Do you know what information is in your credit file?

December 9, 2019

Do you know what information is in your credit file?

Steve Sell 09/12/2019

How positive credit reporting data can impact your next credit application.




                                                                                              copyright: <a href=””>greyjj / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Are you aware that how your credit score and credit file are shown to banks and financiers has changed.

This is as a result of comprehensive credit reporting (CCR)?


Most Australians are unaware that their credit score will more than likely have changed since banks, credit card companies and most financiers started sharing positive customer data.

Positive credit data is your repayment and application behaviour.

This information is about you and how you pay your mortgage, credit cards and other loans.

Lenders will increasingly consider your repayment history and behaviour when assessing our credit application.

You should be aware of your credit score and the information contained in your credit file.


This will enable you to be able to proactively manage your credit file and credit score so that you can correct any incorrect information and modify credit behaviour that may be damaging your credit score and credit file.

A high credit score and a credit file with few applications may allow you to access more competitive credit terms and interest rates.


How missed payments can affect your credit score

If you miss a credit card, personal loan or mortgage payment (over 30 days late) for the first time could lead to a 20% or more decrease in your score,  If you miss 2 payments (60 days late) your credit score may decrease by 25% or more.

If you are 90 days overdue your credit score could reduce by 40% or more.



Reduce the number of credit cards and personal loans that you have.

The more credit cards and personal loans you have the more likely your credit score will decrease.

If you have multiple credit cards and personal loans, you could overextend yourself and ultimately result in missed repayments.

 Consolidating multiple credit cards into one loan could be an option to help you better manage your credit and your monthly repayments.

See for a debt consolidation loan.



How you manage credit and your repayment behaviour.

A lot of Australians have trouble making credit card and loan repayments on time.

When you have issues managing your debts, speak to your financier as soon as you realise that you may need assistance.

Financiers are much more likely to assist you if contact them before your account is in arrears.

If your circumstances change for the worse, lenders have hardship programs that can assist you and may be able to arrange payment terms or reduce the monthly repayment to help with your financial situation.

If you make an arrangement with a lender it is important that you stick to the arrangement.



What happens to your credit score when you Request hardship assistance?

 Will it affect your credit score?

There are a range of avenues available if you need financial support.

Here are some steps that may help you stay on top of your credit comittments:

  • Create a budget, be honest with yourself when you work out your budget and remember to include everything that you pay money out on.
  •  Calculate a realistic repayment plan. Make sure that you can stick to it.
  • Prioritise your debts. The most urgent and important first.
  • Consider consolidating multiple cards and loans into one payment.
  • Set up automatic payments that start a couple of days after you have been paid.
  • If you have made an arrangement with a financier, you need to make sure that your repayments are paid on time. If you breach an arrangement on a loan the lender may take more extreme action.
  • Seek financial help if you need it. There are several free services that can assist.
  • If you have sought financial assistance for hardship reasons do not apply for credit until you have resolved your current issues.


Having positive credit behaviour and repayment habits has become more important than ever before.

Even if you’re planning on applying for credit sometime in the future, it’s important to know what is on your credit file and if there is anything you must rectify before applying.


A Lot of People are Unaware of changes.

Up to two thirds of People are Unaware of the Changes.

Research conducted by the three major credit reporting bureaus has indicated that nearly two thirds of the population don’t know what information credit providers are sharing or that they are even sharing information at all.

People were not aware of the personal nature of the financial data being shared, and even more people did not know how this impacts their credit score and credit files.



You should check your credit report regularly.

You can do this at any time free of charge by contacting


Knowing your credit score, the information contained in your credit file, and how your credit decisions and behaviour impact your credit report, is essential for successful finance application outcomes.


What Can You Do?

Make all payments on time and regularly before the due date.

This includes your mortgage, loans and credit card repayments.

Check your credit report and credit score.

New data is added each month into your credit reports.

It is more important now than ever before, to regularly check the information on your credit file to make sure it’s correct.

Avoid making late payments.

Consecutive or multiple late payments can negatively impact your credit rating.






Do your credit reports get combined when you get married?


Getting married. How this impacts your credit file.

When you get married it often results in you both combining your finances.

This does not result in combined credit reports.

Your credit file and credit score are unique to each individual.

Each person has their own unique credit report.

Your credit history contains the information that is reported to the Credit Reporting Bureaus.  

Each partner has their own individual credit report even you have joint loans.


What Happens When we Have Joint Accounts?

If are co borrower or joint borrower your credit report will show the parties related to that account.

The information will appear on both credit files.

You will have your own credit files and credit scores. Even though both of you will be responsible for any debts incurred in joint names.

Even when you aren’t the one who did the spending, a missed repayment on a joint account will negatively affect both of your credit files and credit scores. reports.

What happens when applying for a joint loan and one partner has bad credit?

When you apply for loans, a mortgage or car loan, for example financiers will request both of your incomes, expenditure and your bank statements.

This is important when applying for any loan.

If one partner has a poor credit history and low credit score, this may lead to your application being declined.

This credit enquiry/finance application will be recorded on both of your credit files and can impact both credit files and credit scores negatively.

Positive credit reporting. How does it impact me?

Prior to comprehensive credit reporting, credit providers or lenders based their loan assessments on negative information shown on your credit file.

This information showed payment defaults, court judgements and bankruptcies and included the number and type of credit applications you made.

Your file did not record if the applications were approved or not.

Comprehensive or Positive Credit Reporting (CCR), helps lenders to make a more informed assessment of your credit history when you apply for credit.

This is because Credit files now include information about your current accounts and how payments have been made.

Your credit file now shows what accounts you have, any new or recent what accounts that have been opened and records any closed accounts.

Your credit file also records the date that you paid any default notices.


The 2018 legislation aligns Australia’s credit reporting criteria with other developed nations that include the UK and the USA.

In these countries’ borrowers with high credit scores and strong repayment and credit histories have used this information to seek out better credit offers.

Positive credit reporting forms part of Federal Government initiatives to make credit reporting and loan assessment a much fairer and transparent system.

Lenders can access much more data than ever before, and this has been brought about by these regulations.


Understanding positive credit reporting.

Australians need to understand how their financial history impacts their next credit card or personal loan

How does positive credit reporting help borrowers?

Under the positive credit reporting system, when you apply for credit, lenders can see if you have been repaying your credit card, personal loans or mortgages on time. The credit reporting bureau have your repayment history covering a period up to 24 months and includes closed accounts.

How Can positive credit reporting help borrowers?

Under negative credit reporting, the old system, your credit file wouldn’t show any information about how well you have paid your credit cards, mortgage or personal loans.

When positive or good payment data is included in your credit file, a lender can obtain a much more detailed picture of a person’s credit and repayment history.

The new credit reporting system doesn’t just help those with strong credit scores.

A client’s repayment history in conjunction with the positive data sharing regulations can be used to help people experiencing financial hardship.

Greater visibility of a client’s current circumstances, credit providers are better positioned to make informed decisions.

Working out arrangements before a customer defaults and receives an adverse event on their credit report is made a lot easier with the client’s repayment history on display.

This can help protect those who may be facing financial changes or hardships from getting into more debt.


  1. The availability of positive credit reporting information helps borrowers with a strong history of making on time repayments gain better recognition from lenders. This would result in lower rates and fees.
  2. Australians with a good credit history and on time repayment can expect to access more competitive deals and interest rates.
  3. The sharing of positive data can also assist borrowers to avoid entering levels of debt that may be unmanageable.
  4. Positive data can also help credit providers see the how indebted a borrower is.
  5. Under negative reporting, a borrower’s credit file doesn’t have information on credit limits, repayment history or account open and close dates.
  6. Most people are unaware that credit providers plan to share more of their personal financial data.


If you need financial assistance you can contact the following agencies.

Money Smart

Money Smart is an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website that offers free independent guidance to help consumers manage their finances.

National Debt Helpline

The National Debt Helpline is a not-for-profit service that helps people tackle their debt problems. Their professional financial counsellors offer a free, independent and confidential service.


National Association of Community Legal Centres

Community legal centres are not-for-profit community organisations, operating independently to provide legal services to the public.

National Legal Aid

National Legal Aid comprises of eight independent legal aid commissions around Australia, one in each of the states and territories. Each legal aid commission provides legal services and advice to people living in that state or territory.