What is credit reporting?
Credit reporting is the sharing of information between credit providers and credit reporting bodies about the lending products you have such as credit cards, personal loans, home loans and overdrafts. The information is collected by the credit reporting bodies to create your credit report, which is then used by credit providers when assessing your credit or loan applications.
Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR), an Australian government initiative, changes the information we share with credit reporting bodies. Previously we only reported information including new credit enquiries (loan and credit applications) and payment defaults to the credit reporting bodies. Under the new rules, we’ll also be reporting:
- The types of loan and credit accounts you hold
- When accounts were opened – and closed (if relevant)
- Current credit limit on each account
- Your repayment history, including:
- o when you make payments on time
- when you're late by 14 days or more on a repayment
- when you exceed your credit card limit by more than 44 days
What the changes mean for you
We've already commenced sharing credit card data. Personal loan, home loan and overdraft information will commence in September 2019. While you won’t see all data on your credit report straight away, we may share credit information dating back to April 2018. So how you manage your money now is important, like making your repayments on time, as it may influence your future lending applications.
Keep on top of your money for a healthier credit report
We’ve got some helpful tips to get you started on managing your money and having a healthy credit report.
Set up automated payments
Details of your repayment history will now appear on your credit report, including when you pay on time and when you miss any payments. The more repayments you make on time, the better you look.
Top tip: The easiest way to stay on top of your repayments is to set up automated payments like direct debits.
Get to know your accounts
Spend a few minutes going through your loan and credit accounts. Make sure you know which ones are open, and which ones you have are closed or are not in use. Also, make a note of your credit limits and aim to stay within them.
Check your credit report
Check the information that’s recorded about you is correct. If you find something that doesn’t look right, contact the relevant financial institution and ask them to check it for you.
Top tip: You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each credit reporting body every year.
Don't go overboard
Your credit report shows not only your current loan and credit accounts, but also every application you’ve made. Too many applications can have a negative impact on your report, so try and keep them to a minimum.
The sooner you start, the better
If your current credit report doesn’t have the best score, don’t lose heart. By getting on top of your money, like making repayments on time, you can start working to improve it – but it will take time. Most importantly, be cautious of any ‘quick fix’ offers.
Want more information?
To understand more about credit reporting and how you can check your credit report click here. You can also refer to the Australian Retail Credit Association website, Credit Smart.