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Have you ever had your application for a personal loan, home loan or credit card refused because your credit rating was bad?
It’s becoming more commonplace these days as almost 16% of Australians have at some point registered red flag or default on their credit file. These defaults vary in severity and range from, not paying a phone bill to repeatedly skipping mortgage repayments.
What Is a Credit File?
Put simply a credit file is a documented record of all you credit usage in Australia. In other words, it contains every loan, credit card and debt are recorded within this file.Banks and lending companies use this file as a tool to help them make a decision about whether they should lend money to you and factor of risk you present them. When a lender reviews your application for a loan they’re assessing whether you’re a liability and if you will repay your debt?
The banks are not so keen to offer loans to people with a bad credit rating. They will look at how you have managed your credit in the past as part of making decision on whether to approve or decline your loan application.
How Do You Access Your Credit File?
There is a number of credit agencies in Australia. But don’t be tricked into paying these companies a fee to provide you with a copy of your file. By law, these companies are required to make available to you a copy of your file when requested free of charge. However, theses companies make it very difficult to find the free version on their websites. They will try to steer you towards their paid option. What’s the difference between the two reports? Nothing it’s exactly the same report the only difference is that it’s express posted to you.
But now you know better…….
How To Order Your Free Credit Report
Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)
Dun and Bradstreet operate a website called CheckYourCredit that offers both a paid (fast tracked) and free credit report (standard service)
Follow these instructions to order your free report:
- Go to their online submission form here
- At the bottom part of the webpage, enter your full name, address, email address and start the procedure of registering for a completely free account.
- You are going to need to scan (or photo using your smartphone if you are skilled enough) copies of your vehicle drivers license, passport and a variety of power bills
- They could then ask you to carry out your credit check on the internet or print the application and ID scans and send it directly to them.
Veda operates a website similar to Dun & Bradstreet called mycreditfile.com.au. To order a free of charge copy of your Veda credit history, follow these steps:
- Visit the free form here
- Scan a big clear copy of your vehicle drivers license, birth certificate or official proof of identity/age card. Ideally, send a several items of ID, not just one
- And also get hold of an original copy of a local authority or council rates, notice, power bill, banking statement or other statement/bill. It will need to display your name and home address on an official letter headed piece of paper. For this thing along the lines of water bills, gas bills, mobile phone and internet bills.
- Send your request for your credit history report.
- As soon as you have your application filled in and ID documents ready, you can either send them by mail, fax or email. It is best to e-mail the request for your report as it will turn up faster.
When Is Your Credit Record Information Updated?
It depends on the on the type of data contained in your file. Different types records will stay on file for lengths of time. Here are some typical timeframes
Repayment history info
Writs and summons
Any credit enquiry
major credit infringement
A court of law judgments
Overdue accounts recorded as clearouts
Overdue accounts recorded as a payment default
Can Your Credit File Be Repaired?
It’s hard to say. However, there are things that you can do to improve your credit score with providers to make yourself look more like a creditworthy candidate overall across the credit reporting agencies.
some things that may help improve your credit file are:
- Credit files may have inaccuracies. Should you believe, you have spotted a mistake, make sure to report it right away and ask for it to be removed.
- If you notice double lookups coming from the same lender, ask them why and request to have excessive viewings on your credit file removed.
- Pay your bills on time, always
- Keep away from credit products that are high-risk take a look at less favourably. For instance, it is stated that lenders do not like seeing Store Credit Cards because it appears that the user has taken up interest-free offers or credit lines that are high risk.
- Check your credit file for overdue debts and pay them. Once you've done, contact the credit company and have them record the debt as having been paid (this will show as paid on your credit report)
While there is no guarantee that the points will improve your credit, they will go a long way to ensuring that it’s kept in good stead. Of course, the real trick is to manage your credit rating proactively. It’s easier to avoid an issue than it is to try and fix it.