End of financial year an important time for your credit file.
16 July 2013
As the saying goes….there are two certainties in this world – death and taxes. But there is another certainty in Australia. If you have ever taken out or applied for credit, you will have a ‘credit file’ in your name, and a consumer advocate for accurate credit reporting says the end of the financial year should be the time to include an all-important credit check to your financial repertoire.
Graham Doessel, CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repair says obtaining a copy of your credit report regularly is an essential component to maintaining good financial records.
“Most people don’t think about their credit file until they apply for credit, let alone the implications if they should find out they have a default or other negative listing against their name,” he says.
Mr Doessel believes most people don’t know they should check their credit file, because they are largely unaware of the frequency of credit rating errors, or listings added unlawfully by Credit Providers to Australian credit files.
“Unfortunately, paying all of your bills on time doesn’t always guarantee a clear credit file – there can be a number of go-wrongs including billing errors, unfair bills, address mix-ups and mistaken identities – and our growing client base is testament to this issue,” he says.
Credit reporting agency Veda Advantage alone holds over 16 million credit files in Australia, but currently there are no official statistics on the number of Australians with ‘bad credit’ or negative listings – although in the past there have been reports of that figure being around 3 million. Likewise, there are no statistics for the number of credit listings disputed with individual Credit Providers.
“This makes it difficult for individuals to get any scope for the likelihood that their credit file may contain errors,” Mr Doessel says.
He says Australians should check their credit file at least once a year with all relevant credit reporting agencies, to make sure they have the all clear.
“Although it is not well publicised, Australians can access a copy of their credit report every year for free from Australia’s credit reporting agencies,” he says.
You can apply for a copy of your credit report from agencies Veda Advantage, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Tasmanian Collection Services (if in Tasmania). A free report will be sent within 10 working days, or you can pay to get an urgent report.
Mr Doessel says the end of financial year is the best time to order a copy of your credit report – as your financial records tend to be in order if you have just completed a tax return.
“This way, if there are any items you wish to cross-check on your credit file, you will have all the necessary information at your fingertips,” he says.
If your report comes back with errors, or you feel a listing is unjust or shouldn’t be there, you do have the right to have incorrect information rectified.
“Depending on the nature of the dispute, this may be fairly straightforward, or you may find that it requires the help of a third party advocate,” he says.
You can also order a free copy of your credit report through MyCRA – http://freecreditrating.com.au/.
MyCRA Credit Repair is Australia’s number one in credit rating repairs. We permanently remove defaults from credit files. CEO of MyCRA Graham Doessel is a frequent consumer spokesperson for credit reporting issues and is a founding member of the Credit Repair Industry Association of Australasia.
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