Your credit check is soon to reveal all your bad habits: Privacy Awareness Week 2013.
29 April 2013
Australians are urged to be more diligent with paying all of their bills on time, every time or face a black mark against their name as part of privacy law reforms on their way in March 2014 – and a consumer advocate for accurate credit reporting warns consumers that late payment information is being collected now.
CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repair, Graham Doessel says it is important for all credit active individuals to rethink their repayment habits, or potentially face a series of late payment notations which could mean they are banned from credit in the future.
“The time to change is now. Ensure that every bill is being paid on time – not two days late, or a week late – as come March next year – our history of paying bills late from December 2012 onward will show up when we apply for credit,” Mr Doessel warns.
His warning comes as part of Australia’s Privacy Awareness Week 2013 which is run from 29 April to 4 May, aimed at educating individuals and businesses on matters of privacy. 2013’s theme is Privacy Law Reform – a campaign to educate Australians about changes to the Privacy Act (1988) passed on November 29 2012, which will be implemented on March 12, 2014.
Repayment history information (RHI) is part of five new data sets which will appear on Australian credit reports, from March next year – meant to afford a more accurate picture of someone’s suitability to service a loan.
The other four data sets are: the date on which a credit account was opened; the date on which a credit account was closed; the type of credit account opened; and the current limit of each open credit account.
“I think late payments will be looked on pretty unfavourably when this information becomes available to lenders, along with other factors such as applying for too much credit; applying for credit too often; or applying for the ‘wrong’ type of credit,” Mr Doessel says.
He says it is not known how much weight repayment history will be afforded on its own, but predicts lenders will be reluctant to lend to someone who presents with too many late payments – even if there are no defaults present.
“If lenders are deciding between an application which has no late payments and one with a few scattered here and there, they’d probably choose the clear one,” he says.
Mr Doessel says when the legislation was passed in late November, many – including himself were up in arms that RHI could be included after an account was one day late.
“This didn’t allow for any wiggle room, and put those using systems like direct debits and BPay at risk if payments didn’t go through right on time,” he says.
But a draft Credit Reporting Code of Conduct which will underpin the changes to the Privacy Act now allows for a 5 day grace period before RHI is recorded.
“I am thankful that those drafting the CR Code have taken these concerns into consideration and adopted the 5 day rule for individuals – making it fairer for all,” he says.
Mr Doessel says come March 2014, it will be more important than ever for individuals to be vigilant with checking their credit file.
“With all the new information about people available to lenders, it is pretty crucial that it reads accurately. You can check your credit file at no charge annually by applying with Australia’s credit reporting agencies,” he says.
Go to http://bit.ly/My-Free-Credit-File for more help to obtain your credit report.
“Thankfully, if there are issues of inaccuracy on credit reports from March – there will be more support within the Privacy Act amendments to allow for ease of correction,” Mr Doessel says.
Graham Doessel – CEO Ph 3124 7133
Lisa Brewster – Media Relations firstname.lastname@example.org
MyCRA Credit Repair 246 Stafford Rd, STAFFORD Qld
MyCRA is Australia’s number one in credit rating repairs. We permanently remove defaults from credit files. CEO of MyCRA Graham Doessel is a frequent consumer spokesperson for credit reporting issues and is a founding member of the Credit Repair Industry Association of Australasia.
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