What is a credit report?

A credit report is a document that summarises how you’ve handled your credit accounts in the past, and contains information collected from a number of different sources. Lenders access your credit report in order to help determine your suitability when you apply for credit.

Your credit report includes information such as:

  • Your personal information;
  • Repayment history;
  • The age of your credit report;
  • Previous credit applications you’ve made;
  • Publicly available information that relates to your credit worthiness; and
  • If you owe money to other providers – otherwise known as defaults. 

Credit reports are updated by and accessible through credit reporting bodies in Australia.  The credit reporting bodies we use at Heritage are listed in our Privacy Policy.

When does an enquiry get recorded on my credit report? 

Applications for credit, including credit cards, store cards, home loans, personal and business loans, get recorded on your credit report as a “credit enquiry”. The way applications are recorded varies between credit reporting bodies, however usually your report will show when you applied, where you applied and the amount applied for. 

If there are a lot of credit enquiries on your report in a short amount of time this may be viewed negatively by a lender. If you’re just comparing products or looking for more information you might consider talking to your lender first before completing an application for credit.  

Can I check my own credit report? 

Yes! You can check your own credit report by requesting a copy from a credit reporting agency. When you do, your request is noted as a file access record and has no impact on your credit score. It is a good idea to check your credit report is correct and see what lenders will see when they review your report. 

How can I improve my credit report?

Improving your credit report takes time, but there are some things you can do to help the process:

  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Pay off debt and keep your balances low on revolving credit, like credit cards and buy now, pay later accounts. 
  • Don’t apply for too much new credit
  • Check your credit report to make sure it’s accurate

If you’d like to learn more about credit reports, you can visit the Money Smart website and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website. 

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