Common Credit Report Queries for Australians
Part of the Debt Repair Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Credit reports for people in Australia who have a credit history are available from Veda Advantage (PO Box 964, North Sydney NSW 2059). You can get a free copy of your credit report annually; this way, you know in advance what’s in your report and you can also identify any errors it may contain.
Questions most often asked about credit reports include:
What’s in my credit report? The law confines Veda Advantage to only recording your bad points financially. So if you’ve defaulted under a credit contract or, worse, been sued for an unpaid debt, the details will all be in your credit report.
What’s not in my credit report? By law, your report can’t contain any of your personal information, such as your religious beliefs, medical history, ethnic origins, sexual preferences, lifestyle or reputation.
Who has access to my credit report? The report’s purpose is to inform any business that’s considering whether to make credit available to you, about your past credit history. Your credit information is available only to people who are dealing with some aspect of the provision of credit, and is not available to potential employers or insurers.
What can I do about inaccurate information? You can request Veda Advantage or your credit provider to correct mistakes in your credit report. If their response is unsatisfactory, you can complain to the Privacy Commissioner.
Are overdue accounts reported? A record can only be made on your credit report if you’ve been sent a written notice. Ignore this notice at your peril; if you don’t act by contacting the credit provider immediately or by paying the account, you put your credit standing at risk.
What’s a serious credit infringement? This is more than a default; it’s where you have obtained credit by fraud, or when your payments have stopped completely and the credit provider finds it impossible to contact you. The credit provider must attempt to notify you (for example, by sending a letter to your last known address) before reporting the matter to the credit reporting agency.