Your credit report contains information about your credit history.  Credit providers use this information, and their own data, to help decide whether to give you credit when you apply for a loan or service.  It is important that you make sure that the information on your credit report is correct.

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If you find information on your credit report that you think is wrong or misleading, you have the right to get these errors corrected for free.  This page outlines the steps to take to fix any errors.

Warning:  Beware of Credit Repair companies claiming to be able to ‘repair’ or ‘fix’ your credit report or credit score for a fee.  These companies charge large sums of money for something you can do yourself for free.  They can often mislead you into thinking they can get something off your credit report when legally it should be there.

Financial counsellors and community legal services can provide free advice and, in some cases, assistance to help people lodge complaints to fix errors on their personal credit report.  See Step 06 below for contact details.

At the bottom of this page we also explain what information can be kept on your credit report, who can add this information, how long this information will stay, what to do if you have been a victim of fraud, recording of financial hardship arrangements, and information about credit scores and ratings.

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.

Follow these steps to fix your credit report


Get a free copy of your credit report

Your credit report is held by credit reporting agencies.  These are Equifax, Illion and Experian.

You are entitled to get a free copy of your personal credit report and credit score once every three months from each of these credit reporting agencies.  You can also request a free credit report, if your application for credit was declined in the past 90 days.

If you don’t already have a copy of your credit report, see our page  Get your credit report.


Check your credit report

Credit reporting agencies are required by law to make sure the information on your credit report is accurate, up-to-date, complete relevant and not misleading.

Review your credit report and if you find information on it that you think is wrong, you have a right to ask the credit reporting agency or the credit provider to fix it for free.

  • If there’s a simple error, continue to Step 03 to fix it
  • If you’re finding it difficult to identify what’s wrong, contact us on 1800 007 007 for help

Some things to look out for that could impact your credit health:

  • Defaults: these are listed against credit accounts where you have been issued with a Default Notice by the creditor for payments over $150 which are more than 60 days overdue (in the last 5 years).
  • Current credit accounts: details of your current credit accounts, such as loans and utility accounts.
  • Repayment History Information: details of whether you have made repayments on time (for credit with banks, credit unions and other finance companies but NOT phone or utility companies).
  • Credit Inquiries: details of credit applications you have made including joint applications.


Default listings on your credit report can cause problems when applying for credit (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. You must have first been sent a default notice and then a second notice about the credit provider’s intention to list a default. If you didn’t, ask your credit provider for copies of these notices.
  • When the default listing was made. This is because a listing cannot be made more than 3 months after the date of the second notice.
  • That the amount listed as overdue 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 (and you had kept to the arrangement) 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.
  • If you paid the default amount within 14 days of the notice from the creditor telling you that the default will be listed, then the listing could be argued as inaccurate or misleading.
  • If you paid the default after it was correctly listed, you can ask for the listing to be updated as ‘paid’.

There are also other reasons as to why the default listing may be inaccurate or misleading.

If you feel that the default listing was unfair in the circumstances, contact us on 1800 007 007.


Make a complaint

If you find information on your credit report that you think is wrong, inaccurate or misleading, you have a right to complain to the credit reporting agency or the credit provider and ask that they fix it.  Both 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, as they’re usually quicker.)

  • Write to the credit provider or credit reporting agency and raise your complaint.
  • You will need to give reasons as to why you think the information listed on your credit report is incorrect.
  • If you have documents or other information that supports your reasons then include these in your complaint.
  • If you send your complaint to the credit reporting body also send a copy to the 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.

The credit provider or credit reporting agency is required to respond to your complaint within 30 days of receiving it.

If the creditor or credit reporting agency doesn’t respond in 30 days or refuses to correct your credit report (and you do not agree with their reasons), the next step is to raise a dispute in the relevant external dispute resolution scheme (EDR).  See Step 04 below about how to do this.


Complain to the External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme

If you are not happy with the outcome of Step 03, ask for details of your credit provider’s External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme and make a complaint. EDR schemes are free and independent.

The relevant dispute resolution schemes are:

Financial services eg. Loans, credit cards, rental contracts for goods

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
Ph: 1800 931 678


Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)
Ph: 1800 062 058


ACT   – The ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal (ACAT)
NSW – Energy and Water Ombudsman New South Wales (EWON)
NT      – Ombudsman NT
QLD  – Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ)
SA      – Energy and Water Ombudsman South Australia (EWOSA)
Tas     – Energy Ombudsman
Vic     – Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV)
WA    – Energy and Water Ombudsman Western Australia (EWOWA)

See our page on Complaints & Disputes to find out more about EDR schemes


Complain to the privacy commissioner

You also have the right to make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). However, we strongly recommend that you go to one of the EDR schemes first.

The Commissioner can refuse to hear a complaint if:

  • you haven’t first complained to a credit reporting body or creditor (Step 03)
  • your complaint has already been decided by an EDR scheme

Visit or phone 1300 363 992.


Speak to one of our financial counsellors

If your problem still hasn’t been solved, or you are feeling overwhelmed and need some help, you can speak with one of our financial counsellors.

Financial counsellors aren’t judgmental about your circumstances – they’re here to offer you free, confidential and independent advice and assistance.

To speak to a financial counsellor you can:

  • Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 – open Weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Use our live chat service by clicking the chat icon in the bottom right corner of your screen. Live chat is available 9:00 am to 8.00 pm weekdays. If you send a message outside these hours a financial counsellor will get back to you.
  • Make an appointment to see a financial counsellor in your local area. Find a local financial counsellor on this map.

Understanding your credit report

What information is kept in my credit report?

The main information that can be recorded on your credit report includes:

  • 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, including joint applications, for credit (including loans, mobile phones, and gas and electricity accounts) during the past five years. This is called a credit enquiry.
  • loan account details, including: date opened and closed, type and credit limit.
  • repayment history information (RHI) on loans such as whether repayments have been made on time (in the past 24 months).
  • financial hardship information (FHI) including any hardship arrangements which have been made after 1 July 2022 (in the past 12 months).
  • Please note that RHI and FHI can only be listed for credit with banks, credit unions and other finance companies but NOT phone or utility companies
  • default listings where a payment is more than 60 days late and the required notices have been given (in the last 5 years).
  • details about any court orders against you, including bankruptcy orders.
  • 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).

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner publishes a complete list of what information can be included in your credit report.

Who can add information to my credit report?

The Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) sets out the laws relating to consumer credit reporting.  It says that only credit providers can record information on your credit report, such as information about defaults or requests for credit. These credit providers can also access your credit report and look at this type of information.

The Privacy Act defines the following as credit providers:

  • a bank
  • a building society, finance company or credit union
  • a retailer that issues a credit card for the sale of goods or services
  • a business that supplies good and services where payment is deferred for 7 days or more (for example, a buy now pay later provider, a telecommunications company, an energy retailer or a water utility)
  • a business that supplies credit for hiring, leasing or renting consumer goods (for example when you rent things like a TV, fridge or computer).

Note: only credit providers that have an Australian Credit Licence, such as banks, can add information about your repayment history or financial hardship arrangements. See below for specific questions about this.

When will the information on my credit report 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 have reasonable grounds to believe you have been or are likely to be victim of fraud (or identity theft), you can request a ban on your credit report.

  • While the ban is in place your credit information can’t be disclosed to a credit provider by a credit reporting agency without your specific written permission. This helps to safeguard against anyone using your information to try and fraudulently take credit out in your name.
  • You can place a ban by completing a form online with Equifax. It would be a good idea to also select YES to the option asking Equifax to also notify the other credit reporting agencies (Experian and Illion) of this ban.
  • The initial ban is only for 28 days. Before the 28 days expires, you will need to contact Equifax to have the ban extended. An extension may be provided with evidence supporting that you are, or at risk of becoming, a victim of fraud. In most cases this will require you to show that you have either a police report number or a report number.
  • If you would like to place a ban or extend a ban you will need to enter your details in the form here

More information about placing a ban on your credit file can be found in the IDCare factsheet

If you are not sure if your ID has been stolen, you can call the free IDCare line on 1300 IDCARE or 1300 432 273 for assistance.

Can financial hardship arrangements be recorded on my credit report?

Yes.  From 1 July 2022, lenders that hold an Australian Credit Licence, who report Repayment History Information (RHI), will also be required to report Financial Hardship Information (FHI) on financial hardship arrangements entered into on or after that date.

RHI is a 24-month view of your payment history on loans such as whether repayments have been made on time:

  • 0 or (✔️) means repayments were made on time
  • 1 to 6 generally indicates the number or months that repayments are overdue
  • X generally means repayments are 7 or more months overdue

If you have agreed to a formal financial hardship arrangement with your lender, there will be a financial hardship indicator (FHI) reported next to your RHI.

There are two FHI indicators:

  • A – reflects a temporary financial hardship arrangement, such as a payment deferral.
    • “A” (standing for ‘Arrangement’) is reported for every month you are in the arrangement.
    • Your RHI is then reported against each month of the arrangement.
    • If you meet the agreed terms of the arrangement, your RHI will show as being up to date.
  • V – reflects a permanent change to your credit contract
    • “V” (standing for ‘Variation’) is reported only for the first month of the arrangement i.e., the month the permanent change is made.
    • Your RHI is then reported against the changed or varied contract.

Important things to know about financial hardship information (FHI):

  • Only Australian Credit Licence holders, who are members of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, can record and view your RHI and FHI.  This means businesses such as telcos and utility providers cannot record or see this information.
  • You can protect your credit report and credit score even during a period of financial hardship by entering into a hardship arrangement with your lender.
  • Your credit report will NOT include the reason you are in hardship or the details of the arrangement.
  • FHI is NOT allowed to be included in the calculation of your credit score.
  • FHI will only stay on your credit report for 12 months after which it will drop off automatically.  This means that your credit report will not show that you were ever in a financial hardship arrangement.  Also, provided you pay what was agreed on time, your RHI will show that you are up to date and made your repayments on time.
  • Lenders cannot cancel your current credit cards because you have a hardship arrangement with another bank.
  • When you apply for a new loan or credit card, your bank may check your credit report.  If they see the FHI, this may prompt them to ask a few questions to understand whether you are still experiencing hardship and if you can afford the new loan or credit.

What is a credit score?

The law requires the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Illion and Experian) to include your credit rating, or credit score, with your free credit report.  This means you don’t have to pay an online credit score provider to obtain your score.

A credit score is largely based on credit related information contained in your credit report.  It is a high-level indicator of your credit health. However, it is unclear about the extent to which creditors actually use a credit score in assessing an application for new credit.  Many creditors, such as banks, will use their own data sources as they already know a lot about their customer’s credit history.

There is no one official way of calculating a credit score and it will be calculated differently by each credit reporting agency.

Your credit score, depending on the credit reporting agency, will be a number between zero (0) and 1,000 or 1,200. This is sometimes then related to a five-point scale (excellent, very good, good, average and below average).

Your credit score will change over time as your credit history changes.  As a general rule, your credit score will be lower if you have made many credit applications, there is poor repayment history (regular missed or late payments on loans) and defaults in your credit report.  That is why it is important to check your credit report and fix any errors before applying for new loans or at least once every 12 months.

It is important to note that Financial Hardship Information cannot be incorporated into your credit score from a credit reporting agency.