I recently had a conversation with a senior journalist, who told me he is really disappointed after learning that he was listed on the Credit Reference Bureau as a loan defaulter.
He said he went to the CRB headquarters in Parklands, Nairobi, where he was informed that an outstanding Ksh700 bank loan he owed one of the lenders resulted in him being catalogued as debt-dodger.
He settled the Ksh700 loan balance, which had accrued to around Ksh2, 000 and got cleared. He owes his celebrity name a big thank you for the quick clearance!
After sharing his tale, it left me wondering whether I am also listed on that dreaded yoke.
“What if I am listed on CRB? How many people are recorded as debt defaulters yet they don’t know?”
In a bid to satisfy my curiosity, I embarked on a fact-finding mission: How do I know that I am listed on CRB? And, if my name features on that list, who submitted it there and over what amount of money?
Financial experts say: “There is nothing like a small debt”.
The law allows lenders to submit names of individuals with any Non-Performing Loans (NPL) to Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) for blacklisting.
“Negligence is not a thing here. Service your loans up to the final step,” advises Mwabaya Katana, a financial expert.
In Kenya, there are three licensed CRB companies. These include: TransUnion, Metropol and CreditInfo.
Before you can access your CRB status, you will need to register with one of the credit management companies or all of them, which is highly recommended.
“Sometimes a lender can send the same bad report about you to more than one CRB. This way, you will need to clear with all CRBs,” says Katana.
You can access CRB services from Metropol through Metropol website, metropol crystobol app or by dialling*433#.
If you have chosen to register with Metropol, then check out the following steps:
Register With Metropol
- You will Pay Ksh100 as registration fee through the Paybill Number 220388. Enter your ID number as the account number.
- You will get an SMS with your unique PIN details, a Reference Number and a special link to access Metropol CRB services
- After paying the registration fee, now you will be allowed to check your CRB status
- You can choose to dial *433# and enter PIN and you’ll get your listing status through an SMS.
- You can choose to use the Metropol Crystobol app. Log in and view you CRB status.
You can also visit Metropol website, log in and view your listing status.
You can also get to find out about your credit score from Metropol. After payment of the required fee, you will follow the same steps as checking your CRB status above. Pay all the fees the same way you paid for registration.
For credit score, you pay Ksh100. You are entitled to one free credit report in a year. Metropol gives a score between 200 and 900. Any score below 400 will mean you are a defaulter and a lender cannot give you loan facilities.
Any score above 400 will mean fair and lenders will give you loan facilities with a lot of caution. A good credit score is any score near 900 and lenders will give you cheap loans.
To get a credit report, you pay Ksh250.
“This is a detailed report on how you interact with financial institutions,” says Katana, a financial expert.
To know which lender had you listed on CRB, you pay Ksh50.
To get a clearance certificate from CRB after settling all your debts you pay Ksh2, 200.
On its website, Metropol says it is licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya to provide Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) Services to all banks in Kenya.
“Our CRB services leverage full-file credit information sharing and alternative data sources from MFIs, SACCOs, HELB, Utilities, Mobile phone companies and providers of goods and services on credit to help customers improve their access to finance and increase the credit providers’ capacity to lend profitably to more customers,” says Metropol.
TransUnion CRB services can be accessed via SMS number 21272, Transunion Nipashe app and through TransUnion website.
If you have chosen to register with TransUnion CRB, follow the steps below:
Register with TransUnion.
- Send your full names to 21272.
- Enter your ID number.
- Choose Credit Status (CC).
- Receive your CRB status. Good will that you are not blacklisted, while default will mean a negative status; you are blacklisted.
You are entitled to one free credit report (CR) annually.
However, if you have exhausted that one free opportunity, you will be required to pay Ksh650 to Paybill number 212121, and your account number should be your identity card number.
To get a clearance certificate, you will be required to pay Ksh2, 200 to Paybill number 212121 and enter your ID number as the account number.
You will, thereafter, need to register on TransUnion website using an email address.
After paying the Ksh2, 200 fee and successfully registering an email address, you are free to claim your certificate by sending your Mpesa message to cert[email protected]
CreditInfo entirely works on the information they receive through emails.
Their charges aren’t readily available online, though they shouldn’t be so adrift from the fees charged by Metropol and TransUnion.
After researching and putting the above to test, I got to find out about my credit information, and thank God, I am not listed on CRB!
Find out your status today!