Frequently Asked Questions
Credit Alerts let you know if there are certain changes made to your Credit File, this could be someone trying to apply for credit in your name. Equifax Credit Alerts can help protect your Equifax Score before any damage is done.
Identity Watch, available with an Equifax ID Basic or Equifax Ultimate monthly subscription, monitors criminal trading and selling of identity information such as phone numbers, email addresses and credit card numbers online. You’ll receive an alert if we discover your details are compromised, so you can proactively protect your identity.
All you need to do is provide us with the information you would like monitored, such as credit or debit card numbers, phone numbers and email addresses. We then store this information securely in our system and use tools such as web crawlers and forum extraction to locate possible compromised data online.
If Identity Watch finds that your identity has been compromised, it will automatically send you an email alert so you can take action straight away. We will also provide you with assistance on what steps to take to help recover your identity with our Your Credit and Identity Guard Insurance.
Identity Watch works to prevent identity theft before it occurs. It monitors your details – such as credit and debit card numbers, phone numbers and email addresses – not your transactions.
While your bank or credit card company may do a great job of letting you know when your account has been used overseas or for an excessive number of transactions, they do not actively search for evidence that your details have been compromised in the first place.
Our advanced technology gives us a very good indication of where to look for illegally traded information online. If we believe a cybercrime relating to your identity may have taken place, we will contact you immediately
Your credit report contains information that may affect your chance of securing credit in the future, so it’s important to find out what’s on your file so that you can work to improve it if you need to.
Check your credit report regularly, so you know where you stand
Reviewing your credit report may alert you to any incorrect information and help you uncover potential identity theft. Consider signing up for Credit Alerts, so you are aware when certain changes occur on your credit report.
Pay your bills on time
This may be a simple and effective way to improve your credit report.
If you make your credit card or loan repayments on time each month this can have a positive impact on your credit report. On the other hand, if you don’t make your repayments on time, this may have a negative impact.
If you are late paying a bill and have overdue debts outstanding by 60 days or more, this default may be listed on your credit report for up to five years. Paying your bills on time is a simple way to prevent this type of negative information appearing on your credit report. If you are having financial difficulties, you may wish to contact your credit provider to see if you can arrange a payment plan.
Before you apply for credit, check your credit report in advance
This may help give you a better idea on whether your credit application could be successful. Often banks will include an application fee, so check your credit report first to help avoid these unnecessary charges.
Avoid applying for credit when you don’t need it
Some credit providers may have a negative view of someone who has made a relatively high number of credit enquiries in a short space of time, for example, when you’re shopping around for a good deal, or still deciding whether you want to apply for a loan.
Get in touch with all your credit providers (banks, utilities, phone company, ISP, etc.) to make sure bills are re-directed to your new address. If you fail to pay these invoices a serious credit infringement or overdue debt may be listed on your credit report.
Make sure your information is correct
Equifax takes reasonable steps to ensure that your credit report is accurate. However, it’s important that you check your report and let us know if there are any administrative errors such as an incorrect date of birth, or a misspelling of your name or street address. For more information, visit our Resolution Centre.
If you believe the credit information on your report is inaccurate – such as an overdue debt or enquiry listed by a credit provider – contact the credit provider directly and seek an investigation. What’s more, if you think you’ve been the victim of identity theft, contact the police as well as the fraud departments of the relevant credit providers so that they can conduct an investigation.
You can get a copy of your credit report for free or Equifax’s Credit and Identity products provide you with a copy of your credit report as well as other feature to help you track and improve your report over time.
In certain circumstances you are entitled to a free copy of your consumer credit information. These are:
- Once every 12 months
- If you have been declined credit in the previous 90 days.
- If you request a correction and that correction has been made.
Your Equifax Score may change when new information is recorded in your credit report, such as your application for a loan (known as a credit enquiry), or when information reaches its expiry date and is removed from your report, such as an overdue-debt that has reached its expiry date.
When you sign up to an Equifax annual subscription package that includes the Score Tracker tool, your Equifax Score will be generated every month and reflect the information that is in your credit file at that time.
Score Tracker is a valuable tool that tracks your Equifax Score over time, so you can take steps to improve your Equifax Score if needed, and determine the best time to put in your application for credit.
When you sign up to an Equifax Plus or Equifax Premium subscription package, we’ll generate an Equifax Score monthly which you will receive together with a graph that charts your score. You’ll also receive information regarding what items on your credit report contributed to your score at that point in time.
It’s important to note that when a credit provider is assessing an application for credit, the Equifax credit score they receive is calculated at the time they do their enquiry and may be different from the Equifax Score that you receive. Credit scores are dynamic and can change depending on when the score is generated and in what circumstances it is requested. By monitoring your Equifax Score over time, you’ll see how your Equifax Score changes depending upon the information on your credit report. You’ll also have a better understanding what credit information lenders can see from Equifax to help you know where you stand.