If you have a copy of your credit report and you think there is something wrong, it is important you get this investigated. Why? The information on your credit report impacts your credit rating and whether or not you might be accepted for a loan, credit card or a credit account such as a mobile phone or electricity contract.
What to do if there is a mistake on your credit report
Contact the credit provider
If the error relates to a credit facility that you have or have applied for, you should contact the credit provider, such as the bank, telco or utility company that the error relates to and ask that it be investigated to amend the information on your credit report. Equifax has a list of most credit provider contacts to help you contact the creditor directly.
Equifax offers a free service to investigate the accuracy of information on your credit report that is in dispute or you think needs fixing
Here's how it works:
The more information you can provide, the quicker we can investigate. If you are requesting the correction on behalf of someone else, please also include the requester's (your) details.
Important note: By submitting a correction request you understand that the information that you supply to us during the creation of this correction request, including your personal information, may also be disclosed to other interested parties in order to resolve your request for correction. This includes disclosure to the credit provider who has recorded an entry for which you are disputing the accuracy. This disclosure is in accordance with Section 20T(4) and 23B(3) of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
2. Equifax investigates
Once we receive your correction request, we will provide you with written confirmation that it has been received. Our Customer Resolutions team will investigate your request within 30 days and provide a response to you in writing. We may, however, notify you that there is a delay and seek to extend this time if we have not concluded our investigation.
If all relevant information is provided it could be as simple as us making the necessary amendment e.g. updating a default to ‘paid’ or deleting a judgement.
Note: Due to the high volume of requests our Customer Resolutions team deals with, they are unable to discuss the progress of your correction request with you over the phone.
3. Equifax contacts the credit provider
If necessary we will contact the credit provider on your behalf to have them verify the accuracy, or otherwise, of the correction request.
4. Equifax reviews the credit provider's response
Equifax will then review the information given by the credit provider and make any amendments, if any, to the entry(ies) on your credit report.
5. Equifax finalises the investigation
We will notify you in writing what the result of our investigation is. If a correction is required, Equifax will send you a letter notifying you that the correction has been made. Equifax will also issue you with an updated copy of your Credit Report.
If a correction is made to your report, Equifax will notify any recipients of your report within the three months prior to the correction being made, in accordance with its obligations under the Credit Reporting Code. Equifax will do this automatically at the time the correction is made.
If a correction is not made, Equifax will write to you setting out in detail the outcome of its investigation and why the requested correction(s) has not been made. In the case of consumer credit information we will also send you a 'What You Need to Know' brochure which sets out your rights under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) if you are unhappy with the outcome of the investigation by Equifax.
Be wary of 'credit repair' style organisations
Think twice before paying for the services of a company that claims they can “repair” your credit report or credit 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 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 the disputed credit information 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 reporting body or credit provider 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. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), Credit and Investments Ombudsman Service (CIO) 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).
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