Understanding Your Credit File

Your Credit File is a report held with a credit reporting body (Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet or Experian) that contains information relating to your credit history. If you have ever applied for a loan or credit, it is likely this information will be on your report.

What is a loan or credit?

Any personal loan, home loan, credit card are all types of credit that are reported. Can include mobile phone contracts, gas and electricity contracts, store accounts & equipment rentals.

What type of information is held?

Any credit enquiries that is a loan or credit, any defaults either paid or not paid, public record information such as bankruptcies, court judgements, directorships & proprietorships, monthly repayment history on loans or credit (not all lenders currently supply this information)

What is a credit enquiry?

An application for a loan or credit regardless of whether the application was approved, declined, withdrawn or did not proceed.

What is a credit default?

Where a loan or credit for $150 or more was/is more than 60 days overdue and the credit provider has tried to contact you they may lodge a default on your file.

What is a Bankruptcy?

Includes formal bankruptcy, debt agreements and personal insolvency. Applies when you are unable to pay all of your debts when they become due. Acts of bankruptcy are lodged on your file only after an extensive legal process.

How long is information kept on file?

All credit enquiries are held on your report for 5 years. Most credit defaults are held on file for 5 years also however some may last up to 7 years depending on how the credit provider recorded the default.

Can credit enquiries be removed?

No – however sometimes a lender can request an enquiry be removed from your file if that enquiry was made in error.

Can Credit Defaults be removed?

No – however if you dispute the default either yourself or through a credit repair agency and the dispute is successful, the credit provider may remove the default as part of the dispute process.

Can acts of Bankruptcy be removed?

No

Who can access my credit file?

Credit Providers, Mortgage Insurers, Trade Insurers and anyone else authorised to act on your behalf. The Privacy Act provides strong protections around who can access your credit file as not just anyone can get access to your credit report.

Can I get a copy of my report?

Yes. You are entitled to 1 free credit report every year. This report does not contain your ‘Credit Score’ however for a cost you can receive a copy of your report with your score included. Visit www.mycreditfile.com.au to find out more and to order your report.

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