Will comprehensive credit reporting change my credit score?
Comprehensive credit reporting may change your credit score – either positively or negatively.
Under comprehensive credit reporting, credit providers will share more information 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. For some consumers, that will lead to higher scores; for others, lower scores.
Comprehensive credit reporting means including both positive and negative information on a person’s credit file. Before comprehensive credit reporting was introduced, only negative information was included.
Different credit reporting bodies use different formulas to calculate credit scores. However, they use the same type of information – credit history and demographic profile.
So they’re going to look at how many credit applications you’ve made, who they were with, what they were for, how much they were for and your repayment record. They’ll also look at your age and postcode. They’ll also look to see if you’ve had any bankruptcies or other relevant legal judgements against you.
Your score can change if your demographic profile changes or new information is added to your file (such as a new loan application) or existing information is removed from your file (because it has reached its expiry date).
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 get to see both positive and negative information, which means that credit providers can see if a borrower’s negative credit behaviour is typical or a one-off.
Your credit score will improve if you demonstrate that you’ve become more credit-worthy. You can do that by minimising credit 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 make take 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.
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.