Credit Savvy launches to help Australians access and understand their credit score

Credit Savvy™launches to help Australians access and understand their credit score

CreditSavvy.com.au launches today, providing Australians with free access to their credit score and resources to understand and manage their credit reputations.

This free consumer initiative is backed by Aussie Home Loans, which has long been an advocate of empowering consumers and helping them get a better deal.

Founder and Executive Chairman of Aussie, Mr John Symond AM, said "Consumers need to be on the front foot when it comes to understanding and managing their credit reputation. It will help them be in a stronger position to get an application approved or have the confidence to ask for a better deal from their bank or lender.

"Credit Savvy lets consumers check where they stand and provides practical information, regardless of whether their score is high or low. It will help consumers to develop their understanding of credit and management of their credit reputation by providing free ongoing access to their credit score, insights about their score and importantly, offering practical tips and tools to help them improve their score," Mr Symond explained.

Alarming new research¹ shows that more than 80 per cent of Australians have never accessed their credit report and over 77 per cent don't know how a credit score might be used to determine creditworthiness, even though they can directly affect their ability to borrow money and influence the rates that the lenders offer them.

Credit scores are an indication of an individual's credit reputation and are a popular way for banks and other lenders to assess loans and customers for credit risk. Consumers have been benefiting from pro-actively managing their credit scores in other markets, including the US and UK, for decades as a powerful way to negotiate better deals.

Credit Savvy retrieves existing credit information and uses credit scores from world leading credit reporting body, Experian. Each credit score is ranked from 0 - 1,000 and individually calculated by Experian's unique algorithm, which has been influenced by global best practice from its 19 leading credit bureaux around the world.

Experian's Managing Director of Credit Services, Andy Sheehan, said "We are pleased to be teaming up with Aussie, one of Australia's most trusted brands, to bring to life our shared vision for empowering Australians to improve their financial well-being."

Credit Savvy has been launched to help consumers access their credit score and manage their credit reputation in Australia. The free service includes:

  • Access to your credit score, so you can see where you stand, at any time;

  • Monthly score updates, so that you can track any changes to your credit score;

  • Credit file monitoring, updating you with any changes to your Experian credit file;

  • Access to news, tips, FAQs and commentary to educate you about credit, credit reporting and how to improve or keep your credit score; and

  • Comparison marketplace, where you can research and compare hundreds of financial products that could save you money.

For more information or to access your credit score, visit www.CreditSavvy.com.au today

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

¹Commissioned by Experian, the research was conducted online by Pure Profile in September 2014 among 1,000 Australians aged 18 and over, representative of the broader population.

About Aussie

Aussie (formerly Aussie Home Loans) was founded in 1992 by John Symond AM, who was widely credited with bringing competition to the Australian home lending industry. The company was unique in its approach to home loans, offering a mobile service and access to loans far cheaper than those offered by banks. In 1994 Aussie partnered with Macquarie to introduce the securitisation of home loans. The company rapidly grew as consumers became aware of its products and that of other non-banks and the competition heated up. In 2012 Aussie acquired mortgage aggregator nMB. In May 2013, The Commonwealth Bank increased its investment in Aussie from 33 per cent to 80 per cent.

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft. Experian is committed to bringing the best of credit services and innovation to the Australian marketplace.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2014 was US$4.8 billion. Experian employs approximately 16,000 people in 39 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; Sao Paulo, Brazil, Singapore and Australia.

About Credit Savvy

Credit Savvy is a new digital initiative backed by Aussie that aims to help Australians make savvy financial decisions by understanding their credit status and how credit works. Credit Savvy provides consumers with free access to their credit score, credit file information, credit monitoring & practical tools.

APPENDIX

Some of the key factors that can affect a consumer's credit score are:

Bankruptcy Act - generally impacts report for 7 years Try to discharge, close or complete the Bankruptcy Act action as soon as possible. This will reduce the amount of time that your credit profile will be affected.
Default - impacts report for 5 years Try to avoid a formal default if at all possible. If you get behind on payments, make contact with the credit provider and try and negotiate a payment plan.
Court judgments Try to settle a dispute before it goes to Court. If you do have a judgment against you, make sure you pay it as soon as possible.
Enquiries Making multiple applications for credit can lower your score.
Too many accounts Having lots of credit accounts can be a sign of credit problems. If possible, think about consolidating your credit accounts and cards, while closing those you don't need.
Repayment History Moving forward under the new Credit Reporting system the easiest way to improve your credit score will be to make your repayments on time. A good method is to set up a direct debit or a diary reminder to ensure payments are made on time.