Key credit reporting matters you should be aware of
A credit report contains information about your credit history which helps credit providers assess your credit applications, verify your identity and manage accounts you hold with them. Credit reporting bodies collect and exchange this information with credit providers like us and other service providers such as phone companies.
The Privacy Act limits the information that credit providers can disclose about you to credit reporting bodies, as well as the ways in which credit providers can use credit reports.
The information we can provide to credit reporting bodies includes your identification details, any applications for credit you have made, any significant default we have notified you of and whether you have committed a serious credit infringement (such as fraud). Once we move to comprehensive credit reporting, we will also provide CRBs with what type of loans you have been approved for, how much you’ve borrowed and whether or not you’ve met your loan payment obligations.
Credit reporting bodies may include the information we provide to them in reports provided to other credit providers to assist them to assess your creditworthiness.
You can access credit-related information we hold about you, request us to correct the information and make a complaint to us about your credit-related information.
Credit providers may ask credit reporting bodies to use their credit-related information to "pre-screen" you for direct marketing. You can ask a credit reporting body not to do this. Also, if you’ve been, or have reason to believe that you’re likely to become, a victim of fraud (including identity fraud), you can ask the credit reporting body not to use or disclose the credit-related information it holds about you.
Other questions you may have
The changes to credit reporting effective March 2014 are sometimes referred to as bringing in “comprehensive credit reporting”. Comprehensive credit reporting means that credit providers, such as banks, can obtain more information about an individual’s credit worthiness, and will therefore be able to make more accurate assessments about which applicants are likely to meet their repayments or more likely to default. Not all credit providers will move to comprehensive reporting immediately. It may take time to develop the necessary systems and processes to support the move to exchanging comprehensive information.
Your credit report changes from time to time. To obtain the most up-to-date version, you should contact the relevant credit reporting bodies. Contact details for the three credit reporting bodies used by the Bank and operating in Australia are set out in “Which credit reporting bodies does the Bank use” above.
The Bank may be able to provide you with a copy of the credit reporting information it obtained at the time of your most recent application. This may be of limited use to you as it may not reflect changes in your credit report since the time you applied for a loan with the Bank.
Credit providers use various credit reporting bodies so you may need to request your credit report from each of the three bodies to understand your overall credit history.
Contact the applicable credit reporting body or the credit provider who listed the information, and they will investigate the matter for you. They will let you know what the outcome of the investigation is, and if needed, correct the information on your credit report.
There are three reporting tiers: negative, partial and comprehensive. Negative means reporting only identification details, application details and serious defaults. Partial means also reporting things like type of loan approved and current credit limit. Comprehensive means reporting negative and partial, and also reporting whether payments have been made on time. Credit providers may choose at which level to participate and may change their choice from time to time. The Bank currently participates at the negative level. The Bank is likely to move to participating at a comprehensive level in future. The timing for moving to comprehensive reporting has not yet been finalised and will depend on a variety of factors including implementation of required changes to our systems and processes.
For information about changes to credit reporting generally visit:
- The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner: frequently asked questions on the privacy law reform changes
- Credit Smart: a consumer education website developed by the Australasian Retail Credit Association (ARCA), with support from industry.