IMPROVE MY CREDIT SCORE

How can I improve my credit score?

Generally speaking, you should:

  • avoid late payments on bills
  • make loan repayments on time
  • pay-off any defaults
  • avoid applying for several loans or credit cards in a short period of time.

Equifax (formerly known as Veda) can tell you more about your credit report, which contains the information your score is calculated from.

You can request your credit report from Equifax and also fix mistakes or outdated information via their resolution centre.

For other enquiries for Equifax, you can contact them here.

Finally, don’t forget you login to your GetCreditScore dashboard each month to see if your score has improved.

Relevant FAQ’s

How can I get alerts to changes in my credit score?
How can I use my credit score to save money?
How is my credit score calculated?

How is my credit score calculated?

 

Your Equifax credit score is calculated from your credit report which is a record of your current situation and past behaviour, including:

  • Credit accounts and credit limits
  • Repayment history information
  • Bankruptcy, overdue debts, if you’ve avoided a creditor, and any court judgements against you
  • Your age, how long you’ve been employed, and if you move house a lot
  • How long you’ve had a credit report, and how often you’ve asked for credit
  • The kinds of loans or credit you’ve asked for, size, who it was with, and if you asked a lot of providers one after the other
  • Your business interests, and if you have a business, its location and how long it’s been there

You can obtain your Equifax credit report, including a free option, directly from Equifax here.

Relevant FAQ’s

How can I get alerts to changes in my credit score?
How can I use my credit score to save money?
Who can access my credit report?

How do I find out more about my credit score?

Your credit score is calculated from information on your credit report which is compiled by Equifax.

To get a free copy of your credit report, get in touch with Equifax.

Perhaps you are looking to apply for credit, or you’ve recently been declined for credit and are looking for credit repair advice. Or you might just be worried about keeping your identity safe. Getting your credit report will give you a full overview of the information creditors can access on you.

Relevant FAQ’s

How is my credit score calculated?
How can I get alerts to changes in my credit score?
What's in my credit report?

What if I don't agree with my credit score?

If you don't agree with your credit score it may be because the information on your credit report is inaccurate. Your first step can be to obtain your credit report, which will give you all the information you require to understand what has impacted your score.

To get a copy of your credit report, get in touch with Equifax (formerly known as Veda).

If you still require to dispute things on your credit report, you can ask to have it corrected through the Equifax Corrections Portal.

Relevant FAQ’s

What's in my credit report?
Can I get my credit report?
How can I use my credit score to save money?

What is Comprehensive Credit Reporting?

Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) commenced from 2014, and changed the level of credit information that can be held on an individual’s credit file.

Previously, personal credit files could only hold ‘negative’ information like credit enquiries (applications) and defaults. Comprehensive credit reporting, gives a more complete picture of an individual’s credit situation by including what’s known as positive credit information. It includes additional data such as:

  1. Account open date and close date judgements
  2. Type of credit account such as a credit card or personal loan
  3. Credit limit - This is the maximum amount of credit available to you for an account.
  4. Monthly repayment history on credit accounts such as mortgages and credit cards.

The move to positive credit reporting means that more information can be included on your credit report and an individual can be assessed for ‘positive’ behaviours such as making your minimum payment each month on your credit card or Home loan. It should be seen as a fairer system that allows individuals more ways of positively influencing their credit score and hence their perceived credit worthiness in the eyes of a lender.

Relevant FAQ’s

How does Comprehensive Credit Reporting help me?

How is my credit score calculated?

How can I use my credit score to save money?

What new information is now additionally used to determine my credit score?

Your credit account information, including:

  • Your credit account open and close dates
  • The type of credit account, such as ‘credit card’ or ‘personal loan’
  • Your credit limit, being the maximum amount of credit available to you for your credit account

Your credit report will also contain monthly repayment history on credit accounts such as mortgages, personal/car loans and credit cards. This will show if you were able to pay the minimum amount required on your financial commitments each month on time or not.

 

Relevant FAQ’s

How does Comprehensive Credit Reporting help me?

How is my credit score calculated?

How can I use my credit score to save money?

How does comprehensive credit reporting help me?

In a nutshell, paying your bills on time now results in a positive impact on your credit score.

Highlight good credit behaviour

You will be able to demonstrate recent good credit behaviour because the new system records if you have made your credit payments on time. You may also improve your credit profile more quickly after a negative financial event by showing good credit behaviour; potentially countering the impact of a default up to five years old.

Quicker to establish a credit report

For individuals new to consumer credit, the use of comprehensive information means that you can build credit worthiness more quickly. For example, if you are a young person or a recent arrival from overseas.

A more balanced system

It is a more balanced and transparent system for consumers who already have a good credit history, as well as those who previously had trouble meeting their financial commitments – as it may enable them to access quality credit where they may not have been able to previously.

A better deal with providers

With more complete credit bureau information and monthly updates, having a credit profile and showing good credit behaviour will become important in accessing credit at the best price.

What can I do?

A good credit history generally makes a person more attractive to credit providers. Under CCR, individuals will be able to show recent good credit behaviour by making credit repayments on time. For those who are sometimes late paying a mortgage, credit card or personal loan, now is the time to be proactive, pay bills on time and adopt good financial habits. Here are some practical tips:

  • Consider setting up direct debits and schedule loan repayments for your pay day to ensure you pay bills and loans on time.
  • Keep track of your credit commitments - Only apply for credit if and when you need it.
  • Having trouble meeting repayments? If you are in financial difficulty talk to your credit provider who may assist.
  • Monitor your credit score and associated information via your free GetCreditScore member dashboard to receive information and tips on improving your credit score and potentially saving money.

 

Relevant FAQ’s

CCR Example 1 – Reducing the effects of a previous default

CCR Example 2 – Seeing all of your credit behaviour can have its benefits

How can I use my credit score to save money?

CCR Example 1 – Reducing the effects of a previous default

Prior to Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR), if you didn't pay a bill and were more than 60 days late, a default could be listed on your credit report. This black mark (which stays on your credit report for five years) can result in you being declined for credit, or an inability for you to access quality credit and get the best rate.

This default information, together with the name of your credit providers, is the only account payment information a credit provider would see on a credit check when assessing an application for credit.

The new CCR system will include other account information such as whether or not you have paid the minimum payment required on each of your financial commitments on time. Depending upon your repayment history, this may allow you to demonstrate recent good credit behaviour, potentially countering the impact of a previous default up.

 

Relevant FAQ’s

How can I use my credit score to save money?

CCR Example 2 – Seeing all of your credit behaviour can have its benefits

How can I improve my credit score?

 

CCR Example 2 – Seeing all of your credit behaviour can have its benefits

If you shop around for credit and have a number of credit enquiries (loan applications) on your credit report, this information assumes the possibility of financial stress. These enquiries stay on your credit report for five years and can be looked upon less than favourably by credit providers, potentially limiting your ability to get a loan approved.

Under the new comprehensive credit reporting system your credit report will show details of credit enquiries as well as your open and closed accounts, along with the credit limits giving lenders a more detailed picture of your current financial commitments. This may enhance your credit profile and help you to get credit you want.

 

Relevant FAQ’s

CCR Example 1 – Reducing the effects of a previous default

How can I improve my credit score?

How can I use my credit score to save money?

How can I fix an error on my credit report?

If you find any inaccuracies or incomplete information after obtaining your comprehensive credit report from Equifax via the Equifax website, the best way to correct the information is to speak directly with the credit provider that the error relates to and ask that it be investigated and your credit report amended. A list of common creditor contacts can be found here.

Alternatively you can lodge your correction request using the Equifax Corrections Portal

In what instances can information be removed from my credit report?

Generally, information can be removed from your credit report if it is found to be incorrect, or if circumstances have changed. To do this, you will need to contact the credit provider or the credit reporting body with whom you obtained the credit report from.

Also, depending on the type of information, this will automatically be removed from your credit report after a specified period.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this FAQ is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional such as an adviser.