Things to know
CreditSmart sets out what is both credit reporting, and also what is comprehensive credit reporting
It is important to emphasise to the consumer that credit reporting is subject to stringent legal requirements.
You may also find that in helping a consumer to understand credit reporting and comprehensive credit reporting, as well as explaining what it is, it may also help dispel myths and explain it is not (and what it does not involve). In particular, the credit reporting system does not include information about:
- Real estate or tenancies (e.g. a rental history)
- Savings accounts
- Employment information (other than name of employer)
- Fines and criminal convictions
What is comprehensive credit reporting (CCR)?
Credit reports include different types of information; the full list is contained here
Comprehensive credit reporting information means information about:
- A consumer’s current credit accounts, and any accounts they have closed in the past 2 years, also known as consumer credit liability information (CCLI). This includes the name of the credit provider, the type of credit, the open and close date for the credit, the credit limit, whether the credit is held jointly or solely in the name of the consumer.
- Payment information also known as ‘repayment history information’ (RHI). This includes a 24-month-by-month record of repayments for the consumer’s credit
Who reports CCR?
CreditSmart includes the list of credit providers who report CCR:
It is important to remember:
- Only credit providers who hold an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) are able to report repayment history information (RHI); although all credit providers may report CCLI. To work out if a credit provider holds an ACL or credit licence search the ‘credit licensee’ register provided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- There are a small number of credit providers who report CCR but have not provided consent to being included on this list.
- Credit providers who report negative information only (credit enquiries, default information) will not be included on this list.
How to explain a credit report to a consumer
CreditSmart sets out an explanation of the information you can expect to see on a credit report (Credit report summary - CreditSmart), and what it all means.
In explaining this to consumers, remember that they are able to access a credit report with each of the three credit reporting bodies
Things to know and explain to consumers:
- The way that information is presented in a credit report by each credit reporting body will be different. For example, headings may differ or the way things like repayment history information are presented may look a bit different. However, if the same information is included on the credit report, it should still have the same meaning.
- Each credit reporting body may also hold different information for each consumer. This is because credit providers have different commercial arrangements with credit reporting bodies. Some will have arrangements with all three credit reporting bodies, but some may only deal with one or two credit reporting bodies.
- For a consumer to have a full picture of what information may have been reported by their credit providers, they are best to get a free credit report from each of the credit reporting bodies.
- A consumer can access a free credit report from each of the credit reporting bodies once every 3 months. To be clear, this means that every 3 months, the consumer can receive 3 credit reports for free - one from each credit reporting body.
Comprehensive Credit Reporting Participants