A Credit Rating is a new tool developed by Citadele which gives anyone the opportunity to check their credit ability on the internet. This type of Credit Rating is normal practice around the world. The Association of Latvian Commercial Banks and the Consumer Rights Protection Centre believe that the new tool will improve citizens’ understanding about their credit ability and loan interest rates.
By introducing a Credit Rating and basing loan decisions on it, Citadele has stepped back from a universal interest rate for loans. In its place, people will be offered a fairer, individual offer whose interest rate is based on the specific person’s financial discipline.
“Credit Ratings are formed by evaluating and summing up several criteria by a special formula. Credit and bill payments are on time, income is regular and official, not too many loan obligations - these are the main criteria which are the basis of a good Credit Rating, thereby giving the opportunity to receive a loan with a lower interest rate. Credit Rating is also positively affected by age, for example, borrows over the age of 36 are in general noticeably more responsible than younger people. The main thing is that by recognising the most important criteria, a person can improve their Credit Rating and pay less. When calculating a credit rating, the bank strongly evaluates whether there have been any late payments in the records of recovery companies and the Bank of Latvia. If the debt was more than two years ago, the credit rating will be better than for a recent debtor and especially current debtors. With this new tool Citadele comes out in favour of openness and fairness - everyone has the right to find out how the bank rates their credit ability without special procedures or formalities” Citadele board member Santa Purgaile informs us.
At the press conference the President of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks Mārtiņš Bičevskis admitted that this new access will improve our citizens’ understanding of the criteria which forms everyone’s individual credit ability. “This new tool shows that making payments on time is closely linked with your own financial planning, which helps any household to spend more money on their planned purchases in the mid-term rather than on paying expensive interest rates. It will promote a more responsible attitude to payment discipline, resulting in a win-win situation for both the consumer and the bank,” emphasises Mārtiņš Bičevskis. He showed that since 2013 the personal loan portfolio in Latvian banks has stabilised to within the region of half a billion Euro, growing each year by several million Euro. The 2016 half year indicators show that the personal loan and credit card portfolio in the banks has reached 509,899 million Euro. “This shows that people are interested in personal loans. It is imperative that consumers are able to know their way around an offer from the bank in order to make the responsible and cost-effective choice,” says Mārtiņš Bičevskis.
The manager of the Consumer Rights Protection Centre (CRPC) Department of Consumer Information and Communication Sanita Gertmane admits that the number of complaints about a bank service has a tendency to decrease. The CRPC forsees that, with Citadele’s new Credit Rating tool which was created taking into account CRPC reccomendations, citizens’ understanding of financial services and their providers will continue to grow, but complaints will decrease. “Data on complaints shows that the regulation of the financial sector has improved. From our side we support attempts to increase people’s understanding of financial services. It is crucial that not only the borrower but also the lender has a responsible attitude to borrowing. The new credit rating tool promotes responsibility and also provides an educational function in general financial discipline, which the CRPC supports,” says Sanita Gertmane.
The study by research centre SKDS was presented at the press conference, which reveals what, according to the public, are fair criteria for banks to take into account when issuing personal loans, as well as giving an insight into the public’s financial discipline. For example, inhabitants of Latvia are disciplined in making credit and leasing payments, but are late on making other payments more often.
Your Credit Rating can be discovered on the internet, without registering, at www.manskreditreitings.lv