How do Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) work in Kenya?

A Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) is an institution that collects credit information or credit data on borrowers who may either be businesses or individuals from lenders. In Kenya, CRBs are regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya. 

What is Credit Information?

Credit information is either positive or negative information on a business or an Individual’s credit standing, credit worthiness, general reputation or character depending on whether they have previously defaulted on loan or not. 

Positive listing in a CRB means that borrowed loans have been repaid consistently and on time. A positive listing will improve your chances of accessing loans from a lender. 

A negative listing or being blacklisted in the CRB means that a borrower has previously defaulted on loans before. It means that you are a high risk borrower, and a loan provider needs to be more careful when lending to you. A lender may also apply tougher lending conditions including higher interest rates in case of default. 

Other credit information that may lead to a negative listing the CRB includes:

  • Fraudulent account activities;
  • Accounts that have been closed for other purposes other than administrative reasons;
  • Bounced cheques;
  • Repayment information including days in arrears. 

So where do CRBs get their information from?

Some of the financial institutions that CRBs get their credit from include: 

  • SACCOs; 
  • Banks; 
  • Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

CRBs uses this data to build a credit history on businesses and individuals, then share to individual consumers and lending institutions. 

Financial institutions such as banks, SACCOs and Microfinance Institutions use credit information obtained from CRBs to assess the likelihood of a borrower to default on a loan, the amount of loan to give out and sometimes the interest rates they should charge a customer.

To get to know whether you have been blacklisted on CRB download the PesaKit App to check your CRB Listing Status Today! 



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