The Australian credit report system took a dramatic shift in March by changing what information is included in the report. These changes have been in the works for years are were designed to give creditors a clearer look at each applicants true financial history.
While companies have been allowed to track this information since December 2012, it was not until March 12, 2014 that the changes to the credit reports actually took place.
If you are a consumer living in Australia, it is crucial that you understand these new reporting rules and how they will affect you and your ability to obtain credit. Below is a closer look at just want these changes are and what they mean to you.
What Are the new Changes?
Beginning March 12, 2014 creditors may now include your specific repayment dates. This includes information about the date the payment was initially due, if you made the payment, when you made the payment, and if you missed any scheduled payments. In addition, every time you apply for credit, the information will now be included on your report, including the date you applied for credit, how much credit you applied for, and the type of credit you applied for.
This does not include information about your utility bills, such as water, gas or electric bill, or your home phone, mobile phone or internet bill. In addition, your credit report will also include a listing of every creditor that has accessed your account and when.
How Will These Changes Effect You
These changes may directly impact your ability to obtain credit by lenders who use your credit report to make their decision. First, these changes may cause a significant change in your overall credit score. Since these changes are fairly new, it is difficult to determine just how much these changes will impact your score. On top of that, since new information will be added each month, in reference to your repayment history, your credit score is likely to fluctuate from month to month.
If you are good at making your payments on time each month, these new changes are likely to benefit you greatly. On the other hand, if you are consistently late on making your payments then your credit score is likely to take a dip. There could be some benefits to the new changes. For example, if you typically make all of your payments on time, but went through a rough period, your credit report may now be able to back that up. In addition, if you are younger with a limited credit history, these new changes may make it easier to obtain credit.
Tips of Improving Your Credit Score
One thing is for sure that, the making your payments on time each month, has never been more important. If you do not have mobile banking, you may want to considering signing up. This will allow you to make instant payments right from your home or mobile phone. This can avoid making late payments. You can also consider signing up for direct payments, which means payment is sent directly to your creditors from your bank account. These payments are automatic, but ensure that your bills will be paid on time.
With the changes now in place, it is vital that you try to get control of your finances as soon as possible. If you do not have a household budget already in place, now is the time to start one. This will allow you to track your spending habits and ensure you have enough money to pay your bills at the end of the month. If you are able to make your payments on time, each month, these new changes may be able to help you obtain credit with a lower interest rate.
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