So, you can’t pay that $5,000 on your credit card. Or you’ve missed your mortgage payment for the third time in three months. How long will it haunt your credit record? The official answer is five years – seven if you’re a bankrupt.
Most people worry about these black marks hanging around forever. The truth is that payment defaults stay on your credit file for five years and then the slate is automatically wiped clean.
Bankruptcy is only listed for seven years but the credit ramifications are enormous – your name is forever on the public record with the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia and your ability to borrow money or buy things on credit will be severely limited.
Credit records provide lenders with a look at your credit history – including loan defaults, applications for credit, court judgements and serious credit infringements – to give them an idea of your ability to repay.
Identity Fraud costs the community $2.2 billion a year. Read more about avoiding being a target of fraud. In its simplest form, an individual’s personal details are “stolen” and used to gain credit – either cash or goods and services.
The upshot is that the individual is left with a potential liability for the debt, a damaged credit reputation and the inconvenience of amending a corrupted credit file.
Protection is the best deterrent, so make sure you know what is on your credit file by requesting a free copy from Veda Advantage.
Make sure you follow the instructions which say “Free service” because the first few options on the request your credit file page are “so called” premium services that will post you a copy in 1 day if you pay them a fee compared to posting you a FREE copy in 10 days.
Please note that you may only request a copy of your own credit history. For security purposes, prior to receiving a credit file you will be asked to verify your identity.
To obtain your file you will need to provide the credit agency with:
- A clear statement that you are requesting a copy of “My Credit File”
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your driver’s licence number
- Your current residential address
- Your previous addresses
- Your current employer or a previous employer
- Name of the organisation to which you last applied for credit
- A daytime telephone number
- Your signature.
If for whatever reason Veda Advantage doesn’t have your full credit history you can also request a free copy of your credit record from Dun & Bradstreet