01.What to do about a mistake
If there’s a mistake in your personal details or public record information, contact the credit reporting company and request a correction.
If there’s a clearout (serious credit infringement) listed on your file and you haven’t tried to avoid paying the debt, get legal advice. Defaults (overdue payments)
Check the following conditions on default listings:
- Were the defaults more than 60 days old when listed?
- Have you received a letter about the default before it was listed?
- Has the default been listed for less than five years?
If any of this doesn’t apply the default shouldn’t be listed on your account. Contact the company and the credit reporting agency asking them to remove the default from your file.
Otherwise ask the company that listed the default for a copy of the original account and check whether the debt could be genuine.
- If it is correct, pay it and contact the company and the credit reporting agency asking them to change the listing as paid.
- If it’s wrong:
- Complain to the company and the credit reporting agency in writing, include the reference number on your report and supply copies of any documentation you have.
- If the company agrees with you, ask them to ask the credit reference agency to remove the default. Order a copy of the revised credit report.
- If the company doesn’t agree with you, ask the credit reporting agency to mark the default as disputed and take your complaint further.
Contacts if there are problems
- Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman (BFSO) or the Credit Union Dispute Resolution Centre. Both schemes can be contacted on 1300 780 808 or www.bfso.org.au and www.cudrc.com.au.
- Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), phone 1800 062 058 or www.tio.com.au.
- Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner, phone 1300 363 992 or www.privacy.gov.au.
Consumer credit legal or law centres and financial counsellors can also help:
ACT: Care and the Consumer Law Centre, (02) 6257 1788, www.carefcs.org
NSW: Consumer Credit Legal Centre, (02) 9212 4111 or 1800 808 488, www.cclcnsw.org.au
QLD: Consumer Law Advice Clinic, (07) 3012 9773, www.qpilch.org.au
VIC: Consumer Action Law Centre, (03) 9629 6300 or 1300 881 020, www.ccls.org.au
WA: Consumer Credit Legal Service, (08) 9221 7066
Financial counsellors: get a contact sheet from the ASIC consumer website at www.fido.gov.au or call the ASIC infoline on 1300 300 630.
Beware of ID theft
If there’s a credit application on your report that you don’t know about you could be the victim of ID theft, contact the credit provider, the credit reference agency and the police as a fraudster might have applied for a loan in your name. For more information see our ID theft report.