What counts as a default on my credit file?

While good financial behaviour should always be encouraged, it's important to know exactly what is worth fretting over. Not every single unpaid bill will end up on your Equifax credit file, and some problems won't be on there forever.

Just when do you need to start being concerned over a missed payment?

Commercial or consumer credit?

When you take on a home loan, a personal loan or a credit card, you accept a set of obligations in regards to the terms of your repayments. Violate these, and you may find that your credit report is damaged as a result. However, some infractions are exceedingly minor and will not appear at all. Anything below $150, for consumer credit, will not affect your file (unless it is a court judgment), and for higher amounts if you repay within 60 days of your overdue date, a default will not end up on your report, however it could result in a late payment. It is important to know that simple mistakes can potentially damage your file.

If you run your own business, you will find that these requirements are a little more strict. The outstanding payment is reduced to $100. This is another reason why it is so important for commercial credit holders to keep an eye on their commercial Equifax credit report and rectify these issues immediately.

The problem of telco

It may seem like it is more important to focus on larger debts such as your mortgage or business lending first, but historically Equifax has found that consumers tend to default on smaller commitments first. Phone, internet, utility and credit card bills are the primary offenders, with a large number of people failing to or simply forgetting to pay them.

While one late payment is unlikely to damage your credit borrowing, consistent failure for forgetfulness even on these smaller bills could signal financial stress to a lender. This repayment history is only recorded for up to two years, however, so as long as you stay on top of things for that amount of time, your previous missed payments on your consumer credit file will eventually age out. 

As a business owner, the line is a little less defined, but it's still worth keeping on top of your enterprise's credit file and rectify any errors that could crop up and damage your business' lending opportunities. If you find yourself in need of credit repair, make sure to get in contact with the team at Equifax and discover how we can help you get back onto the right track.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional such as an adviser.​

X Close

Thanks for choosing Equifax!

To make sure you are accessing the right product, we need you to answer the following questions.

You can get a free copy of your personal Equifax credit report:

  • if you have been declined credit in the last 90 days; or
  • if you have had an item corrected on your Equifax credit report; or
  • once every 12 months.

If you do not meet the criteria, a once-off Equifax credit report is currently available for free.

Multipage

Great news!

You are eligible for a free Equifax Credit Report.

X Close

Thanks for choosing Equifax!

An individual has the right to obtain a free copy of their credit file either personally or through an access seeker in the follow circumstances:

  • Once every 12 months
  • If their credit application was declined (the free credit file request must be made within 90 days from the date the application was declined)
  • If the individual has lodged a correction request and has been advised that their Equifax credit report has been corrected

If an individual does not meet the criteria, a once-off Equifax credit report is currently available for free.

Please answer these questions below as they relate to the person whose file you are requesting.

Multipage

Great news!

Your client is eligible for a free Equifax Credit Report.

Find out what's on your Equifax credit report

Learn more

You might also like

How can I improve my credit record?

/ credit basics credit report

For anyone juggling payments and bills from various essential service providers, from electricity and phone connections to rent or a mortgage, getting on top of their credit score may feel like a looming goal. However, with a few changes, you can begin to repair an unfavourable credit report.

How rearranging your debt could help you manage it

/ personal finance credit basics

Want to find a way to better manage your debt repayments? Why not try to refinance your loan or even consolidate all your debts.

Understanding credit card fees

/ personal finance

Do your research carefully before signing up for your new credit card to understand any additional fees and charges, as well as your repayment responsibility.