Credit report monitoring service
Discover how a credit monitoring service can improve your credit and finances.
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Lenders use your credit report as a financial report card to help them determine whether to approve or decline your credit applications, so the importance of your file's accuracy cannot be overstated. Credit monitoring services and packages that alert you to changes in your score and on your report can help you limit the risk of identity theft and ensure the accuracy of your credit report.
Find out more about credit report monitoring services, and whether they're an option you want to consider, in the guide below.
What is a credit monitoring service?
A credit monitoring service allows you to keep up with changes in your credit report. Mistakes on your credit report, such as errors with your name and address, incorrectly-listed defaults or accounts not belonging to you can ruin your credit reputation and make providers consider you a bad credit risk.
How do credit report monitoring services work?
If you are an Australian with active credit, you have a file with a reporting agency where all your credit history and personal information is listed. Every time you apply for credit, which includes store finance and utilities, credit providers update your file, listing any infringements or current debts you have. Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) means that the payments you've made, and whether you've made them on time, are also listed on your report. You can check out our detailed guide to CCR for more information.
Monitoring services let you stay informed of all changes in your credit report, giving you the ability to manage how lenders perceive your creditworthiness. Here is a brief look at how each monitoring service works:
- Finder's free credit report service. You can check your full credit report and credit score for free with finder and check it at any time on your finder dashboard, we'll alert you anytime something on your report changes and will send you an updated credit score every month. Get your free credit report and score here.
- Equifax alerts. Equifax offers tiered packages with different levels of service, including monitoring services. With Equifax access, you get credit alerts so you receive an email when certain changes, including credit inquiries, happen on your file. The Equifax ID package gives you credit alerts as well as Identity Watch, which will alert you if your details may have been compromised online.
- illion Data Registries (formerly Dun & Bradstreet) credit alerts. illion offers credit alerts that will notify you of any change on your file and will email you a copy of your report. ID check alerts you to changes in the personal details of your credit report and when a new credit application is made in your name.
What information is on my credit report?
- Personal information. These are details about your current address, work history, name, date of birth and your driver’s licence number.
- Default notes. Details of overdue accounts, current debts and repayments being made, missed payments and serious credit infringements.
- Credit information. This includes listings of past credit inquiries, credit cards held with different providers, any loans you've held with different lenders, utility accounts and the monthly repayment history on all current debts.
- Public record. Information held under public record including writs and judgments, bankruptcy and insolvency notes, directorship information and any debt agreements.
- Joint applicants. This section holds information about any credit accounts you jointly hold with another party.
What information could cause a change?
Whether your numerical score changes or not, all of the below will cause a change on your report if and when they are reported:
- New credit enquiry. If you apply for a new utility account, loan or credit card, the provider will enquire about your credit. These enquiries are listed on your account regardless of whether you're approved or declined.
- Credit limit increase or decrease. All credit limit changes are listed on your report. For example, if you request a credit limit increase on your credit card to make a large purchase.
- Existing credit account added. If your existing credit issuer starts reporting to a credit reporting bureau, it will begin showing up on your credit report. For example, if you've had a mobile plan for years and the telco just started to report data to Experian.
- Your repayment history. Your repayment history, both on time and late, will be detailed on your credit report.
- New and cancelled credit accounts. From applying for a new personal loan to closing an old credit card, these account changes will be listed on your report.
- Defaults. If you have an overdue account of $150 or more that's delayed for 60 days or longer, it will be listed as a default. Whether it's paid, settled, increased or decreased, it will remain on your report for 5 years.
- Serious credit infringements. If you have overdue accounts and haven't made contact with your provider in six months, any amount owing will be classified as a serious credit infringement. This could happen if you fail to pay your bills or haven't seen correspondence from your credit issuer because you've moved and haven't updated your details. Even if you pay it, these will remain on your report for seven years.
- Bankruptcy. If you've declared bankruptcy or your bankruptcy status has changed (for example, the bankruptcy you declared five years ago has been removed from your report), you'll see a change on your credit report.
- Court judgements. If a court judgement is added, paid, discontinued or set aside, it will be listed on your report. For example, a court ordering you to pay your credit provider what you owe them, including any fees, interest and penalties, will appear on your report.
How do I get a copy of my credit report?
There are a few different ways of getting your credit report:
Firstly, you can get your full credit report for free with finder. You'll be able to receive your credit report and score, provided by Experian, within a few minutes and it will be accessible any time through your finder account. You'll be notified whenever something on your credit report changes and you'll also receive your credit score, which is updated every month.
You're also able to order a free copy of your credit report once a year from any of the main credit reporting agencies. If you reside anywhere in Australia you can order your file from Equifax or illion (formerly Dun & Bradstreet). You can also order your credit report if you've been rejected for credit in the previous 90 days or if you've requested a correction in your credit report.
Why is it important to check my credit report?
Monitoring your credit report is the best way to protect your credit and identity. A good credit history means you can get credit should you need to. You should proactively check your credit report regularly or subscribe to a monitoring service to be alerted to updates of your credit report. Staying up-to-date with what's on your credit report helps to:
- Protect yourself from identity theft.
- Identify and order corrections for any incorrect listings. See our guide to removing invalid marks from your credit report for more tips.
- Understand how your credit score looks and what may be affecting your credit rating.
Frequently asked questions
How do monitoring services protect my identity?
Most monitoring services alert you within a day of a change occurring in your credit report, allowing you to keep track of your accounts, credit inquiries and default notes. Should fraudulent listings appear, your monitoring service would immediately alert you, ensuring that you respond in time to stop the fraud and mitigate the damage.
What information will be monitored?
Subscribing to a monitoring service means you will be notified of changes or additions to your credit report. Monitored information may include your personal details, consumer or commercial credit enquiries, court judgments or overdue accounts.
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