Money Hack: Improve your credit score by getting on top of your repayments
On-time repayments are about to affect your score a whole lot more.
There's a lot that goes into your credit score – which lenders you apply with, how much credit you hold and whether you've defaulted on any credit accounts. The tricky thing is, most of that information is negative.
In 2014, it was announced that positive information, such as your monthly repayment information, would also be included in your credit file. However, it's taken a while for the banks to actually supply that information to credit providers.
This is all going to change in 2018. Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison announced that comprehensive credit reporting would be mandated and that the four major banks will be required to share 50% of their credit data for reporting by 1 July 2018. This will be increased to 100% 12 months later.
So what does this mean for you?
If you haven't already, make on-time repayments for all of your open credit accounts (not just those with the Big Four banks). Your repayment history information for the last two years will be listed on your credit file and affect your credit score. So, the sooner you start making on-time repayments and keeping them up, the better the effect on your credit score.
You may have gotten in the habit of paying a couple of days late or not worrying too much when a late payment fee was added to your credit card account. But now is the time for that to stop! If you start making on-time repayments for all of your credit accounts now, you'll have a minimum of six months on-time repayments listed on your file if the banks list them on your file in July.
Here is how your repayment information will be listed on your credit file:
Accounts in arrears:
Accounts not in arrears:
Source: ASIC's Moneysmart
You can find more information about how repayments affect your credit file and credit score in our guide.