Credit Report - What is it, what will you find in it and where can you get it?
When you apply for credit it is likely that the lender will access your credit report to ascertain if you are a credit risk. A credit report is created for every person who formally applies for credit in Australia. This report holds important information about your financial history that lenders can use to assess your ability to repay your debts. In turn they use this information to decide whether they will lend to you.
Your credit report is available to be accessed at anytime. Two credit reporting agencies that you are able to access your record through are:
- Baycorp Advantage
- Dun & Bradstreet
You have to apply in writing to view your credit report. This should be received in under a fortnight but if you need to view it more urgently you can pay a small fee to have it issued within a matter of days.
Your credit report contains the following information:
- Personal details
- Details of credit applications lodged
- Current and settled credit defaults
- Serious credit infringements
- Your public record
Your credit report is designed to give lenders an insight into your financial history. The information contained in the document is considered important to ascertaining your eligibility as a borrower.
Simply speaking this is your personal details, your full name, date-of-birth, current and past addresses, your driving licence number and it may contain your employment details. It is important that you assure this information is correct as it can help ensure that you don't become the victim of identity fraud. This accuracy of this information can help guarantee that it is only you who is using your name to apply for credit. If any of the information in this section is incorrect you should notify the credit reporting agency immediately.
Details of credit applications lodged
When you apply for credit the lender will normally access your credit report to ascertain your viability as a borrower. Some lenders may make a decision based on the information you give them, though this is less common.
Many creditors make decisions about your viability based upon your previous attempts to apply for credit. As a consequence the more applications you have made the worse your credit report will appear to some creditors. In order to avoid this you should only apply for credit when you believe there is a strong chance that your application will be approved.
Current and settled credit defaults
The times you have defaulted on a loan or credit card payment it may appear on your credit report. However the process of reporting defaults can be time-consuming for the credit company and consequently you may find that only serious defaults are listed on the report.
Serious credit infringements
In cases in which you have had a serious credit default and have ignored calls from the lender to settle your debt then it is likely you will be listed as a 'serious credit risk'. This is regarded as a serious credit infringement and might have a significant impact on your ability to apply for future credit.
Your public record
Your public record contains information such as details of bankruptcy notices and judgements. This information has the ability to significantly impact your ability to apply for credit. This information is removed from your credit report when it expires, for example details of bankruptcy will be removed from your report 7 years from the date of your bankruptcy.
Despite appearances your credit report is not mysterious or shady. At any time you are entitled to view your report and challenge any mistakes that might be on there. Your credit report is an important document that is likely to influence every money lender you encounter, so you should endeavour to make sure it reflects you and your financial position accurately.
If you would like Debt Relief to assist you with your credit report then fill in the following form or call Debt Relief on 1300 781 034.