Follow these steps to fix your credit report
Review your credit report for inaccuracies
Credit reporting agencies are required by law to make sure information on credit reports is accurate, up to date and complete.
Review your credit report and if there are inaccuracies, you have a right to get them fixed.
- If there’s a simple error, continue to Step 3 to fix it
- If you’re finding it difficult to identify what’s wrong, contact us on 1800 007 007
The main listings that cause problems when applying for credit are ‘default listings’ (which you may only find out about when you actually apply for credit and get rejected).
If your credit report shows a ‘default listing’, check:
- When it is going to expire. Defaults are removed after five years. If that time is close it may be easier to wait for the default to be removed
- That you received the required notices before the default was listed. As of March 1, 2014, you must have been sent a default notice and a notice about the credit provider’s intention to list a default. If you didn’t, ask your credit provider for copies of these notices
- That the amount listed on your account statement is correct as at the date of the default listing
Other points to note are:
- If you had an agreed repayment arrangement in place before the default was listed (which you had kept to) the default may be arguably inaccurate
- If you were granted a loan that you couldn’t afford to repay when it was granted, it may be arguable that the default is inaccurate
There are also arguments that can be mounted as to why the default may be inaccurate. If you feel that the default listing was unfair in the circumstances, contact us on 1800 007 007.
Make a complaint
If you need to fix an inaccuracy, complain to either the credit provider or the credit reporting body, both of which are required to deal with your complaint and can’t refer it to someone else. (If you’re disputing a default listing, complain to the credit provider, they’re usually quicker.)
- If you send your complaint to the credit reporting body also send a copy to any relevant creditor
- Remember to keep a copy of your letter/email
- You don’t need to know who listed the information in order to make a complaint
- A decision will be made within 30 days of you making the request
- If the creditor or the credit reporting body refuses to correct your credit file, they must provide the reasons why and evidence proving the correctness of the information
If you’re not happy with the result or you don’t get a response within 30 days, go on to Step 4.
Complain to the External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme
If you’re not happy with the outcome of Step 3, ask for your credit provider’s External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme and make a complaint.
Contact the privacy commissioner
You also have the right to contact the Privacy Commissioner. However we strongly recommend that you go to one of the EDR schemes first.
The Commissioner can refuse to hear a complaint if:
- it has already been decided by an External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme
- you haven’t first complained to a credit reporting body or creditor (Step 1)
Speak to one of our financial counsellors
If your problem still hasn’t been solved, or you’re feeling overwhelmed, call us on 1800 007 007 to speak with one of our financial counsellors.
Understanding your credit report
What information is kept in my credit report?
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner publishes a complete list of what information can be included in your credit report.
Below is a summary of the information in a credit report:
- personal details such as your name, date of birth, current and previous addresses, driver licence number and employer details
- information about applications you’ve made for credit (including mobile phones, and gas and electricity accounts) during the past five years
- default listings where a payment is more than 60 days late and the required notices have been given
- details about any court orders against you, including bankruptcy orders
- details about credit applications and unpaid debts (kept 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 (kept for seven years)
- repayment history covering late payments for loans (with the exception of telcos and utilities, who can’t list this information)
- loan account details, including: date opened and closed, type and credit limit.
Who can add information?
Banks and finance companies, or other businesses that provide credit or goods and services at least 7 days before you have to pay for them. Electricity and phone companies can also list information on your credit report.
When will the information be deleted?
Different types of information can be held in your consumer credit report for different periods of time.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner publishes a complete list of when information will be deleted.
What if I am a victim of fraud?
If you’re concerned about being the victim of fraud (including identity fraud), you can make a request to a credit reporting body not to disclose the personal information in your credit report. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner publishes more information about fraud and your credit report.
Are requests for hardship assistance included?
No. The provider can’t disclose the fact that you’ve made a hardship application. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner publishes more information about hardship assistance and your credit report.