Getting a credit / disclosure report in Japan
Written by Yogi (Yogendra PURANIK),on 13-February-2022.
If you are living in a foreign country, and applying for a loan or credit card in your home country, you might be asked to submit a credit report from the country you are living in. In case your credit card or loan or corporate guarantor (for renting a house/room) applications are continuously rejected in the country you are living, you might want to see your credit report to check if you have made, knowingly or unknowingly, any mistakes in your financial transactions.
If you are in Japan, you can apply to following credit bureaus for a credit report. Note that you can apply only for ‘your’ credit report. You cannot even apply for your family. This is because Japan has placed stringent rules for securing the privacy of personal information. However, there is a process for applying for the information of deceased.
What is a credit bureau?
Credit bureau is a government designated institution under the installment sales act and the money laundering business act. Credit bureaus collect and store credit information from its member companies, including the credit card companies, department stores, credit card issuers, leasing companies, guarantee companies, banks, agriculture cooperatives, consumer loan companies, cell phone companies, etc., and provides such information in response to inquiries from member companies and consumers. Such information is used to accurately grasp the creditworthiness of the consumer, so that consumers will be able to receive appropriate credit provisions smoothly.
What information will you receive in the credit report?
The report usually includes the information on your newly applied credit, the use of credit in the past, the details of current credit contracts, payment status, credit balances, as well as the information collected by the bureau itself. Information beyond the prescribed retention period is deleted. You might find it difficult to understand the report. In such case, please refer to the instructions additionally provided with the report. Report offers past 5 years of contract information, repayment information, transactional details, and past 6 months of information on any credit applications made.
What if the information on the credit report is wrong?
The bureaus, as listed below, that provide the credit report, are not in a position to alter any data. In case that the disclosed credit information is factually incorrect and completely unknown, please contact the data furnishing company i.e., your credit card company or bank. If the disclosed credit information is found out to be incorrect, the data furnishing company shall correct or delete the information. In case the data furnishing company does not resolve the matter or there is sufficient reason for which you need the credit bureau’s help to resolve the matter, you can make such a request to them.
Institutions that offer the credit report
(1) Credit Information Center (CIC)
CIC is one of the largest sources of credit information in Japan. Its head office is in Shinjuku, Tokyo and it has offices all over Japan.
Website in English: https://www.cic.co.jp/en/
List of national offices: https://www.cic.co.jp/inquiry/index.html
Apply online: https://www.cic.co.jp/mydata/online/index.html
Apply by post: https://www.cic.co.jp/mydata/mailing/index.html
Apply at counter: https://www.cic.co.jp/mydata/contact/index.html?tab=env_tab1
Fees: 1000 yen
(2) Japan Credit Information Reference Center Corporation (JCIC)
Its head office is in Ueno, Tokyo and a sub-office in Osaka.
Website in English: https://www.jicc.co.jp/
Apply online: https://www.jicc.co.jp/kaiji/procedure/mobile/
Apply by post: https://www.jicc.co.jp/kaiji/procedure/mail/
Apply at counter: https://www.jicc.co.jp/kaiji/procedure/visit_person/
Fees: 500 to 1000 yens (Not mentioned on their website)
(3) Japanese Bankers Association (JBA)
The Personal Credit Information Center at JBA is established for the smooth development of consumer credit, and plays an important role in improving individual/consumers' daily life.
Website in English: https://www.zenginkyo.or.jp/en/pcic/
Consult on phone: https://www.zenginkyo.or.jp/en/adr/foreign-languages/
Fees: Not known
Tel: 0570-017-109 (Navi-Dial) or 03-5252-3772
About the author:
Yogi (Yogendra Puranik), born in India, is living in Japan for more than 20 years. He is the first elected assemblyman of Indian / Asian origin in Japan. He is a leading volunteer in Indian community in Japan and a thought leader on topics like symbiotic society, education, IT in government etc. He conducts lectures in universities across Japan, ministries, government offices and corporates.