Here’s three good reasons you should check it, and why you shouldn’t wait until you need to apply for credit.
According to the Australian Information Commissioner, almost a third of people’s credit histories may contain incorrect information, and these errors could make a difference to the interest rate you are able to secure, or even between your credit application being accepted or rejected.
The good news is that you have a right to find out what is in your credit report, and to challenge any entries you think are wrong.
You are entitled, by law, to receive a free copy of your report once each year. You’ll probably have to wait around 10 days but if you’re in a hurry you can pay for an ‘express service’.
You can also pay for more copies, but we recommend you don’t request your credit report too often. Some credit providers do automated checks which list how many requests there have been – without bothering to check who made the requests. If there are lots of requests on file (from you) it may look like you’ve been applying for credit from lots of different places, which may be interpreted as a bad sign.
If you think there’s something incorrect on your credit report you have a right to challenge it, so contact the credit agency. Don’t wait until you are about to apply for a loan though. It can take time for the agencies to confirm your information and update your report.
Just because you’ve never defaulted on a loan, that doesn’t mean you have a spotless credit record.
You could have an adverse report if:
- You’ve been over 2 weeks late making:
- a credit card payment
- a home, personal or car loan repayment
- a retail offer payment
- You’ve been over two months late paying a utility bill
The other good news is that your credit report also contains your positive payment history, so if you become scrupulous about making loan and credit card payments by the due date, it’ll help your credit rating.
Think you might be a victim of identity theft?
Get hold of a copy of your credit report. If someone applies for credit in your name, the credit provider will check your Credit Report, and that check will then be listed in your report.
So if financial institutions are checking your report, but you haven’t requested credit from them, you could have a problem. If this happens, contact the financial institutions concerned.
So there you have it, three good reasons to check your credit report; to check for errors, to check that it’s as clean as you think it is, and to make sure you aren’t the victim of identity theft.
Request your free credit report from Australia’s biggest credit reference agency:
PO Box 966, North Sydney NSW 2059
phone 1300 762 207
What are your thoughts?
Are you comfortable with your capacity to borrow money as you may require it? Is there anything else you’d like to know about your credit rating?
Join the conversation — leave a comment below and let us know what you’re thoughts are.