Credit reference bureaus (CRB) are firms that collect credit information from numerous sources and provide debt information to lenders and individual customers for various uses. And like in other countries, most CRB services are available online meaning you can easily check your credit status even from your laptop. Indeed, you only need to have the relevant CRB contacts (mostly a CRB website) and some cash in your MPESA (where applicable) to obtain your credit data.
This article is all about CRB operations in Kenya. I will give you the CRB contacts of the three main CRBs in the country then answer most of your questions regarding credit reference bureaus.
Transunion CRB (Transunion Nipashe Contacts)
Physical location: Delta Corner Annex, Westlands Ln/ Ring Rd, Nairobi
Landline Hotline: 020 7603700 /020 3751799 or 020 3751360/2/4/5
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Website: http://www.crbafrica.com/
Physical Location: KCB Towers, Kenya Rd, 15th Floor, Nairobi
Landline Hotline: 020 2689881 or 020 27113575
Mobile Hotline: 0727 413 733 or 0732 774666
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Official Website: https://www.metropol.co.ke/
Physical address: Park Suites, Second Floor, Parklands rd., Office 12
How Do CRBs Work?
A CRB maintains a database of borrowers’ credit history. Such data comes from commercial banks, SACCOs, Loan Apps, Microfinances, and other financial institutions and helps lenders to assess a borrowers’ default risk and loan repayment ability.
CRBs receive this in-depth credit information of lender’s clients every month.
And since they were first legalized in 2011, Kenya’s many money lenders have resorted to first checking if one is blacklisted on a CRB before issuing loans.
Of course this has made CRBs such as Metropol CRB quite unpopular among notorious defaulters.
What Other Services Do CRBs Provide?
In addition to maintaining a set of positive and negative borrowing information, CRBs deliver a number of other credit-related services. Here is a brief explanation of other beneficial services:
1. A credit report
A credit report is simply a report showing detailed information about one’s credit history and is generated by a CRB based on the data passed to it by diverse lenders.
The report includes one’s Identification details such as name and ID, employment history, credit performance (e.g. non-performing account and performing loan accounts), and bounced cheques.
It’s your right to get a free Credit report once every calendar year (upon request) and 30 days from the date you were barred from accessing a loan because of a CRB listing.
You can dial *433# then follow the instructions to check your latest CRB credit report.
2. Certificate Of Clearance (COC)
If you have had a negative historical listing, lenders usually ask for a COC (certificate of clearance) from a CRB.
This is primarily a document that verifies that you currently don’t have a non- performing account.
Besides being requested by other lenders after being blacklisted, a COC is also sometimes a requirement when applying for employment.
Because CRBs receive daily updates, the certificate is only valid for one day- that is on the date its issued.
A COC is also a costly affair as you have to pay kshs. 2200 to the concerned CRB.
Obviously, you won’t get a COC if you have a loan that you are not paying (non-performing account).
How long does it take to be cleared by CRB?
Your name is removed from the CRB you have been listed in within two working days of your creditor updating your record (that you have paid everything).
The bureau relies on the “daily updates” as furnished by lenders.
You do need to follow up with a CRB for your credit profile to be updated. They’re bound by law to update your status within at least 48 hours.
How long does Negative Credit Information Remain On Your Credit Profile?
The bureaus are required to hold non-performing loans information for 5 years so it may be that long before you get a loan- unless you sweet-talk your lender.
Does a negative Listing Mean That You Will Never Get A Loan?
The work of CRBs is not to deny you credit. Instead, they share your information with lenders while the lenders use this data to make credit decisions.
For sure, a listing doesn’t imply that you will never get loans and if your financier quotes a listing as the reason of refusing to lend to you, try to discuss with them if you have already cleared with the CRB.
Some do consider individual cases and give credit.
Can You be delisted before The 5 years?
Yes, but only if the listing has been erroneous.
Lest,if you have a non-performing loan, the CRB will retain the default record for not less than 5 years from your clearance.
How do you know if you are a CRB (How do you check if you are on CRB)?
There are several ways of checking if you are on CRB .
- First, from your phone (Safaricom line- ensure you have enough credit), dial *433# then follow the instructions (Metropol).
- Visit metropol website and Login to view your status.
- Visit Google Playstore on your phone and download the Metropol Crystobol app. You will be able to Login after it installs and check your CRB
The methods used by the other CRBs (Transunion and Creditinfo) may be slightly different as discussed in this article.
How do I clear my CRB status (How To Get Out Of CRB After Defaulting)
Here is the procedure to follow if you had defaulted by have made the decision to clear your name from the CRB:,
- Get your updated credit report from any CRB so as to know who has listed you plus what you owe.
- Talk to the institutions that have blacklisted you and agree on how to pay pending loans.
- As soon as you start repaying, the listing lenders should update your status with CRB.
- Now obtain a clearance certificate- it’s available so long as they have updated.
- Present this to your financial institution to get a new loan.
How do I pay my CRB via mpesa?
Again this method covers how to pay for clearance certificate via Metropol CRB:
- Go to MPESA.
- Lipa na MPESA.
- Enter 220388 as the business number.
- For the account number, type your ID number.
- Enter 2,200 as the amount.
- Type your MPESA Pin then send.
There goes our guide on CRB services in Kenya. You now have the various CRB contacts and answers to plenty of your questions.
As I finish, I would advise you to avoid defaulting on any loan facility regardless of how little the amount is.
Sure, I know it’s easier said than done but it’s the only way to have peace of mind and not worry about CRB issues.
Otherwise ,a listing is tragic because it creates a blot in your financial track record and could lead to lenders avoiding you like plague.
Please drop your other questions in the comments section.