From March 2014 amendments to the Privacy Act come into effect which changes how lenders can collect, use and disclose information to credit report bodies.
Each individual who has applied for a loan facility will have a credit report – a summary of your consumer credit history which is used by lenders to assess your loan application. These reports currently include the following information:
- Your identity details (name, DOB, addresses)
- Your credit application history (any loans you have applied for)
- Any problems meeting repayments (defaults, court judgements, bankruptcy)
- Any company directorships
What has changed…
The amendments to the Privacy Act mean that lenders can now disclose additional information on your credit file:
- the date the account was opened
- the type of account, the credit provider and credit limit
- the date an account was closed
- the repayment history on the account
What this means…
These changes now mean that lenders will have increased access to your current credit facilities and your repayment conduct. Data for the credit report has been collected since December 2012 and will go live next month. The credit reports will show your last 24 months of repayment history.
Having access to this data means lenders can identify cash flow or money management issues with clients before approving a loan application.
If you are over 5 days late making repayments on any credit facilities – credit cards, car loans, personal loans – it may flag on the credit report.
What we suggest…
We suggest that each client set up direct debits for all credit facilities to ensure that repayments are made on time.
Setting your budget for the year ahead will give you a clear picture of your current commitments. We recommend using Money Smarts Budgeting Calculator.
Now is the time to take control of your finances. If not, it may impact your ability to borrow funds moving forward.
If you have any concerns about these changes, please give Lending Specialists a call to discuss your loan and account structure on (03) 8805 1800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org