Credit reporting

If you have ever applied for credit or a loan, it is likely that there will be a report, a credit information file, about you with a credit reporting body. This is information about your credit history. It may be used in the future by lenders to work out if you can afford a loan, or a larger credit limit on an existing loan, and whether you are likely to repay it.

You can check it for free once a year to make sure it is correct.

 Find out:

  • Where does the information in my credit report come from?
  • What credit-related personal information is listed in a credit report?
  • What is your repayment history?
  • How your repayment history information may affect your ability to get credit
  • How you can get a copy of my credit report
  • What can you do if you think a listing on your credit file is incorrect.

Where does the information in my credit report come from?

The information in your credit report is collected from credit providers, courts and other organisations by credit reporting agencies. To see an example of a credit report click here.

What credit-related personal information is listed in a credit report?

The credit-related personal information held about you is regulated by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Credit Reporting Privacy Code. These cover what is allowed to be on reports about your credit, deletion of information, access to credit information and accuracy and the security of the information held.  Your report might list your personal details, your credit history, your repayment history and information about bankruptcies, court judgments, debt agreements and personal insolvency agreements.

What is my repayment history?

Your repayment history includes:

  • the date your consumer credit payments, for example, payments on a loan or credit card, were due
  • if you have made or missed a consumer credit payment (including if you only made a partial payment), from December 2012. An overdue listing can be made if you are more than fourteen days overdue in payment (Note: this does not apply to overdue payments for non-consumer credit bills such as utility bills as these can only be listed as a default after 60 days), and
  • the dates which you made any missed payments.

Information about any particular payment cannot be held for more than two years from the date it was due but not any payment that was due before December 2012.

How will my repayment history information affect my ability to get credit?

From 12 March 2014 credit reporting bodies can disclose your repayment history information, along with other credit-related personal information, to licenced credit providers. This information may be used by the credit providers to help work out whether you should be given credit.

How can I get a copy of my credit report?

You are entitled to check your credit report for free once a year. If you need to see it quickly, there may be a charge, but if you are prepared to wait a little longer (around 10 days) it won't cost you anything. 

Equifax, CheckYourCredit (Dun & Bradstreet) and Experian are the largest credit reporting bodies operating in Australia. You can contact them and request a copy of your credit report. They generally require that the request be made in writing. You can order it online.

What can I do if I think a listing on my credit file is incorrect?

If you think that the repayment history information held about you is incorrect you should ask the credit provider or credit reporting body to correct the information.  

 

Reviewed: 6 April 2018

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.