how to clear credit bureau singapore

How to Clear Credit Bureau Singapore: 9 Essential Steps

A good credit score is more than just a number—it’s a key to financial freedom. The OCBC Financial Wellness Index reveals a decline in Singaporeans’ ability to afford luxuries, highlighting the importance of debt management.

Fortunately, the focus on repaying debts is increasing, with 64% of Singaporeans making timely housing loan payments. This shift towards better financial management is essential, as a good credit score can lead to substantial savings and higher borrowing limits.

Having a good credit score also speeds up the approval process for future loans, such as home, car, and business loans.

This guide will help you get back on track and clear your bad credit score at the Credit Bureau of Singapore (CBS).

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a number that ranges between 1000 and 2000 and measures your credit behavior. 1000 is the lowest score one can have, and individuals with these scores are flagged as high-risk creditors.

On the other hand, those with credit scores on the other end of the scale are perceived as low-risk creditors. Hence, a bad credit history becomes a reason why many credit card and loan applications get rejected. 

Financial institutions given access to your credit file use these four-digit scores for their lending decisions.

Consequently, an individual with an AA credit rating will get faster loan approvals and lower interest rates from a bank or financial institution. The credit score determined also come with an equivalent risk grade that measures the probability of default, as shown in the table below:

Credit Score Risk Grade  Probability of Default (%)
1911 to 2000  AA ≤ 0.27
1844 to 1910 BB 0.27 to 0.67
1825 to 1843 CC 0.67 to 0.88
1813 to 1824 DD 0.88 to 1.03
1782 to 1812  EE 1.03 to 1.58
1755 to 1781 FF 1.58 to 2.28
1724 to 1754  GG 2.28 to 3.48
1000 to 1723 HH 3.48


To know your credit score or credit grade, you may request for a credit report from the CBS. Also known as the CBS report contains an aggregation of your credit history from different credit lines and presents your current financial circumstances. 

Singaporeans can purchase this credit report from their website at a minimal fee of S$6. Simply log in using SingPass, pay the cost, and download a PDF copy of the credit report. Alternatively, you may also get it at SingPost branches at S$17.12.

Learn more on how to achieve high credit score in Singapore.


How Your Credit Score is Determined

CBS calculates your credit score through an algorithm that tracks your credit activities. This score changes as new credit activities are to be accounted for from time to time. 

Key contributing factors that could affect your score include: 

  • Late payments on credit card bills
  • Defaulting on credit cards,
  • A lacking or short credit history
  • Using up more than 30% of your credit limit
  • Having too many loans 
  • Applying for credit cards from different banks at the same time 
  • Bankruptcy or impending litigations

Credit Check Financial Banking Economy Concept

How Do You Get Clearance From Credit Bureaus?

1. Obtain Your Credit Report

The first step in clearing your credit bureau report is to obtain a copy of your credit report. This can be done through the Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) website. You can request a copy of your report for a nominal fee. Reviewing your report will give you a clear understanding of your credit history and any negative marks that need to be addressed.

Here’s how to get your hands on your credit report in Singapore:

  • Choose between a softcopy online or a hardcopy available at physical locations. The Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) makes it possible through either:
    • Online Request: Log on to CBS’s website to request a digital copy.
    • Hardcopy Pickup: Visit any SingPost outlet, the CBS office, or CrimsonLogic Service Bureaus to request a hardcopy.
  • Know the Costs Upfront: The fee is around S$6.42 (inclusive of GST) + S$2.00 for multiple delivery modes. For instant satisfaction, collect your report within 2 hours at any SingPost outlet, though it comes with an administrative fee of S$17.12.

Tip: If you’ve recently applied for a new credit facility with a CBS member, you’re entitled to a free credit report. It’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss, as it not only saves you money but also helps you stay updated on your credit standing.

2. Review for Errors

Once you have your credit report, it’s time for a thorough inspection. Look for inaccuracies or mistakes—this could include incorrect personal details, payment history discrepancies, or accounts that mysteriously aren’t yours. Each detail, no matter how small, must reflect the truth of your financial journey.

Disputable Errors

But what errors should raise a red flag? According to the financial experts at Nerd Wallet, you should challenge any error that could damage your credit scores or suggest identity theft. These critical errors include:

  • Wrong Account Status: For instance, an on-time payment is incorrectly marked as late.
  • Outdated Negative Information: By law, most derogatory marks must be removed after seven years.
  • Misattributed Joint Accounts: Such as those with an ex-spouse that should no longer be associated with your profile.
  • Incorrect Account Numbers: Or accounts listed that you did not open.
  • Inaccurate Balances or Limits: Ensure that your credit limits or loan balances are precise.
  • Unrecognizable Accounts: If you see accounts you don’t recognize, it could indicate fraudulent activity.
  • Unfamiliar Addresses: Addresses you’ve never lived at should not be on your report.

3. Dispute Errors

Step 1: Raise a Dispute

If you’ve found errors in your credit report, don’t let them linger. Contact the Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) directly to raise a dispute. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Call CBS Hotline: Dial 6565 6363 to report the discrepancies.
  • Phone Verification: Be ready for a phone verification process; have your credit report enquiry number at hand.
  • Detail the Discrepancies: Clearly articulate the issues you’ve noticed. Whether it’s a misreported payment or an unfamiliar account, explain each item you believe is incorrect.
  • Provide Contact Information: Make sure CBS has your current contact details to update you on the status of your dispute.

Step 2: Wait for Results

After you’ve submitted your dispute, CBS will take the wheel:

  • Verification: CBS will forward your dispute to the relevant data contributor(s) for authentication.
  • Investigation Notice: A notice will be posted in your credit file, indicating that the data is under dispute and an investigation is ongoing.
  • Regular Updates: CBS will keep you informed about the progress and the outcome of the investigation.

Should the investigation find any discrepancies, CBS will immediately amend your information and notify all Bureau members who have made enquiries about you in the last 12 months. 

This ensures that your corrected credit information is disseminated correctly, potentially improving your access to credit and better interest rates. Remember, your credit health is in your hands; be proactive and vigilant.

4. Pay Off Outstanding Balances

Let’s digest some sobering statistics: around 19% of Gen Zs and Millennials admit to struggling with debt repayment, according to a survey by Etiqa. And it’s not an isolated problem; Credit Counselling Singapore’s fresh data from 2023 shows that about half of those seeking help with debt management were under 40 years old.

So what is the impact of late payments?

Recurring late or missed payments are not just a temporary setback; they can lead to a lower credit score, which in turn, creates hurdles in obtaining housing loans, renting apartments, or even securing certain job positions. When you repay loans, you are not only clearing your financial slate but also paving the way for future financial stability and opportunities.

Here are a few tips for keeping your debt in check:

  • Tackle Past-Due Amounts
    If you’re carrying the weight of unpaid debts, especially those that are overdue or in collections, it’s time to focus on clearing them. Consistent, timely payments and actively reducing what you owe can work wonders on your credit score.
  • Always Aim for Full Payments
    Here’s a piece of sound advice worth remembering: always pay the full amount due. A partial payment might seem like a breather, but as The Business Times warns, making only the minimum payment—or worse, missing payments—allows your balance to grow with interest rates, creating a mountain of debt that’s even harder to clear later on. Tip: set up payment reminders to never miss a due date.

5. Keep Credit Utilization Low

Your credit utilization ratio (CUR) is a vital sign of your financial health, reflecting how much credit you use compared to how much you have available. To bolster your credit score, it’s wise to keep your CUR below the recommended threshold of 30%—the lower, the better.

To calculate your credit utilization ratio, follow these steps:

  • Add up the total balances on all your credit cards.
  • Add up the total credit limits across all your credit cards.
  • Divide the total balance from Step 1 by the total credit limit from Step 2.
  • Multiply the result from step 3 by 100 to convert it into a percentage.

This will give you your credit utilization ratio as a percentage, which is a key factor in determining your credit score. Lower percentages are generally better for your credit score, with many experts recommending keeping the ratio under 30%.

Consider this scenario: 

Let’s say Mr. Kim has three credit cards with the following information:

Credit Card Balance (SGD) Credit Limit (SGD)
A 1,500 5,000
B 2,000 8,000
C 500 2,000
Total 4,000 15,000


Next, we’ll divide the total balance by the total credit limit and then multiply by 100 to get the utilization ratio:

  • Utilization Rate = (Total Balance / Total Credit Limit) * 100
  • CUR = (4,000 / 15,000) * 100
  • CUR = approximately 26.67%

This means Mr. Kim is using about 27% of your total available credit across all cards, which is below the often recommended threshold of 30%. Maintaining a utilization rate under this level is good for credit health, as it suggests to lenders that you’re using credit responsibly and not overextending financially.

6. Avoid Applying for New Credit

When you apply for new credit, lenders perform a “hard inquiry” to assess your creditworthiness, which can ding your credit score temporarily. Too many of these in a short period can be interpreted as financial distress, making you appear riskier to lenders.

That said, you must be selective about when and why you apply for additional credit. Space out your applications with credit facilities and only seek new credit when absolutely necessary. This strategy helps minimize the number of hard inquiries and their impact on your score, keeping your credit history as blemish-free as possible. 

Remember, in the journey to clear your credit history, patience is not just a virtue—it’s a strategy.

7. Monitor Your Credit

Vigilantly monitoring your credit report is crucial, not just for maintaining accuracy but also for early detection of potential identity theft or fraud. Regular reviews ensure that all listed accounts and activities genuinely belong to you and that your credit moves in the right direction.

How to Easily Monitor Your Credit Report

For those who might struggle with regular checks, consider enlisting the help of a credit monitoring service. Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) offers “My Credit Monitor” (MCM), a subscription service that vigilantly watches over your credit report. 

Choose between a 6 or 12-month tenure and stay informed about any changes to your credit file. MCM works diligently to alert you to any suspicious activity that could impact your credit reputation, sending notifications via SMS or email—acting as an early warning system against identity theft and ensuring peace of mind.

8. Be Patient

Rebuilding your credit score is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a process that requires time and consistent good behavior. Credit histories aren’t wiped clean overnight, and scores don’t skyrocket instantly.

Stay the course with good credit habits: 

  • Pay debts on time
  • Keep balances low
  • Avoid new hard inquiries.

Over time, these practices can help heal your credit history and lift your score. Remember, in the realm of credit, patience doesn’t just pay—it saves.

9. Seek Professional Help

When you find yourself wading through debt or feeling stuck with your credit score, it’s time to tap into professional resources.

Look for accredited agencies like Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS), recognized by The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS). CCS offers invaluable services for those wrestling with unsecured debt through counseling, education, and structured debt repayment plans.

Here’s a concise list of social service agencies for debt management help, including their contact information from the Ministry of Law Singapore:

  • Adullam Life Counselling
      • Location: 151 Chin Swee Road #08-04, Manhattan House, Singapore 169876
      • Phone: 9423 8832
      • Email:
  • Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP)
      • Location: 1 Pasir Ris Drive 4 #05-11, Singapore 519457
      • Phone: 6416 3960
      • Email:
  • Arise2Care Community Services
      • Location: No. 5 Harper Road #02-01A, Singapore 369673
      • Phone: 6909 0628
      • Email:
  • Blessed Grace Social Services
      • Location: 16 Arumugam Road, #04-02B Block D, LTC Building, Singapore 409961
      • Phone: 8428 6377
      • Email:
  • Credit Counselling Singapore
      • Location: 51 Cuppage Road #07-06, Singapore 229469
      • Phone: 6225 5227 / 6338 2663
      • Email:
  • One Hope Centre
      • Location: 8 New Industrial Road #04-04B LHK 3 Building, Singapore 536200
      • Phone: 6547 1011
      • Email:
  • Silver Lining Community Services
    • Locations: 11 Playfair Road, Singapore (East); Jurong Spring CC, 8 Jurong West St 52, Singapore 649296 (West)
    • Phone: 6749 0400
    • Email:

These professionals can provide personalized strategies and education, helping you navigate the complexities of debt management and credit improvement.


While it may take months to raise a score one notch, it may take as short as one day for a score to drop the same way. If you are having trouble clearing your credit score, seek credit counseling. Poor financial decisions and debt management are always behind a bad credit score.

Key Takeaways

  • A credit score is only one factor out of the many factors that are used to assess credit line applications.
  • CBS does not take part in the evaluation process but rather only provides the credit report as requested by a financial institution.
  • Banks have the sole discretion of approving or rejecting a loan or credit card application 

Do you need funds for urgent financial needs? Instant Loan, can help you find the best loan by matching you with financial institutions that will suit your needs. Contact them today or fill up their form and you’ll instantly get three free loan quotes within 30 minutes or even less.

Instant Loan CTA Banners DesktopInstant Loan CTA Banner 2

Get Your Tailored Personal Loan Quotes

Complete the enquiry form to receive instant loan quotes now!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.