The ICB or Irish Credit Bureau is the largest credit-referencing agency in the country of Ireland. It is not a state body, but is instead financed and owned by its members,
which are chiefly financial institutions. The bureau is an electronic database or library that contains information on the performance of credit agreements between borrowers (i.e., the citizen)and
financial institutions (i.e., building societies and banks). A credit agreement can include a mortgage, automobile and personal loans, leasing and hire purchase agreements. Credit card details are
included in the Irish Credit Bureau library. Overdraft agreements, with the exception of overdraft agreements that are the subject of legal proceedings, are not monitored by the Irish Credit
Thirty-eight lending institutions register knowledge and information with the Irish Credit Bureau, usually on a every month basis. Each time you apply for credit from of these lenders, the lender accesses your credit file to find out about your performance under earlier credit agreements with other lenders. All loans are registered with the Irish Credit Bureau, including instances where you may have missed payments historically in the past. If, however, you have come to an agreement together with your lender to postpone payment of a earlier loan, this won't affect your credit standing. Usually, the citizen's payment profile history over a 24-month repayment period is recorded. Knowledge on citizens is held for years.
The Irish Credit Bureau does not score citizens on the basis of their credit history. It basically records knowledge and passes this knowledge to lenders who make their own credit assessment based on the details available on the files.
In 2004, the Board of the Irish Credit Bureau agreed requests to give all credit unions in Ireland the choice of becoming members of the ICB. This means that credit unions will, in time, be able to supply knowledge regarding loans and repayments to the Irish Credit Bureau. Credit union customers' consent will be necessary before knowledge can be passed on. There is no fixed date for when the passing of knowledge from credit unions to the ICB will start.
From July 2004, credit card companies have the choice of supplying more information on credit card repayments to the Irish Credit Bureau. Historically, information was chiefly supplied by the lenders only where credit cards were revoked or canceled. Now lenders have the choice of supplying full information regarding opening and closing balances to the ICB. Your card repayment performance will be measured by the Irish Credit Bureau on a every month basis but due to the nature of credit cards, you will also get an additional thirty days before negative information about your record is recorded.
Members of the ICB send information in relation to the loans they have given to their customers to the Bureau. Therefore, information about a loan will be kept on the Irish Credit Bureau database for the full term of the loan whether this is a three year personal loan or a thirty year mortgage. The ICB Member records the customer's performance on the repayments and this information is then sent to the Irish Credit Bureau where it is also recorded.
When the loan is done or when it reaches a "frozen" state, e.g., when it is Written Off, this means that the five year retention term "clock" starts ticking. In other words, irrespective of what the customers performance on the loan was like, when the loan is "terminated in its current state - it will then stay on the Irish Credit Bureau Database for five years from that date.
The Irish Credit Bureau forms your credit record using the information it gets from your lenders. It holds: your name, date of birth and address; names of lenders and account numbers of any loans you have had within the last five years; all repayments made or missed for each month on each loan; evidence of failing to clear off any loan or credit card; evidence of loans that were settled for less than you owed; and a record of legal actions your lender took against you.
What type of loans do lenders report on?
Mortgages, automobile loans, personal loans, hire-purchase and leasing agreements. Lenders will also document on unpaid overdrafts and credit card debt.
How long is my credit history recorded for?
All records stay on the Irish Credit Bureau database for five years once the account has been done. This is the situation irrespective of whether you repaid the debt or you failed to complete payments.
Can I get past bad credit details removed from my credit record?
You may, but only if these details are incorrect and you are seeking to change them. All banks and financial institutions in Ireland are obliged to provide an honest and truthful record of your credit agreements and transactions. If an honest and truthful record includes details of bad debts or failures to repay, then these are included on your record. You ought to be aware that when you initially apply for a loan of any kind in Ireland, it is necessary to sign a consent form which fundamentally states that you are aware that a history of your repayments on this loan will be kept and will form part of your credit history.
However, the details of your credit record with any bank or financial institution are between that institution and you. If your credit record was bad a long time ago but has now been rectified, you may be able to have this knowledge removed from your record. However, this is only if the financial institution or bank agrees to this - they are not obliged to by law, or is necessary to do so as part of their own policy owner. Check with the financial institution(s) involved. Some financial institutions may operate discretionary powers and if for example, the debts were incurred due to extreme hardship or exceptional circumstances, they may be willing to assist you. Keep in mind however, they are not obliged to do this by law.
Adding a personal declaration to your credit record
It is possible to add a personal declaration or statement to your own credit file record to clarify your credit history. For example, if you have incurred significant costs (such as following the breakdown of a relationship, a bereavement, an illness, accident, etc.) you may add details to this effect to on your credit record.
The text of the note must be less than two hundred words and must be relevant to matters contained in the record and must not be false, vexatious or denigrator.
This personal statement will then be attached to your report file by the ICB as a response and can be viewed when you access your credit information. Remember to bear in mind that a lender is not obliged to take your statement into account in reviewing or checking your credit history when you are being assessed for a loan.
Members of the ICB
Members of the ICB are:
AIB Finance and Leasing
AIB Credit Cards
Anglo Irish Bank Corporation
Bank of Ireland Bank
Bank of Ireland Finance
Bank of Ireland Credit Cards
Bank of Scotland (Ireland)
BNP Capital Finance
Bord Gais Finance
Caterpillar Financial Services
EBS Building Society
Fiat Auto Financial Services
Ford Credit Europe
Friends First Finance
GE Capital Woodchester Bank
ICS Building Society
Irish Nationwide Building Society
Lucan District Credit Union Ltd.
Lombard and Ulster Banking
MBNA Europe Bank
National Credit Finance
National Irish Bank
Open + Direct
Permanent TSB Finance
Roscrea Credit Union Ltd.
Tesco Personal Finance
Tipperary Credit Union Ltd.
Tullamore Credit Union Ltd.
Ulster Bank Credit Cards
Waterford Credit Union Ltd.
Waterford (St. Dominics) Credit Union Ltd.
Although all information has been written in good faith and reviewed, please email us at [email protected] to report any inaccuracies.