Why do I need a Credit Report?
A credit report is a means to assess whether someone has attempted to obtain credit in your name. A yearly credit report is also a way you may monitor your file to ensure no errors are on your report. Errors may look like enquiries organisations have made about your credit you can’t explain.
Please note: If you request your credit report, your current contact details will then become available to any lenders, creditors or debt collectors who check your report.
How do I obtain a Free Credit Report?
- Request a free credit report from ALL relevant agencies as some may gather credit information others have missed.
- The following links will take you to an application form for each of the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA's). You will be required to fill these out, provide ID information, and email all as attachments directly to the relevant agency (email addresses are listed on each form):
If you are emailing these details please ensure you are using a device that uses anti-virus and that the anti-virus is updated.
If this event only just happened, it is recommended that you wait a week before applying for the reports. If you would like help understanding the process or need assistance in obtaining or interpreting your credit report please contact IDCARE.
Credit Reports FAQs
- Do I need to pay for a credit report? No. Under the Privacy (Credit Code) Act 1988 credit reporting agencies must provide consumers with credit information for free if requested every twelve months. There are additional opportunities to receive a credit report for free more frequently than every 12 months (for example, if you’ve been refused credit within the past 90 days, or your credit-related personal information has been corrected).
- What’s the difference between a Credit Report and a Credit File? Nothing. Both terms are commonly used to mean the same thing.
- What I am looking for when I get my credit report? You are looking for details in relation to credit enquiries or debts that you cannot explain and had nothing to do with. These are indicators of either a mistake or an identity theft event. You should also check the personal particulars on each report as sometimes criminals look to change these details.
- What happens if I cannot understand the names of credit providers on my credit report? It is common for credit enquiries to be made by credit providers that have a different name to the place a consumer obtains credit from. Check with the named organisation as to which products / services / organisations they work with (you may find that the different name relates to an actual service you legitimately applied for).
- What if I find errors on my credit report? You have a right under the Privacy (Credit Code) Act 1988 to dispute with either the Credit Reporting Agency or Credit Provider the entry on your credit report that is incorrect. These organisations must investigate and provide consumers with an outcome at no cost. Sometimes we have people say that Credit Reporting Agencies defer them to the Credit Provider in order to correct their credit report, but under the Code they must take action if requested to do so.
- Do I need to obtain a credit report from all three Credit Reporting Agencies? Yes. We recommend you apply for all three. If they have a credit report on you it is likely to be unique and different to the other credit reports. Credit reporting agencies are competitors and do not share these details, therefore their reports about you are different.
- What if a Credit Reporting Agency does not have a credit report (file) relating to me? That’s very normal. It means that credit providers you have engaged previously have not checked your credit worthiness with the credit reporting agency.
- Who regulates Credit Reporting Agencies? The regulator is the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (www.oaic.gov.au)and the body who receives complaints initially is the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (www.afca.org.au). Be sure to take plenty of contemporary notes of your engagements. We have found AFCA can be challenging for some without assisting in providing contemporary notes and communication evidence of consumer interactions with organisations.
Identity Care Australia & New Zealand Ltd (IDCARE) provides identity and cyber security incident response services (the Services) in accordance with the following disclaimer of service:
IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber incident community support service. We are a not-for-profit charity.
- The Services provide do not constitute legal advice. IDCARE recommends that you consult a solicitor in relation to your legal rights and obligations, including but not limited to your legal rights or obligations under Australian and international privacy and data protection laws.
- While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this product or service, to the maximum extent permitted by law all conditions, terms, representations, and warranties (in each case, whether express or implied) in connection with the provision of the Services which might otherwise be binding upon IDCARE are excluded.
- IDCARE’S liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person or organisation (including, without limitation, any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage) arising out of or in connection with the Services (including without limitation liability for any negligent act or omission, or statement, representation or misrepresentation of any officers, employees, agents, contractors or consultants of IDCARE) shall be limited to the fees paid by you to IDCARE in respect of the Services. For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of liability extends to any liability arising from any actions performed or not performed as a result of any recommendations made in course of providing the Services.
- The Services provided by IDCARE are intended to be provided solely to the initial recipient of this document or service and IDCARE will not be liable to any other person who may receive this document.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this alert, IDCARE disclaims any liability to any person in respect to any actions performed or not performed as a result of the contents of the alert or any accompanying data provided. Wider dissemination may be permitted by authority in writing from IDCARE’s Managing Director. If you would like to provide feedback please use our Feedback Form.