Will comprehensive credit reporting change my credit score?
Comprehensive credit reporting may change your credit score, either positively or negatively, depending on an individual's situation.
Under comprehensive credit reporting, credit providers will share more information, both positive and negative, about how you and other Australians manage credit products. That means credit reporting bureaus will be able to make a more thorough assessment of everyone’s credit behaviour. That will lead to higher scores for some consumers and lower scores for others.
What is comprehensive credit reporting?
Comprehensive credit reporting is a system which includes both positive and negative information on a person’s credit file. Before comprehensive credit reporting was introduced, only negative information was included.
When was comprehensive credit reporting introduced?
Comprehensive credit reporting was introduced to make credit reports fairer and more accurate. Under the previous system, credit providers only saw negative information about potential borrowers. Now, they're able to see both positive and negative information, which means that credit providers can see if a borrower’s negative credit behaviour is consistent or a mere one-off.
How do I know if I've got a bad credit history?
You can find out what your credit history looks like by accessing what's known as your credit rating or credit score. You're also able to check your credit report for free once per year.
What causes bad credit ratings/scores?
Failing to repay loans and bills will damage your credit score. So will falling behind on your repayments. Your credit score will also suffer if you apply for credit too often or have credit applications rejected.
What is a credit rating/score?
Your credit rating or credit score is a number that summarises how credit-worthy you are based on your credit history.
The lower your score, the more likely you are to be denied a loan or forced to pay a higher interest rate.
Who calculates your credit rating/score?
Credit ratings or credit scores are calculated by credit reporting bodies. The main bodies are Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service.
How can I improve my credit rating/score?
Your credit score will improve if you demonstrate that you’ve become more credit-worthy. You can do that by minimising loan applications, clearing up defaults and paying bills on time.
Another tip is to get the one free credit report you’re entitled to each year – that way, you’ll be able to identify and fix any errors.
If you want to fix an error, the first thing you should do is speak with the credit reporting body, which may take care of the problem or contact credit providers on your behalf.
The next step would be to contact your credit provider. If that doesn’t work, you can refer the matter to the credit provider’s independent dispute resolution scheme, which would be the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
AFCA provides consumers and small businesses with fair, free and independent dispute resolution for financial complaints.
If that doesn’t work, your final options are to contact the Privacy Commissioner and then the Office of the Information Commissioner.