What types of information can be included in your credit report?
The following types of information can be included in your consumer credit report:
- your full name
- your date of birth
- your sex
- your current (or last known) address and previous 2 addresses
- the name of your current (or last known) employer
- your driver’s licence number
- the names of any credit providers that have provided you with consumer credit, and whether they are licenced by ASIC
- the type of consumer credit provided by those credit providers
- the day on which that consumer credit was made available to you and (if relevant) terminated
- the limit on that consumer credit
- certain terms and conditions of that consumer credit, including limited information about your repayment and interest obligations
- repayment history information, which is information about whether you have made a consumer credit payment on time, or whether you have missed a payment
- financial hardship information, which is reported against your repayment history information
- that a credit provider has requested access to information held in your consumer credit report in connection with an application that you have made to that credit provider for consumer or commercial credit (an information request, more commonly known as a credit enquiry)
- the type and amount of consumer or commercial credit that you sought in that application
- that you have defaulted on a consumer credit payment of $150 or more (this means that you are at least 60 days overdue in making the payment)
- a statement that you have since paid an amount that was recorded as default in your consumer credit report
- the fact that, as a result of a default, you have agreed to a variation in the terms and conditions of consumer credit, or you are provided with new consumer credit
- any court judgements made against you that relate to credit provided to, or applied for by, you
- certain information about you that is recorded on the National Personal Insolvency Index, including information that relates to bankruptcy and debt agreements.
- certain publicly available information that relates to your activities in Australia and your creditworthiness. A credit reporting body (CRB) can only collect this information where it is generally available to members of the public and where the CRB collects the information from an agency or a state or territory authority
- the opinion of a credit provider that you have committed a serious credit infringement.
Your credit report can also include a credit score that has been created by a CRB using the types of personal information listed above. A credit score indicates the CRB’s analysis of your eligibility to be provided with consumer credit.
What about other information about your consumer or commercial credit activities?
Other information about consumer credit
A credit provider is not permitted to give a CRB any other information about your consumer credit activities, than those listed above, for the purpose of including that information in your consumer credit report.
However, a credit provider may still hold these other types of information. For example, a credit provider might ask you for information about your income when you make an application for credit. The credit provider cannot give information about your income to a CRB to be included in your consumer credit report. However, the credit provider may still use that information for the purpose of deciding whether to give you credit.
Importantly, a credit provider that is also an APP entity will still be required to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) when handling that information.
Credit reporting bodies
A CRB is not permitted to handle any other information about your consumer credit activities, than the information listed above.
Other information about commercial credit
Your consumer credit report may contain specific types of personal information about any commercial credit that you have applied for.
The credit reporting laws do not apply to the handling of any other personal information about your commercial credit activities. However, the credit reporting laws determine when a credit provider can handle your consumer credit report for a purpose connected with an application you have made for commercial credit.
What gives CRBs the authority to collect the information in your credit report?
The information contained in your consumer credit report, which is produced by a credit reporting body, is supplied by credit providers. Your consumer credit report may also contain information about any instances in which you have failed to meet your repayment obligations, such as defaults, court judgments and bankruptcies.
Section 21C of the Privacy Act requires credit providers to notify you that they are likely to provide your personal information to credit reporting bodies for credit reporting purposes. Some credit providers are required to provide your personal information to credit reporting bodies under mandatory consumer credit reporting rules.
Notification means that the credit provider must provide you with certain information. You should read that information and apply it to your personal circumstances.
To meet the notification requirements, credit providers generally:
- publish a statement of notifiable matters on their website
Credit enquiries on your credit report
When you apply for credit, a credit provider will request a copy of your credit report to assess your creditworthiness. This request will then be recorded as a credit enquiry on your credit report.
Credit providers are not required to obtain your consent to obtain a copy of your credit report for this purpose – the requirement is that credit providers give you notification that they will do so.