Norway introduces a credit information register – how it works

Published July 2, 2019

Since 2009, household debt in Norway has according to Statistics Norway increased by nearly SEK 1,500 billion, and a Lindorff report states that one in seventeen Norwegians has non-payment records. In order to counter the trend toward excess debt, Norway is introducing the credit information register.

The introduction of a central credit information register has been on Norway’s policy agenda for nearly 15 years. But despite a variety of legislative proposals, the register has not been introduced until now. The Credit Information Act, which will enter into force in 2019, stipulates that banks and other financing companies must report information on private loans and credit card debt to the central credit information register.

Entercard has during a long time sought a register similar to what is in place in Sweden, and clearly sees the advantages offered by a Norwegian credit register.

Why introduce the register?

Up until now, Norwegian banks and other financing companies have had a hard time getting a clear picture of a borrower’s total debt, as a credit information register has not existed. The new register will gather information on all unsecured credits in one place. The hope is that the register will help banks and financing companies perform more accurate credit checks for those who apply for credit, and in this way, counteract the trend towards excess debt.

Promoting responsible lending

Today, it is quite easy to take out multiple private loans from different lenders. Lenders do already request information on existing debts, but the problem has been to verify the information given by the borrower. This makes it difficult to perform accurate credit checks, and there is a risk that a borrower will be unable to pay back their debt.

Once banks and financing companies are able to verify both balances and credit limits, Entercard hopes that this will also allow them to make better, more accurate credit decisions.

Another positive effect of the credit information register is that banks, which previously did not have a full picture of a borrower’s debt profile, can now take this into account when performing risk assessments and cost calculations. In light of this, Norwegians will hopefully be seeing lower interest rates in the future.

This is how you get access to your credit information

As a private individual, you can easily log in to a credit information register (currently, three companies have been licenced to operate registers, all of which are operated privately) to view all of your debt collected in one place. The register gives you a better overview, and you can take the opportunity to think a step further before deciding to apply for a new loan.