How to get ready for changes coming to Australia’s credit reporting system
Whether you call it CCR (Comprehensive Credit Reporting), or Positive Reporting, or you’ve just read something in the press that’s made you go “Hang on, is my credit report going to change?” – the bottom line is that there are changes coming to Australia’s credit reporting system that you should know about.
As a result of changes to the Privacy Act, your credit file can now include a lot more information about your credit history. Previously, your credit file didn’t have information on credit limits, repayment history or account open and close dates, which means the information on you has been relatively limited (or ‘negative’) – this is about to change.
HOW COULD THIS HELP ME?
Let’s say you always repay your credit cards or mortgage on time. Previously, your credit file wouldn’t show this – it’d only show when things got bad i.e. you defaulted on a payment or went bankrupt. Now, if you apply for a loan, a lender that performs a credit check can see that you’ve paid everything on time for the past 2 years!
Likewise, if you ended up closing a credit card, it will also be reflected on your credit file for 2 years afterwards, which again helps lenders get a clearer idea of your credit profile.
SO HOW DO I GET READY FOR COMPREHENSIVE CREDIT REPORTING?
- Your repayment history is going to count, so make sure you pay everything on time. Consider setting up direct debits to make sure you never miss a payment.
- Always do your homework before you apply for credit and only apply when you really need it. Your account open dates are going to be on your credit file.
- Monitor your free credit score and credit report regularly to check your progress
- Keep an eye out for fraudulent entries on your credit file
- Visit CreditSmart – there is some great information and resources on the Australian Retail Credit Association’s site
There you have it. We hope that’s given you a good start in getting your credit score in shape for CCR!