Do monthly repayments matter to your credit file?

Elizabeth Barry 20 July 2016

paying bills

Making repayments on time to your credit accounts is important, but what impact can it have on your credit reputation?

Before the introduction of Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) in 2014, only negative events were recorded on your credit file. This included defaults, bankruptcies, court judgments and similar events that could make you look like a risk to prospective lenders. Since 2014, CCR has included other records to help lenders better understand a borrower's behaviour. One new listing is your repayment history.

How is my repayment history displayed?

You'll find your repayment history details below each listing for your credit accounts. It will show the period the account has been open and the status of the account. If the account is in arrears it will indicate the number of months you have been late with your repayment. If the account is not in arrears it will indicate this with a "zero". You can see an example of each below.

Accounts in arrears:

Repayment History Credit File

Accounts not in arrears:

Equifax Credit File Repayments

Source: ASIC's Moneysmart

How long does repayment history information stay on my file?

Repayment history information will remain on your credit file for two years. One or two late payments will not necessarily place you in the "bad credit" basket, but consistently making late payments will be a red flag to lenders and may affect your ability to access credit.

How long information stays on your credit file

How do my repayments affect my credit file?

When lenders access your credit file they want to ensure the information you supplied in your application is accurate and that you will be able to manage the debt you are applying for. If you consistently make late repayments it can indicate that you can't manage the debt you have, while making repayments on time can indicate to a lender that you're a responsible borrower.

If you have a default listed on your file you can also keep making your repayments on time to help build up a positive credit record. Ultimately, repayment history is just another part of the risk assessment that lenders undertake when assessing your ability to manage your debts.

Why can't I see my repayment history information?

While CCR was introduced in 2014, not all credit providers have begun supplying data to credit reporting bodies, such as Equifax. However, all credit providers are still actively collecting this data, so it's important to keep making your repayments on time regardless of whether or not your provider has started sending this data to Equifax.

Now you have a better understanding of how repayments affect your credit file (and credit score), you can check your credit score for free.

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Image: Shutterstock

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JamesAugust 9, 2017

    If you have a default, and enter into a payment plan, does it stay a default until its paid or does it move to something else?

    • Staff
      ArnoldAugust 9, 2017Staff

      Hi James,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Usually if a default is unpaid it will still reflect on your credit file. Only if this is paid will it reflect that the payment was made.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  2. Default Gravatar
    AllanMay 15, 2017

    How can I tidy up and conceal bad credit history ?

    • Default Gravatar
      MIKEJune 24, 2017

      Can a pensioner get a credit card?

    • Staff
      RenchJune 24, 2017Staff

      Hi,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, you can apply for a credit card. However, you may be required to meet some other terms and conditions and provide additional documents, so it’s important to do your research before applying for a credit card. You may check this page for helpful info and compare your options.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Rench

    • Staff
      HaroldMay 15, 2017Staff

      Hi Allan,

      You may want to consider the options listed below to help you improve your credit history.
      Five ways to improve your credit rating
      Improve Your Credit Score

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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