Many people have only a vague idea of what a ‘credit rating’ is or how they get one, until they are banned from credit.

If you are refused credit because of your credit rating, then you find out quite quickly what that elusive credit file really does, and why a clear credit rating is so important. Lenders or ‘Creditors’ that you have borrowed from have the ability to report about your repayments on a central national database – called your credit file. What Creditors say about you determines whether or not someone else will lend you money or services in the future.  This system is not always accurate. So we look at what happens if you are given a bad credit rating, have a negative listing on your credit file, or also commonly termed a ‘bad credit score’ and how credit repair may be appropriate to fix your bad credit.

By Graham Doessel, Founder and CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs and

Recently, A Current Affair ran a story about well-known Australian actor, John Jarratt and his bad experience with fixing his credit rating after a listing was placed incorrectly on his credit file. The story, titled Phone Bill Fiasco demonstrated the difficulty John had in dealing with his Creditor and recovering his good name. John said he wanted to tell his story for all those ‘little guys’ that find it difficult to stand up to these companies over billing mistakes that see them refused credit.

We look at what John could have done, or anyone else facing a similar situation, could do to resolve those credit listing complaints and fix their bad credit that shouldn’t be there.

Can a bad credit rating happen to you?

You’re sitting in front of your mortgage broker, heart in your throat, being told that the house you spent months searching for, the house you paid hundreds for inspections for, the house that your family is head over heels for, is not going to be yours.

“I’m sorry mate, your credit file shows up with a default listing, and the lender is not willing to lend you the money based on this,” your brokers says.

“What!” you reply. “I haven’t ever defaulted on my payments, it must be a mistake – what was it for?”

“Well unfortunately your credit file only gives the amount, an account number and a business, so you will need to research it from there,” your broker explains.

Once you pick yourself up off the floor, you begin to try to get to the bottom of what’s happened to your credit file.

You call the credit reporting agency, and they give you a copy of your credit file.

After what seems like days on hold to the company in question, you have no luck resolving this so-called outstanding account. You feel like you are just going around in circles with no joy – until finally someone from the company tells you to pay the outstanding amount (of which you’re not even sure you owe) and the matter will be settled.

So you do, of course, expecting the matter to be at an end. Only to find your listing has merely changed to ‘paid’. Your broker says this will probably not change the outcome of your borrowing capacity with the lender.

So you spend more hours on the phone with your Creditor, before being told that default listings are never actually removed, but can be marked as paid. That is the best they can do.

For 5 years this listing will haunt your dreams – well your financial dreams anyway – as you are refused not only the home loan, but even a new credit card, a car loan or mobile phone plan.

What is the solution to bad credit?

The best solution to fix bad credit is to have it removed from your credit file.

Contrary to what your creditor may have told you, bad credit can be removed, if it should not be there in the first place. If a listing has been placed unlawfully on your credit file, or it contains errors, then it needs to be removed from your credit file.

You just need someone on your side, who can give you a hand with all of the legislation mumbo-jumbo, look over your records and see what went wrong, spend time dealing with your creditor for you (which includes knowing who to talk with and how to talk to them the right way so you get the best result), and working on your behalf with all parties – including the credit reporting agencies to give you the best chance of actually having that listing off your credit file permanently. This is what professional credit repairers can do for you.

I can’t afford a lawyer!

Many of the more reputable credit repairers will have one or more lawyers on staff, but their services come at a fraction of the cost a Solicitor would. It is a specialised field – we know a whole lot about one aspect of the law – as it applies to credit reporting. This allows us to pass on our knowledge at a fraction of what it would cost you for a Solicitor. We also have a working relationship with most Creditors, and have spent the time to know how to negotiate with them most effectively to get the best outcome for listing removal.

Some credit repairers work differently to others. At MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs, payments are made in stages. We charge an assessment fee, which is fully refundable, in which we obtain and review your credit file. Next, once we determine you are actually suitable for credit repair, you are charged the next stage of fees – to actually prepare your case for the listing or listings to be removed from your credit file, and present that case to your Creditor and any appropriate higher authorities. As no cases can be absolutely guaranteed, we reserve the final stage of payment for when your listing is actually removed from your credit file. See a schedule of MyCRA’s current costs.

Where are the savings in using a credit repairer?

We outlay on average 20 working hours per default. Not only will you save yourself this time, but in comparison to legal costs – at say, $250 per hour (you could be up for about $5,000 per default) you will save money. If you are lucky enough to be successful in having the listing removed, you will also save thousands in interest as you will be able to borrow with a mainstream lender, rather than go into a non-conforming loan at a high interest rate.

Families with a bad credit rating who enter into a $300,000 loan with a non-conforming lender will be paying a staggering $15,046.57 or more just over the first three years of the loan. This is credit repair saving is calculated based on a standard variable rate of 7% versus a non-conforming interest rate of 9%.

Why can’t credit repair be guaranteed?

It would be nice to guarantee every client that they will have their bad credit rating removed. But although we have a previous track record of up to 91.7% of removal in cases we take on, there are people who unfortunately don’t get the outcome we hope for. At rare times, despite our best efforts, and despite sometimes there being moral grounds for removing the listing, there can be found no legal avenue for requesting your Creditor remove the listing from your credit file, or we simply run into a stalemate with our negotiations with your Creditor. Unfortunately despite a whole lot of work on your file, sometimes after a final Management Review we are forced to close it. For this reason, we reserve the final stage of payments for once the listing has actually been removed.

How long does credit repair take?

If we had a crystal ball we could tell you how quickly your Creditor is going to respond to our requests to supply the documentation on your account, or how quickly they will respond to our formal complaint, whether they will dispute the complaint and if so, whether we will need to escalate the complaint to the Creditor’s Ombudsman and also how much legislation we will need to review to formulate your case. Since there are so many unpredictable factors to credit repair cases, we can’t give you a firm time. What we can tell you is that we aim for 45-60 days for our cases. But do understand there is no onus on the Creditor to remove the listing. Most times we give them the best persuasive case so they are encouraged to do so, or we can help encourage the removal via their industry Ombudsman but at times, they can really drag the chain in helping us help you – so do bear that in mind.

What do I need to do to get started repairing my credit rating?

We can do it all – from requesting a free copy of your credit file on your behalf, to requesting your account information, to dealing with your Creditor. All you need to do once the listing is removed, is to call the credit reporting agencies and confirm you clear credit file and you are on your way again with a clean slate.

For a consultation, call us tollfree on 1300 667 218 or visit our main website

What we ask from you, is your complete honesty in regards to your case, and the belief that we will do our utmost to make sure you have your financial freedom back again.

Image 1: photostock /

Image 2: David Castillo Dominici /