With energy prices rising, switch to a cheaper plan
Compare Prices Now

Can you accidentally damage your credit file?

Posted: 22 July 2016 1:52 pm


Find out what actions can hurt your credit score without you even realising it.

While it's obvious that some activities will hurt your credit score – defaulting on a personal loan or declaring bankruptcy – other problems are not so obvious. You might check your credit score and find yourself in the "very good" credit score range, only to drop to a lower range for seemingly no reason whatsoever. However, there are a number of issues that can affect your credit score and your credit file that you may not be aware of.

  • Moving house

moving house

When you move house several things happen that can affect the health of your credit file. You may not forward all of your mail which could result in a default turning into a serious credit infringement. This is where a lender is unable to reach you for a period of six months or more following a defaulted payment. You may not even be aware of the default in the first place because credit providers can contact you by mail to let you know about it. Unless you pay the outstanding amount in full the infringement remains on your file for seven years. If you do move house, make sure all of your creditors and financial institutions have your new address and can contact you. You can also consider leaving a forwarding address with the people moving into your house or set up credit alerts to keep an eye on your file.

  • Enquiring about credit

Lannister pays debts

Every time you enquire about a loan, credit card or any type of credit accounts they will be listed on your credit file. If you make too many enquiries in a short space of time this can have a very negative impact on your credit file and subsequently, your credit score. Before you make enquiries with a lender find out whether they will be checking your credit file as part of the process. This is where the enquiry is listed. It's important to compare your options, but you can do so without making formal applications for credit. Only apply if you're looking to actually take on the credit account.

  • Not managing your automated payments

managing repayments

Automated payments from your debit or credit card can be convenient and help you manage your bills and credit accounts more easily. However, if your cards expire or get stolen and need replacing, it's important to remember to recreate the automated payments to avoid late or missed payments. Any payments that are late or missed can be noted on your credit file and affect your credit reputation.

  • Paying a utility bill late

homer stealing pay bills

People often misunderstand the effect utility accounts can have on their credit files. If you have a utility account that is more than 60 days overdue and you owe more than $150, it can be listed on your account as a default. The provider will need to send you two separate notices before it can legally list the default.

Curious about your credit score? Find out now for free.

Free credit score & report

Lenders know your credit score, so why shouldn't you?

Get your credit score and comprehensive report now!

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

37 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    zoejennings1992@hotmail.comSeptember 4, 2019

    Can I improve my credit score?

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiSeptember 4, 2019

      Hi Zoe,

      Thanks for getting in touch! It’s great to know that you are looking to improve your credit score. You may refer to our guide that carefully explains the quickest ways to improve your credit score. The page includes an explanation of what entails your credit score, steps to improve it, and how your score is calculated.

      Hope this helps and reach out to us again for further assistance.


  2. Default Gravatar
    AmihudMay 6, 2019

    I have bad debt from a few years ago, and I want to fix my credit ratings and pay my debt, is it possible? And how do I do it?
    Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiMay 7, 2019Staff

      Hi Amihud,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      You may need to reach out to your lender and see if they can offer you a debt agreement. Since it happened a few years ago, it is possible that your file is now with a debt collection agency. If you have been contacted by one already, you can discuss with them available repayment options to clear off your debt.

      To help you get back on track, let me share our article on how to improve bad credit. You may find it useful as it contains tips on how to get back your credit file on track. You can also contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to find free financial counselling in your area. Financial counselors offer independent expert advice on how you can manage your money and eliminate debt.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,

  3. Default Gravatar
    AnonymousApril 5, 2019

    Is there a way to remove previous credit enquirers? They were enquired with three credit lenders and it’s affected my credit score.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniApril 9, 2019Staff

      Hi Jill,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Please note that credit inquiries through the applications you’ve made are held on your credit report for five years. If the listing were incorrect or after the rightful duration, you may refer to our guide on removing black marks and defaults like credit enquiry from your credit report.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


  4. Default Gravatar
    ChristineFebruary 13, 2019


    Can rental arrears affect your credit score?
    If so how many days of arrears before it is impacted?

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiFebruary 14, 2019

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      Rental arrears, since paid to landlords – don’t report to credit bureaus hence do not affect your credit score. You can check our guide to Experian score to see what affects your credit score. Hope this helps!


  5. Default Gravatar
    SajawalFebruary 8, 2019

    Accidentally I inquired so many credit cards because I didn’t know that it will effect my credit score all the ads from different bank which appear on the Facebook and other social media apps so is there any chance to remove that

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniFebruary 11, 2019Staff

      Hi Sajawal,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      I am afraid you can’t remove a legitimate enquiry from your credit report. In most cases, you will simply have to wait until the five years have passed and they are removed from your history.

      You may use our guide on removing credit enquiries if you believe that the credit card issuer has incorrectly listed your name.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


Go to site