Men are more likely to check their credit report than women
Two-thirds of Australian women have never checked their credit report, research shows.
New research released from CreditSmart has revealed a credit gender gap, with men being 10% more likely to check their credit report than women. The research also showed two-thirds of Australian women had never checked their credit report and one-quarter have no idea what a credit score is.
Rebecca Murray, general manager of the Australian Retail Credit Association which founded CreditSmart, said the gap identified by the research was worrying.
“How to use credit responsibly is everybody’s business, irrespective of gender. People with good credit health will be rewarded with more choices of loan products and possibly lower interest rates, so get to know your credit report, fix it if there is something wrong and pay your accounts on time to get the credit you want, when you need it,” she said.
This advice is particularly true given changes currently taking place to Australia's credit reporting system. Comprehensive credit reporting has been mandated and will see the Big Four banks share more of your account data, such as the last two years of your repayment history, with credit bureaus. Half of that data is due to be shared by the end of September 2018 with the following half 12 months later.
Despite these changes going to affect anyone who holds a credit account, 89% of women surveyed were not aware of these changes. One third felt the changes would not impact them in any way.
However, the data shows that just the opposite is true. The most recent Equifax State of the Industry statistics show that comprehensive credit reporting has created a credit history for 1.5 million Australians. Also, for people that have applied for credit in the past three months, individuals have higher credit scores if they have comprehensive credit data included in their reports.
"It is really important for women to be across these upcoming changes, so they can take advantage of the changes rather than potentially be negatively impacted,” Murray said.
“Going forward, your credit report will become a personal asset which will hold you in good stead for when you need to take out a loan, as lenders will be able to track your account repayment habits on your accounts to assess your creditworthiness."
Over half of the women surveyed (55%) either didn't know or had incorrect perceptions about the cost of accessing their credit report. If you want to check your credit report and credit score for free, you can do so with finder.