6 common credit terms you should know: enquiry & default

6 common credit terms you should know: enquiry & default

Last updated: 08 February 2017

Knowing about credit can make your life easier and enable you to know where you stand with your finances. But along with credit comes a lot of terms and acronyms that can get confusing… credit score, credit report, CCR, CRB… what do they mean and what’s the difference?!

We’ve broken down six of the most common terms that you might see so you can walk away feeling a little smarter and a little more reassured about understanding your credit:



When you apply for a credit product (e.g. credit card, loan or utility application), a ‘credit enquiry’ is recorded on your credit file by the credit provider. These are recorded on your file for five years.

The enquiry is recorded on your file regardless of whether your application was approved or rejected. It details the name of the credit provider, the date of the application, and the amount of credit requested. The enquiry does not indicate if the product was ever taken out, is still active or whether it has been paid off or not.

How enquiries affect your credit score varies depending on the frequency and recentness of enquiries, the type of credit applied for and the provider of the credit.

Having a large number of credit enquiries on your file over a short period of time can make you appear less favourable to credit providers. On one hand, they may assume your past applications have been declined and to lend to you would be a high risk. On the other hand, they may assume your past applications have been approved and you may be less capable of making repayments on any new credit.



A default is recorded on your credit file if you have a payment of $150 or more that is overdue by 60 days or more.

Your credit provider must send you written notice to recover the payment and written notice that it intends to list a default on your credit file before listing the default.

If a default has been recorded and you have since repaid the amount in full, that payment should be noted on your credit file, however, the default is kept on your credit file for five years, even after the amount has been repaid.

If you are in financial difficulty and are at risk of not making a payment, contact your credit provider as soon as possible and request hardship assistance, this may prevent a default being recorded.



Credit may seem confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing and understanding these credit terms and how they can affect your financial standing is the first step to being in control of your credit reputation and making savvier informed financial decisions in the future.


Want to see what enquiries and/or defaults are listed on your file? Check your report for free any time you like with Credit Savvy.