Privacy Act changes to credit reporting

Changes to the Privacy Act 1988 that come into effect Wednesday 12th March will give lenders greater access to a borrower’s credit history.

Previously, a borrower’s credit history report would show payment defaults of $100 or more that were 60 days or more overdue. It would also include the number of credit applications made in the last five years, instances where a credit provider was unable to make contact with a borrower after several attempts, plus any court judgements or bankruptcy orders made in relation to an outstanding debt.

The changes will now mean the report will also include a borrower’s repayment history, good and bad, on all credit accounts including any credit infringements.

Argument has raged as to whether the changes are good or bad for borrowers.

The good news is if you have a good credit history and have made your repayments on time, your chances of obtaining a loan in the future will increase.

The bad news is that missing a couple of credit repayments by more than 30 days will make lenders wary of lending you money making it harder to get a loan.

If you are in the bad news category, it’s not too late to improve your credit position and chances of future loan approval by following these simple tips;  

Automate debts: If you want to make sure you meet all of your financial obligations each month, it pays to set up automatic debits
Close it down: Close down any credit facilities you don’t need. Do you have a credit card that you don’t use but you have for ‘just in case’ emergencies? If you do, get rid of it.
Review your file: It is important to keep a close eye on your credit file. By regularly reviewing your credit report, you can keep track of what is showing up and change any information that is inaccurate. You can obtain a copy of your credit report from sites such as mycreditfile.com.au.
Be diligent with expenses: If you move out of share house accommodation, make sure your name is removed from any bills. Don’t keep your name on anything it doesn’t need to be on.

If you would like to find out more about these changes and how they may affect you, please call us on 9432 6070 or click on the ‘contact us' tab at the top of this page.
 

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