Media Release

Credit score myths busted

  • Study finds stark differences between Australians’ perception vs reality when it comes to credit scores
  • 37% of Aussies wrongly believe not paying their tax on time will affect their credit score
  • finder.com.au offers online credit score and comprehensive credit reports free of charge

8 August 2018, Sydney, Australia – Aussies are misinformed about what affects their credit score, according to a new study by finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.

Of the misconceptions, 37% of the 2,033 people surveyed by the comparison site wrongly believe not paying their tax on time will negatively affect their credit score.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au said, paying your taxes does not affect your credit score however there are a number of factors that do.

“Lenders look at indicators such as loan repayments and credit card repayments, not if you’ve paid your taxes on time.”

“If you’re looking to take out a loan with your partner, your partner’s credit score can also affect your borrowing capacity,’ she said.

When it comes to the impact of missed repayments, it is tricky to understand because it varies. In fact, more than a quarter of those surveyed (27%) by the comparison site, believed a missed credit card repayment from 10 years ago still counts, however it doesn’t.

The major credit bureaus in Australia break down missed bill payments and loan repayments in the following three ways:

  1. Late payments - payments overdue by 14 days. These violations stay on your credit file for two years.
  2. Defaults - payments overdue by 60 days and more than $150. These violations stay on your file for five years.
  3. Infringements - a default where the lender has been unsuccessful in contacting you. These violations are not wiped for seven years.

Which of the following do you think can affect your credit score?:

Perception (%) Reality

(Yes/No)

Failing to meet loan repayments80%Yes
Bankruptcy79%Yes
Failing to pay household bills on time66%Yes
Failing to pay the minimum balance on your credit card each month61%Yes
Missing a rent payment46%Yes
Not paying your tax on time37%No
Not having any debt at all31%Yes
Having been to jail30%Yes
A missed credit card repayment from 10 years ago27%No
Your credit card balance24%Yes
Failing to pay off your full credit card balance every month23%No
Your credit card limit23%Yes
Your salary23%No
Your bank account balance16%No
Your partner’s credit score15%Yes
(if applying together)
Checking your credit score12%No
The neighbourhood you live in8%No
Your education (university, postgraduate etc)5%No
Other2%N/A

Source: finder.com.au

* Respondents could tick all that applies.

Ms Hassan said its important to understand what your credit score is based on and what impact having a poor credit score can have on you.

“Busting credit score myths and ensuring perception matches reality is critical especially for Aussies considering to take out a loan because lenders use your credit score to determine your borrowing capacity.

“It is near impossible to make changes to improve your score if you do not know what you need to change or worse yet, you do not know what your credit score is.

Depending on your credit score, knowing may either give you the peace of mind you need or the wake up call you need,” she said.

According to another study by finder.com.au, two thirds of the nation’s population are clueless have no idea what their credit score is.

If you’re one of the 11 million Aussies who does who doesn’t know their credit score or you know your score but want to access your full credit report, head to finder.com.au/credit-score.

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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