The Commonly Asked Questions (CIR) code means:
- Commonly Asked Question;
- Existential Reflexive;
- Is Short For Credit Inquiry Report;
- International Reporting Standard;
- Numeric Value: 999;
- Response: No, 999 is not a credit inquiry response; and
- Short Forms: Yes.
It is used to indicate the creditworthiness of an applicant for credit, goods or services. A CIR is usually included as part of the original credit application but can also be requested afterward as part of a credit review.
The CIR is a frequently requested item on loan and credit application forms. In most cases, it is included as part of the standard information reported to the credit grantor (lender) on the credit application. The CIR is also sometimes requested as part of a credit review in cases where either the credit risk or the customers’ payment behavior is of concern. In limited circumstances, the CIR may also be requested where there is a need to verify the identity of an applicant.
Definition of the CIR Code
The CIR is a database of consumer credit information, which is maintained for the most part by credit reporting agencies. The data in the CIR consists of financial information collected by credit bureaus and other financial agencies about individuals and businesses. As part of the original collection process, information is gathered using credit enquiries, which are reports that credit bureaus or other agencies send to creditors who have asked for a CIR. These are the most common cases of a CIR being requested:
- on a loan application;
- on a credit card application;
- as a part of a business deal (e.g., sale of a company, partnership, etc.); and
- at the end of the billing cycle, when a credit bureau compiles a list of current debts.
Importance of the CIR
The CIR contains important information about an individual or business that requests credit or operates a credit business. In most cases, the CIR is a summary of information that is reported to the credit bureau by the creditors. This information is then used by the credit bureau in evaluating the creditworthiness of the person or company. In some cases, this information may also be used by the credit bureau to determine the credit limits that can be offered.
Due to its importance, the CIR is usually included in almost all credit applications and reviews, whether the application is for a loan or a credit card. Where a CIR is not included, the credit applicant or merchant should be contacted to ensure that the information is reported accurately. In most cases, this will be done as part of the credit application process. However, in cases where a CIR is requested as part of a review, it is imperative that the information be reported accurately regardless of whether it was included in the original application. The reason for this is that even if a CIR was not requested at the time of the original application, it may be included as part of a credit review that is done at a later date. In this case, the credit applicant or merchant has the opportunity to dispute the information that was reported about them.
Characteristics of the CIR
The CIR is similar to other databases in that it contains only the most basic financial information about the consumer. In most cases, this information includes the applicant’s or business’s name, address, telephone number, social security number, and, in some cases, credit card information. In almost all cases, the CIR does not include the credit applicant’s or business’s credit score, debt-to-income ratio, or credit report. This information is usually not included in the CIR because it is considered to be proprietary to the credit bureaus or other credit reporting agencies.
Since the inception of the CIR in 1970, the information contained in it has not changed substantially. This is mainly due to the fact that there are no significant changes in the credit industry from one year to the next. Because of this, the credit bureaus and other credit reporting agencies often generate a new CIR for each new credit product or service that they provide. In some cases, a new CIR will be created because a business has changed its name or address. In these cases, a new credit report, with a new CIR code, will be issued to reflect the changes. As a result, the CIR is usually considered a dynamic document that is always in need of an update.
How Many CIRs Should I Give?
In most cases, only one CIR is needed for each individual or company that is applying for credit. This is because the credit bureaus and other credit reporting agencies assume that only one person will be applying for credit at a time. However, in cases where a business collects information about several different credit cards or loans, a separate CIR should be issued for each one. In these cases, the credit bureaus or other agencies will issue a notice to the individual or company that is being considered for credit indicating that multiple CIRs have been submitted. In these cases, the amount of credit that can be offered may be limited based on the number of CIRs that are submitted. This is because the credit bureaus or other agencies assume that the information in the CIRs will be verified when they are compiled.
Does The CIR Have An Expiration Date?
No, the CIR does not have an expiration date. But, in most cases, the information originally included in the CIR will be reported to the credit bureaus or other agencies annually. This is because, in most cases, credit bureaus and other agencies consider this to be a sufficient amount of time for the average consumer or merchant to either pay off their debts or be in a position to do so. However, in some cases, where either the credit risk or the customers’ payment behavior is of concern, a CIR that is reported every six months may be issued instead.
Can I Add Additional Comments?
Yes, you can add additional comments to the CIR. In most cases, these comments will not be included in the credit report but may be stored with the CIR for reference. In these cases, the information that is stored with the CIR may be considered to be an annotation to the original information reported by the credit bureaus or other agencies. Some examples of comments that may be added to a CIR include:
- The customer is self-employed and maintains a personal account at this credit bureau;
- The customer is a member of a credit union;
- The customer has a favorable loan history with this credit bureau; and
- The customer is a medical practitioner and maintains a practice at this location.
In some cases, the credit applicant or merchant may dispute the information that was reported about them and request that it be removed from the CIR. This will then result in the credit bureaus or other agencies searching for the original data that was collected about them and either removing it from their system or replacing it with updated information.
To ensure the accuracy of the information that is reported, it is essential that each and every one of the three Cs (credit bureau, credit grantor, and consumer) follow the appropriate procedures when requesting a CIR. In most cases, this will be done as part of the original application process. In cases where a CIR is requested as part of a credit review, the information that is compiled in the CIR must be accurate regardless of whether it was part of the original application or not.