Protect your credit rating

Even if you’re just two weeks late paying a bill, new credit reporting rules meant a black mark on your credit rating. But there's a welcome development.
 
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03.How to fix mistakes on your credit report

More information for credit reporting agencies means more opportunity for mistakes – and there were already plenty of them with the previous system:
  • 30% of Australians who had ordered their credit report found mistakes in it in a 2013 survey by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
  • Only 60% of people in the survey who found mistakes got them sorted out.

How to correct a mistake on your credit report

  1. Order your free credit report once every year.
  2. Check your credit history.
  3. If there's a problem, contact the utility company or credit provider, or the credit reporting agency.
  4. If the problem on your credit file is not fixed, contact the relevant external dispute resolutions scheme – the utility company or credit provider and the credit reporting agency will be able to tell you the correct scheme. The most important ones are listed below.

    Click the buttons  below to link through to the relevant dispute resolution agency for the services provider in question: 

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Banks Non-bank lenders Telcos

 Energy, gas and water, by state

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5. Once the problem is fixed, the credit reporting agency should notify you in writing. 

6. If you’re not satisfied with the dispute resolution scheme’s decision, make a complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner:

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Could you have bad credit without knowing?

David Leermakers, senior policy officer at the Consumer Action Law Centre was denied a personal loan to pay for his wedding because of an unpaid $350 phone bill listed on his credit report. “This was before I worked at Consumer Action, and at the time I knew virtually nothing about credit reporting.” It turned out the bill was from a time David had lived in a shared house and his name stayed on the bill after he moved out. The other tenants failed to pay the bill. “As we needed the loan quickly, I just had to sort it out. I paid the debt and the loan was approved.” 

 

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