How is a credit report established?
We will create an Equifax credit report on you when we first receive information about you. A credit report is generally established when you make your first application for credit. This could be when you apply for a post-paid mobile phone contract, utilities account such as electricity, gas or water, an internet or Pay TV service, credit card or store finance.
To establish your own credit report, the application needs to be in your name and at your current residential address.
A credit report could also be established if you are a business director and we receive this information from ASIC or default judgement information is collected by us from the court system.
I’ve never applied for credit. Do I have an Equifax credit report?
Many people see credit as a credit card or personal loan or home loan but there are some less obvious forms of credit. Aside from banks and financial institutions any company that provides payment terms of at least seven days may also be a credit provider, including mobile phone, electricity and gas companies. These companies may access your credit file with your knowledge, as part of assessing your request for a particular service. Retail stores also offer forms of credit through ‘buy now pay later’ and interest free store finance.
Generally an Equifax credit file is created when we receive information on you through a credit application. However, if you’ve never applied for credit you could still have an Equifax credit report. If you have rented a TV or fridge, or if you have gone guarantor for a loan this can trigger an enquiry on your credit report. An Equifax credit report could also be established if you are a business director and we receive this information from ASIC or default judgement information is collected by us from the court system.
What if I don’t have a credit history?
If you don't have a credit history you can still apply for credit. There are a number of reasons why you may not have a credit history:
- If you have never applied for credit;
- If you’ve been in a relationship where loans and bills were soley in your partner’s name; or
- If you haven’t applied for credit in a while. In this case you will still have a credit report but it will have no credit history information on it (credit enquiries are removed from a credit report after five years). This can occur for older people or those who apply for credit infrequently.
These scenarios can be common for young people who are just starting out, new migrants and also people who are newly separated or divorced.
If you apply for credit but have no credit history or a ‘thin’ credit history credit providers have little credit reporting information to go on outside of the current application you are making. In this case the credit providers may use alternate sources of information to assess your credit-worthiness, for example, if you are an existing customer with the credit provider through a savings or cheque account. .
You don’t need to get a credit card to establish a credit history. Other forms of credit like a post-paid mobile phone or electricity contract will also kick start your credit report.