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How to request a credit ban in Australia

Worried about identity theft? It's easy to put ban on your Equifax, Experian and Illion credit reports to protect yourself from fraud.

If you're one of the millions of Australians who have been affected by a data breach over the last few years and you're worried about being defrauded, you can place a temporary ban or block on your credit report to mitigate or prevent any financial damage.

All you have to do is contact one of the 3 major credit bureaus by following the steps below and ask them to freeze your credit file.

How do I place a ban on my credit report?

The quickest way to place a ban on your credit file is by filling out the request form at one of the 3 major credit bureaus in Australia:

  • Equifax: Request a credit freeze with Equifax by completing this form.
  • Experian Request a credit freeze with Experian by completing this form.
  • Illion Request a credit freeze with Illion by completing this form.

How do credit report bans work?

A credit report ban ensures that a credit reporting 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.

In effect, this means no one will be able to apply for credit in your name while the credit freeze is active. This will help protect you from someone else fraudulently applying for a credit card or loan in your name, including if you've been impacted by a data leak.

If a credit provider asks a reporting bureau for information while the ban is in place, the reporting bureau will alert the provider about 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.

When applying for a ban with one of the bureaus listed above, you can request that they also freeze your credit file with the other 2 bureaus as long as you agree to their terms and conditions.

Please note that the bureaus may be experiencing higher than average demand as a result of recent hacks, and there may be a delay before your application is confirmed.

Finder survey: Have many Australians have requested a ban on their credit file?

Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1016 Australians, December 2023

What you'll need to request a credit report ban

You can also apply for a credit freeze by emailing or phoning each of the credit bureaus. You can find the email address and documents you'll need to provide in the table below.

ProviderEmail addressPrimary instructionDocuments / information to provide
Experiancreditreport@au.experian.comSubject line: 'Add Ban'
  • 1 document from Groups A, B and C OR
  • 1 document from Group A and 3 documents from Group C
EquifaxbanrequestAu@equifax.comSubject line: 'Request a ban'
  • Driver's licence number
  • Current Address
  • Previous Address
  • Date of birth
  • Full name Ban application form
  • A copy of your Driver's Licence, Passport, Birth Certificate or Proof of Age card AND
  • A copy of a document issued by an official body (such as a utility bill or bank statement) which includes your name and address

How long does a credit report ban last?

The initial ban period is 21 days among the three large reporting bureaus in Australia (Experian, Equifax and illion). During the ban period, you can request for it to be extended if you're still worried about identity theft.

The credit bureau is required to extend the freeze if it believes you are vulnerable to fraud and will confirm in writing the length of the extension.

If you wish to remove the ban, you'll need to complete a request form with the credit bureau you placed the ban with.

How do I extend the credit 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.

ProviderExtension Period
Experian12 months at a time
Equifax12 months at a time
illion12 months at a time

How much does it cost?

Nothing – placing a ban on your credit report is free regardless of which credit reporting bureau you use. It'a also free to request an extension to the freeze period.

Will a credit ban impact 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.

Which organisations have experienced data hacks and breaches in Australia?

The following companies and institutions have been subject to data hacks or breaches over the last few years. If you were a customer with any of these organisations, it may be worth getting your free credit report and checking if you have been the victim of identity theft

  • Canva
  • Latitude Financial
  • Optus
  • Medibank
  • Woolworths
  • Service NSW

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