Common CCR Questions: How is my comprehensive credit information being shared and protected?
Today as part of the Common CCR Questions series, we continue to tackle a few more common CCR questions surrounding your data privacy:
Q: How is my comprehensive credit information protected?
A: According to the Australian law, your personal information is protected under the legislation called the Privacy Act (1988) (Privacy Act), which is overseen by the independent government agency called the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
The legislations that apply to credit reporting strictly limit how a lender and a credit reporting body can handle the personal information on your credit report. This includes principles on lenders’ usage and management of the information that they collect from you and how you manage your accounts with them.
You can visit the OAIC’s website for more details.
Q: How is my comprehensive credit information being collected and accessed?
A: Credit Reporting Bodies (CRBs) are businesses that collect, store and disclose information from credit providers, as well as publicly available sources for the purpose of providing another entity with information about your consumer creditworthiness.
Many credit providers such as banks, building societies, credit unions, credit card companies, and some payday lenders are able to report your credit history to the CRBs. This information traditionally includes any enquiries you have made as well as any negative events such as defaults. Remember, businesses such as real-estate agents, landlords, employers, and insurance companies that are not mortgage insurers or trade insurers are not credit providers and are not able to access your credit history.
With the introduction of CCR, credit providers that hold an Australian Credit Licence can now report additional information about your credit accounts and your repayment history to the CRBs. This means that your utility & telco companies are not able to report this information to the CRBs.
Credit providers can only use the information in your credit report for a limited range of purposes, such as to assess your credit application, collect overdue payments, or to decide whether to accept you as a guarantor.
Find more information in our article on who can access your credit report.
Q: How do I know when my Repayment History Information is being shared?
A: According to OAIC’s Privacy fact sheet, before a credit provider begins to collect information about your repayment history, the credit provider will need to inform you if it intends to disclose that information to a CRB.
This means that a credit provider cannot disclose information about your repayment history that pre-dates that notice.
Keep an eye out for this announcement from your credit provider, as this notice may come in several forms of communication, such as via email, mail or when you enter into a credit contract with the provider.
Q: Can I opt out of Comprehensive Credit Reporting?
A: Unfortunately, you can’t. The Privacy Act operates differently when it comes to credit reporting. Instead of getting your ‘consent’, the law imposes limitations on credit providers and CRBs that are much stricter than other forms of personal information, while also giving you clear rights to see what’s on your credit report and to get any incorrect information removed or fixed.
Having peace of mind knowing who has access to your credit report and for what purpose is one of the most important steps to managing and protecting your credit reputation. Sign up for your free credit score with Credit Savvy and we’ll help you monitor your Experian credit score for free and alert you of any change.