NAB and CBA lead Big Four in CCR

NAB and CBA lead Big Four in CCR

Both National Australia Bank (NAB) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have announced that they will participate in Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) in 2018, allowing more Australians the opportunity to improve their credit ratings by exercising positive borrowing habits.

Comprehensive Credit Reporting was introduced in 2014 as an alternative to traditional methods of recording consumer credit history, which typically only take negative events in a borrower’s credit history (e.g. credit rejections, defaulting on loan repayments) into account. Under the CCR scheme, positive events (e.g. successful loan applications, on-time repayments) in a borrower’s credit history are also recorded for lenders to consider when assessing a credit application.

This holistic approach to credit history would have theoretically allowed Australian borrowers to recover from bad credit mistakes by exercising good credit habits. However, lender participation in the CCR scheme was voluntary when it was first introduced, meaning unless you were with the relatively small number of banks and financial institutions taking part in CCR, your good credit history went unrecorded, and didn’t affect your bad credit rating.  

With the Australian government now considering the introduction of legislation making CCR participation mandatory for all lenders, Australia’s big banks are making changes to their credit reporting systems in preparation for future regulation.  

NAB has announced that it will commence its public participation in CCR in February 2018. This phased rollout is set to start with personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts, to help ensure a smooth transition for bank customers.

CBA has also committed to use CCR data to enhance the residential mortgage process before the end of 2018. According to CBA, it will start its CCR rollout in the home loans sector due to its position as the largest home loan provider.  

In September 2017, Westpac appointed ex-Equifax CEO Nerida Caesar to its board of directors, who has voiced her support of Comprehensive Credit Reporting, citing its benefits to the economy.

ANZ previously said in August 2016 that it expected to be providing and receiving data from the CCR scheme in 2017-18, and that rolling out the system would cost the banking industry between $400 million and $500 million.

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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.

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 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.

How long will I have bad credit?

Most negative events that appear on a person’s credit file will stay in their credit history for up to seven years.

You may be able to improve your credit score by correcting errors in your credit report, clearing outstanding debts, and maintaining good financial habits over time.

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.

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.

Can students with no credit history get loans?

It is possible for students with no available history of borrowing or managing money to get a personal loan, though it may be more difficult as well as expensive than for borrowers with a good credit history.

Having no credit history means having no credit score. While many lenders may consider having no credit score to be better than having a bad credit score, they may still consider it riskier to lend to an unknown borrower and may charge higher interest rates or fees than to borrowers with good credit scores.

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.

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.

What is bad credit?

A person is deemed to have ‘bad credit’ when they have a poor history of managing credit and repaying debts.

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.

Which lenders offer bad credit personal loans?

Several dozen lenders offer bad credit personal loans in Australia. These are generally smaller lenders that aren’t household names.

How do I consolidate my debt if I have bad credit?

The worse your credit history, the harder you will find it to consolidate your debts, because lenders will be less willing to lend you money and will charge you higher interest rates.

However, people with bad credit histories can make debt consolidation work by following this three-step process:

  1. First, find a lender willing to give you a bad credit personal loan. This process will be simplified if you go through a finance broker or use a comparison website like RateCity.
  2. Second, make sure the interest repayments on your new loan are less than the repayments on the loans being replaced.
  3. Third, instead of spending those savings, use them to pay off the new loan.

What interest rates are charged for personal loans?

Lenders aren’t allowed to charge interest on loans of $2,000 and under. Instead, they make their money by charging a one-off establishment fee of up to 20 per cent and a monthly account-keeping fee of up to four per cent. Lenders might also ask you to pay a government fee.

For loans between $2,001 and $5,000, lenders can make their money in only two ways: a one-off fee of $400 and annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.

For loans of $5,001 and above, or for loans that have terms longer than two years, lenders can charge annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.

Those fee caps don’t apply to loans offered by authorised deposit-taking institutions such as banks, building societies or credit unions, although such institutions are highly unlikely to charge interest rates of anywhere near 48 per cent.