Understanding your credit file
What is a credit report?
Your credit report holds information relating to your credit history and it can help credit providers, such as banks, financial lenders, telco and utility companies, get a clear picture of your credit worthiness when you make an application for a loan or credit contract.
If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, personal or home loan, store finance, mobile phone or an electricity or gas contract it is likely that you will have a credit report held with Equifax. A credit report includes information such as:
- Personal details including your full name, date of birth, driver's licence, gender and residential addresses and employer information.
- Consumer credit information which may include:
- Credit applications you have made for personal use
- Credit account information including type of credit account, the credit limit and the dates accounts were opened or closed
- 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.
- Details of overdue debts like payment defaults
- Publicly available information can also be included as part of your consumer credit information. This includes court judgements and court writs, directorship details, proprietorship details and bankruptcy, debt agreement and personal insolvency information.
- Commercial credit information which may include:
- Credit applications for credit for commercial purposes
- Details of overdue commercial credit accounts
What is a credit rating?
Your Equifax Score is a credit rating and if you have a credit report with Equifax, is it likely that you will have an Equifax Score too. It is a number between 0-1200 that summarises the information on your credit report at a point in time. If you’ve ever looked at your credit report, you’ll know it can contain lots of information that can sometimes be difficult to understand (view a sample report here). Your Equifax Score can help you understand the information in your credit report and how it it could affect your ability to get a loan or negotiate a better rate.
With your Equifax Score, not only do you find out your credit rating, but you’ll also learn what information on your credit report is contributing to your credit rating, good and bad. This information, called ‘contributing factors’, can help you understand what you can do to improve your Equifax Score credit rating. Your Equifax Score is important to know as it is one part of the information lenders can look at, along with their own lending criteria, when deciding whether to accept your application for a loan or credit. In simple terms, a higher Equifax Score is considered better as it indicates lower risk.
Want a copy of your credit report?
You can get a copy of your credit report within minutes by purchasing one of our packages below. Or you can obtain a free credit report, despatched to you within ten days. The free service provides a credit report only and does not include your Equifax Score or Equifax Score contributing factors which summarise the major items impacting your credit rating.
There are certain circumstances under which you can get a copy of your credit report for free.
- You can request a copy where a credit application was declined. You must apply within 90 days of the date you were declined
- You can request a copy if you have lodged a correction request and been advised that information on your file has been corrected
- You can request a copy once every 12 months
If you request a free copy of your credit report because you have been declined for credit, you might be asked to supply a copy of this decline notice with your application.
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