Financial hardship information and your rights

On this page

  • What happens when I enter into a financial hardship arrangement?
  • Will financial hardship information affect my credit score?
  • How is financial hardship information included in my credit report?
  • What do I do if I have a complaint about a financial hardship arrangement?

What happens when I enter into a financial hardship arrangement?

If you enter into a financial hardship arrangement with your lender (also known as a credit provider), they must tell you that they will disclose financial hardship information about you to a credit reporting body.

They must tell you this when you enter into a financial hardship arrangement with them, or as soon as practicable afterwards.

Your credit provider discloses this information to a credit reporting body so they can form a picture about your ‘creditworthiness’.

The credit provider can give you this information verbally or in writing, but they must explain what type of financial hardship arrangement you have entered into. For more information about the different types of arrangements see here.

Under the Privacy Act, your credit provider must have already told you the name and contact details of the credit reporting body that they are going to disclose your credit information to over the life of your loan. A credit provider must also tell you that:

  • the credit reporting body may include your information in reports they provide to a credit provider to assist them to assess your credit worthiness
  • if you fail to meet your payment obligations, this may be disclosed to the credit reporting body
  • how you can obtain a copy of the credit provider’s policy about the management of your credit-related personal information
  • your right to access your information from a credit provider
  • your right to request a credit provider correct personal information it holds about you, and
  • how to make a complaint to a credit provider.

Generally, a credit provider gives you this information when you first enter into a loan.

Will financial hardship information affect my credit score?

Financial hardship information cannot be used by credit reporting bodies to calculate your credit score.

This is a privacy protection that exists for your information under the Privacy Act 1988.

While financial hardship information cannot be used to calculate your credit score, it is included in your credit report.

If your credit report includes financial hardship information, a credit reporting body cannot use this information to calculate your credit score. It must explain this to you.

How is financial hardship information included in your credit report?

Your credit report will show that you have entered into a financial hardship arrangement. Financial hardship information will be recorded in your credit report with your repayment history information.

Your credit report will specify whether it is a temporary or permanent arrangement.

During the financial hardship arrangement, your credit provider will report your repayment history information against the arrangement.

The financial hardship arrangement will only appear on your credit report for a period of 12 months After 12 months this information must be deleted from your credit report.

Your credit report will not show why you entered into the financial hardship arrangement or any details of the arrangement.

More information on how financial hardship information is recorded in your credit report is provided in our Frequently Asked Questions here.

If you have a complaint

You can make a complaint about a credit provider, or a credit reporting body.

You can also request that a credit provider or credit reporting body correct your personal information. You can do this if you think that the information is not accurate, that it is out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.

If you want to make a complaint, see more information at: Make a credit reporting complaint.

You should complain to the credit provider or credit reporting body first, to see if they can resolve the issue for you. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the external dispute resolution scheme applicable, for example the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Otherwise, you can contact the OAIC.