Sydney, Australia, July 14, 2015 – Comprehensive Credit Reporting is fast approaching, according to consumer advocate Credit Savvy.
One of Australia’s big four banks, National Australia Bank, has indicated that it will begin sharing additional data, such as customer’s credit limits and positive repayment history with Credit Reporting Bodies from as early as August 2015.
“This is the first step towards Australian consumers having the ability to negotiate better rates on credit cards and loans if they have a history of good credit behaviour, such as making repayments on time,” said Dirk Hofman, Managing Director at Credit Savvy.
“You’d have to think that rewarding good credit actions is in the community’s best interests.”
Credit Reporting Bodies in Australia currently only receive a relatively limited or ‘negative’ view of consumer data. They have access to data on credit enquiries (e.g. applications for personal loans and credit cards), defaults and events such as bankruptcies and serious credit infringements.
As a result of changes to the Privacy Act that came into effect in March 2014, credit reports can now include information on how many active (or open) credit accounts an individual has, account open and close dates, credit limits, type of credit account, and importantly, repayment history. This brings Australia in line with the United States, UK and New Zealand who already have this type of reporting in place.
However, Comprehensive Credit Reporting is currently a voluntary opt-in system and credit providers in Australia have been slow to implement positive reporting.
“We expect the momentum to shift now that one of the big four banks has signalled their intent to introduce positive reporting,” Mr Hofman said.
“With the extra information being shared about each consumer’s credit history and activities, looking after your credit reputation is more important than ever and can pay off in the future.”
Credit Savvy provides consumers with free, ongoing access to their Experian credit score, as well as credit alerts to notify them of key changes to their Experian credit file information.
Here are Credit Savvy’s top tips to get ready for Comprehensive Credit Reporting:
* Consider setting up direct debits to help ensure bills are paid on time
* Be careful about constantly switching credit card providers
* Notify your credit providers of your new address when you move
* Research thoroughly before applying for credit and only apply when you really need it
* Protect your identity from fraud
* Get your free Experian credit score at www.CreditSavvy.com.au
About Credit Savvy
Credit Savvy is a free online service that helps Australians understand their credit reputation and how they can actively manage it. It uses data from credit reporting body Experian to provide Australians with free access to their credit score, free monthly re-scores and the ability to track their score over time and receive alerts for any key changes to their Experian credit file.
Changes to the Australian Privacy Act in 2014 allowed more information about each consumer’s credit behaviour to be included in their credit file, such as credit limits and repayment history. In doing so, Australia is moving towards a system of Comprehensive Credit Reporting which has been adopted in other countries, such as the US, UK and NZ. Approximately 80% of credit active Australians don’t know their credit score.
For more information, please visit www.creditsavvy.com.au
Jo Balfour / Shuba Paheerathan
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