UWI Mona to provide credit bureaus with data on all students
The University of the West Indies (UWI) will be providing information to Jamaica's two credit bureaus on persons pursuing academic studies at the Mona campus.
Monthly reports covering all students, whether part-time or full-time, will be provided to CreditInfoand CRIF NM Credit Assure Limited, UWI Mona said. The reports began January 31.
Asked whether credit reporting was being adopted as a strategy to get students who already owe the campus to pay their tuition, hall fees and other bills on time, UWI Mona said credit terms and rules were already in place regarding deadlines for those payments.
"Hence, this strategy will not make a current student pay on time. If they are past due, then they are already late," the university noted.
It said information on staff members will be provided to the credit bureaus only to the extent that they are also registered students of the Mona campus.
As to what redress will be available to students in the event of errors on the part of the UWI, the university said credit reporting law allows customers the right to ask for corrections to the reports, but noted that students would "need to provide the campus with proof that the information residing at the credit bureau about that customer's relationship with Mona is incorrect".
On-campus enrolment at Mona totalled 16,045, and 17,200 off-campus, for academic year 2014-15, according to data compiled by the University Office of Planning and Development for last year's annual business meeting of the University Council.
The Credit Reporting Act provides that if there is a dispute over the accuracy or completeness of a credit report, the consumer may complain in person or in writing to the credit bureau. If the consumer is dissatisfied with the outcome, their next option is to make a complaint in writing to the Bank of Jamaica, which is the supervising authority for the credit bureau system.
Under the Act, a customer is entitled to a clear and complete disclosure of all information pertaining to them that is in a credit bureau's possession, as well as the sources of the information gathered.
The consumer is also entitled, on request, to disclosure of the name and address of every person to whom such information has been disclosed by the credit bureau during the six-month period preceding the request.