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CONSUMERS who have applied for a new credit facility with any of Credit Bureau Singapore's (CBS) member banks or financial institutions can now receive a free copy of their credit report effective April 1.
As it stands now, nine out of 10 credit applicants have never seen their credit report, and Singapore's consumer credit bureau hopes the initiative will empower more consumers to take charge of reviewing their credit data.
In a statement issued on Monday, CBS said that in line with an industry initiative by The Association of Banks in Singapore, it was aiming to make it easier for individuals who have applied for credit facilities to review their credit files.
"The scheme dovetails with CBS's initiatives over the years to encourage consumers to know what their lenders know of them," said CBS executive director William Lim.
CBS's credit report is an indication of a consumer's financial health and is used by all lenders in Singapore to assess the risk involved in granting credit.
"With this initiative, we hope that more consumers will be motivated to monitor their credit file, and review the same credit data as their lenders," said Mr Lim.
On average, 11,000 consumers access their credit files with CBS monthly. Despite this, out of the 870,766 consumers who have applied for a new credit facility in 2015, 85 per cent have never seen their personal credit files.
CBS's statistics reveal that consumers aged 21-29 are the most credit hungry, making up 19 per cent of credit applicants in 2015. This is followed by the age groups of 30-34 (18 per cent), 35-39 (16 per cent) and 40-44 (14 per cent).
CBS's 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 records of default and bankruptcy (if any). 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.
Last year, CBS launched an enhanced credit report to help consumers to be more informed of their credit situation. The new report displays aggregate credit limits and aggregate outstanding balances across financial institutions. It also segregates unsecured outstanding balances between interest-bearing ones and non-interest bearing ones.
Under the new initiative, consumers can log on to CBS's website (www.creditbureau.com.sg) with their SingPass ID and password to obtain a free copy of their credit report 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.
Consumers may obtain their free credit report within 30 calendar days from the date of their credit approval or rejection letter.
CBS's credit report is the only one in Singapore with a full-industry upload by all card-issuing lenders and financial institutions in Singapore. CBS is an associate company of The Association of Banks in Singapore.