February 18, 2014
The Privacy Act 1988 (the Act), the legislation which governs credit reporting in Australia, has been amended and this has introduced some changes. Known as “comprehensive credit reporting”, from 12 March this year additional information is permitted to be held and reported by credit bureaus. Once this data is supplied by licensed credit providers, your credit history will include new information that has not been held in the past, such as:
Account open date and close dates
Type of credit account such as a credit card or personal loan
Credit limit. This is the maximum amount of credit available to you for an account.
If you accept a credit limit increase the new credit limit could be included on your credit history.
Up to 24 months of repayment history on credit accounts such as mortgages and credit cards.
Here are some tips on what you can do to manage your own credit file:
Pay bills and loans on time – consider setting up direct debits and have loan repayments scheduled for your pay day. If you don’t pay your bills on time, credit providers will see your payment history and will be able to decide whether or not they wish to extend credit to you based on this information.
Keep track of your credit commitments – Only apply for credit if and when you need it.
Having trouble meeting your repayments? – If you are in financial difficulty talk to your credit provider, they can likely assist you.
Get your credit report to check the information is correct and understand the information being kept about you. Visit the two main credit reporting companies at www.veda.com.au andwww.dnb.com.au. You have the right to obtain a free copy of your report once every 12 months. Both companies offer an alert service to notify you in the event that data on your credit file changes. This is a good way to prevent fraud as you will be alerted immediately to someone using your details.
Obtaining finance may become more complex in future, making it one more reason why you need a professional finance broker who believes in continuing professional development to stay abreast of these changes as they happen. If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call on 03 9858 4755 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org