under the Credit Reporting Act 2013 (the Act), lenders are obliged to report personal and credit information to the Central Credit Register for loan applications and loans that are in scope.  If a bankruptcy process did not result in loan(s) being written off by a lender, then it may be correct for the lender to continue to report the loan(s) as an active loan to the Central Credit Register.  

So, while it may not be possible for the lender to pursue you for repayment of a loan following your discharge from bankruptcy, lenders may still be obliged to submit information to the Central Credit Register for that loan.

You may wish to take separate legal advice on this matter or refer to the Irish Insolvency Service for further information at www.isi.gov.ie.

If you wish to request your credit report or place an Explanatory Statement on your credit report in connection with the matter, you can do this here.

Under the Credit Reporting Act 2013, lenders are obliged to submit credit and personal information on loans of €500 or more where the loan is still active. In other words, where payments are being made, or expected to be made, by the lender.

Credit information includes positive credit information, for example that a payment has been made; and negative credit information, for example that a payment has not been made.  This information is submitted by your lender in order to build your credit history and create your credit report.

In addition, they are obliged to report the credit status of each loan. The credit status will indicate for example, if there has been any legal action taken, an overdraft cancelled, or a credit card revoked. It will also indicate if there has been a settlement or write-off of a debt. Finally it will also record if there has been a repossession or voluntary surrender of an asset. If none of the above apply, this is marked ‘n/a’.

While it may be possible that a lender is statute barred from pursuing a borrower for repayment of a loan, the passage of time does not erase the actual debt, and the loan may still be reported to the Central Credit Register.

From time to time, Credit Information Providers may sell off loans to other lenders. This means that a loan will then be reported by a new Credit Information Provider. This will result in a change of name from the original Credit Information Provider to the new Credit Information Provider on your credit report.

In addition, institutions may merge or be taken over, and this also will result in a change of name from the Credit Information Provider to the new Credit Information Provider.

In both examples, the new Credit Information Provider is obliged to report information to the Central Credit Register, including their name.

Section 3.11 of the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code, sets out the conditions under which such transfers should be notified to consumers.

See the full list of Credit Information Providers who submit information to the Central Credit Register.

A credit report is created only from the information that is submitted by each Credit Information Provider. The Central Credit Register does not have access to any supporting documentation relating to any loan, such as loan application forms or terms and conditions. If you require more information regarding the transfer of your loan, you should refer directly to the Credit Information Provider named on your credit report.

Read more information on your rights.

The Central Bank is responsible for the operation of the Central Credit Register under the Credit Reporting Act 2013. Under the Act lenders are required to submit personal and credit information to the Central Credit Register every month.

In order to produce full and accurate credit reports, the Central Bank expects that all lenders comply with their reporting obligations under the Act. This includes having in place robust policies and procedures to ensure all data submitted to the Central Credit Register is accurate, complete and up to date.  

Lenders may however find that information which was not accurate, complete or up to date was reported to the Central Credit Register in error. If this happens, the Central Bank requires that we are notified of the error and further expects that such errors are corrected as a matter of priority by the lender.

Lenders may under data protection provisions also be required to write to you explaining what has happened and what action they have taken to correct the errors. This may also require a report being made to the Data Protection Commission by the lender and Consumer Protection at the Central Bank.

You can get a copy of your credit report free of charge (subject to fair usage).

You can get further information on your rights and if you have any queries relating to the processing of your personal data, please see our data protection page, or visit www.dataprotection.ie. You can also submit a complaint directly to the Data Protection Commission at www.dataprotection.ie.

Borrowers include consumers, individuals, sole traders, companies and any other entities that are resident in the State at the time of making the credit application, or where the credit agreement is governed by Irish law.

In time, it will also include guarantors who provide guarantees or indemnities in respect of credit agreements.

  • Asset finance houses
  • Banks
  • Credit Unions
  • Firms that have acquired loan books from Irish financial institutions in recent years
  • Licensed moneylenders
  • Local authorities
  • NAMA

 

From 30 June 2017  From 31 March 2018 From 30 June 2019
 Credit cards Business loans Hire purchase
Mortgages Local authority loans PCPs
Overdrafts Licensed moneylenders Asset finance
Personal loans    

 

All mortgages are to be reported to the Central Credit Register. If you have a tracker mortgage and are not impacted by the Tracker Mortgage Examination (TME) your tracker mortgage is already being reported to the Central Credit Register. If you are impacted however, your mortgage will not be reported to the Central Credit Register until your lender has issued an offer of redress and compensation. Your lender will have a period of time after this point to submit corrected details to the Central Credit Register. For further information on the Tracker Mortgage Examination, see https://www.centralbank.ie/consumer-hub/tracker-mortgage-examination

The Government gave a commitment as part of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland to develop a legal framework that would facilitate the collection and centralisation of financial information on borrowers. 

The Credit Reporting Act 2013 was framed from the recommendations of the Report of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Credit Histories, which recommended the establishment of a Central Credit Register to resolve weaknesses identified in various reports published subsequent to the banking crisis.

The Central Credit Register is a national database that, on request provides:

  • a borrower with an individual credit report detailing their credit agreements;
  • a lender with comprehensive information to help with credit assessments; and
  • the Central Bank with better insights into national trends in the provision of credit.

The Central Credit Register also supports the Central Bank’s obligations and functions, including consumer protection, supervising the financial sector and ensuring financial stability.

Yes, credit registers have been functioning worldwide for many years. In the EU most countries have credit registers.

In Ireland, the Credit Reporting Act 2013 provides that the Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for the establishment and operation of the national, mandatory credit reporting system called the Central Credit Register.

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