Credit Report Bans
You can place a ban on your credit report to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. Here's what you need to know to request one.
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If you have been a victim of fraud or if your wallet or laptop has been stolen and you're worried about being defrauded, you can place a temporary ban on your credit report to mitigate or prevent further damage. Use this guide to learn how to request a credit report ban and how you could use one to protect your credit history.
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What is a credit report ban?
A credit report ban ensures that the bureau will not disclose any information from your credit report to a credit provider. It offers a period for any potential fraud to be investigated without the risk of additional damage to your credit score.
If a credit provider asks a reporting bureau for information while the ban is in place, the reporting bureau will alert the creditor of the ban and that you may have been a victim of fraud. The only way your information could be released during a ban is with your express written permission or if it is mandated by Australian law.
How do I place a ban on my credit report?
The quickest way to place a ban on your credit report is via email. You can find the email address and documents you'll need to provide in the table below.
|Provider||Email address||Primary instruction||Documents / information to provide|
|Experianfirstname.lastname@example.org||Subject line: 'Add Ban'|
|Equifax||banrequestAu@equifax.com||Subject line: 'Request a ban'|
|email@example.com||Attach: Ban application form|
How long does it last?
The initial ban period is 21 days among the three large reporting bureaus in Australia (Experian, Equifax and illion).
How much does it cost?
Nothing – placing a ban on your credit report is free. Extensions are also free.
Does it affect my credit score?
No, placing a temporary freeze on your report does not affect your score. It won't impact your current credit accounts or repayment responsibilities either. The only thing it could affect is if you want to apply for new credit while the ban is in place. In that case, you'll have to give express written permission for your information to be released to the credit issuer you're applying with. In lieu of your credit report, you may also have to give additional personal information directly to the credit provider.
What if I've been a victim of fraud?
Any information that is found to have been corrupted or affected by fraud will be destroyed and removed from your credit report. Additionally, any incorrect information that had been disseminated prior will be corrected and the person or organisation who received it will be notified.
Can I extend the ban?
If you're still concerned at the end of the 21 days, you can request an extension on the ban. You can request an extension as many times as you want and will be informed of any extension in writing.
You will usually have to provide the ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) Report Number or police report number to be granted a ban extension. You can compare the extension periods you can expect from the main credit reporting bodies below.
|Experian||Not specified and can be extended for any length of time|
|Equifax||3 months at a time|
|illion||12 months at a time|
If you don't already have a copy of your credit report and score, you can get it for free through Finder. If you do happen to find any misinformation on it, check out our guide to rectifying mistakes on your credit file.
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