Borrowers urged to check credit record

BORROWERS have been urged to check their personal credit reports as “genuine mistakes” could prevent them being approved for a loan.

Records of people’s credit history is kept with The Irish Credit Bureau (ICB), which has a database of information on the performance of credit agreements between financial institutions and borrowers.

More than 80 lending institutions register information with the ICB, usually on a monthly basis and when a person applies for credit from one of these lenders, it accesses the credit report to find out about previous performances with other credit agreements. All loans are registered with the ICB, including instances where a person may have missed payments in the past.

Director of the Irish Mortgage Corporation, Frank Conway, said he would encourage anybody who may have a concern about their personal credit report to check with the ICB.

“For a small fee, anyone can check what is on their personal credit report. In some cases, there can be genuine mistakes so in those cases, it is important that consumers request a correction before they apply with a mortgage provider,” he said.

A bad credit report will be a barrier to mortgage approvals for more and more people as those suffering arrears on a wide range of debts will continue to grow and banks currently have no products that cater for those with bad records on their personal credit reports, Mr Conway said.

“So, as the jobs market begins to stabilise and consumers again return to buying homes, some will be left without borrowing options if they have a record of a delinquency on their personal credit file,” he added.

A personal credit report can be obtained by visiting Getting a report costs €6.

According to the Data Protection Commissioner last year his office saw an upturn in enquiries and complaints concerning financial affairs, liquidation, debt collection and credit related matters as a direct result of the current economic climate.

The Commissioner said any information that the ICB has is supplied by the banks.

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