- Introduction to credit reporting
- Your rights
- Things to watch out for
- FAQs and other resources
- Resources for Customer Consultants
- About Credit Smart
Taking control of your credit report
Who holds your credit report ?
Credit reporting bodies, also known as credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies, are businesses that collect and handle personal and credit-related data about consumers as permitted by the Privacy Act. Information about this law can be found here.
The information is sourced from credit providers such as banks and utilities, the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), bankruptcy records, courts and other sources of public records from government agencies.
Both credit providers and credit reporting bodies must protect the privacy and security of your personal and credit information.
Who can and can't access your credit report ?
The law restricts who can access your credit report and under what circumstances.
Generally your credit report can only be obtained from a credit reporting body by credit providers to whom you apply for credit, such as banks, finance companies or credit unions, telecommunications and utility companies, or by organisations that offer mortgage insurance for a home loan. If you run a business, credit providers that provide a commercial loan or insurance for a commercial loan may also be able to access your credit report.
Your credit report cannot be accessed by organisations that provide other types of insurance, real estate agents or your employer.
You should check your credit provider’s credit reporting policy to see what information they collect, how they use it and to whom they disclose it.
If you think someone who is not allowed to access your credit report has done so, you can lodge a complaint with your credit provider or the credit reporting body . If you feel they did not deal with the problem effectively, you can then make a complaint to the external dispute resolution scheme of the credit provider or the credit reporting body , or to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).