Under the consumer credit laws, if you’ve been or are likely to be the victim of fraud (including identity fraud ), and a credit reporting body holds credit reporting information about you, you can request that a credit reporting body place a ban on your consumer credit report to prevent them from being able to use or disclose the information as part of a credit check.
We recommend that you make the request to all 3 credit reporting bodies in case they maintain a consumer credit report on you.
To fill out an online application form for a credit ban, please visit:
Each credit reporting body will then place a ban period on your consumer credit report. The ban period will last for 21 days after you first make the request.
The credit reporting body must notify you at least 5 business days before the ban expires:
- of the date the ban period is due to finish
- about your rights to extend the ban period
- what, if any, information it requires to support your allegation of fraud.
If you don’t take any further action, the ban period on your consumer credit report will be lifted after 21 days.
Instead of applying to all 3 credit reporting bodies for a credit ban or an extension, you have the option to request 1 credit reporting body to pass on your request to the other 2 bodies. It must do so as soon as reasonably practicable.
What happens during a ban period?
During the ban period, a credit reporting body mustn’t use or disclose your consumer credit report (or the information in the credit report). Except:
- if you've consented, in writing, to the use or disclosure, or
- an Australian law or a court or tribunal order require the credit reporting body to use or disclose it
If a credit provider asks a credit reporting body for a copy of your consumer credit report during the ban period, the credit reporting body will tell them about the ban. This will alert the credit provider to the potential fraud.
While a ban period is in place it may be more difficult for you to apply for credit. For example, a credit provider may need to collect more personal information directly from you.
Can a ban period be extended?
If you're still concerned about fraud towards the end of the ban period you can request the credit reporting body to extend it.
A credit reporting body must extend the ban period if it believes that you’ve been or are likely to be the victim of fraud. If they decide to extend the ban period, they must let you know in writing and tell you the length of the extension.
There is no limit on the number of times that a ban period can be extended.
Lifting a ban
If you need to lift a ban on your consumer credit report, you can apply to do so by filling out an online form on a credit reporting body’s website.
Is there a charge?
Requesting a ban period, or an extension of a ban period, is free.
To find out what's on your credit report, ask for a copy of it