Why should I check my credit rating?
There are two reasons you should check your credit rating: so you have a better understanding of your financial position, and so you can take action (if necessary) to improve your credit rating.
Lenders often use credit ratings or credit scores to assess loan applications. The higher your score, the more likely you are to get approved – and the more likely you are to be charged lower interest rates and lower fees. Conversely, the lower your credit score, the less likely you are to get approved – and the more likely you are to be charged higher interest rates and higher fees.
If you discover you have a substandard credit rating, there are nine steps you can take to improve it. Those steps include consolidating multiple debts, fixing errors on your credit file, making repayments on time, paying off loans and closing extra credit cards.
Credit card fraud is a serious problem. If your credit card is compromised and you’re wondering what to do, here are a few precautionary steps to take.
Contact you credit provider – Get in touch will your credit card provider. If you feel your card has been compromised, you should be able to lock or block it.
Monitor your accounts – Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Any unauthorised transactions could be a sign your credit card has been compromised.
Check your credit rating – It’s also important to check your credit rating, to ensure you’re not a victim of identity theft or some other financial mischief.
Losing your credit card is a serious situation, and could land you in financial trouble. Here is a simple guide detailing what to do when you lose your credit card.
Lock you card – Contact your provider and inform them about your lost credit card. From here lock, block or cancel your card.
Keep track of transactions – Look out for unauthorised credit card transactions. Most banks protect against fraudulent transactions.
Address recurring charges – If your card is linked to recurring charges (gym membership, rent, utilities), contact those businesses.
Check credit rate – To ensure you’re not the victim of identity theft, check your credit rating a month or two after you lose your credit card.
When managed properly, credit cards can be a convenient way to access cash and reap rewards. As convenient as they can be, it’s important to keep on top of your repayments so you don’t end up paying more in interest than the item originally cost. Each month, you’ll get a credit card statement detailing how much you owe and how long it will take to pay off the balance by making minimum repayments. If you only make the minimum repayments, it will take you years to pay off your outstanding balance and add extra costs in interest charges. To avoid any extra charges, you should pay the entire bill.
In Australia it is impossible to get a credit card without the provider performing a credit check first. This is for your benefit, as it helps to prevent you from falling into avoidable debt.
What happens if I have a bad credit score?
If you have a bad credit score, you might encounter two main problems. First, the lower your credit score, the more likely you are to be rejected when you apply for a loan or any other credit product. Second, if your application is accepted, the less likely you are to qualify for the lowest interest rates.
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