Suppression of Credit Information
- What is ‘supressing’ or ‘freezing’ a credit file?
If you believe that you have been, or may be likely to become, a victim of fraud, you can request that Equifax ‘suppress’ or ‘freeze’ your credit report, thereby making it less likely that another person might fraudulently obtain new credit in your name.
Suppression is directed towards preventing new credit accounts being opened fraudulently. Accordingly, some ongoing access to and updating of credit reports is permitted during suppression.
- Initial request
You are entitled to make an initial request to Equifax seeking to have your credit information suppressed on the basis that you believe that you have been, or are likely to be, a victim of fraud (including identity fraud).
On receipt of an initial request, and verification of your identity, Equifax will suppress your credit information for at least 10 working days from the day on which your request is received. We will notify you of:
(a) the suppression and its duration; and
(b) the effect of an initial suppression and the process to make an extension request, release request and cancellation request.
We will also issue you with a password or Personal Identification Number (PIN) to be produced by you in conjunction with any associated extension request, release request or cancellation request.
- Arrangements with other Credit Reporters
We have established an arrangement for notifying the other credit reporters, Illion and Centrix, on your behalf if you consent to us doing so, of any initial suppression request you make. You will need to contact them if you wish to extend the suppression beyond the initial request period.
- Extension request
After the initial request period has passed, you are entitled to make an extension request to Equifax. We will:
(a) pending taking a decision on the request – continue to suppress your credit information;
(b) notify any credit providers that have listed credit accounts on a credit reporter’s records prior to the request (pre-existing credit accounts) of the fact of the extension request; and
(c) as soon as reasonably practicable, decide whether to extend the duration of the suppression.
Where we agree to extend the suppression, we will either extend it for at least 12 months, or for an indefinite period, and we will tell you:
- details of any pre-existing credit accounts that have been verified as being genuine;
- an explanation of the process for making a release request or cancellation request; and
- in any case where the suppression has been extended for a fixed period, the process for making a further extension request; and
- the option to opt out of receiving notification from the credit reporter of the imminent expiry of the suppression.
We may refuse an extension if we believe that:
(a) you have not been, or are not likely to be, a victim of fraud; or
(b) the request is vexatious or is not made in good faith.
In the event we refuse an extension request, we will notify you of that decision and include the reason for that refusal and details of the complaints' procedure available under the Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2020.
- Release request
Where you have had credit information suppressed, you are entitled to make a temporary release request to us, authorising the disclosure of credit information either to a nominated credit provider or providers, or for a set period.
We will action this, as soon as reasonably practicable, in line with your request where you provide us sufficient information to verify your identity, which includes providing us with the PIN we issued to you.
- Cancellation request
You may make a cancellation request to us authorising the permanent cancellation of the suppression. We will action this, as soon as reasonably practicable, in line with your request where you provide us sufficient information to verify your identity, which includes providing us with the PIN we issued to you.
We will not charge you to make or change a suppression request.
- Supporting documentation required
We do not require any supporting documentation for an initial request for suppression, other than information to verify your identity, for example, a drivers’ licence.
For an extension request, we will require a police complaint or some other independent information verifying the fraud claimed.
- Requirements for agents making applications on your behalf
An agent may make requests on your behalf, however, we need to be satisfied that you have given the agent your authority. We will need to see the written authority given by you to the agent. We may also require additional information in the event that we are not satisfied that the agent has your authority.
Need to request a suppression on your credit file?