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.
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.
An Authorised Access Seeker is an individual in relation to their own credit reporting information, or a person (including a company) who is assisting an individual to deal with a credit reporting body or credit provider and acting on a written authority from the individual.
Types of Authorised Access Seekers may include:
- Consumer debt management companies including credit repair and debt negotiation companies
- Finance or mortgage brokers
- Budgeting and financial education firms, such as a financial counsellor
- Individuals are also referred to as Authorised Access Seekers in relation to their own credit reporting information. If you are a consumer wishing to access your credit report please view our range of Equifax free credit reports and paid subscription packages here.
Note: Credit providers, mortgage and trade insurers are not Authorised Access Seekers. Not all organisations who fall into the above categories may be Authorised Access Seekers, and there are other restrictions under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) on who qualifies as an Authorised Access Seeker. It is up to each organisation to determine their status. An Authorised Access Seeker must satisfy the Authorised Access Seeker criteria in each occasion they seek access to an individual’s credit report