Your credit report refers to your history of borrowing and repaying debt. It will include information about credit cards and personal loans you currently hold, or held in the past, late payment information, defaults and more.
When looking to buy a home, having a good credit report is extremely important. Why? Because when banks offer you a home loan, they're essentially betting that you'll be able to pay it back.
If your credit report shows late payments or defaults, they may decline your home loan application. Here are some things you can do to improve your credit report and make sure it's in top shape.
Keep information up to date.
Review your credit report to ensure sure all information is correct and nothing is missing. Your credit report will contain data from various credit providers and public sources so you want to make sure nothing is incorrect.
If you move home or change your email or phone number, make sure to let lenders know so you don't miss any bills. Quite often, many will miss payments simply because they never received their bill.
Avoid applying for credit.
It's important to be aware that any finance application you make, can leave a mark on your credit report.
Before you consider borrowing money, make sure you do your homework to make sure you will be able to pay off the debt on time. If you make multiple enquiries in a short period of time, you may appear to be in credit stress which lenders certainly won't like.
Interest-free payment providers such as Store Credit Cards and Zippay can leave a mark on your credit report. For example, Zippay may perform a credit check when you apply and if you have default on a payment it will be recorded on your file.
Pay bills on time.
Make sure to pay all of your bills before or on the due date. By having a good record of making your payments on time, this will help to increase your credit rating.
If your bill is $150 or more and you fail to make a payment within 60 days after the due date, this could be recorded as a default on your credit report. A default on your credit report will make a big impact on your chance to obtain finance.
It's a good idea to set up direct debits from your bank account to ensure your payments get paid on time. Many services such as electricity and phone providers will offer a direct debit option.
What if I have a default?
Credit defaults will appear on your credit report for 5 years. If you've found out about a default on your credit report and believe it could be a mistake, there may be steps you can take to correct it.
First and foremost, if the bill is still outstanding, you should contact the collection agency or service provider and pay for it.
Once it's paid, you should contact the service provider and request to talk to someone who can investigate and have the paid default removed, preferably a supervisor.
If you're having trouble correcting a default on your credit report, Equifax offers a free Personal Corrections service and can investigate the accuracy of information on your credit report.
Alternatively, you can contact us and we can provide you with some more information that may help to improve your credit file.
How do I access my credit report?
Equifax is a leading provider of credit information and analysis in Australia. You can access your credit report through their website. https://www.equifax.com.au/
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