Comprehensive Credit Reporting Case Studies
Chris lived in a share house four years ago and when he moved out he didn’t take his name off the phone account and his former housemates did not pay a bill. As a result he ended up with a default on his report. This remains on his credit report for five years and it comes up on any credit check run on him, which is why he’s having difficulty getting a car loan.
Settle the default amount and be vigilant about paying bills and loans on time (under comprehensive credit reporting, “positive” credit behaviour can help negate past “bad” behaviour).
- Consider direct debits or schedule payments to pay bills
- Notify credit providers of your new address when moving
- Make sure you cancel or move any utility services when you are moving
Shopping around for credit
Anna’s family is expanding. She has bought white goods and new bedroom furniture on interest-free finance and is shopping around for a personal loan for a car. To get the best deal, Anna has applied with a few lenders and finds herself being declined. What she doesn’t realise is each time she makes an application, it’s recorded on her credit report – so although she’s just shopping around, she “reads” as someone in financial stress. This stays on her credit report for five years.
Anna should do her research before she applies for credit, and apply only when she really needs it. Under comprehensive credit reporting rules, credit providers will have a clearer picture of Anna’s credit commitments as her credit report will not only show credit applications but open and closed accounts as well as credit limits.
- Research online and speak to lenders rather than applying each time – this way you avoid a credit check each time which will appear on your credit report.
- Be wary of “churning” credit by constantly switching providers for credit cards, personal loans, mobile phones and electricity contracts.
Rachel has been diligently saving and has found her dream apartment. She always pays her bills on time and feels confident she will get a loan. But she’s knocked back due to a default on a personal loan she never applied for. Her identity has been stolen.
Rachel should get a copy of her credit report and contact the credit provider to whom the application for credit was made so they can investigate and take action. Not only does she need to contact the police and report the crime, she also needs to inform relevant Government agencies depending on what information has been stolen (driver’s licence, passport, citizenship papers, Medicare card, birth, marriage and change-of-name certificates, tax file number, superannuation or pension). Under the new comprehensive reporting rules, Rachel can request a ban on her credit report, which means it can’t be shared unless she expressly consents in writing (for an initial period of 21 days).
- Shred documents, lock your mailbox, don’t share credit card details on social media sites, protect PIN numbers, and install anti-virus software.
- Get a copy of your credit report and consider credit alerts that notify you when there’s a change to your credit report.
Find out where you stand when it comes to credit with a free Equifax Credit Report or one of our Equifax Credit and Identity subscription packages today. Or find out more information about your credit history and the information on it here.
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From 12 March 2014 additional information was permitted to be collected, held and disclosed by credit bureaus.
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