What is CTOS?
CTOS is a Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) regulated by the Registrar of Credit Reporting Agencies, Ministry of Finance under the ambit of the Credit Reporting Agencies Act 2010. CTOS collects information related to the creditworthiness of individuals and businesses and produces complete portfolios of credit risk management solutions and services. CTOS’s services are widely used by financial institutions, telecommunication and insurance companies, SMEs, commercial companies, legal firms and other organisations in Malaysia
Unlike CCRIS, which is under Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), CTOS is owned and managed by a Malaysian company, in business for over 20 years, collating information on individuals and companies from various official sources.
The sources for CTOS information include:
- Searches at the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) or Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM)
- CCRIS (Bank Negara Malaysia)
- E-court listing and legal notices in newspapers
- Government gazettes and publications
- Searches at the Malaysia Department of Insolvency (MDI) or Jabatan Insolvensi Malaysia
- Searches at the Registrar of Societies (ROS)
- Contact information provided by creditors / litigators / trade referees
- Information voluntarily provided by subjects themselves
The information is formatted into an electronic database which provides for an easy, quick and efficient checking process for loan applications, trade and business credits, as well as for decision making by credit grantors and lenders.
You can get your CTOS Score credit report for just RM25. The great news is CTOS is giving up to 100,000 FREE CTOS Score credit reports under its CTOS Cares CSR campaign. CTOS has taken this initiative to encourage you to be proactive in monitoring your credit and staying on top of your personal finances so you can get through these challenging economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign will run until 31 May 2020. CLICK HERE to find out more.
What CTOS is Not?
CTOS strictly does not blacklist anyone. The company merely provides credit information to its subscribers, after which, decisions on credit applications are made exclusively by the lenders or credit grantors themselves. These decisions are made following the lender’s risk appetite, business policies and strategies. CTOS does not provide opinions or recommendations that influence these decisions.
Another misconception about CTOS is the handling of personal data by a private agency, which can be sensitive and also dangerous, especially if the information falls into the wrong hands.
CTOS is legally empowered under the CRA Act 2010 to collect and process information pertinent to credit evaluation. Access to this information, however, is strictly limited and controlled.
What categories of information does a CTOS Report contain?
A CTOS report is split into 5 sections containing different categories of information:
Section A – Identity Verification
- Helps to identify and verify the subject by Identity Number, Full Name, Company or Business Registration Number. This section helps to detect and prevent fraud and identity theft.
Section B – Directorships and Business Interests
- Record a subject’s directorships and shareholdings in Malaysian incorporated companies and businesses.
- Banks use this section to help verify the true nature of a subject’s ostensible income, especially for company shareholders and business owners.
Section C – Banking Payment Records (Source: CCRIS, Bank Negara Malaysia)
- CCRIS details display the breakdown for each credit facility the subject has, payment behaviour for each facility and credit applications approved and pending in the last 12 months.
CCRIS Derivatives shows the earliest credit facility and the total amount outstanding from secured and unsecured facilities according to CCRIS information.
Section D – Legal Cases
- Record the legal information. It helps one to have a better insight and understanding on a subject’s background, history and business experience.
Banks use this section to look out for bankruptcy information, legal actions, and case statuses.
Section E – Trade Reference
- Trade Referees – A trade reference is the payment experience information given to CTOS by non-financial institutions such as CTOS’ subscriber or business partner. It specifies information such as:
- To whom payment has defaulted
- The duration of the overdue payment
- The ageing amount
- Details of the person in charge
- Contact information of the trade reference
- Subject’s Comments – This is a facility provided by CTOS to allow parties involved in a case to present their “side of the story”. Comments should be objective and confined only to the case.
Will CTOS update the information in their database?CTOS regularly updates its database based on the available information from statutory bodies, its subscribers and public sources such as government gazettes, newspapers and court filings. It also accepts requests to update its information, given that there are sufficient proof and the necessary documentation.
If you do spot errors or items that should have aged off your report, you’ll need to let CTOS know. You may contact CTOS at (03-2722 8833) or fill up the online form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In all cases, you’ll have to provide copies of your MyKad and a description of what is wrong, and what the correct information is.
Documents you’ll need to provide:
- MyKad (both front and back copies, compulsory for verification purposes)
- Documentary evidence from your bank, such as a settlement letter (if applicable)
- SSM, court or litigation documentation (if applicable)
How long are the records kept?
Under the CRA Act 2010, CTOS can keep the record for 24 months as a historical archive of your background and credit history. After that, it will not be disclosed in your CTOS report 2 years after full repayment or case settlement.
Besides providing you with your latest credit score, CTOS can safeguard you from fraud and scams too!
CTOS SecureID is CTOS’s new fraud protection and credit monitoring service which aims to combat the growing problem of identity theft, fraud and scams, as well as to help consumers monitor their credit health. If your information turns up on the dark web, the system will pick that up and send you an alert or notification.
Then, you’ll be able to take action to protect yourself, such as changing your passwords or shutting down certain accounts. On top of that, you’ll also enjoy RM20,000 takaful coverage for financial losses due to fraudulent transactions and more.
If you’d like to subscribe to CTOS SecureID, you’ll first need a CTOS ID account. Once that is done, simply select the package you want, at either RM9.90 per month or RM99 per year! CLICK HERE to find out more.
FAQ on CTOS
1. Some bank agents only cite “CTOS issue” when rejecting my application. What does that mean?
It is important to note that there is no such thing as a “CTOS issue”. CTOS merely provides credit information and the decision regarding the approval or rejection is done by the lenders themselves. Banks and financial institutions have their own set of lending policies and take on different levels of credit risk.
You may ask the bank if they can provide further clarification as to what information is causing that specific bank to reject your application, so that you may do a CTOS self-check to ensure your credit report is accurate and updated.
2. I have settled a legal action against me / been discharged of bankruptcy. But banks still reject my loan applications, citing “CTOS issue”. What can I do?
Every financial institution has its internal credit approval policies. You might not have met some of their requirements. Your record will stay for another 24 months from date of settlement, as this is permissible under the CRA Act 2010.
Once the relevant time has lapsed, you may have the information removed from your credit report. Do check with us for timelines for such information to be displayed, and when the information can be removed from your report.
3. I have been a victim of identity theft, which has resulted in many unjustified lawsuits against me. The cases have not been resolved. What can I do?
If you can provide proof of fraud (eg. police reports, letters of support from relevant banks/lawyers/litigators), CTOS will remove the relevant records from their system after verification. You may contact CTOS at (03-2722 8833) or email to email@example.com for further clarification.
4. I was discharged as a bankrupt / paid off my creditors 6 months ago and have updated CTOS regarding my case. Why do banks still reject my loan applications, citing “CTOS issue”?
Most likely, the issue is not about CTOS not updating your records, but with the bank’s internal credit approval policies. Most banks have internal policies that are not friendly to past delinquents. The more time that has passed between your last delinquency versus your loan application, the higher the chance of approval. A general rule is to have at least 1 to 2 years in between.
5. I do not owe any banks any money. And to my knowledge, I have never been sued. How can it be that I have “CTOS issues”?
As explained above, trade referees may want to share their business experiences known as “Trade References”. It is likely the trade referee could have dealings with you and/or your company or business. The information will appear in Section E of the CTOS report.
We would advise you to sign up for a CTOS ID so you can access your basic CTOS report instantly (this is free) to stay updated on your credit health.
2 easier ways to sign up for a CTOS ID account:
- Smart Phone Registration (iPhone or Android)
- Online Registration at www.ctoscredit.com.my
There you have it. Hopefully, you will leave this article more knowledgeable about the topic. Always remember that credit health is important, so be proactive to take charge of it and stay updated!