This could be one of the most important website addresses you’ve ever encountered – www.centralcreditregister.ie. No immediate action is required but MMPI suggests you log the details somewhere very safe.
The Central Credit Register is a new centralised system for collecting personal data and credit information on consumer loans. The Government agreed to establish the register as part of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland. The Central Bank is in charge of operating the register and since 30 June 2017 the register has begun collecting and storing personal data and credit information from lenders on all consumer loans over €500. The register includes data on credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans and mortgages. Hire purchase agreements and personal contract plans will also be included over time.
The information collected is intended to inform the Central Bank in its conflicting roles of safeguarding financial stability and protecting consumers. Lenders will be able to use the information to get a more detailed picture of a consumer’s credit history, which will help them to make decisions about loan applications; while consumers will have the opportunity to see what credit information lenders hold about them. It is expected that consumers and lenders will be able to access the information in the form of a consumer credit report from early 2018.
Consumers will have the right to request their credit report at any time and the first report each year will be free of charge. It is intended that only a consumer or a lender can request a credit report and each will know when the other has viewed the data. The register will not seek to calculate a credit score for the credit reports. It will simply record personal data and loan/repayment details.
The register will allow consumers to have their personal information corrected for accuracy and completeness. Consumers will also be allowed to insert a 200-word explanation concerning the credit report. The register will provide lenders with consumer credit histories and repayment behaviours; and the Central Bank will be in a position track national trends in the provision of credit.
The Credit Reporting Act, 2013 obliges all lenders to submit personal data and credit information directly to the register. The type of personal data stored will include the consumer’s name, address, date of birth, phone number(s), gender, PPSN and loan details including missed repayments. Employers, landlords, or any other persons or entities will not have access to consumer credit reports unless the consumer grants them written consent. The information will be retained for five years after loans are paid off.
This is an important development and one that needs the utmost vigilance. MMPI believes that it is imperative for all retail consumers to insist on securing a copy of their credit report at least annually. Consumers should scrutinise the data with as much care and attention as they would a Revenue tax statement or other important documents. Inaccurate information could result in calamitous outcomes for consumers at some future date.