We were the first company in Australia to put Credit Reports online
If you don't get your Credit Report, check it and put it right, no one else will. All you need to know.
The credit reference agencies hold information about most Australians and sell this information to credit providers and others. The information includes public record information, such as bankruptcy and other insolvency records, court judgments and summonses, information about who else has had access to your Credit Report in the past, default and Serious Credit Infringement information and directorships.
From 12 March 2014, your Credit Report has started to include details of your credit history – whether you have paid on time or not on your existing and recent credit commitments.
Credit Reports are a Really Good Thing
Subject always to the contents being free from error – and the credit reference agencies do not warrant to credit providers that it is - Credit Reports are a Really Good Thing.
Credit providers can use your Credit Report to establish your creditworthiness and to help them to make a more informed decision about whether to say yes to your application.
Credit Report information can help to avoid extending further credit to those that are already overburdened with it, and can help lenders be more socially responsible, giving credit only when it is due.
The scope for Credit Report errors is higher than ever
Credit Reports are made up of information brought together from many different sources. In Australia, the concept of adding account history to Credit Reports, by getting updates from banks and credit card companies, is a brand new one to two of our three credit reference agencies – only Experian has experience of this.
The scope for error is now significantly higher, and the Privacy Commissioner has brought in a strengthened code to ensure that consumers are better protected against misreporting or error.
There's a very important issue at the heart of the Australian credit reporting system - the onus for checking for Credit Report errors is on you – the consumer, and not on the credit reference agencies or on the credit providers who use the information.
What's on your Credit Report and what's not
Having said that, the law now requires that credit reporting agencies only hold on your Credit Report permitted information which is up to date, complete, accurate and not misleading. Some information is expressly not permitted to be included on your file, such as your political beliefs, race, any criminal record you may have, parking fines and sensitive data such as your medical history.
Thousands of Australians have been denied access to credit reports
In the words of the Privacy Commissioner, “The law guarantees that you are generally able to have access to your own file kept by a credit reporting agency or to a credit report kept by a credit provider. Under the law, a credit provider must notify you if it has refused to grant you credit on the basis of a credit report obtained from a credit reporting agency”.
Unfortunately, the word 'generally' fudges the 'guarantee'. In our experience, in recent years many Australians have applied for their Credit Reports and have not received them. As part of our Credit Report Monitoring service, we seek your Credit Report, and if we don't receive it, just tell us so we can chase for it and follow the matter through for you, so you don't have to battle yourself.
Don't waste your money getting quick access to Credit Reports
The credit reporting agency must provide a copy of your file for free within 10 business days of having received your written request. Some credit reference agencies provide a facility for quicker access – usually within 24/48 hours – but as the information on Credit Reports is not held in real time, and is often 4- 6 weeks' old at best, there is no point in paying a premium for this. The 10 business day wait is nothing compared to the age of the information on your Credit Report.
If you take a 30-day free trial of our Credit Report Monitoring service, we'll do all the running around for you to get your Veda Credit Report and chase up for it if needed. When you get it, send it to us and we'll analyse it and store it online for you in an easy-to-understand format.
We'll work out your Credit Score and use it to help you find cheaper credit. Then, if you don't cancel, which you can do at any time, we'll take $39.95 each quarter from your card, and repeat the process automatically every three months, so you can keep tabs on the accuracy of your Credit Report, so you'll have full confidence when applying for credit.
Credit Reports are different depending on where you get them from
The information held by each agency may not be the same as that held by another, but Veda is Australia's biggest credit reference agency, used by more credit providers in Australia than any other, with a good record of responding to requests from consumers, so is the one we choose to use for our Credit Report Monitoring Service.
There are four credit reporting agencies in Australia: Veda, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and for people living in Tasmania, the Tasmanian Collection Service. Each credit reference agency is compelled by law to provide your Credit Report either to you, or to a person who has been authorised, in writing, by you to act on your behalf.
What happens if your Credit Report is inaccurate?
From 24 September 1991, and not just from the new tightening up of the Credit Reporting Privacy Code which came into effect on 12 March 2014, the law has required both credit reporting agencies and credit providers to make appropriate amendments to ensure that your Credit Report is always accurate, up to date, complete and not misleading. If you check your Credit Report and find an error, you can request that it is put right quickly.
The credit reference agencies will act on your request, then check the underlying issues and makes the appropriate amendment, send you a copy of the amended Credit Report and should also advise you that you have a right to ask that those who have searched your Credit Report recently are informed of the correction. If the credit reference agency does not make the amendment sought, you have a right to include a statement, provided by you, on your Credit Report, often referred to as a 'File Note'.
What if I can't get a Credit Report error put right?
If the credit reporting agency is unable to resolve the matter to your satisfaction, or if you are not satisfied with the action taken, you have the option to complain to the Privacy Commissioner.
In the words of the Privacy Commissioner, he “has the power to investigate the matter and if necessary to order credit providers or credit reporting agencies to change their procedures, amend information or compensate you financially for loss or damage resulting from a credit reporting infringement”.
How our service works in a nutshell
When you subscribe to our Credit Report Monitoring service, we will request your Veda Credit Report on your behalf as an authorised 'Access Seeker'.
You'll get your Veda Credit Report sent by post to you within 10 business days. Send it to us by the method of your choice and we'll store its contents on our secure servers so that you can access your Credit Report online and check it for errors.
We'll work out your Credit Score and match up lenders who are likely to say yes to your applications. If you find errors we can guide you on what to do to put them right.
If you don't cancel during the initial free 30-day period, we'll then order your Credit Report every three months so that you can keep tabs on it, checking for errors and any early indications of identity fraud.
That way we'll help you to keep your Credit Report in order, so you'll always get the credit you deserve. More on how it works.
What if I already have a Credit Report from Veda, Dun & Bradstreet or Experian?
Or if you prefer, purchase a one-off Credit Report
Normally we'd get your Credit Report from Veda when you register with us, but if you already have a recent Credit Report , just sign up for the free 30-day trial, send us a message to let us know that you have your Credit Report already.
Then either fax it to us on 03 8648 5964, scan and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send it by post to us at Checkmyfile, PO Box 161, Erskineville, NSW 2043. You'll save about 10 business days by doing this.