If you have a poor credit score or an error in your credit report, it may affect loans or credit you apply for. You have a right to get errors fixed for free, and you can arrange this yourself.
Beware of paying credit repair companies that claim they can ‘clean’ your credit report by having information removed. This may not be true. Information that is correct, even if you don’t like it, can’t be removed.
What you can get fixed (for free)
Here are some of the typical errors in credit reports. You can get these fixed for free.
Errors by the credit reporting agency
The credit reporting agency may have reported your information wrongly. For example:
- your name, date of birth or address needs updating
- a debt is listed twice
- the amount of a debt is wrong
To fix this kind of error, contact the credit reporting agency. They may be able to fix it straight away or help you get it changed.
Credit Repair Companies
Credit Re pair companies like Credit Mend Australia Can remove disputable listings or adverse on file eg defaults or judgments if they are listed incorrectly, are disputable, incorrectly listed or there is a breach to be identified in the creditors or plaintiffs process before the listing was listed on the credit file or credit report. See Credit Mend Australia https://creditmendaustralia.com.au/ and reviews on google https://g.page/r/CVvuVXhJXKrlEAg/review
Errors by the credit provider
A credit provider may have reported information wrongly. For example, they:
- incorrectly listed that a payment of $150 or more was overdue by 60 days or more
- did not notify you about an unpaid debt
- listed a default (an overdue debt) while you were in dispute about it
- didn’t show that they had agreed to put a payment plan in place or change the contract terms
- created an account by mistake or as a result of identity theft
To fix this kind of error:
- Contact the credit provider and ask them to get the incorrect listing removed.
- If the credit provider agrees it’s wrong, they’ll ask the credit reporting agency to remove it from your credit report.
If you can’t reach an agreement, contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) to make a complaint and get free, independent dispute resolution.
If you’re struggling to get something fixed, you can contact a free financial counsellor for help.
What you can’t change or remove
You can’t change or remove any information on your credit report that is correct — even if it’s negative information.
- All payments you’ve made during the last two years — on credit cards, loans or bills, whether you paid on time or not.
- Payments of $150 or more that are overdue by 60 days or more — these stay on your report for five years, even after you’ve paid them off.
- All applications for credit cards, store cards, home loans, personal loans and business loans — these stay on your report for five years.
For a full list, see what’s in your credit report.
Avoid credit repair companies that claim they can clean up this sort of thing or fix your debt. They may not be able to do what they say. They may also charge you high fees for things you can do by yourself for free.
Paying a credit repair company is unlikely to improve your credit score.
How to improve your credit score
If your credit score is low, there are steps you can take to help improve it. You can:
- lower your credit card limit
- limit how many applications you make for credit
- pay your rent or mortgage on time
- pay your utility bills on time
- pay your credit card on time each month — either pay in full or pay more than the minimum repayment
As you do these things, your credit score will start to improve. So you’ll be more likely to be approved next time you apply for a loan or credit.
If you’re struggling to pay bills and are getting into more debt, talk to a free financial counsellor. They can take you through the options and help you make a plan.
Financial counselling is a free and confidential service offered by community organisations, community legal centres and some government agencies.
Financial counsellors are skilled professionals. They will listen to your problems and help you with things like:
- bills or fines you’re struggling to pay
- being harassed by debt collectors
- gas, electricity or phone disconnection
- being evicted from your house
- car accidents with no insurance
- tax debts
Financial counsellors do not offer legal advice. If you’re facing legal action, get free legal advice straight away.
Contact a financial counsellor
If you feel overwhelmed by debt, contact a financial counsellor as soon as possible. If you get help early, you will have many more options.
National Debt Helpline — 1800 007 007
The free National Debt Helpline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
When you call, you’ll be transferred to the service in your state. Meet some of the financial counsellors you might speak to.
Small Business Support Line
If your small business is struggling because of COVID-19 or natural disasters, call the Small Business Support Line on 1800 413 828.
Farmers or rural and regional businesses
Farmers and other rural businesses struggling due to drought or other hardship can talk to a rural financial counsellor. The government is funding financial counselling for small regional businesses affected by COVID-19.
Find a financial counsellor near you
Type in your suburb or postcode in the search field below to find a financial counsellor near you.aging debt
When it comes to getting on top of debt, the most important thing is to get started.
- Find out what you can do to manage mounting bills and where to go for help.
- Know your rights when you owe money and how to deal with debt collectors.
- Understand the risks before signing a debt agreement or declaring bankruptcy.
- Find out how to check — and fix — your credit score for free.
If you don’t know where to start, call the free National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:30pm.
Avoid credit and debt repair companies that claim they can clean up or fix your debt. They may not be able to do what they say. They may also charge you high fees for things you can do by yourself for free.