What’s not in a credit score?
How many of you have thought, “I earn a lot of money – that means I should have a good credit score”? Well, you may be surprised to learn that your credit score doesn’t actually take into account your income. In fact, there are a few things it doesn’t take into account. Here we’ll take you through four of them:
CERTAIN PERSONAL INFORMATION
In this day and age, every other news article out there writes about how companies are collecting every single piece of personal data about you. Credit reporting bodies are a little different. Sure, they do have some of your basic personal information (e.g. name, date of birth, address), but that’s about it. They don’t collect information about your race, religion, political affiliation, medical history, or social media usage!
YOUR INCOME AND ASSETS
Your credit score is based on your credit history, so it does not take into account information about your income, investments or assets. That means you could be a billionaire and still have a poor credit score.
Of course, even though it’s not used in your score, a potential credit provider will still collect this type of information from you when you apply for a credit product and use it to determine whether to accept or reject your request.
OLD CREDIT INFORMATION
Much like the contents of your fridge, the contents of your credit file have an expiry date. Once a piece of information has reached the end of its retention period, the credit reporting body has one month to remove the information from your credit file. The table below summarises how long information can stay on your file.
|Type of information||Retention period|
|Personal details||No limit|
|Credit account information||The entire length the account is open and an extra 2 years after the account is closed|
|Repayment history||2 years|
|Credit enquiries||5 years|
|Court judgements||5 years|
|Bankruptcies||The later of:
(a) 5 years starting on the day you became bankrupt, or
(b) 2 years starting on the day that you were no longer bankrupt
|Serious credit infringements||7 years|
For more details about when information will be deleted from your credit file, check out the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s privacy fact sheets.
REQUESTS FOR HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE
By law, if you make an application for hardship assistance with your credit provider, this information cannot be disclosed on your credit file.
If your application for hardship assistance results in a change to your credit accounts, your credit accounts being closed, or new credit accounts being issued to you, this information can be included on your credit file. However, it will not indicate that the changes were a result of hardship assistance.
We could keep going on and on with this list but long story short, if the information isn’t included in your credit file, it cannot be used to calculate your credit score.
If you would like to read more about what information is included in your credit score, check out our article: What’s in a credit score?