Below are 7 things that you may not have known about your credit file:
1. A credit file is mostly a negative report. That is to say, a 10 year history of good repayments won’t show up in your file, but an unpaid payment might very well be listed in the report. Keep up the payments, because the best credit file to have is the one with nothing on it.
2. Your personal details are displayed on your credit file along with date of birth, driver’s license details, and your address and employment history at the time you applied for credit. What is not displayed however are the record of the debt(s) you have (or have had), nor are credit card limits displayed, nor any of your repayment history.
3. Items on your credit file history such as inquiries, credit cards, paid defaults and court judgements stay on for up to five years. Bankruptcy information stays on a credit file history for 7 years. Most individuals aren’t even aware of what is on their file until a submitted loan application comes back declined because of a bad credit history from years ago.
4. You can check your credit file yourself. Previously only financial institutions had access to your file, but now for a small service fee you can view your own credit file online through VedaAdvantage. It is highly recommended that before applying for any major home loan you check your credit file to make sure it is clean and to avoid any disappointment later.
5. There are credit file repair companies that exist in Australia whose sole purpose is to help fix up your personal credit file. Switchmyloan.com.au can help you get in touch with the right people. If you feel that there is an error in your credit file or that you have repaid an outstanding debt that is still showing on your credit file, a credit repair company can help remove the history from your file for a nominated fee.
6. There has also been proposed reforms introduced in draft format in parliament which are set to in full effect on 12th March 2014.
The following changes are proposed under the the Credit Reporting Code;
- It will now include what date the credit account was opened
- The credit limit applied for
- Whether or not the application for credit was ever approved or declined
- Repayment history
7. Current credit reporting measures in Australia only provide very basic details, and don’t inform other credit providers about the repayment history of your credit facilities.
You should contact the major credit file reporting companies (Veda Advantage or Dun Bradstreet) to receive a copy of your credit file if you have any concerns.
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