Frequently asked questions
Your credit report contains information about your history with credit. There are different sections to your credit report:
This includes information like your name, date of birth, address history as well as your driver’s licence number and employment history.
Consumer credit information
The consumer credit information section includes:
- Details of credit enquiries that have been made on you when you have made an application for consumer credit. Consumer credit relates to loans for household or family purposes as well as for the purchase, renovation or re-financing of a residential investment property. Obvious types of credit include credit cards and loans like mortgages, personal and car loans as well as credit contracts such as telephone, electricity, gas and internet. Other forms of credit include interest free store finance and store cards.
- Consumer credit liability accounts – this is an account that you currently have open or may have had in the past. It includes the type of account, the open and/or close date as well as the credit limit.
- Monthly repayment history on credit accounts such as mortgages and credit cards. This reflects whether you have paid the minimum amount required on time each month or not. Please note that not all credit providers supply repayment history information to credit reporting bodies like Equifax
- Overdue accounts such as defaults and serious credit infringements
- Public record information like:
- Court judgements
- Directorship details
- Proprietorship details
- Bankruptcy, debt agreement and personal insolvency
Commercial credit information
- Details of credit enquiries that have been made on your for commercial credit. Examples of commercial credit include a mobile phone contract or credit card for business use or a business loan.
- Details of any overdue commercial credit accounts and other debts.
File access information is also included. This outlines who has accessed your credit report. For consumer credit reporting, only credit providers and credit reporting bodies like Equifax can access your report under the requirements of the Privacy Act.
You can view a sample credit report here.
Your credit report holds information relating to your credit history. If you've ever applied for credit or a loan it is likely you will have credit information held by a credit reporting body like Equifax. Credit can come in many forms. Along with credit cards, personal loans and mortgages, credit also includes mobile phone, electricity and gas contracts as well as store and rental finance.
Your credit report helps lenders, phone and utility companies get a clear picture of your credit worthiness. It helps them understand your current credit commitments and how likely you are to be able to make repayments on future loans.
Getting a copy of your Equifax credit report can help you understand where you stand when it comes to applying for credit. It is important to check your credit report regularly to ensure it is accurate.
Your business credit report includes:
- Details of credit enquiries that have been made on your for commercial credit. Examples of commercial credit
- Details of any overdue commercial credit accounts and other debts
- Public record information like:
- Court judgements and writs
- Directorship details
- Proprietorship details
- Bankruptcy, debt agreement and personal insolvency
- File access information is also included. This outlines who has accessed your credit report. Only credit providers, suppliers and Equifax can access your report, with your permission.
Your credit report contains a summary, which is a good place to start. Here you will see a total of credit enquiries, any accounts you have, overdue accounts and details of commercial credit you may have. You can then review this information in more detail. If you find something that is inaccurate you can have it investigated. You can either contact the credit provider the information relates to using a handy list of creditor contacts or contact Equifax using our corrections process.
The information held on your Equifax credit report is provided to Equifax by credit providers, like banks, phone and utility companies as part of an application process for consumer or commercial credit or as part of their ongoing management of your account. In addition to this, Equifax obtains writs and judgement information from third parties like the courts, personal insolvency information from AFSA and directorship information from ASIC.
Your credit score (Equifax Score) is a number between 0-1200 that summarises the information on your credit report.
Your credit score is calculated based on the information held on your credit report at a given point in time.
Generally, the higher your credit score, the better your credit profile. Banks and other lenders use credit scores to as part of determining whether an applicant qualifies for a loan. Your credit score can also play a part in the terms of the loan including the borrowing limit and the interest rate.
My Credit File from Equifax does not include a credit score.
You can visit Equifax and choose from a range of products that include your credit report, credit score and additional features to help manage your credit profile and protect your identity.
Find out more about Credit Reports, Scores and Credit Alerts.
Yes. You can contact Equifax to obtain a copy of your free credit file where:
- Your credit application was declined. The request for a free credit file must be made within 90 days from the date your application was declined;
- You you have lodged a correction request and have been advised that information on your file has been corrected; or
- You can request a copy of your free credit report once every 12 months.
Free credit reports are delivered to you within 10 days. You can order a free copy of your credit file in the following ways:
- Click here to order online;
- Call us on 13 8332 and follow the prompt; or
- Mail your request to us at GPO Box 964, NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2059.
If you need your credit report instantly you can get our My Credit Alert service for $79.95 p/a.
If you have received an alert you should first check if the alert received is in relation to a credit application that you may have recently submitted or if it relates to an existing facility in your name. If it isn’t, it could be that someone else is trying to apply for credit using your identity details. In this case you should inform the credit provider immediately.
For other alerts you may wish to get an updated copy of your credit report to check the details.
The password to access your credit report via My Credit File is your date of birth.
Please contact us or call us on 13 8332 to change your email address.
My Credit File from Equifax does not include a credit score, however, Equifax has a range of products that can provide you with your credit report, your credit score, as well as a range of other features. Find out more about these services.
If you believe information on your credit report is incorrect you can have it investigated by the credit provider or Equifax for free. Search our list of common creditor contacts or you can use the corrections process from Equifax.
If you wish to submit a correction request with Equifax, you will require specific details of the entries you are disputing such as the date the entry was listed on your credit file, account/reference numbers and amounts. Please ensure you have the details of all dispute entries before proceeding with the submission of a correction request. If you do not have a current copy of your credit report or the specific details of the disputed entries, you may not able to complete the correction request form.
Your credit report contains confidential personal information that should not be accessed by anyone else without your permission. In order to help keep this information secure, Equifax has password protected the file.
The PDF attachment is designed for viewing through your computer. Some mobile devices are not compatible with password protected PDF files. To open your credit file you may need a PDF reader app which can be downloaded from your app store. The PDF app may provide the ability to open password protected PDF's. There are various apps available depending on mobile operating system. Please visit your app store to determine which app is best for you.
We are sorry you want to leave us! If you would like to cancel your 12 month subscription please call us on 13 8332.
Any person or organisation (the complainant) who is dissatisfied with a product or service provided by Equifax for any reason has the right to make a complaint to us. We will endeavour to align our procedures with the relevant legal requirements and best practice as soon as possible.
How and where to complain
You can let us know about your complaint and how you've been impacted by using any of the contact details below.
Call us - Our customer services team are available on 13 8332 Monday - Friday 9am – 5pm (AEST) or request a call back.
Email - Email us directly at customercomplaintsAU@equifax.com and mark it to the attention of our Customer Services team.
Post - Write to our team to on the below mailing address:
Customer Service Team - My Credit File
PO Box 964
NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2059
If you are an existing customer, it will help us to get back to you more quickly if you include your reference number from your credit report.
What happens next?
Once a complaint has been received, you will be sent a written acknowledgment of the receipt of your complaint within 7 days. We will endeavour to resolve complaints within four weeks of receiving the complaint, but this will not be possible on all occasions. Where our review exceeds four weeks, we will contact you to inform you of the reasons for the delay, and indicate to you when we expect to be in a position to complete our review of the complaint.
What information is required when making a complaint?
When making a complaint, please provide the following information:
- Your name, contact details and a reference number from your credit report,
- The nature of the complaint (including when the conduct giving rise to the complaint occurred) and
- Copies of any documentation supporting the complaint
Your rights during the complaint process
You have the right to enquire as to the status of your complaint and you can do so by contacting us at the numbers provided above.
How to take your formal complaint further
If you're not satisfied with the outcome we propose, or if you believe you have not received a fair hearing, let us know and, if we think it's appropriate, we'll undertake a further review of your concerns.
In some cases, if you're still dissatisfied with the outcome, you may be able to take advantage of one of the free and independent external dispute resolution schemes we subscribe to. The details are listed below
Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO), The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Telecommunications Ombudsman Service (TIO) all operate Australia-wide. Each Australian State also has a Water and Energy Industry Ombudsman (e.g. EWON in NSW, and EWOV in VIC).
Our My Credit Alert service credit alerts are delivered to you via email. There is no need to log in to manage your details.
If you have subscribed to the My Credit Alert service, your alerts will be sent to the email address you supplied when you signed up for the service.
If you would like to change the email address for your alerts, please contact us or call 13 8332.
Or you can login at the Equifax site to manage your subscription to any of these Equifax personal credit and identity products:
A default is also referred to as an overdue debt. A consumer payment default is debt equal to or more than $150 and is more than 60 days overdue. For example, if you have a telephone bill of over $150, and it was due more than 60 days ago, it could be listed on your credit report as a payment default by the telco provider.
Before listing a consumer default, the credit provider must take a number of steps such as sending two separate written notices to your last known address requesting payment stating that the debt may be listed with a credit reporting body (like Equifax).
In the case of commercial credit the minimum default amount is $100. Before listing commercial defaults or overdue debts commercial credit providers or their agents must send a notice to your last known address stating their intention to list the default amount with a credit reporting body such as Equifax.
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 report. To do this, you need to ensure you pay your bills before they become overdue.
Both consumer and commercial payment defaults stay on your credit report for five years, even when you have paid the overdue amount. The status of the default is updated to paid which can be looked upon more favourably by lenders but it will remain as part of your credit history.
Looking for your credit file?
Your monthly repayment history on credit accounts like loans and credit cards can be recorded on your credit report by a credit provider. If you pay your credit card or loan repayments more than 14 days past the due date this can be recorded on your credit report as part of your repayment history information as a late payment. This repayment history information is recorded on your credit report for a period of 2 years. Whilst one late repayment, depending upon how late the payment is, is unlikely to significantly impact your credit worthiness, a number of late payments could be an indication you are in financial stress and may negatively impact your credit report.
When you apply for credit either with a phone or utility company or a loan with a bank or finance company, they generally assess both the information on your application as well as information on your credit report against their own lending policies to make a decision on whether they will give you credit.
As part of completing your application, you will have given a lender, phone or utility company permission to view your credit report held by a credit reporting body such as Equifax.
It's important to know that Equifax does not decide who should get credit, however, the information we provide forms part of the lenders' decision making.
If you have been declined credit firstly you should find out why. There are a number of factors that may result in an application for credit being refused including:
- Level of income and other resources to meet the loan repayments
- Number of other loans and other financial commitments you have
- How secure your employment is
- Your credit history which can include information such as previous bankruptcy, defaults, serious credit infringements, high number of credit applications and poor repayment history.
If you have been declined credit and the information on your credit report was a factor, the lender, phone or utility company will give you details of the credit reporting body they used. If it was Equifax, the first step in understanding why your credit report has contributed to you being declined credit, is to obtain a copy of your credit report.
By getting a copy of your credit report you can better understand where you stand when it comes to applying for credit. It is important to check your credit report regularly to ensure it is accurate.
If you have been declined credit you are entitled obtain a free credit report if you apply within 90 days of being declined and provide evidence that a credit provider has declined your application for credit. The free report will be despatched to you within ten working days.
If you want instant access to your credit report, simply subscribe to our My Credit Alert product for $79.95 per year.
You will need to have the following information handy:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your driver's licence number
- Your current residential address
- Your previous addresses
- Your current employer or a previous employer
- Name of the organisation to which you last applied for credit
Only you may request a copy of your own credit report. For security reasons, you will be asked to verify you identity prior to receiving a copy of your credit report.
Once you have your credit report you can check that the information listed is correct. If you find something that appears to be inaccurate on your credit report it is important that you have the items investigated, and corrected, if required. Equifax can help you to investigate this for you for free. Equifax takes reasonable steps to ensure that your credit report is accurate. However, as we rely on information provided by a number of different sources, errors can occur. It's important that you check your report and let us know if there are any administrative errors such as an incorrect date of birth, or a misspelling of your name or street address. You should also check that the credit information listed on your credit report, such as an overdue debt or enquiry is accurate.
Once you have made any required corrections, you can also work to improve your credit worthiness.
Need more information? The ASIC MoneySmart website also has information about loan rejection.
There is no set frequency with which your credit report is updated. Your consumer credit report may be updated monthly, every time account repayment history information such as if you have paid a credit card, or other personal credit, on time is added. If it has not been paid on time this will also be recorded.
Your credit report may also be updated whenever you apply for credit, open or close an account, change your credit limit or agree to act as a guarantor for someone else. Credit providers may also update your report when they list any overdue debts you may have incurred and we may also add certain information obtained from third parties, such as default judgments, court writs and Bankruptcy Act information.
Your business credit report may be updated whenever you apply for credit, change your credit limit or are listed as a new director. Credit providers may also update your report when they list any overdue debts you may have incurred and we may also add certain information obtained from third parties, such as default judgments, court writs and Bankruptcy Act information.
You can only have a default removed if it was listed in error. If you have a default on your credit report it will remain there for five years. If you pay the default, the status will be updated to ‘paid’ however it cannot be removed.
A credit report is the detail of your credit history to date whereas a score is simply a number which is derived from the information on your credit report. Your credit score is not part of your credit report and is generated at a point in time.
Comprehensive credit reporting changes the type of consumer credit information that can be collected by credit bureaus and used by credit providers when making a lending decision. The Privacy Act 1988, which is the legislation governing consumer credit reporting in Australia, was amended on 12 March 2014 to introduce comprehensive credit reporting.
Previously Australia had a negative reporting system. This meant consumer credit reports could only contain information such as credit enquiries (typically applications for credit e.g. a personal loan or credit card) and information from credit providers such as payment defaults and serious credit infringements. Under a comprehensive credit reporting system positive data is able to be included on credit reports. Most developed countries in the world operate under a comprehensive credit reporting system.
The positive data that can be included on credit reports includes account information such as the date an account was opened and closed, credit limit, type of credit account as well as 24 months repayment history. Repayment history information can only be provided by and shared with licenced credit providers - this doesn’t include telco and utility companies. This means that if you make your repayments on time each month this good credit behaviour will be recorded on your credit report.
If you pay your credit card or loan repayments more than 14 days past the due date this can be recorded on your credit report as part of your repayment history information as a late payment. Only licensed credit providers such as banks and financial institutions are able to disclose repayment history information to a credit reporting body like Equifax. Telco and utility companies are not licensed credit providers and cannot supply or receive this information.
However, a default can be recorded on your credit report by any credit provider (including telco and utility companies) if you miss a payment which is more than $150 and is more than 60 days overdue. Before listing a default the credit provider must have taken steps to collect the whole or part of the outstanding debt. This means they have sent you are written notice setting out the amount overdue and seeking payment and a separate written notice advising you that the debt may be reported to a credit reporting body. A default remains on your credit report for 5 years.
If you pay your credit card or loan repayments more than 14 days past the due date this can be recorded on your credit report as part of your repayment history information as a late payment. It is unlikely one late payment, depending upon how late the payment was, followed by making your repayments on time, will significantly impact your credit worthiness, however, a number of late payments could be an indication you are in financial stress and may negatively impact your credit report. This repayment history information is recorded on your credit report for a period of 2 years.
To try and prevent this, pay bills on time, set up direct debits to pay your minimum credit card balance and schedule loan repayments for your pay day. Talk to your credit provider straight away if you are having trouble meeting your repayments – they may have procedures in place to help borrowers experiencing financial hardship.
If you are struggling with debt ASIC MoneySmart also provides more information about managing debt.
Credit repair companies claim they can fix your credit report or clear your credit history. Be careful of ‘credit repair' style organisations. Some companies claim to be able to remove negative information from your credit report and charge you to do so. This can often cost over $1,000 and it is likely you are required to pay up front.
Free services available to help
By contacting your credit provider or a credit reporting body they can investigate for free and correct information on your credit report if it is inaccurate. If you are still unsure on what to do you can also ask a financial counsellor or community legal service for advice.
In addition, if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation by the credit provider or credit reporting body you can utilise the services of the Ombudsman to which the credit provider or credit reporting body is a member. They provide their services free to consumers. Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO), The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Telecommunications Ombudsman Service (TIO) all operate Australia-wide. Each Australian State also has a Water and Energy Industry Ombudsman (e.g. EWON in NSW, and EWOV in VIC).
Need more information? ASIC MoneySmart also provides information on credit repair.
If you are finding it difficult to get credit, think twice before paying for the services of a company that claims they can "repair" your credit report/history. Some companies claim to be able to remove negative information from your credit report and charge you to do so. This can often cost over $1,000.
If you have inaccurate information on your credit report you can lodge a correction request with the relevant credit provider or credit reporting body and they will investigate for free and correct the information if it is inaccurate.
Equifax will not remove information from credit reports unless that information is erroneous. The fact that information is inaccurate or wrong does not mean it must be deleted. If it can be corrected, it will be corrected but not deleted.
Here are some simple tips to help avoid a default:
- Pay your bills on time – set up direct debits or schedule repayments for your pay day
- Keep track of your credit commitments – do your research before you apply and only apply for credit when you really need it
- Notify credit providers when you move address
- If you are struggling to make repayments speak to your credit provider
- Get a copy of your credit report and score. Don’t be scared to find out what’s on it as it ultimately could save you money
The term serious credit infringement relates to consumer overdue debts where an individual owes a debt to a credit provider but has left or appears to have left their last known address without paying that debt and without providing the credit provider with their new or forwarding address. A serious credit infringement can be listed on a credit report in this case if the individual has not had contact with the credit provider for 6 months or more despite attempts by the credit provider to contact them.
Consumer serious credit infringements remain on a credit report for seven years from the date they're listed. However, if they have been paid they revert back to a default and will remain on the report for 5 years. The fact that an amount has become overdue and then been paid becomes part of your credit history.
In the case of commercial credit clearouts, if you can't be contacted and it appears to the credit provider that you have left your last known address and you have not provided the credit provider with a forwarding address, they can immediately list the debt on your report as a clearout, even it hasn't been overdue for 60 days or more. These commercial clearouts will remain on your credit report for seven years regardless of whether they are paid or not.
Equifax has some simple steps to help you keep your credit report healthy:
- Pay your loans and bills on time - Consider setting up direct debits and schedule loan repayments for your pay day.
- Keep track of your credit commitments - Do your homework before applying for credit and keep track of your credit commitments. Making a number of applications within a short space of time will be recorded on your file and is not always looked upon positively by lenders, as it may be an indicator that you're in credit stress.
- If you move house, notify lenders - advise lenders, phone and utility providers of your new address so they can re-direct bills to your new address. If you don't pay these bills, a credit infringement or overdue debt could be listed on your credit report.
- If you are having trouble meeting repayments - talk to your credit provider who may assist.
- Keep track of your credit record - proactively manage your personal credit report by regularly checking your credit report and Equifax Score. You can even monitor changes through credit alerts. Please note your Equifax Score is available via our other Equifax personal credit and identity monitoring services. Find out more here.
If you have reasonable grounds to believe you have been or are likely to be victim of fraud, you can request a ban on the disclosure of your credit reporting information to be put in place.
The initial ban period is for 21 days, but can be extended upon your written request if there are reasonable grounds. This can help prevent fraudulent accounts being opened in your name. Whilst a ban is in force, credit providers cannot see credit reporting information on your personal, public or commercial credit report without your specific written permission.
If you would like to place a ban on your credit report, please contact Equifax at banrequestAu@equifax.com and provide the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Current address
- Previous address
- Drivers licence number
- Reason for requesting the ban
The first thing to do is to report the problem. If you believe that someone may have used your identity details to fraudulently obtain credit you should take the following steps and act immediately:
- Request a copy of your credit report to check that the information relates to applications for credit that you have in fact made.
- Contact any credit providers listed on your credit file to whom you have not applied for credit so that they can investigate and take appropriate and prompt action
- Contact Equifax (and other credit reporting bodies) to put a ban on your consumer credit information. The initial ban period is for 21 days and can be extended. This can help prevent fraudulent accounts being opened in your name. The ban period means that if a credit provider requests your credit report as part of an assessment of a credit application Equifax cannot share it unless you have provided written consent or if it is required by law. You can find out how to put a ban on your credit report here.
- Contact the police and report the crime
When dealing with a possible identity theft it is important to keep records of the conversations you have and keep notes, including:
- name/s of the individual
- contact number
- the date you spoke to an organisation
- details of the conversation.
You should also ask questions to the people you speak to so you can understand the process. Each credit provider may have their own processes for handling fraud. Note these requirements so you can comply.
If you have reasonable grounds to believe you have been or are likely to be victim of fraud, you can request a ban on the disclosure of your credit information to be put in place.
When Equifax receives and actions such a request, the ban extends not only to personal credit information but also to any commercial credit or publicly available information Equifax holds.
Whilst a ban is in force, credit providers cannot see information on your personal, public or commercial credit report without your specific written permission.
To help reduce the chances of credit fraud happening to you, follow these simple steps:
- know what is on your credit file - Order your credit report
- Use My Credit Alert to monitor your credit report so that you receive e-mail notification every time a credit application is made using your personal details
- sign all your new credit cards as soon as you receive them
- store your cards and personal ID items in a secure place
- shred any paperwork that contains your personal details or account details before throwing it away
- contact your financial institution immediately if your cards are lost or stolen
- keep your PIN confidential and separate from your card
Your records are investigated. The credit provider(s) will then conduct their own investigations and notify us of the outcome. We can then remove any fraudulent information from your credit record.
You can also put a ban on your consumer credit report. The initial ban period is for 21 days and can be extended. This can help prevent fraudulent accounts being opened in your name. The ban period means that if a credit provider requests your credit report as part of an assessment of a credit application Equifax cannot share it unless you have provided written consent or if it is required by law.