Personal credit history available to the public

  • 2009-08-26
  • By Ella Karapetyan
TALLINN - According to the head of  Krediidiinfo, Alar Jager, his company is offering a new service which will allow people to check, in the Credit Register, on the debts of other private persons.
According to Jager, there are two reasons why  the company is working out this new type of the service. One is the increased demand on getting detailed information on delayed payments, and the second reason is to find new cash-generating sources for the company.

In fact, before working out the new service, it was only possible to see the debts of companies on a public register; now, the new system allows individuals to check on the debts of other individuals as well.
The Estonian Credit Register was established by Estonian banks in 2001, and was administered by Krediidiinfo; it contains delayed payment information on companies and private individuals. The register was created with the aim of protecting companies from chronic debtors and to motivate people to improve their payment discipline.

The register reflects information about the date debts were incurred, and settled, the amount of the sum and its origin. Information about payment defaults comes from members of the payment defaults register, or from other creditors. Data regarding payment defaults is maintained, and remain visible in the database for as long as seven years from the date the debt was settled. Only debts meeting certain criteria are entered into the Credit Register.

An official payment default is a debt which is older than 45 days, starting from the day after the term of payment was due, or that's classified accruing interest and fines for delays in paying amounts over 500 kroons (32 euros).

In order to obtain information through Krediidiinfo's new service, named 'e-Seif,' one needs to prove that the information is necessary for the buyer, in terms of credit-making decisions.
"Before creating the new service  we weren't offering any service that could provide such a system of checking the debts of private persons. But now the debts of private people have increased so much that this kind of information is useful, or even necessary, for example, for making rental contracts and so on. This kind of information could also be useful for a consumer to choose the right company for ordering furniture, when you are asked for advance payment, or for booking tour tickets," says Jager.