Important! Changes to your credit file

March 18, 2014

We have discussed the importance of understanding your credit file a number of times on this blog.  However changes are afoot which impacts what information is going to be stored on your file.  We have visited the website www.creditsmart.org.au and they say:

"Since 1991, the Privacy Act has meant that Australia has a 'negative credit reporting' system.  This means your credit report can contain 'negative' information about your credit history (for example, it can contain information about your notified defaults, as well as each application for credit) but it cannot contain any information that directly shows you have managed your credit well."

In March 2014 there were changes to the Privacy Act.  What does it mean to you?

In a nutshell, there is going to be extra information on your credit file.  This will now include

  • the date an account was opened
  • the date an account was closed
  • the type of account it was ie an electricity bill, credit card
  • the maximum amount of credit supplied

The most important thing to remember is that utility companies like electricity, phone or internet suppliers cannot put your bill paying history on your credit file. only licenced credit providers like banks, finance companies, credit unions can show your repayment history up to the last 24 months. Of course, non payment of any bill or loan over $150 can still be listed by any service provider.

Now don't expect this information to appear immediately.  It is most likely going to take years for the participating companies to update their customer files.  The positive side of this is that when your application for finance is being assessed, you are not only being assessed by not having a default or judgement, but also on your good repayment history.

For more information visit www.creditsmart.org.au or call us here at Astute on (02) 4367 7277.

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