Purchasing your credit reports can get expensive, especially if you need to review your credit report multiple times a year.
Accessing a free credit report allows you to stay on top of your credit without the hefty price tag.
How can I obtain a free credit report?
You are allowed to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the Credit Reporting Bureaus every 12 months.
There are three main Credit Reporting Bureaus currently operating in Australia:
Note: Tasmanian Collection Service, another credit reporting body no longer operates a credit reporting database since 1st July, 2019. It has partnered with Australia’s leading credit information provider, Equifax.
The credit reporting companies get their information from different sources, the information in your report from one company may be different.
That’s not to say that the information in any of your reports is necessarily inaccurate; it just may be different.
The law allows you to get additional free credit reports from one or all of the credit reporting companies directly for several other specific reasons:
- You had an item corrected on your credit report. If you have something listed on your current credit file that needs to be removed, then you can email the credit reporting agencies to let them know that something is due to be removed. In this case, even if you already have your free annual credit report from all three of the credit reporting bodies, they will remove the listing and send you an updated credit report free of charge.
- You have been declined credit in the last 90 days. Many lenders in Australia are strict when it comes to allowing people to borrow money for a home and chances are one of these 11 reasons will be the basis for why your credit application gets declined. If a lender takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment then you are entitled to get the credit report used by the lender as part of its decision.
- You are unemployed but seeking employment. You are entitled to apply for a free credit report once a year if you are jobless but plan to look for a job within 60 days.
- You are on public welfare assistance.
- You are a victim of fraud or identity theft. The law gives you specific rights to receive a free credit report when you are, or believe that you are, the victim of fraud or identity theft.
Despite the access to annual free credit and various reasons specified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), some states have laws that entitle you to one or more additional free reports beyond the free annual credit report and the reasons specified in the FCRA.
All the three credit rating bureaus have a free online service used to calculate your credit score.
- Check your Equifax score through GetCreditScore
- Check your Illion score through Creditsimple
- Check your Experian score through Creditsavvy
You are entitled to a free credit report but not your credit score. Hence, you usually have to pay to check your credit score online.
How do I get a free credit report from Equifax?
You can get a free copy of your personal Equifax credit report once a year. If you don’t meet the criteria for a free Equifax credit report you can get a once-off credit report for $6.95 (currently available for free).
You can use myEquifax in the official site of Equifax to get a credit report. As part of myEquifax, you’ll receive six Equifax credit reports per year. It’s free!
Alternatively you can use Annualcreditreport to check your free Equifax credit report each year.
In Equifax website, you can explore the section of FCRA policies which mentions that you may be entitled to additional free credit reports under certain circumstances.
How do I get a free credit report from illion?
illion formerly is mostly used in the commercial/institutional lending space and for businesses to assess other businesses where they may be setting up credit terms.
To see your illion credit score and credit report for free, you have to sign up in their website: creditcheck.illion.com.au
It takes a few minutes to sign up, and it’s free. Accessing your credit score and credit report through illion Credit Check will not affect your credit score.
After you sign up, you will see your score and details of your credit report so you have a better understanding of how financial institutions and other credit providers see you.
You can get your free credit report by by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
illion credit reports and scores can be checked by calling 1300 734 806
How do I get a free credit report from Experian?
To order your free Experian Credit Report, you need to give them the following information:
- A completed copy of your Experian Credit Report Request Form
- A contact phone number
- Electronic copies of your identification documents
- Personal details
- Employment details
- Personal details
- Employment details
- Credit enquiries
- Previous credit applications
- Court writs and summons
- Part 9 debt agreements
- Helps you in assessment of applications for personal or business related credit
- Lets you understand your credit worthiness
- Enables you to undertake research, analytics and/or benchmarking in relation to credit activities
- Helps you to make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a loan
- Guards you guard against identity theft
- Helps you to locate inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit
You can get your Experian free credit report online from AnnualCreditReport
You can mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You can order your free credit report by phone: 1 888 397 3742
Once you’ve submitted your order by using any of the options, you’ll receive your free Experian Credit Report.
How long does it take to get a free credit report after I order it?
It depends on the credit reporting agency that you use to order your credit report from. Usually, if you apply for a free credit report, it will be processed and mailed to you within 10 days.
Whether you order your report online, by phone, or by mail, it may take longer to receive your report if the nationwide credit reporting company needs more information to verify your identity.
If you want to access your credit report immediately in less than 10 days then you will have to pay. You will also have to bear certain costs if you want to order more than one copy in a year.
What information is recorded in my credit report?
Your credit report holds the following information:
Hence, a credit report is comprehensive information about how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or have bad credits.
Why should I do credit check regularly?
The statistics show that one in five consumers has at least one error on their credit report.
These errors affect your ability to get approved for a home loan or cause you to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage when you are approved by the lender.
The only way to verify that your credit report contains the right information is to review the information on an ongoing basis.
Since 2017, the credit reporting bodies have transitioned to Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) scheme. They use enhanced algorithms to document credit activity and future credit risk.
Benefits of Credit Report:
The information collected from your credit report is used to calculate your credit score which determines your creditworthiness and borrowing eligibility.
A lender will complete a credit check on your file and score when you submit an application for credit. Thus, your credit score is one of the biggest influences during the loan approval process.
Can anyone else get a copy of my credit report?
Yes, besides mortgage lenders, the credit reporting agencies sell the information in your credit report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses.
Additionally, your employer can also get a copy of your credit report only if you agree. A credit reporting company may not provide information about you to your employer, or to a prospective employer, without your written consent.
Does ordering a credit report impact my credit score?
No. Getting your credit report will not negatively impact your credit score. In fact, it may help you improve your credit score by helping you identify any errors or if your identity has been compromised.
If you have applied for credit in the past and been declined, it’s a good idea to check what your credit file and credit score look like.
Alternatively, you can send your credit file to us, so that we can assess your credit score for you. We provide a Credit Score Calculator as well.
When you apply for any loan, a lender will check your credit report, and that shows up as an credit enquiry. That in turn reduces your credit score.
However, as mortgage brokers we can check your credit score for customers who are applying for a home loan.
And if there are any red flags on your credit report, we’ll help you sort those out before submitting your home loan application.
To speak with one of our specialist mortgage brokers, please enquire online or call us on 1300 889 743.