Credit Report FAQ's

Frequently asked questions and answers about credit reports, credit scores and Comprehensive Credit Reporting

What is a Credit Report?

When you apply for a loan or credit, credit providers such as banks and lenders will check your credit report. Your credit report documents your credit history, including how many times you’ve applied for credit and which loans were opened, as well as your history of making repayments and any defaults. Learn more about your credit report in our helpful article ‘What is a credit report?’. 

What is a Credit Score?

A Credit Score is a number that indicates how healthy your Credit Report is. Generally, the higher your score, the better.

Your Credit Score is a quick indication of your 'creditworthiness' and can indicate to a lender how likely you are to pay back the money they lend you.

A Credit Score is calculated using the information on your Credit Report that includes:

  • How often you've applied for credit
  • What type of credit and the limits you've applied for
  • Your repayment history 
  • If you've had any defaults or judgements in the last 5 years

Your score may include additional information, particularly if you are an existing customer with the lender. 

A Credit Score is a good indicator of your credit health, but it may not always indicate that you'll be approved for a loan. Lenders may have additional policies in place that could impact your application.

Learn more about credit scores on the CreditSmart website.

How can I get a free copy of my credit report?

You can request a free credit report from any credit reporting body once a year or if you have been refused consumer credit within the past 90 days. You can also contact CreditSmart to obtain a copy of your credit report. If you're not eligible for a free credit report you can pay a small fee to a credit reporting body to access your credit report.

What is Comprehensive Credit Reporting?

Heritage will share additional credit information about customers with credit reporting bodies as part of the Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) changes. Previously, your credit report may have included only ‘negative’ data such as the date of your loan application, any defaults on your loan or bankruptcies. With CCR your credit report includes additional, ‘positive’ information like when you opened and closed a credit account, account type, credit limits you have and up to 24 months of repayment history.

When did Comprehensive Credit Reporting come into effect?

The legislative changes to allow CCR were made a number of years ago.

Initially, CCR was mandatory for the big four banks and, over time, other banks have also adopted CCR. Heritage commenced sharing for CCR purposes in early 2023.

Why did Heritage adopt Comprehensive Credit Reporting?

Heritage adopted CCR in line with industry standards, and as part of our commitment to responsible lending to our customers. All the major banks have already adopted CCR and many other credit providers have already adopted CCR or are working towards it.

Can I opt out of Comprehensive Credit Reporting?

It is not possible to opt out of CCR.  Your personal information is managed and protected in accordance with the Privacy Act. 

Is it legal for Heritage to share my data for Comprehensive Credit Reporting?

Yes. We are able to share your personal information in accordance with our  Privacy Policy and the Privacy Act. 

Who are the Credit Reporting bodies in Australia?

Credit reporting bodies are independent organisations that securely report credit and personal information to credit providers to help them assess a credit application. Heritage uses three different credit reporting bodies – Equifax, illion and Experian.

What do I do if my information is incorrect on my credit report?

If you believe there is an error on your credit report, you can contact the credit reporting body where you obtained your report, or contact the financial institution that provided the incorrect information and ask them to investigate. Alternatively, you can contact us if you believe Heritage has included incorrect information on your credit report.

What can I do if I need help making my loan repayments?

We understand that life can take unexpected turns. For this reason, we have developed policies and processes to assist members with their mortgage loans, personal loans and credit cards in times of financial hardship.

If you are having difficulty meeting your financial commitments please contact our Member Assist department. They'll discuss your circumstances discreetly and provide a solution to help you through this tough time.

If you agree to a financial hardship arrangement, this will show on your credit report during the arrangement. It will remain on your report for 12 months from the end of the arrangement, to help safeguard your payment history.

Learn more on our Financial Hardship page.

What does financial hardship look like in my credit report?

If you've missed one, or multiple loan repayments, this will show on your credit report. Your credit report is updated with your repayment history monthly. Any missed repayments will show on your credit report for 24 months after they are reported. 

If you have an approved financial hardship arrangement, your credit report will show the type of arrangement you have with us. This could be a temporary arrangement or a variation to your loan. Your credit report will not include the reason for the hardship arrangement, or any further details of our arrangement.

The arrangement will be shown as a simple letter code ('A' or 'V') next to your repayment history. This will show for a maximum of 12 months after the end of the agreement.
  • Letter code 'A' refers to a temporary hardship arrangement. This is a type of short-term relief or deferral of your credit obligations. This gets reported each month that the financial hardship is in place. 
  • Letter code 'V' refers to a variation financial hardship arrangement. This is a permanent variation to the terms of a credit agreement, such as capitalising your arrears after being in a temporary hardship arrangement. This gets reported once, in the month that the permanent variation took place.

Does financial hardship exclude me from applying for credit?

Financial hardship information does not exclude you from applying for credit in the future, once your financial hardship arrangement has ended.

If your credit report has financial hardship information, a potential lender may ask you for more information about your current situation to understand whether you are still experiencing hardship. 

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