A credit bureau is a body that collects, holds and distributes data from credit providers that pertain to a borrower’s financial history. This information forms your credit report. Each of the credit reporting agencies operating in Australia has to send you a free copy of your credit file within 10 days if you haven’t ordered a copy in the previous 12 months.
If you order a copy of your credit report and identify incorrect information (such as false defaults or repayment information), you can contact the credit bureau that issued your report to have these issues resolved. This is important to check and action as any incorrect, negative listings on your account could impact on your credit report and reduce your chances of approval when applying for future lines of credit.
Any credit providers that you apply for an account with, such as an electricity account, mobile phone contract, personal loan or credit card, will send this information to credit reporting agencies so it can be noted on your file. Even if you’re not approved for the account it will be listed. Other public information such as court listings and bankruptcy information are also included in your report.
There are four different credit reporting agencies operating in Australia:
- Equifax – this is the largest credit reporting agency in Australia and provides personal and business credit reports country-wide. You can order a free copy of your report in 10 days if you haven’t ordered one in the previous year, or you can sign up for an Equifax package to receive your credit file in 24 hours. Credit alert services are also available from them.
- Experian – this data-focused credit agency lets you order a free copy of your credit report. It allows credit providers make more accurate credit decisions through data sharing.
- Illion (formerly Dun & Bradstreet) – you can contact Illion to check your personal credit reports. It offers debt recovery services and provides a business credit check service where you can verify the credit and financial stability of a business.
- Tasmanian Collection Service – residents of Tasmania can order their credit reports from the Tasmanian Collection Service. This credit reporting bureau offers credit reporting and debt collection services.
If you require further assistance in relation to your credit report, you are welcome to contact our team of experienced taxation and commercial lawyers by clicking here to submit an online enquiry form or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to arrange a teleconference or appointment.