By Tamia Gallego
There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding your credit file or credit history. Unless you work in a financial institution where you have access to customer credit files, you’re unlikely to have seen your own credit file or the type of information it contains.
Your credit file is a report of information that credit providers such as banks, credit unions, utility companies look at when assessing you for a loan.
The credit file includes personal information about you such as your name, date of birth, gender, driver licence, address and other information listed below. A credit file will last for seven years, and some offences are on your credit file for five years.
1. Credit inquiries – If many inquiries have been made within six months, your application may be denied as it may be seen that you have many debts that you are hiding, as there is no way of identifying if you were approved for any of the loan applications.
2. Records of some current credit accounts.
3. Defaults and paid defaults. A payment default is an amount of $100 or more that is more than 60 days past due. For example, if you have a bill of over $100, and it was due more than 60 days ago, it could be listed on your credit file as a payment default. A payment default stays on your credit file for five years, even when you have paid the overdue amount.
4. Court Judgments, Writ & Summons.
1. If you’ve changed address and phone number without advising the creditor companies, a default may be listed as a Clearout, which is sometimes called a “confirmed missing debtor”. This is considered a more serious offence, as it is seen that you deliberately avoided paying the debt, and is listed for seven years. Clearouts remain on file for seven years from the date they’re listed, even when you have paid the overdue amount.
2. Bankruptcy Act information.
There are two main credit-reporting agencies. Their contact details are:
PO Box 964 North Sydney NSW 2059
Phone: 1300 762 207
Fax: (02) 9278 7333
Dun & Bradstreet
PO Box 7405 St Kilda Road VIC 3004
Phone: 132 333
Fax: (03) 9828 3447
You will need to contact the credit reporting agencies to obtain a copy of your credit file. You will need to provide the following information to assist with proving your identity:
Credit files are generally provided free of charge.
It is important to note that once you have a bad credit rating, no amount of good behaviour is going to repair your rating. Paying an overdue debt will not remove it from your credit file. The only thing that will remove a debt from your credit file is time. Anytime you need to borrow money, or even services, your credit history is scrutinised. This is why maintaining good credit is so important.
Related:Build A Clean Credit History
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