Understanding the role that credit reporters fill is a first step in taking control of your credit reputation
For the majority of New Zealanders, the purchase of expensive items such as a home or car is dependent upon responsible credit behaviours and on-going responsible credit management behaviour.
Utilising a credit reporter like Equifax which is New Zealand's leading consumer credit information provider will assist you to manage your credit details and activities effectively.
Equifax is a Credit Reporter as defined in the Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2004 and collects credit information from credit providers and other entities permitted under the Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2004, such as Ministry of Justice and prospective employers.
To be able to collect this information Equifax needs to have Subscriber Agreements in place from the credit providers who fall into the category of banks, credit unions, finance houses etc. who offer credit to corporates, commercial and consumers.
Regulated institutions such as electricity, gas and telecommunication suppliers are also classed as credit providers because you sign an agreement with them to use their intangible products (e.g. electricity and airtime) and pay for your consumption in arrears.
It is important to know that Equifax collects credit information and stores the information in a safe and secure environment and when requested to provide (i.e. passes on the credit information) this information to a credit provider who will examine all the credit file information for that individual and then they will make an informed credit decision on the credit applicant before approving credit.
Your written consent
You need to give written consent (authorisation) to a credit provider to access your credit file information. This written and signed consent clause is traditionally printed on the bottom of application forms and clearly mentions the Privacy Act 1993 responsibility attached to the consent given and the obligations of the credit provider.
It is therefore very important that you understand this and that all your credit applications made and those that have either been approved or declined as well as the performance of your various accounts over time plays a significant role in creating your credit profile.
You are the owner of your credit file and the responsible way in which you have managed your accounts over time will be displayed on your credit file report as well as in your Equifax Score Rating and all of this information can assist you in obtaining credit in the future.
If you want to know what your credit file profile looks like you can apply for this online.
Equifax provides essential information services to New Zealand and Australian consumers
Equifax is continually improving its product and service offerings to provide consumers with up to date credit information. Equifax also has the responsibility to respond to changes in legislation and is regulated by the Office of the Privacy Commission (OPC) and as such complies with the provisions in the Privacy Act 1993 in all its systems, reporting and business behaviours to ensure that your credit information is kept safe and secure.
Equifax takes the security and integrity of its data very seriously. The company has a range of systems and processes in place to protect its data and only allows access to those with the appropriate permissions.
Equifax offers the following products and services:
- My Credit Alert service; which is the only consumer credit monitoring service provided by a credit reporting bureau in New Zealand. The benefit of this is that it helps to identify theft and fraud detection early
- My Credit File service; where you can request a copy of your credit file.
- Has a customer contact centre service to assist you with any enquiries.