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Credit scores and credit reports

Check your credit score and credit report for free

Page reading time: 4 minutes

Lenders use your credit score (or credit rating) to decide whether to give you credit or lend you money. Knowing this can help you negotiate better deals, or understand why a lender rejected you.

Your credit score is based on personal and financial information about you that's kept in your credit report.

You have the right to access your credit score and credit report for free.

If you want to fix something in your credit report, see credit repair.

Get your credit score for free

You can get your credit score for free from an online credit score provider, usually within minutes. When you sign up, you agree to their privacy policy, which lets them use your personal information for marketing. You can opt out of this after you sign up.

Avoid any provider that asks you to pay or give them your credit card details.

How your score is calculated

Your credit score is calculated based on what's in your credit report. For example:

Depending on the credit reporting agency, your score will be between zero and either 1,000 or 1,200.

The score relates to a five-point scale (excellent, very good, good, average and below average). This helps a lender work out how risky it is for them to lend to you.

A higher score means the lender will consider you less risky. This could mean getting a better deal and saving money.

A lower score will affect your ability to get a loan or credit. See how to improve your credit score.

Get your credit report for free

If you've ever applied for credit or a loan, there will be a credit report about you.

It's worth getting a copy of your credit report once a year. You can do this for free if you can wait 10 days to get it.

You may have to pay if:

Contact these credit reporting agencies for a copy of your credit report:

Since different agencies can hold different information, you may have a credit report with more than one agency.

What's in a credit report

As well as personal information — like your name, date of birth, address and driver's licence number — your credit report will include all of the following information.

To see how a repayment deferral may impact your credit report see The Australian Retail Credit Association's (ARCA's) information sheet.

Credit products

For each credit product you've held in the last two years:

  • type of credit product (such as credit card, store card, home loan, personal loan, business loan)
  • credit provider
  • credit limit
  • opening and closing dates of the account
  • joint applicant's name, if any

Repayment history

For each credit product you've held in the last two years:

  • repayment amount
  • when payments were due
  • how often you paid and if you paid by the due date
  • missed payments (not made within 14 days of the due date), and if and when you made them

Defaults on utility bills, credit cards and loans

Your service provider may report your non-payment of a debt (called a 'default') to a credit reporting agency. They must notify you before they do so.

This may include defaults on your utility and phone bills.

A service provider can report a default if:

  • the amount owed is $150 or more, and
  • your service provider can't contact you (called a clearout), and
  • 60 days or more have passed since the due date, and
  • the service provider has asked you to pay the debt either by phone or in writing

A default stays on your credit report for:

  • five years
  • seven years in the case of a clearout

If you pay the debt, your credit report will still list the default, but it will also show that you've paid it.

Credit applications

If you've applied for credit before:

  • number of applications you’ve made
  • total amount of credit you’ve borrowed
  • any loans you’ve guaranteed

Bankruptcy and debt agreements

Any bankruptcies or debt agreements, court judgments, or personal insolvency agreements in your name.

Credit report requests

Any requests for your credit report that have been made by credit providers.

Fix mistakes in your credit report

When you get your credit report, check that:

If something is wrong or out of date, contact the credit reporting agency and ask them to fix it. This is a free service.

Some companies may try to charge you to get all negative information removed from your credit report. The only thing they can ask the credit reporting agency to remove is wrong information. And you can do that yourself — see credit repair.

If there are loans or debts in your report that you know nothing about, it could mean someone has stolen your identity. See identity theft for what to do.