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Credit Card

Bad credit due to adverse CTOS & CCRIS scores? Help’s here! 


So, you need to buy something online, or you’re looking to go cashless. You want to apply for a credit card. You make your application… and then it gets rejected, because, the bank says, you have CCRIS or CTOS problems. Or, you already know that your CCRIS and/or CTOS reports will reflect badly on you. What now?

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Stop. No need to panic. You’re not necessarily on some bad credit watchlist. There are ways and means you can ‘repair’ your credit rating, and in the meantime, there are also some alternatives to pursue in case you still can’t get that credit card (or you need the facilities it provides in a hurry).

Firstly, understand that CCRIS and CTOS reports are reports. They are not blacklists. Everyone who has ever applied for a credit card (or owns a credit card), not to mention other types of loans, has a CCRIS report. Same goes for CTOS – if you have ever requested for your own CTOS report, they will happily generate one for you, even if it’s completely clean. In that sense, both are like report cards in school – everyone gets one, and the report card isn’t good or bad, it’s the scores that tell the story of whether a person has a bad credit history or not.

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CCRIS stands for Central Credit Reference Information System, and it is provided by Bank Negara Malaysia. You can ask for your own CCRIS report once every 3 months (just go to Bank Negara’s offices nationwide; they even have kiosks). It reports quite a fair amount of information, but of importance is whether or not you are in arrears with regards to your repayments, how much you’re using of your total available credit (your gearing), how many applications for credit you have currently (all types of credit, not just credit cards, from all financial institutions), and more importantly, whether any of these accounts have been written off as non-performing. It is this last bit that lets banks estimate whether you’re a bad credit risk.

Meanwhile, CTOS is shorthand for the report generated by CTOS Data Systems Sdn. Bhd., a licensed credit reporting agency that searches through publically-available information such as outstanding legal cases and notices of bankruptcy, in order to provide financial institutions a more detailed picture of your credit worthiness. There are other credit reporting agencies that do the same sort of thing; CTOS is merely one of the more well-known ones.

Again, neither CCRIS nor CTOS makes any analysis or recommendations concerning the strictly factual details in the report. As a result, not every bank, lender or financial institution will come to the same conclusions from the reports. What may seem like a bad credit risk to one bank may be quite acceptable to another. So it’s always worthwhile to try other credit card issuers out after you have taken some steps to repair your credit.

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Start by paying off your debts. As you clear each debt, the banks will mark the account as ‘closed’; by the 15th of the following month, this information will be updated. This is the fastest way to ‘fix’ your CCRIS report and make it more likely for your credit card application to go through. If there are any monthly payments in arrears, you’ll have to pay those off as well, but… the CCRIS report captures 12 months’ worth of payment history, so that’s how long it will take to clear the arrears from the report. Fixing your CTOS report is not as easy, although the steps are pretty much the same; namely, clear the underlying issue, whether it is bankruptcy proceedings or a legal case, getting the appropriate documentation and then report that to CTOS.

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In the meantime, aside from getting another line of credit, what options do you have, if you really need access to a Visa or MasterCard account? The simplest one is to get a debit card or a prepaid card. As those do not involve the bank lending you any money, you are practically guaranteed acceptance. Another alternative is to ask your parents (or your children, or your spouse) to get a supplementary card for your use.

When you have decided to get a credit card, go to GoBear Malaysia to compare on your selected cards.