Making an enquiry with a lender can impact your credit report, so it’s important to know what information is held on your report, how it impacts your score and who can access it.
In late 2017, the Australian government introduced some changes to the credit reporting system, which means that over the next 12 months, lender's will need to start sharing more information about your credit history.
Credit reporting and what’s changing
Credit reports contain information which help lenders assess the risks of lending money to you. At the moment your report mainly shows ‘bad’ credit behaviour such as the number of times you applied for credit, bankruptcies and defaults.
Comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) or ‘Positive Reporting’ is the upcoming change to the credit reporting system where an individual’s credit report will provide a fuller, clearer picture of their credit history.
These changes may make it easier – or for some people, harder – to obtain credit or a loan. Shortly, lenders providing credit to an individual will be able to see;
- The type of credit account(s) you hold (mortgage, credit card, personal loan, car loan etc)
- Your credit limit on each account
- When a credit account has been opened and/or closed
- The name of the credit provider
- Repayment history (24 month view of whether repayments have been made on time)
This new information allows lenders; to lend more responsibly and make more informed decisions about your credit situation. For more information on what is in your credit report, download this guide from Credit Smart.
What does this mean for me?
These changes mean your credit report information may be shared with credit reporting bodies to assist with the assessment of your creditworthiness.
While the new positive reporting will show information about how diligently you may have been paying off debt, there is a down side for some as a poor credit history will be more obvious.
Late or missed payments will show up in your credit report and may affect your ability to obtain a loan, which is why it’s now more important than ever to get on top of your repayments.
Tip: Minimise risk by automating your repayments and setting up direct debits to pay the bills on time, and check your credit report at least once a year so you know if there are any issues and can get these rectified.
What is a Credit Reporting Body (CRB)?
Credit reporting bodies are independent businesses that give credit reports to lenders to help them decide whether to provide you with credit.
Which Credit Reporting Bodies (CRBs) have access to my information?
At Pepper, we may exchange your personal information and credit-related information with the CRBs listed below. The information may be included in reports that the CRBs give other organisations (such as other lenders) to help them assess your credit worthiness.
Experian Australia Credit Services Pty Limited
Will CCR affect my credit score?
Credit reporting bodies or credit providers will calculate your score based on the information in your credit report. If missed or late payments are present, this may affect your credit score and therefore application for credit.
Can I obtain a copy of my credit report?
Yes, you can obtain a copy of your credit report from credit reporting bodies who will give you a free copy once a year. Go to www.creditsmart.org.au for more information on how to request your credit report.
How can I fix an error on my credit report?
If there are errors or inaccurate listings on your credit report, you’ve got the right to have your credit report corrected according to The Privacy Act 1988 and can do so by contacting the credit reporting body from where the report was obtained.
How do I keep my personal information (including credit information) safe?
Credit providers and credit reporting bodies have an obligation under the Privacy Act to keep your information secure. If you think that someone is accessing or using your information incorrectly, please contact us on 1300 650 931 so that we can investigate.
How can I make a complaint about my personal information (including credit information)?
Where reasonable, and after our investigation, we will provide you with details about whether we refuse to correct personal or credit-related information, we will provide you with our reasons for not correcting the information.
Can I get access to the personal information (including credit information) that Pepper holds about me?
You can also write to us:
The Privacy Officer
Pepper Group Pty Limited
PO Box 6186
NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2060
Is there a fee for obtaining my personal information (including credit information) held by Pepper?
Pepper may charge you a fee for our reasonable costs in retrieving and supplying the information to you. We will let you know prior to providing the personal Information to you if a fee applies.