There are a number of different items that may look bad to a prospective lender or credit provider who views your credit report as part of their assessment process.

Shopping around for credit

Each time you apply for credit and a credit provider obtains a copy of your credit report, a credit enquiry is added to your credit report. Lenders and credit providers view negatively a relatively high number of enquiries made in a short space of time, as it is a potential sign of credit stress. This may in turn affect your ability to obtain credit.

However, the number of enquiries recorded on your credit report is just one piece of information a lender may consider when assessing your application for credit. Lenders look at a variety of information on your application form, if you are existing customer as well as your credit report to assess your application.

Poor repayment history and late repayments

Repayment history information, such as if you make your credit card and loan repayments on time, can be held on your credit report.  Whilst one late repayment, depending upon how late it was, followed by making your repayments on time, may not  significantly impact your credit worthiness, a number of late payments could be an indication you are in financial stress  and may negatively impact a lender’s view on you based on your credit report.

Please note that information about whether you have paid your account on time or not cannot be listed by a telco or utility provider as they are not a licensed credit providers, unless you are 60 days or more overdue.


Under the Privacy Act 1988, an overdue debt or default can be listed on your consumer credit report when it is overdue by 60 days or more, when the debt is at least $150. Defaults are view negatively by credit providers and can impact your ability to get future credit.

If you have had a default in the past but have paid it and established a good repayment history a lender may for example view your credit report more favourably. This is one of the benefits of comprehensive credit reporting.

Serious credit infringements

If you have an overdue debt, where you have left or appear to have left your last known address, it can be listed as a serious credit infringement. This information is viewed upon negatively by credit providers and can impact your ability to get credit in the future.

What to do if you can’t pay your bills or meet financial repayments?

If you can’t meet your monthly loan repayments or financial commitments in relation to your phone or utilities contracts, it’s important that you act quickly.

Firstly, talk to your credit providers and find out if they’ve got procedures in place to help customers experiencing financial hardship. If you talk to them before you default, you may avoid having a default listed on your credit report.

If you need financial advice or legal counselling, there are a number of free services offered by community organisations, community legal centres and some government agencies that may be of help.

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If I am refused credit, will it impact my credit report?

If you’ve been denied credit by one credit provider and you continue to make a number of applications, the resulting enquiries on your credit report can negatively affect your chances of obtaining credit in the future.

Under comprehensive credit reporting, information on when an account is open and closed can also be held on your credit report. This, together with your repayment history, can help lenders get a clearer picture on your credit obligations and can be taken into account in their assessment of a credit application you make.

If you’ve been refused credit, you have a right to obtain your consumer credit information free of charge within 90 days of being declined credit.

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Trending Questions

If you have been denied credit it is best not to apply for credit again until you find out why. There are a number of factors that may result in an application for credit being refused, but this depends on the lending criteria of the credit provider. Nevertheless, reasons may include :

  • Level of income and savings to meet the loan repayments;
  • Number of other loans and other financial commitments you have;
  • How secure your employment is;
  • Details on your credit report which can include information such as previous bankruptcy, defaults, serious credit infringements, high number of credit applications and poor repayment history.

If you have been declined credit and the information on your credit report was a factor, the lender, phone or utility company will give you details of the credit reporting body they used.

If it was Equifax, the first step in understanding why your credit report has contributed to you being declined credit, is to obtain a free copy of your Equifax credit report. If you have been declined credit you are entitled obtain a free credit report if you apply within 90 days of being declined and provide evidence that a credit provider has declined your application for credit.

By getting a copy of your Equifax credit report you can better understand what information may have contributed to your application refusal. It is important to check your credit report regularly to ensure it is accurate.