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How To Fix Problems With Your Credit Report

Tony Negline
16th December, 2014

Your credit report is a key document that you need to understand.
When you apply for any loan (including credit cards) or you want to take out a phone or internet contract or connect the gas or electricity to your home, a key aspect is your credit report.

In Australia we have four credit reporting agencies. Each may hold different information on you.

As your loan, telecommunication or utility application will be made or broken by the contents of these reports you need to what each report says.

In our November 2014 newsletter we provided information on these reports and how you go about applying for them. You can read that article here

In that article we mentioned that we would provide details on how to fix problems.

There are two types of problems – data-related problems and all other issues. Here’s how to solve these:

  • Non-data related problems (eg personal details, residential address or employment histories incorrect) – you need to contact the credit reporting agency. Before they change their records, they will expect you to verify the changes you wish to make
  • Data-related problems –the credit provider must update the data they have sent to the credit reporting agencies.

Unfortunately this means you need to contact the credit provider and request that they send through accurate information to the credit reporting agencies.

In some cases a polite inquiry won’t solve this problem. When this occurs you will need to lodge a formal written complaint with the credit provider. (This can be done via email.) You should note in this written complaint that if your request isn’t dealt with promptly or to your satisfaction then you will take your complaint up with the relevant external dispute resolution organisation.

External Dispute Resolution Organisations

  1. Telephone and internet companies – the Telecommunications Ombudsman – www.tio.com.au
  2. Utility companies (eg gas, electricity and water) – each State and Territory has their own utility ombudsman to handle your inquiry; simply search on the internet for the ombudsman in your locality
  3. Credit providers – many credit providers use the Credit Omdudsman Service; it’s website is www.cosl.com.au
  4. All other financial organisations – many use the Financial Ombudsman Service; its website is www.fos.org.au

If a credit provider or other financial organisation doesn’t use the above named dispute resolution organisations, you can visit the ASIC website to find out what organisation they actually do use – connectonline.asic.gov.au

Tony Negline
ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre

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