You can get a free copy of your consumer credit report every three months, or more frequently in certain circumstances.

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Your credit report is held by credit reporting agencies.  There are three separate credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Illion and Experian.  You are entitled to get a free copy of your credit report, which will include your 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.

Your credit score is calculated based on what is in your credit report for example, the amount of money you’ve borrowed, the number of credit applications you’ve made, whether you pay on time and so on.

It’s worth getting a copy of your free credit report at least once a year to check it is correct. The credit score calculated by the credit reporting agency will also be shown in the report.

This page explains how you can access your credit report, the difference between a free and a paid report and how to check your report. It also warns about scams and how to avoid them.

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.

Follow these steps to get your credit report and score for free


Contact a credit reporting agency

You might have a credit report, which includes a credit score, created by more than one credit reporting agency.  These are Equifax, Illion and Experian.

You can get a copy of your free credit report and credit score once every 3 months by contacting any, or all, of the credit reporting agencies listed below. You can also request a free credit report more often in certain circumstances.

The information in your credit report may vary depending on the agency. It’s a good idea to start by requesting your credit report and credit score from the largest agency, which is Equifax.

Be aware that if you request your credit report, your current contact details will then become available to any lenders, creditors or debt collectors who check your report.

Complete the online form here or call Equifax on 13 83 32.

Complete the online form here or call Illion on 13 23 33.

Complete the online form here or call Experian on 1300 783 684


You have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report and credit score once every 3 months, or more often if:

  • your credit application was declined, (the request must be made within 90 days from the date your application was declined); or
  • you lodged a correction request and have been advised that your credit report has been corrected.

You can usually access your report online within a day or two.  If you request to receive your report by email or mail then it must arrive within 10 days. You may be charged for your credit report only if:

  • you’ve already had a report from the same credit reporting agency in the past 3 months and you have not been declined credit or needed an error to be fixed.
  • you sign up and subscribe to a paid monthly subscription plan with the credit reporting agency.


Check the information on your credit report

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, continue to Step 04 to contact a financial counsellor 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.

Also check that all the personal information listed on your report is correct.


Beware of ‘credit repair’, ‘credit fix’ or ‘debt solution’ companies that say they can ‘improve’ your credit report or credit score. These companies usually charge large fees for services 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.

  • Don’t search for ‘credit reporting agencies’ over the internet, as you may find fake sites offering ‘free credit reports’ that are really out to scam you.
  • Never follow an email link or respond to an unsolicited email offering a free credit report – delete it. It’s likely to be a scam to trick you into providing your personal information.
  • If a business offers you a free credit report, they shouldn’t need your credit card details. Don’t provide them.


Fix the information in your report

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

If you find information on your credit report that you think is wrong or misleading, you can take these steps to fix it for free.


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 9:00am-8.00pm 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 for credit that you’ve made, including joint applications (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 previous 24 months).
  • financial hardship information (FHI) including any hardship arrangements which have been made after 1 July 2022 (in the previous 12 months).
  • 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 previous 5 years).
  • details about any court orders against you, including bankruptcy orders.
  • details about serious credit infringements, such as a payment defaults 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 and see information about your repayment history or financial hardship arrangements. See below for specific questions about this.

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 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 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 and shows 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 a 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 as to 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.