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Privacy Law Changes

Apr 03, 2014

According to credit reference agency, Veda, if you pay credit card bills on time you may receive lower loan interest rates but if you don’t, you may struggle to borrow at all.

With changes to The Privacy Act taking place from March 12 this year, your credit report could now show more information from credit providers and influence your ability to borrow.

This will work as an opt-in system for credit providers which means you may see information from some lenders and not others.

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a document provided by Veda to lending institutions which shows your credit history and behavior.

What did credit reports contain prior to March 12?

  • Your name, address and date of birth
  • Applications for credit cards and loans
  • Overdue debts
  • Court judgments and personal insolvency information

What do credit reports contain now?

  • All existing data
  • Type of credit account, i.e. card or loan
  • Account open and close dates
  • Credit limit
  • Monthly repayment history – this outlines when and if repayments have been made on credit cards, mortgages and other loans. It is recorded monthly and can be on file for two years. Borrowers are entitled to a five day grace period before ‘late payment’ is recorded. If a payment more than $150 is over 60 days late this will be marked as a ‘default’ and will show on your report for five years, however, the credit provider must issue a written notice in an attempt to collect the money prior to registering a default.

Tips to maintain a positive credit report:

  • Set up a direct debit or a reminder to pay your bills/loans on time
  • Ensure your credit providers have your correct address so you receive your bills and know when they are due
  • Ask your provider for extra time to pay your debts if you cannot make the due date otherwise late payments and defaults could appear on your credit report
  • Instead of making several applications for credit, do your research online because if a variety of applications show on your credit report you could be viewed as someone in financial stress
  • Keep personal information private – lock your letter box, do not share your credit card details, install anti-virus software on your computer if you shop online
  • Set up alerts to notify you when changes occur on your credit report.


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