What is a credit information system?

Being included in one of these systems can greatly limit your ability to access financing.

A credit information system is a system that includes all the natural or legal persons who have defaulted on a loan. Accordingly, there are many ways to end up in one of these systems, and they can be quite damaging to those whose names appear in them, as this can substantially restrict access to any type of financing.

These systems are used in Spain as an informational tool by many companies (including financial entities) as a source of information about the payment history and status of their customers.

There are several credit information systems currently in operation. One of the most important is ASNEF, which is managed by ASNEF-EQUIFAX SERVICIOS DE INFORMACIÓN SOBRE SOLVENCIA Y CRÉDITO S.L.; another file system frequently consulted by companies is managed by the Registry of Unpaid Receivables (or RAI by its acronym in Spanish). Finally, another well-known system is BADEXCUG, which is managed by the company EXPERIAN BUREAU DE CREDITO, S.A.

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Requirements for inclusion in a credit information system

When we think about a credit information system, we might assume that it only reflects the names of major debtors or people who have been careless with their finances and now owe huge amounts of money to a long line of creditors. This is not actually the case; to end up in one of thee systems your debt does not have to be large and you do not need to have multiple creditors.

In Spain, credit information systems are regulated by Organic Law 3/2018 on Personal Data Protection and Guarantee of Digital Rights. In the end, information about our wealth and finances is just one more asset we need to take proper care of.

The processing of personal data, by common credit information systems, relating to the breach of monetary, financial, or credit obligations will be presumed lawful when the following requirements are met:

  • The data have been provided by the creditor or by the person acting on its behalf or in its interest.
  • The data refer to specific debts, both overdue and payable, whose existence or amount has not been the subject of administrative or judicial appeal by the debtor or any other alternative procedure for resolving disputes between parties.
  • The creditor has notified the concerned person, either in the contract or at the time of requesting payment, about the possibility of being added to these systems, indicating those in which they participate. The entity that maintains the credit information system containing data related to the non-compliance of monetary, financial, or credit obligations must notify the concerned party of the inclusion of such data and will inform him or her of the option of exercising the rights established in Articles 15 to 22 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 within thirty (30) days of entering the debt into the system, during which time the data will remain blocked.
  • The data can only be kept in the system for as long as the non-compliance persists, with the maximum limit of five (5) years from the maturity date of the monetary, financial, or credit obligation.
  • The details relating to a specific debtor can only be consulted when the person consulting the system maintains a contractual relationship with the concerned individual that involves the payment of a monetary amount; or this person has requested formulating a contract that involves financing, deferred payment, or regular billing, as is the case, among others, in those provided for in the legislation on consumer credit contracts and property credit contracts
  • If the application for entering into the contract is refused, or this does not take place, as a result of the consultation made, whoever has consulted the system informs the concerned party of the result of this consultation.
  • The debts included in these systems are not less than 50 euros. The Government can update this amount through a Royal Decree.
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What are the consequences of being added to a credit information system?

When someone is included in a credit information system, their ability to access loans and credits (in short, bank financing) will be drastically reduced. From then on, banks and other entities offering credit will doubt your ability to pay back a debt and will therefore only agree to loan you money or give you credit on rare occasions, if ever.

How do you leave a credit information system?

To exit a credit information system you have to pay the debt demanded from you and for which you have been included in one of these systems. Once the payment has been made, the system manager must delete the data within a maximum period of one month. This will only be done, however, after consulting with the company that originally put the data in the system to verify that the payment has indeed been made.

Appearing in a credit information system can represent a real headache for anyone trying to carry out normal financial activities.

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