Your Credit Rating – How to Get a Free Credit Check and What to Do if Your Credit Report Comes Back with Defaults
We recently read a comprehensive article on getting a free copy of your credit report written by Alex Wilson over at online savings website – www.Savingsguide.com.au.
From the long list of comments on this issue, we can see just how many people in Australia still remain in the dark about how to even simply get a copy of their credit rating, let alone dispute any bad credit which they believe should not be there. We take you through some important points from this article and look in more depth at what you should do if you have something like a default or Judgment or other credit listings on your credit report that you feel is incorrect, inaccurate or unfair.
By Graham Doessel, Founder and CEO of MyCRA Lawyers and www.fixmybadcredit.com.au.
In the article How To Do A Credit Check – Check Your Credit Rating & Credit Report For FREE – you will learn how to perform a credit check to obtain a copy of your credit report. The importance of checking your credit rating – particularly prior to applying for a home loan, or other significant credit – cannot be overstated.
In this day and age, everything works on credit so you need to have a clear credit rating to be able to function well in society. If you cop a default on your credit file – you will be refused credit with mainstream lenders (at affordable interest rates). If you do get a loan, often the interest rate is much higher. You may also find you can’t get credit cards or mobile phones on a plan. But there are many people who don’t know they have a default on their credit file until they apply for credit and the bank does a credit check on them. To be one step ahead, it is better to check your credit file first – and give yourself a chance to dispute any bad credit history and have incorrect listings removed prior to applying for credit.
“I was worried about my credit report
If you are anything like me, you have probably missed a few phone bills, perhaps missed a mortgage repayment by accident or even worse – gone overseas and been missing in action for a few months with banks frantically trying to get in touch with you.
It made me wonder whether these oversights would affect my credit history and in turn my ability to borrow money come time for a home loan,” Alex writes in the article.
On a side note, oversights like forgetting a credit card bill, a mortgage repayment or any type of payment to a licenced Creditor will see a late payment notation added to your credit file now – and that will be visible from March 2014.
Just what impact this will have on your ability to obtain credit is still up in the air – but having too many late payments, or even just one, could mean you are refused credit, or offered credit at a higher interest rate in the future.
How to Check Your Credit Rating For Free
You can contact us at any stage to do the work for you to obtain a free copy of your credit file or alternatively, here is a run-down of how Alex checked his credit rating for free:
The first credit rating provider I am going to use is called ‘My Credit File’ – they are part of Veda Advantage, one of Australia’s largest credit reporting agencies.
Like many credit rating providers, they offer both a paid and free service. I am of course opting for the free service. All this means is I have to wait a little longer for it to arrive I am told. Not a huge deal.
How to do a free credit check with Veda/MyCreditFile [Now Equifax]
1.) I went to www.mycreditfile.com.au 2.) I then went to the ‘personal’ tab 3.) Scrolled down to find the button stating ‘Free – Find out more’ 4.) Loaded the page called ‘Free Credit File’ which tells you all the details you need to fill out 5.) I then downloaded this form to request a free copy of my credit report 6.) I attached a scanned copy of my drivers license (or passport) and also a copy of my utility bill proving my name and residential address. 7.) Done
I have to say, it was all rather easy. I now just have to wait 10 working days for my credit report to arrive.
Why do they offer a paid version of your credit rating report?
If you are wondering what the difference is with the paid version from MyCreditFile – please note that the only difference is that you pay $99.95 and it in turn comes to you via post, email or fax within 1 working day. E.g. you save 9 days. Still the same report.
Dun and Bradstreet credit rating reportCredit Report
Like Veda[Equifax], Dun and Bradstreet are one of the big players in credit ratings. They are used by many companies as the source of reporting on credit.
They by law have to offer you a free credit report and free copy of your credit history as discussed earlier. Here is how to get it.
How to get a copy of your credit report from DNB 1.) Go to https://www.dnbcreditreport.com.au/ 2.) Look to click on ‘standard credit report’ or similar – e.g. not fast tracked. 3.) On the standard request page you then fill out the online form (takes around 3minutes) 4.) Attach copies of your identification 5.) Submit/mail it 6.) You’re done.
Much easier than the MyCreditFile.com.au website – it’s as if the previous site was trying to hide the free report (well they certainly made it hard to find).
A bit about the Credit Score
If the bank does a credit check on you, they will obtain your credit score. But you are not privy to this number if you order a copy of your credit report – paid or otherwise.
People often ask ‘what is a good credit score?’ – however these credit scoring metrics are often kept confidential with the lenders and credit reporting agencies.
They are a metric that lets them give you an assigned score based on how much debt you currently have, how many credit applications you have filled out recently and more. It is more for the lenders to use to easily categorise people, so it isn’t often you get to find out your exact credit score – which in turn can make it hard to improve your credit score.
In my opinion, everyone should have access to their credit score, and the method used to calculate it.
How do I fix my bad credit?
If you have bad credit – you have two options….
1. You can attempt to remove the default or other credit listing yourself, and there are processes to do this – OR
2. You can use a professional credit repair service.
The benefit in fixing your own bad credit is that it’s cheap. You may have very little costs associated with disputing your own credit listing. But similarly to defending yourself in Court – the cheap option may not be the best one for you.
Credit rating errors are quite common, and the onus of ensuring the accuracy of your credit file rests with you. But how do you know if a listing has been placed accurately on your credit file, or if it should be there in the first place?
There are strict codes of conduct and legislation which must be adhered to when your Credit Provider is placing a default or other credit listing on your credit file. These laws are in place to protect consumers from unfair and damaging credit reporting. Creditors are largely aware of this legislation (yet may not have adhered to it), but there are very few consumers who are well-versed in credit reporting and industry legislation.
In order to dispute a credit listing which you believe shouldn’t be there, you must identify where the Creditor has not adhered to current legislation when placing the notation on your credit file. There is a whole barrage of points which need to be met in order to constitute a valid listing, and if you have not been made aware of all the avenues for dispute, then you could be doing yourself and your case a disservice.
A reputable credit repair Lawyer should dig deeper to conduct an audit-like investigation of your credit complaint to uncover errors or non-compliance.
For more information on credit repair, visit our website www.mycralawyers.com.au or contact a Credit Repair Advisor on 1300 667 218.
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