Find out where you'll stand on your next application by getting a copy of your credit report for free.
Your finances are always documented, whether it be through your bank statements or through your own tracking. One document that tracks your finances in a more comprehensive way than most is your credit report. It's a public record of your loan applications and repayment history, both positive and negative, and it's what lenders use to decide if you're a good or bad candidate for a loan.
You are entitled to see the information on your credit file to see if it's correct, find areas to improve and to keep track of your financial position. This guide will take you through how you can get your credit report and what you'll find inside.
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How can I receive a free credit report today?
There are a few different ways you can check your credit report. Finder offers a free credit report and credit score service, powered by Experian, that you can use to check your credit information in a few minutes. You can then receive updates every month and check it whenever you want in your finder dashboard.
If you prefer, you can also get your credit report directly from credit bureaus such as Experian or Equifax. These agencies are required to provide you with a copy of your credit file within 10 days of you requesting it. They are also required to ensure that the credit information they hold on you is accurate, updated and relevant, so you can send them revision requests if you discover any errors in your credit history.
You're eligible to receive your credit file within 10 days if you meet the following criteria:
- You have had an application for credit, such as a loan or credit card, rejected in the previous 90 days
- You have lodged a request for information to be corrected and you have been advised that the information has been corrected
- You have not accessed your file in the previous 12 months (you can view your file for free once every 12 months)
Keep in mind your credit score will usually need to be paid for when requesting it directly from the credit bureau.
What information is held on my credit file?
Credit reporting agencies specialise in collecting information about your credit history and compiling it into your credit file. This information is gathered from sources such as credit card providers, courts and mortgage lenders.
- Personal details. This includes your name, current address, where you work, your date of birth, your gender and your driver’s license number.
- Consumer credit information. Credit applications you've made in the past five years, what type of accounts they were, the dates they were opened and closed, credit limits and monthly repayment information.
- Defaults. If you have overdue debts or have missed payments on loans or utility bills they will be listed on your file.
- Public record information. This includes details on bankruptcies, court writs and judgements, personal insolvency agreements or anything held on the public record.
- Commercial credit information. If you have made enquiries for commercial credit or are overdue on payments for commercial credit, this will be listed on your file.
What credit reporting agencies can I receive a copy of my credit report from?
There are a few credit reporting agencies that can give you access to your credit file and correct any incorrect listings.
- Experian Australia. This credit information provider can help you track and manage your financial information and correct errors in your credit file. You can check your Experian credit score and report here.
- Equifax. Equifax offers a comprehensive view of your credit history. A free copy of your report can be sent to you within 10 business days, or you can sign up to one of Equifax's credit alert packages and receive your Equifax Score, along with an express credit report for $79.95.
- Tasmanian Collection Service. This agency contains a comprehensive credit database on the Tasmanian population, and you can order your credit report from them for $20 or get a free copy within 10 days. Businesses can reduce the risk of incurring a bad debt by requesting for up-to-date TSC credit reports.
- Dun & Bradstreet. This agency deals with personal business credit reporting. You can check your own credit report or check various credit reports for businesses. You can order and receive your free D&B credit file online within 10 working days or have it sent within a day or two via express post for just $30.
What information do I need to provide to receive my credit file?
The information you need to provide will differ with each credit reporting bureau. Generally, you will need the following:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your driver's licence number
- Two forms of identification i.e. a copy of your birth certificate, passport or drivers licence
- Your current residential address
- Name of the organisation that you last applied for credit
Why is it important to check my credit file?
A yearly check and revision of your credit file can help improve your chance of getting loans and credit card applications approved.
- Looking for incorrect personal information. Details of your current address, employment information and other personal details need to be accurate when applying for credit.
- Checking for incorrect defaults. Incorrect defaults may include serious credit infringements that would make your credit history look bad to lenders. Any incorrectly listed defaults, missed utility and loan repayments need to be corrected occasionally so that your credit report remains healthy.
- Accessing credit. Lenders are more likely to approve your credit application if you currently have no debt, have a history of making payments on time and have had a stable job and address.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have a credit file?
If you have ever applied for any form of credit such as a loan or credit card, you will have a credit file. You can even have a credit file if you hold a utility bill in your name or have held a store card or store interest-free finance.
Can I have information removed from my credit history?
Yes. You can have incorrect details removed if you request a revision from a credit reporting agency. Overdue debt and credit application information can only be updated by your credit provider, so you may have to follow it up with them.
Will I find out my credit score when I receive my free credit report?
Each credit reporting bureau will have a different credit score for you, but only some will give it to you if you order a free credit report. For example, you will need to sign up to Equifax's credit monitoring service to see your Equifax Score.