Most people will know that credit reports play an important part in the decision making process of lenders when an application for credit is made. A good credit rating guarantees more success when applying for loans, mortgagees, credit cards and the like, while those having trouble getting credit fortunately have opportunities to repair their ratings. In this case it’s a good idea to check your credit report to ensure it always in good standing or make improvements if they are needed.
If you’ve ever wondered how to see your credit history or would like to see your status, see below for how to check your credit report.
What information is contained in a credit report?
This document contains a list of your credit obligations, such as credit card and bank accounts as well as any overdue accounts and any credit enquiries that you have made. The report details how well the credit is managed, including whether repayments are made on time and in full which remain on the reports for up to two years; whilst local court judgements and reported overdue accounts remain on the reports for up to five years.
Credit reports may also contain information about if you have taken out joint credit such as mortgages, current and previous addresses, number of previous names, details of any overdrafts, and current and past employers. All this information is used to decide your creditworthiness.
How to check yours
In Australia there are a number of credit-reporting bureaus such as Dun and Bradstreet, Veda Advantage, and Experian. Those wishing to see their credit report are entitled to a free copy once every year from each bureau, but can also request a free copy if the application is made within 90 days of being refused credit. Credit reports can be sent to you upon request by credit bureaus within 10 days. Expedited delivery is also available for a fee.
Improving and correcting your credit score
As mentioned above, a credit report will give you a clear picture of your rating, and if there are errors or room for improvement, it is possible to repair your creditworthiness. Reports that contain errors can be corrected by contacting the relevant bureau, while a poor credit rating can be improved through timely repayments and minimising requests for credit.
Knowing how to check your credit report is an important part of good financial planning, and as we have seen above, has many benefits. From improving your credit rating to increasing your chances for being accepted for mortgages, credit cards, loans even utilites when you need them, this is important information that can be beneficial to many people’s lives.