Your 11 digit Bank Verification Number BVN is your key as you interact with Nigeria’s financial infrastructure.
The number is connected to your biometric data – which means every Nigerian only has one and the number can be used to identify and secure every transaction performed in the country. As important as this number is, some citizens can run into trouble with theirs, either as a result of some of their actions or through no fault of theirs – their BVN can be blacklisted.
A BVN blacklist is a database of Nigerians who have committed some financial wrong-doings and are now deemed as high-risk individuals that can prevent them from getting a loan, job or even traveling abroad. When a person’s name is on the blacklist, it usually means that they have defaulted in repaying their loans. But there are other actions that can land an individual on the blacklist as well.
Actions that can land you on the BVN blacklist in Nigeria
Loan default: The most popular reason why people get on the blacklist is when they defaulted in repayment to their creditor within the stipulated period. Even if you pay back days or weeks after your tenor has expired, it can still negatively affect your credit score and can land you on the blacklist.
Issuing a dud cheque: Issuing a dud cheque on your account can get you into trouble. Not only will it land you on the BVN blacklist but it can also get you arrested and prosecuted by the police. Issuing a cheque that you know will bounce due to insufficient balance in your bank account is simply a bad idea.
Standing as guarantor to a defaulter: Standing as a guarantor to someone unable to repay their loans can also affect you negatively. You as the guarantor might be held liable and unable to secure a loan until they clear their outstanding. Do not stand as a guarantor to anyone you’re not absolutely sure can repay their debt obligations.
Effects of BVN blacklist
Your BVN is perhaps one of the most important financial documents in Nigeria and if it is compromised, that can lead to some dire consequences including but not limited to;
Unable to secure a loan: The most immediate consequence of being on the BVN blacklist is that defaulters will be unable to secure further credits. Most reputable lenders do run a background check on their potential customers to see their credit score. Individuals with outstanding loans usually get rejected during this process.
Unable to get jobs: Some employers do check the credit history of their potential employees, most especially banks and other financial institutions will not consider people with negative credit for employment. These checks are usually done in the background without telling the applicant, applicants with negative credit will just be getting rejected without being informed of the reason why.
Unable to travel abroad: As getting a visa to travel abroad is becoming more and more stringent, some embassies now include credit history as part of their background check. Embassies prefer immigrants that can handle their financial responsibilities so that they don’t become a burden after travelling. If you are heavily indebted your visa application might not go smoothly until you clear your record.
Unable to secure some government deals: Certain government deals like a job with the Nigerian Intelligence Agency or even the CBN might require applicants to have a spotless credit history. Point is, having your BVN is bad and can deny you plenty of opportunities. Luckily, there is a way to remove your name from the blacklist even if you are on it.
Steps to remove your BVN from credit bureau blacklist
Request your credit report: You can request your free credit report from any of the credit reporting agencies in Nigeria. We recommend you use CreditConnection – their service is free and seamless. getting a credit report will enable you to see which institutions you are owing to and keep track of your loans. Note that loans from loansharks and other online loan apps might not appear here if they are unregulated.
Pay your debt: The next step in clearing your name from being reported as a defaulter is to pay up what you owe. If you are in a financially difficult situation, ensure you contact your lender to discuss payment options that could ease the burden of paying the loan. Choose a payment plan that will work best for you and follow up until you settle your debt. You can also set up automatic payments on the due date to avoid missing a payment.
clearance certificate/letter of non-indebtedness: Should you have a clearance certificate/letter of non-indebtedness, you can forward the letter to the credit bureau for verification from your lender.
Contact Credit Bureau: After clearing your debt, your lender is obliged to contact the credit bureau and update your records, but this can sometimes not be done as the process is usually automated.
However, you may apply to the credit bureau where you were listed to have your credit profile updated. This can be done by contacting the Bureau via phone/email.
Phone line: +234-807-209-0622
Your email should carry the following details; your Full Name, Phone Number, Bank Verification Number (BVN), gender, evidence of payment and Clearance certificates (if any).
This process might take 2-5 working days to be resolved so do not hesitate to follow up with the Credit Bureau.
list of licensed credit bureaus in Nigeria
A Credit Bureau is a private company licensed by the CBN to keep a database of how individuals and businesses handle their debt obligations. They keep a record of how much loan is being taken and how soon or late the loan is being paid back in other to protect creditors from loan defaulters. Here are the three main credit bureau agencies licensed to operate in Nigeria and their website.
You can get your free credit report from any of the above. The CBN does not keep a record of credit reports of Nigerians but outsources it to these private companies who can show you yours for a fee.
What does blacklisting of BVN mean?
BVN blacklist means you won’t be able to get a loan from regulated institutions anymore except loan sharks who will charge extremely high-interest rates. If your BVN is blacklisted, it can also affect your chances of getting a good job and travelling abroad if a thorough background check is run on you.
how can I clear myself from being blacklisted?
To clear yourself from the BVN blacklist, these are the things you need to do;
1. Request your credit report from a CBN-licensed credit bureau to know who exactly you are owing.
2. Pay your debt.
3. Get a clearance certificate/letter of non-indebtedness from your lender.
4. Contact Credit Bureau with proof and request that your name is cleared.
Can I change my BVN number online?
No, you cannot. Your BVN contains your biometric records including your fingerprints so it cannot be changed.
Can I have two BVN?
NO, you cannot. because your BVN is secured with your biometric information, it is only one number for every Nigerian citizen.
Is it true that after 7 years your credit record is cleared?
No, your credit record is permanent. your debt can only be cleared after you repaid your loan or you obtain a debt forgiveness.
How long does it take to be removed from CRB blacklist?
You automatically get removed the moment re repaid your loan. You can also send them an email to resolve any dispute, the process might take 2-5 working days to be resolved so do not hesitate to follow up with the Credit Bureau.
How do you know if your BVN has been blacklisted?
check if your BVN has been blacklisted by requesting your credit report for free from any of the credit reporting agencies in Nigeria. You also know that your BVN has been blacklisted when you are getting rejected for loans. Getting very high-interest rate offers on your loan application is also a sign that your BVN has been blacklisted.
What happens if my BVN has been blacklisted?
Blacklisted BVN will lead to your loan applications getting rejected or you will be getting very high-interest rate offers for short periods of loan from creditors that are willing to give you a loan. This is because you’re now deemed as high-risk, and loans to high-risk individuals are more expensive.
How to blacklist BVN?
Only registered creditors and loan providers can blacklist a BVN from getting further loans by submitting the debtor’s details to the credit bureaus.
Can my BVN be blacklisted?
Yes, your BVN can be blacklisted if you are unable to settle your loan obligations during the stipulated tenor. Some creditors do give a grace period after which they will report your BVN to Credit Bureaus and stop you from getting further loans. A reported BVN can also have other consequences including blocking your ability to travel or get certain jobs and government contracts that require a financial background check.