Every time you apply for credit you’re adding to your credit history. Find out what information is kept on your credit report, what it’s used for and who can access it.
Information that is held on your credit report
Whether you’ve applied for credit for business or personal purposes, the type of information is similar and includes:
- loan enquiries made in the past five years (by you or someone acting on your behalf)
- details of debts (including defaults and debts that are overdue by 60 days or more)
- as a guarantor, information about a credit report provider having requested a copy of your credit report
- names of credit providers you have applied for credit with, currently have credit with or repaid a loan with in the last 5 years.
Recently changes were made to the credit reporting system. In the past we could only share information about defaults and serious credit infringements. Credit providers are now able to report to credit reporting bodies the following information:
- date account opened
- current limit of account
- type of credit account
- date account closed
- account payment history
Although we're now sharing this information with Credit Reporting Bureaus, the information may not yet appear on your credit report. But you should remember that it's being shared, and may affect your credit rating in the future.
- full name
- date of birth
- address (current and last 2 known addresses)
- employer details
- drivers license number.
Public record information
Information from courts and government agencies such as:
- court judgements about any unpaid credit
- bankruptcy details, or if you’ve offered or entered into a debt agreement.
What is a credit report used for
A credit provider (like a bank, utility company, or internet service provider) can ask for a credit report to help them assess your application for a new loan or service contract.
It can help them decide if you're a likely to default on your repayments or not. It'll be an important factor in their decision but not the only thing they use to assess your credit application.
Who can access your credit report?
You can request a free credit report, at least once a year from the credit reporting body your provider deals with. The report usually takes a few days to arrive.
Checking your credit report gives you an opportunity to identify any mistakes and have them corrected.
It can also alert you to identity theft. Identity theft is where other people use your information for financial gain. For example someone might run up debts on your credit card or try to apply for credit in your name. The Australian Government Department of Communication have some helpful tips about avoiding identity theft.
The credit reporting agencies we share information with are:
Your information is kept secure
Credit providers and credit reporting bodies have a legal responsibility under the Privacy Act to keep your information secure. If you think someone is incorrectly accessing or using your information, you can make a complaint and have it investigated. Our article Your credit report: access, corrections and complaints explains the process.