SINGAPORE - Did you know you can get a free credit report when you apply for a home loan, car loan, overdraft or just a credit card?
It seems not many people do.
So from April 1, individuals applying for credit facilities will be expressly told they can receive a free credit report - whether their application is approved or not - the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) announced on Monday (March 21).
Said ABS director Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon: "Currently, a consumer is eligible to receive a free credit report whenever he makes a credit application. However, not all consumers are aware of this. We are pleased to make this public with effect from April 1 by informing all consumers of it. The objective is to enable convenience and easy access for a consumer to review his credit report."
With their credit report in hand, consumers will be able to verify the accuracy and completeness of their credit information.
The free credit report applies to applications for credit cards, overdrafts, unsecured credit lines, renovation loans, education loans, home loans and car loans, said ABS.
To get consumers aware that they are entitled to a free credit report, banks and other financial institutions will be progressively including in their credit application forms and approval and rejection letters an advisory clause highlighting this fact, it said.
Consumers can obtain their free online credit report within 30 calendar days from the date of the letter of approval or rejection, via the designated credit bureau's website using their SingPass ID and password.
The credit bureaus will be alerted whenever a bank conducts a credit assessment check on an applicant.
In the event that the free credit report is not available online because the credit application was processed without the bank conducting a credit assessment check, consumers can bring their approval or rejection letters together with their NRIC personally to the credit bureau office to obtain a free credit report.
There are currently two credit bureaus that are recognised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore - Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) and DP Credit Bureau.
CBS said nine out of 10 credit applicants have never seen their credit report, and it hopes the initiative will empower more consumers to take charge of reviewing their credit data. Of the 870,766 consumers who applied for a new credit facility in 2015, 85 per cent have never seen their personal credit files, said CBS.
The free credit report service does not apply to credit applications submitted by companies, partnerships and sole-proprietorships, said ABS.