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9 ways to better understand your credit score

Understanding your credit score is important, especially if you need it to borrow money from a lender in order to purchase a property. But it might be hard to understand, even with a physical copy in your hands. So here are some tips we have to help you better understand the sections in your credit score.

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What is consumer credit information?

Information about existing credit accounts and your personal use of your accounts that your credit providers report will be included in this section of your credit file. Common examples of these might be your home loan payments, credit cards and personal loans. It will also have details of any overdue debts you might have, such as default payments on your loans.

  • Credit score: this may also be shown in your report/file. This is usually a number between 1 and 1000 for most credit providing agencies. The higher the number, the better your score is and the better chance you have of getting a lower interest rate on future loans, especially if you’re looking to buy a home.

  • Repayment history: this shows if you have been able to repay the minimum monthly payments on loans such as your home loan and credit card. It also shows if you have paid on time or not. If you’ve had any late payments, your report shows how late they are with indicators. The information is meant to be read from right to left, with the payments made 24 months ago being recorded on the far right. Keep in mind that every credit reporting agency will have their own way of recording data so pay attention to their glossary or key to help you interpret.

  • Defaults: if you have defaulted on a loan, your credit agency has probably been informed about it and will listed it on your report. It’s a formal indication that you’ve been more than 60 days overdue on making a payment where the outstanding amount exceeds $150. Your credit provider will inform you that if you fail to make the payment, it will go on your report and stay there for 5 years.

  • Serious Credit Infringements (SCI): an SCI statement will be issued when your credit agency hasn’t been able to succeed in contacting you for a period of 6 months which may lead to them thinking that you’ve intentionally avoided their attempts. This will remain on your credit report for 7 years unless it’s been paid, which will allow it to revert back into being reported as a default.

  • Consumer credit inquiries: your credit reporting agency will record any time you apply for a loan as well as the purpose of the loan and the date of the application. It doesn’t show if your application has been successful or not.

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What is commercial credit information?

If you’re a company director or guarantor, you might have commercial credit accounts and this will show on your credit file. Some examples of loans that might be included are a company credit card or a commercial hire purchase application. Any of this information will be recorded on your file for 5 years.

What is public record information?


If your credit activity involves publicly available sources, it will be listed under Public Record Information in your file. This could include bankruptcy agreements and court proceedings.

  • Bankruptcy actions: debt agreements and bankruptcies are seen as publically available information and can be obtained by the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA). This information stays on your file for 5 years but this can vary, depending on your circumstances such as the duration of your agreement.
  • Court actions: this can be obtained through State and Federal court records. Again, this will stay on your credit file for a 5 year period, even if it’s been paid in full.
  • Company directorship: this information is obtained from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and both current and previous directorship information will stay on your file indefinitely. In the case of a Disqualified Director, information will remain on your file for the disqualification period and at least an additional 5 years, however the length of this addition depends on your credit reporting agency.

Can I submit a personal statement?

You have the ability to request that your personal statements be included on your credit file. It explains the circumstances behind the credit information displayed on your credit file. Personal statements might be used in the case of you feeling like your identity has been compromised. This could include having your wallet stolen and somebody using your credit card. This will alert your credit provider of any payments and purchases made since your reporting of the incident.

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Tags: credit guide, credit report, bad credit, credit, uniform consumer credit code, line of credit, credit score

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# Quoted rate applies only to PAYG loans with LVR of 80% or less with security in non-remote areas. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval.
Lendi is a privately owned and operated Australian business. Our mission is to change the way Australians get home loans by providing a faster, smarter and more secure home loan experience designed around the customer’s convenience and needs. Although Lendi compares over 1600 products (2,500+ products including feature and pricing variations) from more than 35 lenders, we don't cover the whole market or compare all features and there may be other features or options available to you. While Lendi is 35% owned by founders and employees, we have also been supported by some great minority shareholders including Bailador, Macquarie Bank Ltd and a number of Australian sophisticated investors.
*WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the example given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rates are based on a loan amount of $150,000 over a loan term of 25 years. Fees and charges apply. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval. Quoted rate applies only to PAYG loans with LVR of 80% or less with security in non-remote areas. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Loan terms of between 1 Year and 40 Years are available subject to lender and credit criteria. Maximum comparison rate will not exceed 14.99% (see comparison rate warning above). Any calculations or estimated savings do not constitute an offer of credit or a credit quote and are only an estimate of what you may be able to achieve based on the accuracy of the information provided. It doesn't take into account any product features or any applicable fees. Our lending criteria and the basis upon which we assess what you can afford may change at any time without notice. Savings shown are based on user inputted data and a loan term of 30 years. All applications for credit are subject to lender credit approval criteria.
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