If you’ve applied for a loan, signed up for a gas, electricity or phone service or been at least 60 days late paying a bill during the past five years, it’s likely that a credit-reporting agency has prepared a credit report or credit rating in your name.
Creditors, telcos and utility companies contact credit-reporting agencies to help them decide whether to lend you money, provide you with credit or with their services. If your record reveals a poor history of debt payment, they’ll consider you a high credit risk. They might refuse you credit, or make you pay higher interest.
- What’s on your credit report?
- How to get a copy of your credit report
- What to do if your credit report is not accurate
What’s on your credit report?
Your credit report contains your personal details and information about any applications you have made for credit (including mobile phones and gas and electricity accounts opened) during the past five years. It also lists debts you hadn’t paid 60 days after the due date, and details about any court orders against you, including bankruptcy orders.
Credit report information is compiled from information supplied by creditors and the courts.
Details about credit applications and unpaid debts are kept on your file for five years. Details about serious credit infringements, such as a payment default coupled with a failure to provide a creditor with your current contact details are kept for seven years, as is information of bankruptcy.
How to get a copy of your credit report
You can request a free copy of your credit report from credit-reporting agencies like Veda Australia and Dun and Bradstreet. The agency will send you your report within 10 days, but it can be supplied in a shorter time for a fee.
Find out more about how to apply for a copy of your credit report.
Sample MoneyHelp letter: Request for a copy of your credit report (MoneyHelp Letter 11)(Word 29kb)
What to do if your credit report is not accurate
If your credit report contains errors, you can contact either the agency, the creditor or both to dispute its accuracy and request a correction. If the agency will not agree to amend your report, you may contact the relevant industry ombudsman service or the Privacy Commission and ask them to assist to have the report corrected.
If you have paid a debt after it has been listed on your credit report, you are entitled to have the report updated and the default marked ‘paid’. The default will not be deleted from your report.