What is the first step you’ll take to secure your finances? In my opinion, you must keep track of your credit activity and credit history. And, how would you do that? The answer lies in your free instant online Australian credit report.
What is the first step you’ll take to secure your finances? In my opinion, you must keep track of your credit activity and credit history. And, how would you do that? The answer lies in your free instant online Australian credit report. Yes, just enter your personal details and get it delivered to your email inbox within 10 working days!
Here’s how a credit report looks like:
This data – provided by industry-leader Equifax – has been gathered from Australia's largest business and consumer information database.
Who compiles your credit report?In Australia, like in every other part of the world, credit reports are maintained by businesses known as credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies. You can get your free instant online Australian credit report from national credit reporting bodies listed on the government website -- Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
What is the importance of a credit report?March 2014 brought some extensive changes to Australia’s credit reporting system – giving rise to the introduction of comprehensive credit reporting. Therefore, it is imperative that citizens are aware of the impact this information can have on their financial situation.
- Several organisations check your credit report before arriving at a decision. Car or home loan providers and credit card issuers will review your score prior to approving the same
- Landlords check your credit report to decide whether or not to take you in as a tenant.
- Credit reports, at times, also form an integral part of your application process when seeking new employment opportunities.
- This file is a single source of information for your credit score. The three-digit number is a sort of grading – low indicating negative information and a high score being a positive indicator. A number of lenders consider credit score before striking a deal.
Here is what you can expect from your credit score:
How can I improve my credit score?
- Among the various credit score improving formulas, the simplest one is to make your payments on time. As a further measure, you can even contact your lender and ensure that they have received your monthly/annual payments.
- Another step is to lower your balances. Pay off a significant sum so that your credit card or auto/home loan has less outstanding amount. In case of credit cards, your monthly balance should not cross 30% of your limit. If you do, your score will suffer when this statement balance is reported to the credit bureaus..
- Your credit score takes the biggest hit when you file for bankruptcy, go into foreclosure, or suffer a short sale. However, this impact comes down over time and eventually disappears – according to federal laws that define the tenure of impact.
- When you shop for loans, do that within a stipulated period of time. Repeated enquiries can lead to a low score.
- Finally, make sure all the information in your report is accurate. Any inconsistency will reflect on your credit score.
What can I do if there are wrong listings in my credit report?After you receive your free instant online Australian credit report, check for the following details:
- Are all the loans and debts listed actually yours?
- Is your personal data correct?
If there are variations, you can enquire with your credit reporting bureau and get the details corrected and updated.
Some typical mistakes by the credit reporting agency:
- Incorrect name, date of birth, or address
- Multiple debt listings or incorrect debt amount
Some typical mistakes by the creditor:
- Incorrect listing as a credit defaulter or wrong default amount
- Failure to notify you about outstanding debt
- Default listing while debt was in dispute
- Failure to update records about an ongoing payment arrangement or renegotiation of terms
- Creation of a duplicate account due to an error or identity fraud
In either scenario, contact the creditor or the agency and ask for the errors to be addressed. Minor issues are corrected right away.
How can a free instant online Australian credit report help you?
When you are aware of the information in your credit report, you are in a better position to negotiate payment or credit terms. You can also take help from financial advisors to improve your payment behaviour.
Access to right data shall also result in higher chances of approvals for an auto or home loan. This prudent systnot only improves the credit reporting system and makes the availability of credit easier to borrowers, but also stabilises the continent’s overall financial scenario through a streamlined risk assessment procedure.
Peer-to-peer lender, Society One’s chief executive officer, Matt Symons urges Australians to take a short space of time to find out their credit scores online. “Now is the time to understand your score and fix it if you don’t have a great one,” he said, adding that those with a good credit score could contact their lenders for better deals.
After all, your credit report affects so many aspects of your life that it is important to be sure the information in it is correct and positive.
Whenever in doubt, please always seek advice from your accountant before entering any financial product.