CTOS and CRIS – the Evil Twins

CTOS and CCRIS are alike, but not the same. While both collect individuals credit records, CTOS extends further by by collecting information from multiple sources, namely utility and servicing companies, as well legal actions taken against the individuals. CCRIS on the other hand is limited to collecting credit related records gathered from financial institutions.


CTOS is one of the many credit reporting agencies in Malaysia and operates as a private company. It is regulated under the CRA Act 2010.  It operates as a go-to agency for some banks to analyze loan applicants’ credit history. It also allows organizations such as banks, public utility companies (TNB, SYABAS, PUAS), communication companies (Digi, TMNet, Celcom), local city councils and other government statutory bodies to report individuals as well as other companies unpaid debts.

For example, after requesting for a termination of service with TMNet, you will need to pay for the services rendered between the last statement to the day you requested for the termination. Many find it easy to shriek from paying this final bill since they are no longer requiring the service from the company. After multiple failed attempts by the company to extract payments from you, your name will be reported from the said company to CTOS. Having your name flagged in your CTOS will be cause to have your loan application denied.

In another example, when you default from paying your bank loan commitments such as hire-purchase, credit cards, and mortgages, legal action will be taken against you. CTOS will be notified of this and it will severely affect your credit score.

Banks will run a credit check on clients’ CCRIS and CTOS to determine if they are worthy of being the banks’ customers

The good news is that that if you have a record in CTOS, you can clear your name by settling the amount you are due and proving the settlement to CTOS. The bad news is that any bank that have generated your CTOS record when you applied for a loan from them previously will remember every default and legal action taken against you. The ugly news is that for most legal actions taken against the borrower, only a full settlement would fully remove the note from the borrower’s CTORS record.

While financial institutions such as banks are not allowed to contribute information on delinquent payers to CTOS, there is nothing stopping them from using the service to assess the risk profile of loan applicants. For a number of banks, your loan application will be rejected if your record is tainted in CTOS.


CCRIS is maintained by the BNM. Every registered financial institution in Malaysia is required to report their customers’ credit-related activities to the BNM, and consequently recorded into CCRIS. Every single loan applications, approvals and rejections, as well as loan accounts that are still active are sent by the financial institutions to the BNM each month.

The key points in reading a CCRIS report lies in each loan entries that you have. Each loan entry spans a whole row and has a few columns. The main columns are Approval Date, Capacity, Lender, Facility, Account Number, Last Update, Outstanding, Limit, and Installment Arrears for the Last 12 Months. While most of the items are self-explanatory, I will expand on the rest of them. It is important to note that when applying for a loan from financial institutions, the CCRIS information that they can view is limited; for example they are not able to see the name of the Lender and the Account Number of the loans facilities.

Capacity – refers to the credit being taking under a single person’s name or joint with other(s).

Facility – refers to the type of loan, be it hire-purchase, mortgage, credit card, personal loan, PTPTN, ASB loan, etc.

Installment Arrears for the Last 12 Months – refers to the number of months an individual has defaulted on repaying his installment for the past rolling-12-months.


When applying for a loan from any financial institution in Malaysia, it is important to keep in mind of a few things before sending in the application. Upon submission, the financial institution will extract your CCRIS and in some cases, your CTOS reports as well. This information will be kept by the bank for years, even after you have purged the records from your CCRIS and CTOS by reconciling your debts. So if you have horrible credit scoring, it may be prudent to defer from applying for any loans at the moment.

Keep an eye of your current commitments and its repayment schedule. Current as well as future (based on the loan amount that you applied for) commitments will be used to calculate your debt-service-ratio (DSR). The DSR determined if the applicant has enough income to pay all his commitments. If it is determined that the DSR burst over the limit imposed by the particular financial institution, the loan application will be rejected under normal circumstances.

An applicant’s loan repayment pattern of the past 12-months will also be used to calculate his credit worthiness. A good repayment pattern will give the applicant  in a positive light; on the other hand, the financial institution will be hesitant to approve loans for those who display errant repayment behavior. I will discuss loan applications and DSR in greater details in future articles.

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