SLB sharing student loan info with credit bureau
Avia Collinder, Business Reporter
Credit bureau CRIF NM Credit Assure Limited says account information from the Students' Loan Bureau (SLB) has been added to its database, including the records of thousands of delinquents.
CRIF NM chief executive officer Terrence Cooper says concerns that data from the SLB is far from clean - that is, registering sums as outstanding that have already been settled - have been addressed.
"The recent system change necessitated a data-cleaning process which was engaged over an extended period, to ensure that the data transferred to the new system is accurate and reliable. The data for the credit bureau is being provided from the new Loans Management System."
SLB's data encompasses all borrowers with outstanding loan balances, going as far back as early 2000s. However, "as legislated by the Credit Reporting Act, the credit bureau can only report back as far as seven years," Cooper said.
For those who are in default on their SLB loans with that seven-year window, "the credit rating for delinquent customers will be impacted in a negative way, much like any other delinquent loans," he said.
Information provided by the SLB through CRIF NM is that approximately 30 per cent of the total portfolio is recorded as delinquent. The total value of these arrears is J$4.5 billion, spanning some 12,000 accounts.
In total, SLB currently has about 40,000 accounts valued at $16 billion.
The information-sharing agreement was signed last year, but Cooper said the system and data-cleaning process were major challenges, which delayed the process of incorporating the records into CRIF NM's databank.
"The accounts were also manually checked to ensure completeness and accuracy," he said.
The SLB will also be tapping credit reports from CRIF to guide approval of future loans.
The loan agency said in a release that it expects to realise improvements in its delinquency rates under the credit bureau partnership.
CFRIF NM started credit report distribution in October 2013. The company is a joint venture partnership of Neal & Massy Holdings Limited and CRIF, a global credit bureau company founded in 1988 with operations in parts of Europe and Asia, and now the Caribbean.