Be aware of your personal credit report

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Did you know that every time you apply for credit or a loan, information about your application will go on your credit report?

A credit report is a summary of your credit and loan accounts. This report includes your payment history and other information sent to credit bureaus by your lenders and creditors.

Information listed in your credit report include:

  • your personal details
  • credit and loans you have applied for
  • repayment history (including overdue payments)
  • other information such as court judgements, bankruptcies and debt agreements.


When you make an application for credit you would normally sign a consent for creditors to access your credit report (it’s in the fine print!).

Credit providers, such as banks, use your credit history to help work out whether they should give you a loan. This is not the only information they use but it plays an important part in the application process. For this reason, it’s important your credit report is accurate.


Apply for hardship assistance early

If you’re finding it hard to make your payments, your lender may be able to help. You can apply for hardship assistance.

As long as you make your payments when agreed, the lender should not record the payments as late or in default.


Check your credit report

It is important to check your credit report regularly. You may find that past debts no longer appear on your credit report. Debts like overdue payments, defaulted loans, and bankruptcies should only appear on your credit report for 5 years.

You should also check that:

  • the information on the credit report is correct
  • the same debt is not listed more than once
  • there is not any debts on there that are not yours.


If you find debts that are not yours on your credit report it could be that someone is using your information to borrow money, called Identity Fraud.


Credit reports should be free

You can check your credit report every 12 months for free. You can request your credit reports online for free through companies such as Equifax, Illion and Experian. Be careful as some websites will try to charge you money for your credit report.


Make changes if your credit report is wrong

Follow the steps on the credit report company’s website to fix mistakes on your credit report. This should also be free.


How to speak with a financial counsellor?

Anglicare’s financial counsellors operate the National Debt Helpline in Tasmania. You can contact them by calling 1800 007 007.

To find out more about the financial counselling services we offer, click here.

Sources: information sources include moneysmart.gov.au and the Financial Rights Legal Centre

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