credit repair

Credit repair guide

Credit repair may be the light at the end of your bad credit tunnel.

When you have bad credit it has a serious impact on your finances. Even one negative listing on your credit report can remain there for up to five years. This makes trying to access finance extremely difficult; the loans you are approved for usually come with higher rates or you may not be approved for finance at all.

If you have bad credit it's important to continue to manage and improve your finances to give yourself the best chance of being approved for a loan. If you're considering of enlisting the services of a credit repair agency, the guide below will take you through everything you need to know.

Do you qualify for credit repair?

Answer these four simple questions to find out.

1. Have you had finance rejected recently?
2. Were you seeking finance for a property or home?
3. Do you have savings/deposit?
4. Is there a possibility you have a black mark on your credit file?


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Quick guide to your credit file

Your credit file is a detailed record of your financial history and is used by lenders to judge your ability to manage loans and repayments. Your file contains your personal information as well as any details of loans and credit cards you have held. This includes utility accounts and store cards. Since 2014, both positive and negative history has been included of your file, so lenders can get a more accurate representation of you as a borrower.

Lenders who hold an Australian Financial Services licence are able to see any credit you've applied for, the date credit accounts were opened and closed, the limit of those accounts and whether you made your repayments on time over the last two years. Providers can also see defaults, missed repayments, bankruptcies, debt agreements, writs and summons and court judgements. It's these listings that credit repair agencies may be able to remove from your file.

You can order a free copy of your credit file and you will receive it within ten business days. You can also pay a fee to receive it online within 24 hours.

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What is credit repair?

Many people believe credit repair involves paying to have any negative listings erased from your credit file, but this is not the case. Credit repair is the process of cleaning up incorrect listings on your credit file. The law surrounding credit is complicated, and because of this lenders sometimes list defaults or missed payments without properly adhering to the law.

Credit repair agencies use credit legislation to determine whether negative listings on your file were put there without a credit provider adhering to the relevant laws. Credit repair agencies are experts in the area of credit legislation and can spot these erroneous listings.

You can watch the video below with Merrilyn Mansfield, financial advocate from Princeville Credit Advocates, to find out more about the credit repair process.

The credit repair process

The process of credit repair will differ between credit repair companies so you should ask about the specific agency's process before you apply. Generally, you will be offered a complimentary initial consultation, after which the following process will apply:

  1. Reading your file. Look at all the information in your file and see if there are any incorrect listings or details and what could be done to improve your score.
  2. Applying for credit repair. You'll have to fill out a form for a credit repair company detailing any listings or faults you want them to examine.
  3. Pay a fee. Fees are payable throughout the process to cover the time needed to correct incorrect listings.
  4. Acceptance. If the company decides it can help you, it will accept your application and start looking into your credit history.
  5. Contacting creditors. The repair company will then start contacting your creditors to determine which defaults can be removed from your file. You generally will pay a success fee for each default you want to be removed. Some credit repair agencies may also help negotiate a debt repayment plan with creditors if you have an amount owing.
  6. Listings removed. If the credit repair company is successful in its negotiations, incorrect listings will be removed from your file.

How to compare agencies

There are a few credit repair agencies that offer their services to Australian consumers. However, in order to determine whether or not an agency is reputable, there are a few important factors you need to consider:

  • Licences. Check if the credit repair service has an ABN, you can find these at the bottom of their websites.
  • Transparency. How upfront is each company about the fees you will have to pay? Look for a company that provides the full terms and conditions before you have to hand over any money.
  • Reputation. Is the company a trusted name in the industry or does it have a reputation for being a bit dodgy? Look for a company that is respected and has an impeccable service record.
  • Customer reviews. Look at online review sites to get an idea of the experiences other people have had with agencies. This gives you a good idea of how each company treats its customers.
  • Overall cost. This is obviously going to be an important factor, but make sure you find the best combination of an affordable price and quality services offered.

Weigh up the benefits and drawbacks before applying

  • Even if only some of your negative listings are removed this can improve your chances of accessing credit
  • The rates that you pay to borrow money, for example, with a personal or home loan application, may be lower with a better credit score. This could save you significant money over time.


  • The process of credit repair can be expensive
  • There are no guarantees the credit repair company will be able to remove your negative listings.

What do you need to consider?

Enlisting the help of a credit repair agency may help you further along to the road to a clean credit file, but there are a few things to keep in mind when making this decision.

Firstly, you should take a look at your credit file to see what your credit history currently looks like. Credit repair agencies often work by charging you a fee per listing they remove, so you need to weigh up this cost against the benefit. For example, if your credit file shows three negative listings and two of them will be removed from your file soon, you need to consider whether you should just wait before they are taken off your file altogether.

You should also consider both your immediate and future credit needs when deciding whether to get credit repair. Negative listings can remain on your credit file for different amounts of time, so when you check your file you should note when the different listings will be removed:

  • Repayment history information stays on your file for two years
  • Credit enquiries stay on your file for five years
  • Overdue accounts listed as payment defaults or clearouts stay on your file for five years
  • Writs, summons, court judgements and bankruptcy information stays on your file for five years
  • Overdue accounts listed as serious credit infringements remain on your file for seven years

Using this information you should consider whether you may need to access credit before the specific listing is removed.

Should I look into credit repair?

A credit repair agency may be able to help you clean up your credit file, which over time can save you a lot of money. Ultimately, you need to consider your own financial needs and situation before deciding whether you should apply. You should keep in mind that no credit agency can guarantee that they will be able to remove listings.

All Australians have the right to view their credit file and examine the information contained within it. It’s possible to receive a free copy once a year if you’re willing to wait 10 days. However, if you need access to your file urgently, you’ll have to pay a fee which usually amounts to less than $100.

A good place to start is understanding what is or may not be on your credit file.

Get a copy of your credit report

Why is it important to check my credit file?

Your credit file is a hugely important document and there are many advantages to checking it regularly, including:

  • Looking for incorrect personal information. A credit reporting agency may have made a mistake when reporting your personal information.
  • Checking for incorrect defaults, court actions or repayment history indicators (RHI) . A creditor may have reported information wrongly or incorrectly, and this can leave an unfair black mark against your name.

As mentioned, lenders will look at your credit file whenever you apply for credit, using it to determine your ability to repay the money you borrow. With this in mind, it’s essential that the information in your file is accurate and portrays your borrowing history in the best possible light.

Frequently asked questions

Can credit repair companies help if I have been a victim of identity theft?

Yes. These companies know how to work with credit card providers to remove any fraudulent entries from your file.

Who can see my credit file?

As well as you, credit reporting agencies can disclose information in your file to credit providers, mortgage insurers, trade insurers and agents acting on your behalf.

Can I get rid of every negative listing in my credit file?

No. It’s only possible to get rid of listings that are incorrect.

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17 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JenniferOctober 2, 2017

    My credit score had dropped to 477. I have nothing on my credit report. The only thing is I applied through a mortgage broker for a home loan. Now my credit score has dropped by 177 ! I dont understand this ? Thanks

    • Default Gravatar
      MariaOctober 3, 2017

      Hey Jenny,

      I’m sorry to hear about your credit score situation.

      Your credit report should have several details regarding your credit activities. This page on What Goes on Your Personal Credit Report explains that.

      You may try to Order Your Free Credit Report again to review if this is still the case and if it is then it would be best to seek professional or legal opinion on how to go about it.

      I hope this helps.


  2. finder Customer Care
    JhezelynAugust 19, 2017Staff

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Credit scores can be negatively impacted by multiple enquiries from potential financiers. Any credit enquiries will be listed and held on your file for 5 years and payment history information will be held for 2 years. Kindly refer to this page for more details about credit enquiries.

    This page might be helpful for you about removing enquiries from your credit file.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Default Gravatar
    MegJune 24, 2017


    I have a credit default on my account from 2014 which is stopping me from getting credit. It was a small amount-think $300 or less and the debt has been paid and the account closed years ago. I earn approximately $100,000 and have some other debts I would like to balance transfer to a 0% card to pay off quicker but my credit rating is buggered. I want to buy a house in the coming 12 months and the black mark won’t expire until 2019. Is it worth paying the approx $2,000 I have been quoted to have the black mark removed? I know it is not a mistake, I missed the payment. Is there another way for the credit repair company to fix my credit or is it a waste of time?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 24, 2017

      Hi Meg!

      We know dealing with previous bad credit can really be stressful. :(

      Most credit repairs may not be able to remove a valid negative listing as what’s been outlined in this article. We recommend that you take a thorough background check of the agency you will passing on this task. As for applying a loan, this is where this might be a worthy shot only if you are successful in taking it off from your credit and as a result getting a cheaper repayment. Take note that your options could also be just wait until 2019, get a loan with potential higher rates but have it refinanced in the future, or get a guarantor of that sort.

      We recommend you talk to a credit expert or a mortgage specialist to have a personalized review of your situation.

      Hope this helps.


  4. Default Gravatar
    LizzieOJanuary 10, 2017

    I went bankrupt and 3 years later was discharged. Can I remove this from my file?

    • finder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 10, 2017Staff

      Hi LizzieO,

      Thanks for your question.

      Your bankruptcy being removed from your credit file will depend on the following circumstances:

      1. Debtors petition bankrupts – if you became bankrupt by presenting your own petition, you’ll be due for discharge three years and one day after filing your petition with the AFSA.
      2. Sequestration order bankrupts – if you were made bankrupt by an order of the court, you are due for discharge three years and one day after your complete statement of affairs was accepted by the AFSA.
      3. Exceptions for all bankrupts – in some cases, bankruptcy can be extended to five or eight years if your trustee lodges an objection to your discharge.

      Please refer to this page if you want to know more about bankruptcy.


  5. Default Gravatar
    GauravJanuary 2, 2017

    I already got one year subscription from veda and got regular updates. But in 2014 i applied for a car loan and got declined. The reason they gave me was from veda.
    I called veda and asked the reason , they told me that your credit history is absolutely ok and gave me there business number to give them to the lender and asked them to call on that number because only they are allowed to call that number. But still it didn’t went through. Again after few calls to veda they told me that my credit file is absolutely fine but the problem is that few of my details matches to another person and that’s where the problem is coming. But veda said they can’t take that file away but again gave me the same explanation that tell your lender to call us and we will tell them that it’s not your credit file(default one)
    It was so frustrating and I couldn’t got my loan approved. So I decided to withdraw.
    I have no credit defaults at all.
    All my bills and credit card repayments are on time. I don’t owe a single dollar to any bank or to any lender.
    Please help me with this as it’s really frustrating.

    • finder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 2, 2017Staff

      Hi Gaurav,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Just to confirm that – a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions. We do not represent any lender/company we feature on our pages.

      Since the lender will surely conduct a credit check on your file, before you submit a final application for the loan, best to contact the lender first and discuss your chances of approval with them and let them know about what Veda has advised (since Veda said they will explain it to the lender once the lender will call them). I think that’s the best option for you at the moment given that Veda cannot rectify what’s in your file due to complications mentioned with someone else’s information.

      Hope this helps.


  6. Default Gravatar
    e81November 18, 2016

    What does overdue mean on credit report? I have one overdue but when I look at it ; it says paid?
    Also I asked if my default could be removed by default company they said if I pay 100 they will take default off. Should I trust this?

    • finder Customer Care
      LouNovember 18, 2016Staff

      Hi e81,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that generally, you can’t remove a legitimate enquiry from your credit file. In most cases, you will simply have to wait until five years has passed and they are taken off from your history.

      Once you pay your lender what’s due, the same default will still be mentioned on your credit file and stays on file for five years. If your default company said they can remove it, I’m not sure how they will do it so I can’t give advice on whether you should or should not trust them.


  7. Default Gravatar
    NidaMay 5, 2016

    Did not receive a lay bill from my phone company and got defaulted on by credit history. How can I remove this?

    • finder Customer Care
      MayMay 5, 2016Staff

      Hi Nida,

      Thanks for you inquiry.

      Credit enquiries, overdue accounts as clearouts and defaults and also court judgements will be held on your credit file for five years. Unless there is an error in your record/report, a credit repair can help remove default listings from your credit file. But please keep in mind though that credit repair agencies will investigate a listing but they can’t guarantee the listing will be removed.

      You might like to find more invaluable information on our guide here about credit file.

      I hope this is helpful.


  8. Default Gravatar
    AdelaideJuly 2, 2015

    If a paid default for a credit card has been listed incorrectly as a personal loan can anything be done about this?

    • finder Customer Care
      ElizabethJuly 3, 2015Staff

      Hi Adelaide girl,

      Thanks for your question.

      If a default has been incorrectly listed on your file then you might want to get in contact with the lender who is responsible for placing the listing on there in order to rectify it. If you’re interested in credit repair, you have the option of getting in touch with one of the providers listed on the side of this page.

      I hope this has helped.



  9. Default Gravatar
    oceangirlJanuary 27, 2015

    If a debt has been paid over 3 years ago, why is this not been lifted from the black list?

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyJanuary 27, 2015Staff

      Hi Oceangirl,

      Thanks for your question.

      Overdue accounts listed as a payment default or clearout generally stay on your credit history for five years.

      Overdue accounts listed as a serious credit infringement tend to stay on your credit history for seven years.


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