How big is yours?
A few weeks ago a reader posted some information about checking your credit in Japan, so of course I decided to check it out for RetireJapan.
There are three credit bureaus in Japan: CIC, JICC, and the snappily named 全国銀行協会個人信用情報センター. Today we'll be looking at the JICC process and results.
It's a little bit involved, but not difficult.
The whole process took four days, from making the application on Sunday night to receiving the documents by registered mail on Wednesday.
First, you need to download the JICC app. You make the application and upload documents using the app.
Then, pay 1,000 yen with a credit card.
Finally, sign for the letter with your results in person.
So what was my score? I was a bit disappointed to find that they didn't provide one. No number I can humble-brag about ;)
What the report does show is all the loans, contracts, and credit cards I currently have open, as well as recently closed ones. It shows availabe and used credit. I don't have any, but presumably it would also show late payments or defaults.
It found my mortgage and current credit cards. It also found my old Softbank installments (so buying a phone over two years seems to count as a loan) and lots of closed credit cards.
I was pleased not to find any unfamiliar cards or loans.
So is it worth getting your credit report from JICC? Probably not. It is useful to check for unusual activity. It might be worth doing before an important mortgage application, just to make sure everything is okay, but probably not essential. It might also be worth doing if you are getting turned down for credit cards and aren't sure why.
I also found this full-service law firm that will do all the paperwork to check your credit report with all three bureaus and then explain the results to you. They charge 10,000 yen though, just over three times what it would cost you to do yourself (and you probably don't need to check all three so maybe even more). Given how easy it was to check JICC, this probably isn't necessary.
How about you? Have you ever checked your credit in Japan? Are the other two bureaus any different from JICC?