Credit Bureau Singapore launches enhanced consumer credit report

Consumers will be able to better manage their total indebtedness with the launch of enhanced reports by Credit Bureau Singapore. -- PHOTO: BT
Consumers will be able to better manage their total indebtedness with the launch of enhanced reports by Credit Bureau Singapore. -- PHOTO: BT

Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) announced on Thursday the launch of enhanced reports that will enable consumers to better manage their total indebtedness and said more improvements are in store.

The new credit bureau reports will display consumers' aggregate credit limits and aggregate outstanding balances across financial institutions.

Aggregate credit limits are maximum amounts of credit that can be granted to the consumer while aggregate outstanding balances are amounts that are outstanding under credit cards or other credit facilities, including amounts from unbilled interest-free instalment payment plans.

CBS said the move is part of its efforts to provide more value-added data to consumers to allow them to be better informed of their credit situation.

This comes as the Monetary Authority of Singapore has strengthened the Credit Cards and Unsecured Credit Rules, which since June 2014 has required financial institutions to review borrowers' aggregate credit limits and outstanding balances in their credit bureau checks.

Explaining the rationale for providing consumers with the new data, CBS executive director Mr William Lim said: "With this information, consumers can make better borrowing decisions for future applications of credit facilities."

"It also helps other borrowers who are at risk of credit problems avoid running into deeper debt. Borrowers who are already over-geared can take steps to reduce their outstanding debt as well."

He added: "CBS is able to provide the new aggregate credit limits and outstanding balances due to the comprehensive reporting of credit limits and outstanding balances of all the credit facilities by our member financial institutions."

Mr Lim also revealed that further enhancements to the credit report are on the cards come the second quarter of 2015.

"From the second quarter of 2015, CBS' credit report will segregate unsecured outstanding balances between interest-bearing ones and noninterest bearing ones. This is to provide greater visibility to borrowers ahead of the new unsecured credit rules that require lenders to suspend granting credit to borrowers whose interest-bearing unsecured outstanding balances exceed their annual income for three consecutive months or more, from 1 June 2015," he said.

Consumers can go online via www.creditbureau.com.sg to get a copy of their enhanced credit report using their SingPass ID and password. The cost for each credit report remains at $6.42 (inclusive of GST).

Consumers can also obtain a copy of their credit report at the CBS office at SGX Centre 1, any Post Office islandwide, Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or Crimson Logic Service Bureaus.

CBS will also be organising a series of consumer education activities to help consumers understand the enhanced credit reports. From December 2014, mobile booths will be set up at various locations in Singapore to render assistance to consumers who wish to get a copy of their credit reports and comprehend the new data elements in the report.

Talks on "Understanding Your Credit Report" will also be held at the CBS office.