Most college graduates who had received a loan from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) to ease their (parents’) financial burden dread the day when they need to start paying back.

It is known that PTPTN generally offers fresh graduates a six-month leeway before they start their loan repayment to give them some time to secure their first job.

However, this particular graduate has been unreasonably blacklisted by PTPTN and her parents are not happy about it.

According to Free Malaysia Today, a female medical graduate has reportedly been listed in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) merely two months after her graduation.

Not only was the time period given unreasonable, the graduate hasn’t actually started working because she is reportedly still waiting for her housemanship posting from the government.

Her father, who wished to be identified only as Edwin told the news portal that she had graduated in November and received a letter from PTPTN two months later in January asking her to start repaying the loan.

A few weeks later, she was reportedly listed in the CCRIS list.

When Edwin approached the PTPTN office in Kuala Lumpur to request for an extension, the staff told him that her name would still be in the CCRIS list despite granting the extension.

However, PTPTN chairman Shamsul Anuar Nasarah told FMT that they would investigate this case and it could possibly be a technical error.

“As for listing in CCRIS, there are certain criteria which have to be fulfilled before we list someone under CCRIS,” he added.

What is this CCRIS report and why should I be worried?

CCRIS is basically a system set up by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) that collects credit information on borrowers from participating financial institutions and supplies the information back to them.

This allows said financial institions to access and analyse credit histories of potential or current borrowers.

Why did Bank Negara Malaysia set up CCRIS?

One of BNM's jobs is to regulate and supervise financial institutions so that our country's financial system remains stable.

BNM promotes prudent credit policies and professionalism among financial institutions. So with CCRIS, financial institutions can make faster and better informed lending decisions.

In other words, this list could disable you from applying for a car, housing or credit card loan.

So if you have unpaid loans tied to the government, you better find out if your name is listed in CCRIS!

Pay off your student loans, guys.

Oh no! How do I check my CCRIS report?

You can obtain your CCRIS report at any BNM Customer Service Centre or regional office. If there is none near you, you may also request a copy via mail, fax or e-mail.

The following documents are required together with your request:

You can find more information about CCRIS on the Credit Bureau website.

So if I'm a PTPTN borrower, what should I do to avoid being blacklisted?

If you’re currently having trouble paying back, don’t attempt to dodge the bullet and risk being blacklisted, or worse, not being able to leave the country.

You can always visit any PTPTN branch office near you and negotiate a repayment strategy that works for you.

Fresh graduates may also request an extension of up to 24 months, depending on your loan amount and age.

So PTPTN borrowers, we understand that this is not an easy task. But let’s be responsible citizens and repay our debts where it’s due.