Most people don’t know it, but every time you get a new mobile phone, or apply for a credit card, or buy a laptop or anything else on interest free terms, an enquiry is made on and recorded in your credit file. Your credit file contains a detailed list of every time you have applied for credit, it contains, when, how much, who applied, with which company and what for.This information is then available to other shops and mobile phone companies and retail stores like Harvey Norman, Wow Sight & Sound, GE, Avco, Suncorp, NAB, CBA, Westpac, ANZ, etc.etc. (All known as Credit Providers)This information will help the Credit Providers make a decision. A decision if they should lend you any Money.
If you don’t want to apply for credit now or ever in the future (Yeah sure..) then you really don’t need to see what is on your credit file…
If you’re like the rest of us though, and need to keep a good credit rating… Then it’s in your interest to always have a copy of your credit file on hand.
You imagine it, you think there is nothing wrong with your credit, you are just about to leave on holidays and decide it would be safe to have an extra $500 or $1000 credit card (Just in case of emergencies), You go to your favorite bank or credit card company online and fill in the forms, you expect there will be no problem, then the day before you’re due to leave, you get the news DECLINED, and you have to ask, why?? (But usually they won’t tell you)
You go on holidays but have this worried feeling in the pit of your stomach… What is wrong with my credit?
This can all be avoided by keeping an up to date copy of your credit file on hand.
One of the most common forms of credit fraud..
…is committed by ‘stealing’ the identity of another individual. Someone obtains your identity details and uses them to obtain credit for themselves, leaving you with the potential liability for this debt, a damaged credit reputation or Credit Rating and the inconvenience of amending your credit file held by a Credit Reporting Agency.Studies show identity fraud victims typically know the person who uses, or tries to use, their identity.You are at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, or may already be a victim, if:
- you have lost or had stolen important documents such as your passport or driving license
- post expected from your bank has not arrived or you are receiving no post at all
- you identify entries on your personal credit file from organisations you do not normally deal with
- items have appeared on your bank or credit-card statements that you do not recognise
- you applied for a centrelink benefit but are told that you are already claiming it
- you receive bills, invoices or receipts addressed to you for goods or services you haven’t asked for
- you have been refused a financial service, such as a credit card or a loan, despite believing you having a good credit history
- a mobile-phone contract has been set up in your name without your knowledge
- you have received letters from solicitors or debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours
- financial institutions that you do not normally deal with contact you to chase an outstanding debt
If you live in Australia and are over 18, please be very careful and guard your identity closely.
It’s always a good idea to know what has been written about you, so click here to grab a copy of your credit file just to be sure.