Comprehensive Credit Reporting Common Questions
What new information is included on my credit report?
Credit account information including:
- 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.
Monthly repayment history on credit accounts such as mortgages and credit cards. This will reflect whether you paid the minimum amount required on your financial commitments each month on time or not.
What is repayment history information?
Repayment history information is whether the minimum repayment on a credit account, like a credit card, personal loan or mortgage has been made on time (or within a 14 day grace period) and if not, how late the payment was made, for a particular month. Only licensed credit providers can share and receive repayment history information. This doesn’t include telco and utility companies. Repayment history information is recorded monthly and can be held on your credit report for 2 years.
Why can’t I see repayment history information for one of my accounts on my credit report?
Equifax anticipates collecting this information over the coming months from credit providers. Generally, this means that you may not see changes to your credit report immediately. Any credit account information (Consumer Credit Liability Information and Repayment Information) we may collect from credit providers as of March 2014 will not be available in your report until updates to our system are made over the coming months.
It is also important to note that comprehensive credit reporting is an opt-in system and not all credit providers will elect to share positive information. This is why you may see information from some lenders and not others.
Will I get a default if I pay my bill 5 days overdue?
If you pay your credit card or loan repayments more than 14 days past the due date this can be recorded on your credit report as part of your repayment history information as a late payment. This repayment history information is recorded on your credit report for a period of 2 years.
A default can only be recorded on your report if you miss a payment which is more than $150 and is more than 60 days overdue. Before listing a default the credit provider must have taken steps to collect the whole or part of the outstanding debt. This means they have sent you are written notice setting out the amount overdue and seeking payment and a separate written notice advising you that the debt may be reported to a credit reporting body. A default remains on your credit report for 5 years.
I always pay my bills on time, will this benefit me?
Paying your bills on time and avoiding getting a default on your credit report are positive impacts on your credit rating or Equifax Score.
What if I pay my phone bill late?
Only licensed credit providers such as banks and financial institutions are able to disclose repayment history information to a credit reporting body like Equifax. Telco and utility companies are not licensed credit providers and cannot supply or receive this information.
What happens if I miss a credit card repayment?
If you pay your credit card or loan repayments more than 14 days past the due date this can be recorded on your credit report as part of your repayment history information as a late payment. It is unlikely one late payment, depending upon how late the payment was, followed by making your repayments on time, will significantly impact your credit worthiness, however, a number of late payments could be an indication you are in financial stress and may negatively impact your credit report. This repayment history information is recorded on your credit report for a period of 2 years.
To try and prevent this, pay bills on time, set up direct debits to pay your minimum credit card balance and schedule loan repayments for your pay day. Talk to your credit provider straight away if you are having trouble meeting your repayments – they may have procedures in place to help borrowers experiencing financial hardship.
If information on my credit report is incorrect what should I do?
If you notice an error on your credit report ensure you check it with your credit provider as it may impact your Equifax Score or credit rating. If information is listed incorrectly it can be removed from your credit report. You can find out more through our Resolution Centre.
Protecting Consumers’ Privacy
The changes to Australia’s credit reporting system will occur following changes to the Act. The Act limits how credit reporting information can be used and disclosed both by credit bureaus and credit providers and places obligations on credit providers and credit bureaus with respect to the security of that information. In addition the Act gives you a right of access to your credit information including free access once every 12 months, within 90 days of being declined credit and when you have requested an amendment and that amendment has been made.
The information provided by Equifax is general in nature and does not constitute legal, financial or compliance advice. Equifax provides no undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided. We recommend you obtain your own independent advice.