01.Consumers will have more time for minimum payments
The credit reporting grace period for consumers has been extended from five to 14 days after a CHOICE campaign urged a reconsideration of a new credit reporting regime that came into force in March this year.
Missed minimum payments on consumer credit contracts such as your home loan, personal loan, car loan, credit card or retail "buy now-pay later" offers after the grace period (formally five days, now 14) have been registered on your credit report as a black mark since the introduction of comprehensive credit reporting on 12 March 2014.
After campaigning from CHOICE, other consumer advocates and the media, Federal Attorney General George Brandis relented and asked the Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA) to apply for an extension of the grace period. Following this, the Australian Information Commissioner has now amended the Code.
CHOICE welcomes the longer grace period but warns consumers to keep track of their credit reporting information especially if they are planning to apply for credit in the near future. It’s easy enough to forget a payment, for example, when you’re on holiday.
The ARCA-run Credit Smart website has been set up to help consumers understand the new credit reporting rules.