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In an ideal world it wouldn’t happen, but the fact is there can be errors in credit files. And the best person to spot them is you.

Examples of the types of errors you might find include a misspelling of your name or a previous name, the wrong address, or potentially a credit listing which is incorrect, misleading or a duplicate.

So, if you have found something wrong, it might be time for some DIY.

Below are a few steps you can take:

 

Contact the provider

First step is to go to the source. Contact the credit provider first and ask them to investigate and correct the specific inaccuracy. Tell them why you believe the information is incorrect and if you are unsure, ask them to explain why the information is on your report. There are consumer safeguards in Australia that require credit providers and credit reporting bodies to investigate and respond to your correction requests.

Any documents or proof you might have could help and if you need a hand with your correction request, you can make an appointment with a community legal centre who can help you with the process.

 

Contact the Credit Reporting Body

If the provider can’t help then the next stop is the credit reporting body. Our partner CRB, Experian, has a corrections process for just this situation.

 

If all else fails

If neither the credit reporting body nor the credit provider can correct the listing, you can contact an independent dispute resolution scheme called an Ombudsman service. Examples of these services include the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman Ltd (CIO), or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO). For more information about these services, check out our Key Resources page.

 

Steer clear of credit repair companies

The bottom line is that information can only be removed or updated if proven incorrect or inaccurate. So, despite the claims of many credit repair companies they are generally charging high fees for a service that you can perform yourself for free.

 

Anything else to consider?

Yes. If there are listings on your credit file that you know nothing about, then it could be that you are a victim of identity theft and someone has used your identity to apply for credit.

If you believe someone has stolen your identity and attempted to obtain credit in your name, you should immediately contact the credit reporting body, the relevant credit provider and the police so the issue can be investigated.

 

One of the great benefits of being a Credit Savvy member is that our alert service notifies you whenever your Experian credit file changes, helping you guard against anything that shouldn’t be on your file and giving you peace of mind. If you haven’t you can sign up today, for free!