Australia’s credit reporting system has changed significantly as a result of legislative reform.
It’s important that you’re aware of these changes as they affect what’s on your credit report and what information can be accessed by credit providers about your credit history.
What you need to know about comprehensive credit reporting
Previously, a credit report only showed negative information such as defaults and it did not show any information about how diligently a person had been paying off their debt. Now, credit providers will see a much more comprehensive picture of a person’s repayment history.
The new positive information means a more balanced system for a person who has a good credit history (as it highlights good behaviour), as well as those who previously had trouble meeting their financial commitments but are now showing good loan paying behaviour – as it may enable them to access quality credit where they may not have been able to previously.
What is included in a credit report
An individual or customer’s credit report can include the following:
Credit account information such as the credit provider, account type, account number, date account opened/closed and credit limit
Personal details like date of birth and driver’s licence
Loans applied for (including those made as guarantor)
Repayment history, and whether or not you are making payments on time
Payment defaults, where you are overdue by 60 days or more in making a payment
Financial hardship arrangements (entered on or after 01 July 2022).
What is new about financial hardship arrangements from 1 July 2022?
From 1 July 2022, if you agree to a financial hardship arrangement with your lender, your repayment history will be safeguarded by the introduction of a new type of indicator on your credit report, flagging that a special payment arrangement is in place for a period due to financial hardship. The credit report will not include the reason for the hardship arrangement, nor the details of the arrangement.
How to check your credit report
For information on how you can access your credit report for free, visit the OAIC website for further information or contact the credit bureaus listed below.
Where can I find more information?
More information on Comprehensive Credit Reporting & Financial Hardship Arrangements, can be found on the CreditSmart website.