Understanding your credit file

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Understanding your credit file assists you to make more informed decisions regarding your finances

Your credit file is a tool credit providers use to help them ascertain your financial reliability.

A credit file includes information about you and has four distinct sections. These are:

1. Consumer information which may include:

  • Identity details
  • Credit enquiries made in the past five years
  • Other enquiries made to your credit file

2. Payment defaults:

  • A payment default is an account of $100 or more that is 30 days or more overdue. For example, if you have a telephone bill which was over $100, and it was due more than 30 days ago, it could be listed on your credit file as a payment default.
  • Payment defaults can only be included on your credit file if the credit provider has tried to recover some or the entire overdue amount. This means that they must have sent a notice in writing to your last known address that the amount was overdue and requested payment.
  • Potential credit providers may look unfavourably on applicants with a history of overdue accounts, so it's a good idea to avoid defaults getting onto your credit file. To do this, you need to ensure you pay your bills before they become overdue.
  • If an overdue account is listed on your credit file, the credit provider is required by law to update the listing, as soon as practical, once you've paid the overdue amount.
  • A payment default stays on your credit file for five years, even when you have paid the overdue amount. The fact that an account has become overdue and then been paid becomes part of your credit history.

3. Public record information may include:

  • Court judgements
  • Directorship details
  • Insolvency information

4. Any lost or stolen identification:

  • If you have reported any lost or stolen identification to Equifax it will be shown on your credit file under this section. 
  • Click Here for more information on how to report a lost or stolen identification (ID)

You can find out more about your credit file by reading our 'Your Credit File Explained' brochure. Click here to download a copy.

If you would like to find out more about your Equifax Score Rating, read our brochure 'Understanding your Equifax Score Rating'.