If you’ve ever applied for credit or taken out a loan, you’ll have a consumer credit report. Your credit report contains personal information such as your name, date of birth, address and employer, as well as information about current and past credit relationships, including repayment history.
Your credit report also lists any enquiries on your credit file. For example, if you apply for a post-paid mobile phone contract, the telco may have accessed your credit file. If you apply for a loan, the lender will access your file.
Your credit report may also contain information about any instances where you failed to meet your repayment obligations, such as defaults, court judgments or bankruptcies.
How long does information stay on your credit report?
Type of information
How long it stays on your credit report
Current consumer credit obligations
2 years (from when the account is closed)
Serious credit infringement
Debt agreement (Also known as a Part IX (9), is a legally binding agreement between you and your creditors. Can be a flexible way to come to an arrangement to settle debts without becoming bankrupt. However still considered an act of bankruptcy.)
The later of:
5 years from the day the agreement was made
2 years from the day the agreement was:
ends when the agreement ends under s 185N of the Bankruptcy Act 1966
an order was made declaring the agreement void
The later of:
5 years starting on the day you became bankrupt, or
2 years starting on the day you were no longer bankrupt
Who can access your credit report?
Your credit report can only be accessed by credit providers you’ve applied for credit from, such as banks, finance companies, telecommunications companies or utility providers.
Some information on your credit report, such as your payment history, can only be accessed by licensed credit providers like banks and financial institutions. Telecommunications companies and utility providers are not licensed credit providers.
Organisations such as insurance companies, real estate agents or your employer are not allowed to access your credit report.
A credit reporting agency must give you access to your consumer credit report for free once every 3 months. You can also request a free copy if:
you’ve been refused credit within the past 90 days, or
your credit-related personal information has been corrected
You can request a copy of your credit report for free from these credit reporting agencies:
Credit reporting agencies may each hold different information about you, and you can request a copy of your credit report from each credit reporting agency.
Identity theft and fraud
One reason to get a copy of your credit report is that it can act as an early warning system against identity theft or fraud. If your credit report contains an entry that does not relate to you, for example a loan account with a bank you don’t use or a credit enquiry where you have not applied for credit, then you need to take steps to have it corrected immediately.
To have your personal details corrected, contact the credit reporting agency. If credit details or repayment history is incorrect, contact the credit provider in the first instance to see if it can be resolved.
If there is unauthorised credit or credit activity on your file contact the police straight away and get a police report number. Contact the organisation who has listed the incorrect entry to stop any further activity and to notify them that you believe it to be fraudulent.
If you have been the victim of a cyber crime, IDcare can help you get your identity back.
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