What is a credit report?

Last updated: 5 September 2019

On this page

  • Who produces your credit report and what’s on it
  • How long information stays on your credit report
  • What laws apply to the handling of your credit report

A credit report is a document a credit reporting body produces using your personal information supplied by credit providers and other sources.

You’ll have a consumer credit report if you’ve applied for or received consumer credit. If you’ve applied for or received commercial credit your credit report will also include commercial credit information

On this website the term ‘credit report’ refers to a consumer credit report unless stated otherwise.

Consumer credit report

Your consumer credit report includes information to identify you such as your name, date of birth, address and employer. It also includes certain information about how you’ve handled any past or current consumer loans or debts, and your repayment history.

Your consumer credit report may also contain information about any problems you’ve had meeting your repayment obligations, such as defaults, court judgments or bankruptcies.

You can get a free copy of your consumer credit report once every 12 months to make sure it’s correct.

What laws apply to the handling of your credit report?

The following laws apply to the handling of your consumer credit information. Other rules apply to commercial credit information.

For a credit reporting body

The credit reporting laws state how a credit reporting body must handle the personal information in your consumer credit report.

The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) don’t apply to the handling of your personal information related to credit reporting by a credit reporting body. 

They must also comply with all APPs when handling personal information that isn’t in your consumer credit report or produced from your consumer credit report.

For a credit provider

A credit provider must comply with the credit reporting laws when handling your consumer credit report or the personal information in the report.

However, if a credit provider is an APP entity then they must comply with specific APPs. They must also comply with all APPs when handling personal information that isn’t in your consumer credit report or produced from your consumer credit report.

For other third parties

A third party that receives your credit report and is an APP entity must comply with the APPs, as well as to the credit reporting laws.

For a small business operator

A credit provider that is a small business operator must comply with the credit reporting laws. 

To download a sample consumer credit report, visit MoneySmart 

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