9 out of 10 credit applicants in Singapore have never seen their credit report

Nine out of 10 people in Singapore applying for a new loan, credit line, overdraft or credit card have no idea what is in their credit report. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Nine out of 10 people in Singapore applying for a new loan, credit line, overdraft or credit card have no idea what is in their credit report.

Of the 870,766 applicants for a new credit facility in 2015, 85 per cent have never seen their personal credit files, Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) said.

According to its statistics, consumers aged 21-29 are the most credit hungry, making up 19 per cent of credit applicants in 2015. This is followed by those aged 30-34 (18 per cent), 35-39 (16 per cent) and 40-44 (14 per cent).

CBS disclosed the figures on Monday (March 21) when it welcomed the move by the Association of Banks in Singapore to let consumers know that they can get a free credit report when they apply for a credit facility like a home loan, car loan or even a credit card.

"The scheme dovetails with CBS' initiatives over the years to encourage consumers to know what their lenders know of them," said CBS executive director William Lim.

"As consumers below 35 years old make up more than a third of credit applicants, the initiative will empower young borrowers to take charge of their credit information and understand the benefits of building a good credit history for future credit applications," he added.

A credit report is an indication of an individual's financial health and is used by all lenders in Singapore to assess the risk involved in granting credit.

CBS is one of two credit bureaus recognised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The other is DP Credit Bureau.

CBS' credit report contains a record of an individual's payment history, including the last 12 cycles of repayment trend showing promptness of payments relative to their due dates, as well as any records of default and bankruptcy.

The report also holds a credit score, which measures the probability of the consumer defaulting based on his or her credit history, within the next 12 months.

To access their credit report, from April 1, consumers can log on to CBS' website (www.creditbureau.com.sg) with their SingPass ID and password to obtain a free copy within 30 days after their credit application has been approved or rejected.

They can also personally visit the CBS office at SGX Centre 1 to obtain their free credit report by bringing the notification letter issued by their lenders who are members of CBS to inform them of their credit application approval or rejection status, with their original ID documents. This also has to be done within 30 calendar days from the date of their credit approval or rejection letter.

Currently, an average of 11,000 consumers access CBS' credit reports monthly.

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