You can see your credit report tomorrow – find out how.
Credit reports are a comprehensive record of your borrowing history. Every type of credit you've applied for, from loans and credit cards to utility contracts, will be listed on there, and if you've defaulted on a contract or missed a payment, that will be listed on there too. Lenders use this information to make a judgement on you as a borrower.
It's an important document and while you can receive a free copy of your credit file in ten days every 12 months, you may need your credit report more quickly. This guide will take you through a more comprehensive look at your credit file and tell you how you can receive your credit file in 24 hours.
What information is held on my credit file?
A credit file contains numerous information that can be grouped into three sections namely; consumer credit, commercial credit, and the public credit sections.
- Personal information. Your name, date of birth, where you live, your employment information, your driver's licence and your gender.
- Consumer credit information. If you hold or have applied for consumer credit it will be listed on your file. The listing will include details such as the type of credit, the date the account was opened and closed, the credit limit, the monthly repayment history and if any accounts are overdue.
- Commercial credit information. This section details applications made for commercial credit, active credit accounts and any overdue accounts you might have.
- Public record information. Public record information shows any court judgments, debt agreements, bankruptcy, and insolvency that is applicable to you. However, when a credit report is compiled, public credit forms part of the consumer credit section.
- Defaults notes. If you have any overdue notes, missed payments or serious credit infringements, they will be listed on your credit file.
How can I receive a credit report within 24 hours?
Everybody has the right to access their credit report. Through any of the major credit reporting bureaus, you can order your credit report for free and receive it within 10 working days. You can also pay a fee to have it delivered to you within 24 hours.
You will also need to pay a fee to receive your credit report if you are not eligible to receive a free copy of your file. You can only receive a free copy of your file once a year, or if you've been rejected for credit in the previous 90 days, or if you're checking a correction. Check below for the different processes and fees set by the different reporting bureaus for ordering a copy of your credit file.
What credit reporting agencies can I receive a copy of my credit report from?
Different Australian agencies offer this service both for free and for a fee as shown below.
- Equifax. You can receive a copy of your credit report and Equifax Score in one business day by signing up to Equifax's Credit Monitoring package. You'll have alerts to certain changes on your credit file for 12 months and you'll be guarded against identity theft. Cost of 1-day credit report: $79.95
- Dun & Bradstreet. Receive a fast-tracked copy of your credit report in one business day with Dun & Bradstreet. There are also other packages available, such as an ID Report to just see a record of your ID details and the applications you've made which is only $15, or a credit alert package for $60 to alert your when anything on your credit file changes. Cost of 1-day credit report: $30
- Tasmanian Collection Service. This credit bureau specialises in credit management services for Tasmanians and offers an immediate credit information file and personal information report. You can fill out a form on its website to receive your copy. Cost of a 1-day credit report: $20
What information do I need to provide to receive my credit file?
Accessing a credit report is treated in a confidential manner by any credit reporting agency. Before accessing the report, the agency must verify that you own the documents legally and that the credit report is actually yours. The documents provided must be copies or digital scans of the original documents. Normally, credit reporting agencies will request information including:
- Your name
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number
- Previous residential addresses
- Current residential addresses
- Daytime phone number
- Previous employer
- Current employer
- Your preferred method for the credit report to be delivered.
Why is it important to check my credit file?
- Regular checking will help you identify any mistakes in your personal information. This can help improve your credit file and also avoid identity theft.
- Some credit companies may provide the agency with information that differs with your records. These should be corrected since a credit report is a key consideration when seeking loans and other forms of credit.
- It’s important to have a good understanding of your own credit history when applying for a loan. This will give you an idea of the likelihood of whether you’ll be approved or not.
- Checking your report means you will pick up any incorrect listings. This can include defaults or the opening or closing or credit accounts. This may have been a mistake by the credit bureau or the credit provider, or it can be a result of identity theft, in either case, it can affect your ability to access credit and can lower your credit score.
Frequently asked questions
Who has a credit file?
Any person who has ever used or applied for a credit will have a credit file. This includes applications for utilities or interest-free finance or store cards.
How can I get a copy of my credit report?
Various agencies such as Equifax, Experian, Tasmanian Collection Service and Dun & Bradstreet have services that help you to obtain a free copy of your credit report.
Can I repair my own credit file?
You can dispute inaccuracies and listings from your credit file directly with the credit bureau that listed them, or you can go directly to the credit provider. You also have the option of enlisting the help of an ombudsman or credit repair agency.