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All about credit scores, credit reports and Comprehensive Credit Reporting


Nicholina Mylett, Contributing author

10 Dec 2021 • 2 mins 30
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Keystart considers a number of factors when assessing your loan application, including your credit score. Here’s a little bit of information on what your credit score is.

What is a credit score?

A credit score (or credit rating) is an assessment conducted by credit reporting bodies. It is designed to give potential lenders some measure of your creditworthiness.  It’s one of a number of pieces of information that lenders may use or rely upon to determine how likely you are to repay them on time if they give you a loan or a credit card. 

What is Comprehensive Credit Reporting?

Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) ensures that the positive actions you make such as making monthly payments on time are reported as well as any negative credit events. This provides a more accurate picture of your credit history. This may help those with a short credit history and reduce the impact of a single negative event.

As of June 2021, Keystart participates in comprehensive credit reporting by providing specific information about individual credit activities to Equifax Australia. Read more about what we report on.

How is my credit score calculated?

There are three main credit reporting bodies in Australia: Equifax Australia, Experian and Illion. 

These agencies are permitted to collect and disclose certain pieces of credit information about you in a Credit Report.  What can be included in a Credit Report is strictly regulated by the Privacy Act 1988.

Your score will be based off credit information about you, held by a credit reporting body, which can include your borrowing and repayment history as well as how often you have looked for credit from lenders.  These agencies all score in different ways and may each have a different score, depending on the information they hold and the way they use that information in their assessment. 

In general, the higher the number the better your credit score. 

Information that credit reporting bodies can look at when determining your credit score includes:
  • Your debts, and if you have had any difficulty with your repayments. They will look at both current and past debts
  • Loans you have taken out and loan enquiries made. This also includes if you are a guarantor on any loans
  • Credit cards and store cards
  • Your current credit limits
  • Accounts you have opened and closed
  • They will also check if you have any default judgments against you or a history of bankruptcy

Buy now pay later services (such as Afterpay, StepPay and Klarna), or payday lenders like Wallet Wizard and Nimble may negatively impact your credit score. Every purchase you make using buy now pay later may be considered a new line of credit. Having too many lines of credit and credit enquiries can reduce your credit score. It’s also important to make your repayments on time to avoid lowering your credit score.

Find out more about payday lenders

How's your financial wellbeing? Do you want to strengthen your money management skills and potentially improve your credit score? 

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How do I check my credit score?

There are many sites available where you can request to get a copy of your credit score for free. Credit reporting bodies such as Equifax, Experian and Illion must give you access to your credit report for free once every three months. You will have to provide proof of identity such as your name, date of birth, address, and driver’s licence number. 

You should then receive your credit report within ten days.

What if something isn’t correct on my credit report?

If you notice something you think is incorrect on your credit report, the best way to correct information in a credit report is to speak directly with the lender that provided this information.

To find out more about credit scores and reporting visit the Moneysmart website.

 

 

Keystart recommends that you seek your own independent financial advice prior to making any decisions about your financial needs. Any examples given in this post are provided for illustrative purposes only.