shocked-woman-with-credit-card

Credit Repair Guide – How to repair your bad credit rating in Australia

Suffering from poor credit history does not have to be the end of the road because fixing errors in your credit file can get you back on track again

A number of Australians suffer from poor credit history owing to different reasons, and in numerous situations, there are steps people can take to repair credit. If you, like many others, wish to get on the credit repair bandwagon, know that you should start by understanding what the process entails. Knowing what goes into your credit file and monitoring it regularly is important. Bear in mind that while credit repair is possible, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, and the entire process definitely requires perseverance from your end.

Understanding credit repair

With Merrilyn Mansfield: Financial Advocate, PRINCEVILLE Credit Advocates.

Do you qualify for credit repair?

Answer these four simple questions to find out.

1. Have you had finance rejected recently?
2. Were you seeking finance for a property or home?
3. Do you have savings/deposit?
4. Is there a possibility you have a black mark on your credit file?

Congratulations!

You qualified for complimentary assessment by Princeville Credit Advocates.


Please enter your details below to be contacted by a credit repair advocate.

By submitting this form, you agree to finder.com.au privacy policy

We’re sorry

Unfortunately, it looks like you don’t meet the criteria for a complimentary assessment by Princeville Credit Advocates.


If you’d like to entre your details below, we’ll be able to notify you when new products become available that may be more suitable.

By submitting this form, you agree to finder.com.au privacy policy
About Princeville Credit Repair

Back to top

What appears on my credit file?

Your credit file carries just about every important piece of credit related information about you. You can, as a result, expect a relevant entry on your credit file each time you apply for credit, and every time you enter a contract for a service like an internet or a mobile phone connection. If you default on any payments, the same finds a mention on your credit file.

Court writs and summons stay on your credit file for four years; while payment defaults, credit enquiries, court judgements, and bankruptcy stay on the file for five years; mentions of clearouts and part 9 debt agreements stay in place for seven years; and instances of previous directorships and external administration will remain on your credit file for 10 years. Upon the closure of a credit account, its payment history cannot stay on your file for more than two years.

As per the Privacy Act of 1988, every individual has the right to obtain a copy of his or her credit file, and you can contact a credit reporting agency to get a copy for free. If you need it urgently, you would have to pay a nominal fee.

Why should I check my credit file regularly?

Checking your credit file from time to time is important because of two main reasons:

Incorrect marks on your credit file

There are instances when banks and other providers of credit process loans and other credit accounts incorrectly, which can lead to incorrect marks on your credit file. Instances of people paying their loans off only to see that their loan providers have accidentally reported defaults are not uncommon. If you don’t go through your file, there is no way of knowing if it contains any incorrect marks.

Protect yourself against identity theft

Since your credit file carries details of all credit accounts in your name, going through it can tell you if someone is using your personal information to apply for credit. If you feel you’re a victim of identity theft, you’ll have to take measures like cancelling the accounts in question and filing a police report.

MyCredit file

Order a copy of your credit file

Receive email alerts whenever specific changes occur on your credit file for 12 months. You also receive a copy of your credit file despatched within one working day.

Receive your credit file with information on:

  • Details of consumer credit enquiries
  • Details of overdue consumer credit accounts
  • Commercial credit enquiries
  • Details of overdue commercial credit accounts
  • Bankruptcy & Court Judgements
  • Writs & Summons
  • Information on your current relationship with a credit provider
  • $79.95 p.a. annual fee
Back to top

What is credit repair?

If you think you can pay money to erase bad marks from your credit file, think again. Credit repair, you should know, involves going through your credit file carefully, followed by refuting any incorrect marks you may find. If you’re perseverant, you can look forward to removal of the incorrect marks, which can lead to increased possibility of success in your future applications for credit.

Bad marks that you can work on removing from your credit file include listings that credit providers place without following suitable rules and regulations. Credit repair companies like Credit Repair Australia go through credit files scouting for such listings on an everyday basis, and can help you spot such mistakes easily.

Repair credit on your own or seek professional assistance?

A good credit repair company brings with it experience in this field, but you’ll have to pay a price to take advantage of such services. If you’re not sure whether using the services of such a company is worth the money you spend, consider the following to arrive at a conclusion:

  • Get a copy of your credit file from Veda, Experian, or Dun & Bradstreet
  • Make a note of all defaults and negative listings along with their dates and the time that remains for them to stay on your file
  • Determine how long it’ll take and how much effort you’ll have to spend to address every such listing
  • Determine if paying a credit repair company is worth improving your possibility of getting credit in the future

Know that there are several credit repair companies that can help go through your credit file, and they’ll have the expert knowledge to identify fixes easier than you. Once you choose to work with any such company, it would work in refuting inaccurate claims and getting them erased from your credit file.

If you decide to go at it on your own, start by getting a free copy of your credit file, and once you place your request, you can expect to receive a hard copy via regular mail. Once you receive a copy of your credit file, prepare to go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

What is involved in the credit repair process?

Credit repair does not involve rocket science and could well be simpler than you’ve imagined. If you wish to work on repairing your credit, you can do so by following these simple steps:

  • Get and review a copy of your credit file
    You can, as mentioned, get a free copy of your credit file by contacting a credit reporting body like Veda or Experian. Once you have access to your credit file, go through it carefully, and make a note of all incorrect and suspicious entries. Consider speaking to the credit reporting body through whom you got your credit file, as it might have the ability to fix certain errors.
  • Contact the provider in question
    If you spot an error on your credit file or if you come by an entry you’ve not made, you should get in touch with the given credit provider without delay. The credit provider should be able to provide details about the listing, which you can use to initiate a correction or an investigation.
  • If the listing isn’t corrected, contact the ombudsman
    If the credit provider is unable to fix the listing in question, the next step is to get in touch with the relevant ombudsman. If this fails to yield the desired results, the next step involves contacting the Privacy Commissioner, which can be done within a year of becoming aware of the error.

A professional credit repair company would follow one or more of the above given measures, depending on your situation, and it can also assist you with debt consolidation or a debt agreement, if that’s what suits your lifestyle.

Back to top

What is a Debt Agreement?

Low income earners who can’t afford to repay all the money they owe can make use of debt agreements to avoid going bankrupt. Know, though, that debt agreements come with long term implications that can have an adverse affect on your ability to get credit in the future, and they can also have a negative effect on your career.

A debt agreement, or a Part IX agreement, is a legal agreement between a debtor and a creditor, where the creditor agrees to accept an amount of money that the debtor can afford to pay, which is lower than the amount due. The debtor then gets a set period of time to settle the debt. Take into account that a creditor must agree to a proposed debt agreement for it to come into effect, and not all do.

Is a Debt Agreement the same as being bankrupt?

Simply put, entering a debt agreement is not the same as being bankrupt. While a debt agreement qualifies as an act of bankruptcy, know that you cannot be bankrupt until you declare yourself bankrupt, or a court does. An act of bankruptcy, in this case, means that if you don’t comply with the debt agreement’s terms and conditions, or if your creditors don’t accept your proposal, they can file a petition in court to declare to bankrupt.

A typical debt agreement has an administrator looking after unsecured creditors and overseeing that you follow required obligations, and you remain in control of other aspects of your finances. With bankruptcy, a trustee would play a much larger role, and you would be subject to income thresholds.

What else should I consider?

If you suffer from poor creditworthiness or if you wish to repair your credit, make sure you consider the following:

  • Repay existing debts
    Contact your credit providers and try to negotiate paying off your debts by working on revised repayments terms. If that doesn’t work, consider consolidating your debts under a single debt consolidation loan.
  • Credit history does not vanish overnight
    The law requires that once you repay a debt the lender should update the same on your credit file as soon as possible. This does not mean that defaults disappear from your file once you repay a loan, because defaults stay on record for five years.
  • Is turning to a credit repair company the ideal option?
    A credit repair company can simplify the credit repair process for you, but not all are equally good. Make sure you watch out for companies that charge exorbitant fees, companies that exaggerate their abilities to repair credit, and companies that provide contracts with unfair terms like high termination fees.

Repairing your credit might not be as difficult as you imagined it to be, and if you’ve got some time on your hands, you can go through your credit file and take suitable measures to fix any errors you might spot. If you don’t have time on your hands, or if you’re not up to the task because of any other reason, you can always turn to a credit repair company for help. Bear in mind, though, that you have a number of companies from which to choose, so compare your options well.

Back to top

Frequently Asked Questions

What details do I have to provide to get a copy of my credit file?

You’ll have to provide your complete name, date of birth, current address, previous address, and driver’s license number.

Can I get a free copy of my credit file at anytime?

You can request for a copy of your credit file if a creditor has rejected your application for credit in the last 90 days, or if your request relates to a credit provider or credit reporting body correcting information in your credit file. You can also ask for a copy once each year, not including the circumstances mentioned above.
Get a copy of your credit file from Veda

How quickly will I receive a copy of my credit file?

You can expect your free credit file copy to get to you within 10 days of placing a request, and you can choose to get it sooner by paying a nominal fee.

Back to top
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes
American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

0
More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate

11.99

Annual fee

0
More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

149
More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

30
More info
Back to top

Read more on this topic

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

26 Responses to Credit Repair Guide – How to repair your bad credit rating in Australia

  1. Default Gravatar
    Tin | May 31, 2015

    Hi,

    I have 1 default on my credit report which will be cleared this month. Will my bad credit report be cleared or does it negatively impact my credit history in the future?

    Thank you

    • Staff
      Jonathan | June 1, 2015

      Hi Tin, thanks for your inquiry!

      That is correct, overdue accounts and defaults are kept on an individual’s credit file for up to five years. Even though the record may be amended, it is possible that the debt has been sold to a debt-collector. If the debt has been sold then it may inhibit future credit applications.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    Wendy | May 17, 2015

    Hi,

    I have 1 default on my credit report which will be cleared this month. Will my credit score go up once this happens.

    Thanks Wendy

    • Staff
      Jonathan | May 19, 2015

      Hi Wendy, thanks for your inquiry!

      When defaults/ overdue accounts are removed from an individual’s credit report this can improve your chances of accessing credit in the future. Please see the following link for a guide on getting your credit card application approved.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    Minh | April 2, 2015

    Dear friends,
    Good day.

    I have seen on my credit file from DnB and I got 2 payment defaults with Vodafone(2011) and 1 Serious Credit Infringement Notices with Telstra(2013). Actually during those time I was in my country and did not know about that. I will take action that pay in full to them, however I just wondering that the report would be updated or not, and after that can I apply loan from bank?

    Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards.

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 2, 2015

      Hi Minh, thanks for your inquiry!

      If the credit defaults are not accurate the credit agency will update the records accordingly and rectify the credit history/ score, allowing applications for loans to be based on your correct credit standing.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    Kalp | January 27, 2015

    Dear Team,

    I was in Australia in 2008/10 and I had a bad credit there around $13,000 ( Not sure ) Now I am coming back to Australia again so please reply how should I repair my credit before coming or after coming? or will my name would be removed from the list automatically after few years? as I don’t want to affect this on my PR application in future.

    Your soonest response awaited.

    Thanks

    KP

    • Staff
      Jonathan | January 28, 2015

      Hi Kalp, thanks for your inquiry!

      For a guide on repairing your credit rating in Australia please see this page. Please also refer to this page for information on how long defaults and personal details are kept on your personal file, depending on the type of default the period may vary.

      I hope this helps!

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    B | December 8, 2014

    I have a good credit rating however Esanda have given me a bad internal reference for late payments. Are they permitted to give a bad reference to another company even though I’m not in default or in debt collections. Am I right in assuming that if it hasn’t gone through legal paths that they can not give me a poor reference to another company as my debt is up to date and not in default. Where is the line between what they can disclose and can’t. If it hasn’t gone through legal channels who’s to say at what point a company can give a poor reference, how is that policed.

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | December 8, 2014

      Hi B,

      Thanks for your question.

      Starting from March of this year, comprehensive credit reporting legislation was introduced which meant new information was collected by companies and also reported on your file. This includes payment information. So, making late payments is allowed to be reported by credit issuers. You can find more information about comprehensive credit reforms on this page.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  6. Default Gravatar
    david | August 16, 2014

    how and were do i find my credit rating, and see whats on there

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 18, 2014

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please see this page on how you can obtain a free copy of your credit report.

      All the best,
      Shirley

  7. Default Gravatar
    Brooke | May 2, 2014

    Hi. I recently got a copy of my credit report from Veda. I have no defaults or anything but 10 credit enquiries dating from 2009 to 2013 and i only have an average Vedascore. Does that sound right to you?

    • Staff
      Jeremy | May 5, 2014

      Hi Brooke.

      Thanks for your question. We’ve written a guide to VedaScore which will give you an indication on the other factors considered besides just the number of credit enquiries on your file.

      Hope this helps!
      Jeremy

  8. Default Gravatar
    beth | April 5, 2014

    Hi, I don’t remember that I have any unpaid bills with my financial obligations. But every time I am apply for a loan, I am get knocked back. I don’t know where it is coming from. How do I find out the reason for this bad credit rating?

  9. Default Gravatar
    Clint | March 27, 2014

    I have two marks for bad debts on my credit file (both paid in full) one is due to be wiped in 3 months, the other in a bit over two years. I recently obtained a house loan through ANZ and credit card but went to apply for interest free furniture purchase through GE at Harvey Norman but was rejected. Is it possible to have my history cleared? Hoping I could have it sorted within a couple weeks. Thanks

    • Staff
      Jacob | March 28, 2014

      Hi, Clint.

      You’ll have to wait the allocated time frame before the negative listing is removed from your credit file. If the negative listings have been paid in full, it may be possible to take these records of payment to the credit issuer, which may help the case for obtaining credit; however, it’s difficult to say.

      Thanks for your question.

  10. Default Gravatar
    Xenner | September 18, 2013

    I was in Australia in 2008 as an international student, but an urgent matter in relation to my family made me leave here in quite hurry. Now when i was here i had a Credit Card from Commonwealth, One phone from Optus which i had just acquired at the time. I returned to Aussie this year (2013) and i tried to get a plan from Vodafone but my credit check failed and the reason was D&B, so i got my credit score and sure enough i can see only one default reported in December 2008 for 3405 dollars by Optus ( I didn’t have a bill this big nor was the phone value that high) nevertheless now i need to build up my score in Aussie again since i will be applying for PR. Question is : I understand in 5 years the records will be cleared out, now once this happens will my credit score improve? Or will the negative effect be still there?

    Many Thanks

    • Staff
      Jacob | September 19, 2013

      Hi Xenner.

      After the allocated time the default is removed from your credit file and lenders / creditors will not be able to see this default from the past.

      Thanks for your question.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 26th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

Ask a question
feedback