Understanding your credit history

April 6, 2021

If you’re thinking about applying for a mortgage or personal loan it’s worth getting a copy of your credit report so you can see what the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB) or Central Credit Register (CCR) have on file about your track record in repaying loans. When you apply for a loan or other types of credit, such as a credit card, the provider may check your credit history to help them decide if they will give you a loan.

What is my credit history?

Your credit history shows:

  • Your name, date of birth and address
  • Names of lenders and account numbers of any loans you currently have or that have been recently closed.
  • A history of all repayments made or missed for each month on each loan, including any loans or credit cards you did not pay off completely
  • Your Credit Bureau score (this only applies to the ICB)
  • A record of any legal action your lender took against you

If you missed repayments, didn’t clear a loan or credit card, or settled a loan for less than you owed, it will show up on your credit history for five years after the loan is closed. This could result in you being refused another loan.

Your credit report gives a full picture of your credit history, good and/or bad. A bad credit rating may mean that you will be refused a loan, even if you have the income to repay it.

Top Tip

If you availed of a COVID-19 mortgage payment break, this will appear on your credit report. However, this should not affect your credit rating.

For more information on COVID-19 payment breaks, see the Central Bank FAQ.

Irish Credit Bureau

Most lenders use a credit reference agency, the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB) to check your credit history and see your track record in repaying loans. The ICB builds your credit history using information it gets about your various loan agreements from your lenders.

What is your Credit Bureau score?

Your Credit Bureau score is calculated by the ICB based on your credit history, and may consider, for example, the number of late repayments you have made, the number of accounts you hold and the number of applications for credit you have made in the last 12 months. A high (positive) score does not guarantee that you will be given a loan. Your lender may look at the score along with other details, and then decide whether or not to approve your loan.

Central Credit Register

The CCR is run by the Central Bank of Ireland. Every month the CCR collects and stores personal and credit information from lenders, including licensed moneylenders and local authorities, about existing loans or new loans they give to consumers. Lenders who give out loans of €500 or more have to inform the Central Credit Register of these loans. Information on loans of less than €500 is not collected. Lenders must request a credit report when considering loans if the amount is for €2,000 or more.

You can request a copy of your own credit report from the Central Credit Register. It is free (subject to fair usage) and you can submit a request through the Central Bank of Ireland’s website.

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