Fixing errors in your credit report
The information on your credit report should be accurate, complete, relevant and not misleading.
Tips on how to fix any errors on your credit report:
Here are some tips about what you should do if you find information on your credit report which you think may be incorrect:
- You should contact your credit provider or the credit reporting body first and ask them to explain why the information is on your report. If you’re not satisfied with their explanation, tell them why and request it is corrected. As set out below, you can speak to any credit provider or credit reporting body who holds your credit information (not just the organisation responsible for the incorrect information) to ask them to correct it for you.
- If you find information in your credit report that you think is incorrect, consider whether you have documents or other information to show that the information is not accurate. To help ensure that your complaint is dealt with quickly by a credit provider or credit reporting body, it is always a good idea to provide them with the documents or information that shows an error has been made. Provide it as early as possible, as it may be critical to having the correction made.
- If you don't have much success speaking directly to your credit provider or the credit reporting body, you can complain to the business' external dispute resolution service; these are independent bodies who look into complaints and credit provider and credit reporting bodies must be a member of one.
- If you feel as though you cannot deal with the correction request on your own, make an appointment with a community legal centre or a financial counsellor who can help you through the process. Community legal centres and financial counsellors provide free advice and assistance.
- If the information on your credit report turns out to be accurate, speak to your credit provider about what it means and how it may impact on you. Also consider what you can do to manage your credit effectively in the future.
Your right to get errors corrected
If you think something is wrong, you can ask any credit provider or credit reporting body for help to fix that error, so long as they hold some kind of personal credit information about you.
For example, if you apply to Bank A for a credit card, but are refused because Bank B has (in your opinion) incorrectly listed a default against you, you can ask Bank A, Bank B or the credit reporting body to look into your concern.
If the information is incorrect, it will be taken off or changed (depending on the circumstances). If they don’t agree that the information is incorrect, they’ll provide reasons.
The credit provider or credit reporting body must respond to you within 30 days - unless you agree to extend that period. Once the matter has been investigated, you must be provided with a written response indicating whether or not a correction will be made (and if not, why not).
For the contact details of the credit reporting bodies, click here.
If you’re still unhappy, you can ask the credit provider or credit reporting body’s External Dispute Resolution (‘EDR’) service to look into it; these are independent bodies who look into complaints. The particular EDR service that will look into your complaint will depend on who you are complaining about. Don’t worry – if you complain to the wrong service, they’ll guide you on the process. You can also contact the EDR service if you haven’t got an answer to your complaint within 30 days.
Finally, if you’re not satisfied, you can complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner – the independent government agency that is responsible for looking after credit reporting.
All this can be done for free.
If you do arrange for something to be corrected on your credit report, you must be given a fresh copy of the report. It’s a good idea to check this new copy to make sure the change has been completed.