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What to know about a credit report

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What is it?

Lenders often access credit reports. They offer a lot of information about how you handle money, and they help potential lenders to recognise the level of risk they undertake when loaning money to you.

So what is a credit report? It’s an assembly of information related to you and how you handle credit. Simply put, it’s a report detailing your life and how it has currently interacted with credit.

How do I get access to it?

Finder
Expires on the 30/6/2019 so get in quick!
Here’s an easy way to earn a few extra dollars – simply sign up to Finder.com.au and get your free credit report instantly. You’ll then be able to refer friends and when they get a credit score and report you’ll earn a $5 Woolworths gift voucher!

Your credit report is just that, yours. You have a right to view your credit report just by filling out an application and waiting a few weeks to have it delivered. Two organisations that offer to deliver your report to you are the Baycorp Advantage and Dun & Bradstreet.

Accessing it will let you know exactly what lenders see when they consider loaning to you, valuable information for any one considering pursuing a big ticket purchase or loan.

What’s in it?

There’s a lot of information contained within credit reports, primarily related to personal details and details of credit applications and lines that you have held (and how you behaved with those loans). The following is a non comprehensive list of some of the information that can be found when accessing your credit report:

  • Your name
  • Your marital status, age
  • Drivers license information
  • Potentially employment information
  • Any and all information related to applications for credit, experiences with credit (good or bad), and current levels of debt
  • Court records pertaining to your finances (bankruptcy judgements, etc.)

How long does it last?

In general, the worst credit report marks, like bankruptcy, stay on file for seven years at a time. After that, they’re gone, and no longer an issue. In the meantime, work to improve your score by behaving responsibly with whatever credit you currently have access to, and pay your bills on time, to ensure your credit score is as high as it can be.

By behaving responsibly and managing your finances, you’ll be well on your way to a positive credit rating. This can gain access for you to lower interest loans, more flexible mortgage terms, and overall better treatment from lenders.

If your score isn’t currently where you want it to be, don’t panic, simply look into the many things that you can do to start improving a bad credit rating and make a plan to keep your scores high once they do improve.

 


 

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