frequently asked questions

  • What is a credit report?

    A credit report is a record of information relating to your personal credit history. This is used by credit providers, such as banks and telecommunications institutions, when assessing your credit application.

    Your credit report contains the following pieces of information, which are permitted under the Privacy Act.

    • Personal details (full name, gender, current and previous two residential addresses, date of birth and current employer)
    • Bankruptcy acts
    • Court judgments and other public record information
    • Company directorships
    • Default data (overdue payment information)
    • Number of credit enquiries made, by whom and when

    This following information is also permitted under the changes to the credit reporting regime, which took effect on 1 April 2012. Learn more about the new comprehensive credit reporting regime here This information is not yet reported on your credit report.

    • Type of credit account
    • Credit limit
    • 24 months repayment history
    • Date account was opened and closed
    • Details of the lender
  • Why do I have a credit report?

    You have a credit report if you have applied for credit or have a credit account. This includes instances where you have applied for a new phone contract, credit card, loan, mortgage or hire purchase.

    When you are applying for credit for the first time, the credit provider will record your personal identification details, and the type and amount of credit applied for. Your report will be updated for each subsequent credit application or enquiry or via updated information from your credit provider.

  • Who else has or can access a copy of my credit report?

    Generally, only credit reporting agencies, credit providers and yourself. As a credit reporting agency, D&B can provide information regarding your personal credit report to:

    • A credit provider
    • A current credit provider
    • A mortgage insurer
    • A trade insurer
    • Another credit reporting agency
    • A person/body to whom disclosure is authorised or required by or under law
    • A credit provider or a law enforcement authority in connection with a 'serious credit infringement'

    The recipient of your personal credit report will need to advise you that they will be accessing your report. D&B may provide a copy of your personal credit report to a person who has been authorised in writing to act on your behalf. This applies to situations where you may engage the services of a debt counsellor or a financial advisor.

    For a credit provider wishing to seek a combination of consumer and commercial information, the credit provider will need to obtain your consent.

  • What information is not stored on my credit report?
    • Political, social, or religious beliefs or affiliations
    • Criminal records
    • Medical history or physical handicaps
    • Race, ethnic or national origins
    • Sexual preferences or practices
    • Lifestyle, character or reputation
  • How will my credit report be used by credit providers?

    Credit providers will access your D&B personal credit report after they have notified you that they will do so and where necessary, obtain your consent.

    Your current and prospective creditors are provided with a comprehensive and clear picture of your overall creditworthiness, and your willingness to pay your account should they extend credit to you.

  • How do I obtain a copy of my personal credit report?

    You can request a copy of your personal credit report online. Your identity will need to be verified, so please ensure that the details you provide are complete and accurate.

    Order your personal credit report »

    Alternatively, you may complete our Application for Personal Credit Report form to receive a copy of your credit report in the mail. In addition to completing the form, you will need to provide the following documents to verify your identity:

    1. A copy of your Driver’s Licence or Passport or Birth Certificate or Proof of Age card; AND
    2. A copy of a document issued by an official body (such as a utility bill or bank statement)

    D&B adheres to the Privacy Act, Credit Reporting Code of Conduct and the National Privacy Principles by providing you with the right to obtain a copy of your credit report.

  • Can D&B advise the contents of my personal credit report over the phone?

    In support of the Privacy Act, Credit Reporting Privacy Code and the Privacy Principles, all applications must be made in writing (online, email or post) by you to obtain a copy of your credit report.

  • What is a Consumer Credit Bureau?

    A consumer credit bureau is a database of individual consumer credit histories. The credit histories are built up from credit providers when individuals apply for, or default on, a credit facility. These credit histories are disclosed to credit providers when they access your credit report to assess an application for credit.

  • What is a credit alert and how can it protect me from identity fraud?

    Keeping up-to-date with changes to your report is crucial in detecting instances of fraud. Personal fraud costs Australians more than one billion dollars annually, with credit card fraud and identity theft being two of the most common types. Checking your credit report regularly will notify you of any irregularities, such as attempts to open a credit account in your name. If left unchecked, fraudulent behaviour can affect your ability to access credit in the future. D&B offers an alert service that will notify you of changes to your credit report.

    Order a credit alert »

  • How can I find out why I was refused credit?

    As a credit reporting agency, D&B is not the decision-maker. D&B only supplies information. If credit has been denied based on a D&B credit report, you will be advised of this by the credit provider. It is recommended that you regularly review your credit history by obtaining a copy of your credit report.

  • How can I query information contained in my credit report?

    D&B is committed to handling queries regarding your information in a fair, efficient and timely manner. D&B takes ownership of your query to ensure that that it is effectively managed.

    When dealing with queries relating to your credit report, the below procedures are followed:

    Step 1. Obtain a copy of your personal credit report

    Step 2. Notify D&B's Public Access Centre of your query

    Making a query or notification of change concerning the information contained within your credit report can be made via your account online.

    Login to My Account »

    Alternatively, if you have received your credit report via mail, please complete and submit the Amendment Request form.

    Step 3. D&B will investigate the change requested

    Credit Provider

    Where the information has been provided directly from the credit provider, D&B requires that you provide relevant documentation to support the required amendment or contact the credit provider directly.

    Outcomes

    In the event that the appropriate documentation is supplied, D&B will update your credit report to reflect the change.

    In the event that the entry is correctly recorded and there is insufficient documentation, you can request a statement be included into your credit report advising that the entry has been queried and your report will not be amended.

    Public Record Entry

    Where the information relates to public records, a D&B Public Access representative will request that you provide relevant documentation from the court to update your credit report.

    Outcomes

    In the event that the appropriate documentation is supplied, D&B will update your credit report to reflect the change.

    In the event that the entry is correctly recorded and there is insufficient documentation, you can request a statement be included into your credit report advising that the entry has been queried and your report will not be amended.

    Following these three steps we will provide:

    Notification of the outcome of the query request

    Within 30 days of the change request being lodged, a D&B Public Access representative will notify you of the outcome of the query request.

    Disclosure of Amended Report to Previous Enquirers

    At your request, D&B may provide previous enquirers of your credit report (within the past three months or between the time the error was made and the date of the query request) with an amended credit report.

    In the event that you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may exercise your right to appeal to the Privacy Commission.

    Privacy Commissioner
    Te Mana Matapono Matatapy PO Box 10094 The Terrace
    Wellington 6143 Hotline:0800 803 909

  • What is an enquiry?

    An enquiry is a footprint left by a credit provider relating to an application by you for credit. This assists you to know who has accessed your credit report.

  • What is a default?

    A record of credit, where you are more than 30 days overdue and the credit provider has taken steps to recover the outstanding amount.

    Defaults are retained on file for five years, even when the amount has been paid in full. When the amount has been paid in full, it will be recorded accordingly on your credit file.

  • What does D&B use my information for?

    D&B will disclose personal information to credit providers, courts, tribunals and organisations that D&B is instructed to by law.

    D&B may also use personal information for planning and research purposes, but for these purposes it uses and produces aggregate or de-identified data.

  • Can I access information about other individuals?

    No. You can only access your information. Privacy Legislation restricts the disclosure of credit reports.

    In adhering to the Privacy Act, D&B is serious about data security. To protect the personal information of individuals, D&B adopts strict guidelines on who can access a credit report and for what purpose. D&B is committed to protecting personal information from misuse or unauthorised access.

  • Why have I received a sample report?

    Based on the search details you have provided, there is no information contained in the D&B database. This is good news as it indicates you have no adverse information listed with D&B.

    A sample report has been provided to inform you the contents of a D&B report, should you have one in the future.

  • How do I suppress my credit information?

    The Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2004 gives you the right to request that a credit reporting agency, such as D&B, suppress or freeze your credit information if you believe you are at risk of identity fraud. For more information and steps to suppress your consumer credit file please click here. To lodge a request to have your credit file suppressed please click here.

  • Looking for a business credit report?

    A business credit check reduces your risk by enabling you to make informed decisions when extending credit. With immediate access to Australia's largest business database, D&B's Express credit reporting service offers a range of reports for low, medium and high risk business decisions.

    Learn more about D&B’s business credit reports »

  • How is my credit report affected by recent changes to credit reporting laws?

    Changes to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2004 came into force on 1 April 2012, marking the shift from a negative-only credit reporting regime to a positive and more comprehensive system. Under the new reforms, additional pieces of information are able to be included on a personal credit report, which can be viewed here

    The changes that will affect you include:

    • Permission to ‘freeze’ or suppress your credit report if you believe you are a victim of fraud or identity theft. This will prevent further attempts to open new accounts in your name.
    • Prohibition of default listings under $100
    • Provision of credit information to credit providers for the purpose of credit-related marketing only, regulated under the Privacy Act (This excludes individuals who have opted out of direct marketing and those who present a bad credit risk).
  • What are the benefits of comprehensive credit reporting?

    Comprehensive credit reporting has been extensively studied around the world. While different countries have different types of comprehensive credit reporting systems, the research shows that all have benefited from the inclusion of better quality data in credit reports.

    The research shows that comprehensive credit reporting can:

    • Reduce default rates
    • Improve access to mainstream credit for under-served sections of the community – this includes women and new arrivals
    • Improve competition in the credit market, which can have a positive impact on the price of credit
    • Enhance responsible lending practices

    For more information, please visit D&B’s credit education »

  • Download an Application Form?

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