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In Australia, everyone has the right to one free credit report per year from each of the 3 main credit reporting bodies. These reports include the information that credit providers see when you apply for a loan, or credit so it’s important to check each report for any errors.
If you’re not eligible for a free credit check you can pay a small fee to access your credit report. The different reporting bodies have different options and tools for keeping track of your credit position.
My free credit report can be annual!
Alternately, you should get a copy before you apply to borrow money or buy something on credit. This will let you know whether there’s something on your report that will make it harder for you to borrow.
There are three main businesses that hold credit reports on Australians. They’re known as “credit reporting bodies”. It’s good to get a copy of your credit report from each of those businesses; some credit providers may only use one or two of the businesses and you’ll want to make sure you see all the information that they have on you.
Checking your own credit report has no impact on your credit report or credit score when viewed by a credit provider.
Keeping your credit report and credit score secure
The credit reporting bodies are under strict obligations to keep your information secure, so you’ll be asked to provide information to identify yourself, together with copies of some ID (usually a driver’s licence or something similar). You should get the credit report within 10 days (although it quite often comes sooner).
If you’ve already made an application for credit but were refused, you also have a right to get a free copy of your credit report within 90 days of being refused. The credit provider will let you know how to get a copy of your report if this happens.
Paying to get a copy of your credit report
You’ll find that some of the credit reporting bodies also offer to sell you copies of your credit report. This is for extra services that you might be happy to pay for, such as if you want to get it more often than once a year or want to get access to some of the monitoring services offered by the credit reporting bodies.