Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Miss a bill payment by one day and risk your credit rating

Miss a bill payment by one day and risk your credit rating: New Privacy Laws passed today.

29 November 2012

The credit history of Australian consumers is about to go under the microscope following the passing in Parliament today of amendments to Australia’s Privacy laws, and a consumer advocate for accurate credit reporting says many consumers will not be prepared for the changes around credit reporting which are about to take place.

CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs, Graham Doessel says most Australians won’t know that from December 2012, they need to make bill payments to licenced Creditors on time, every time to avoid having a late payment recorded against their name. He is calling for greater consumer education to avoid unfair and surprise bad credit.

“Many people pay bills late, for a variety of reasons – this doesn’t necessarily mean they intend for the account to go into default. People who pay bills late often, by accident or otherwise need to be told that this habit could have a detrimental effect on their ability to obtain credit in the future.”

Mr Doessel goes on to say “I believe the Government should do its best to ensure that every credit active individual knows about these important changes to credit reporting law prior to the reporting of repayment history on Australian credit files.”

Amendments to Australia’s Privacy Act in the form of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 – which includes major changes to Australia’s credit reporting laws were passed in Parliament today and come into effect from March 2014.

Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has also warned consumers that they need to prepare for the changes around credit reporting.

“If a person misses making a payment from as early as December 2012, it will be able to be recorded on their credit record and may affect their ability to access credit in the future. People will not only need to be vigilant about paying their bills on time, they should also make sure that the information held by these organisations is correct. In most cases they can do this for free’,” Mr Pilgrim said in a statement to the media.[i]

Mr Doessel reiterates the importance for every consumer to ensure their credit report reads accurately in the coming months.

“There will be so much more information open to lenders now, and consumers should routinely check their credit file, to ensure there are no inconsistencies, and to generally be aware of what is being said about them on their credit report that could see them refused credit in the future,” he says.

Every credit file holder is able to obtain a copy of their credit report for free every year from one or more of Australia’s credit reporting agencies – Veda Advantage, Dun and Bradstreet and Tasmanian Collection Services (if in Tasmania).

A report will be mailed to them within 10 working days. Or for a fee to the credit reporting agencies, they can request an urgent copy.

“It is the consumer’s responsibility to maintain the accuracy of their own credit file, and it will be more important than ever now. People should be encouraged to request a free credit report every year – regardless of whether or not they intend to apply for credit in the near future,” Mr Doessel says.

If consumers find inaccurate information or inconsistent data on their credit report they do have the right to have that information rectified.

Mr Doessel says whilst new laws covering credit corrections within the Privacy Amendments (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 are intended to make the process of disputing unfair or inconsistent entries easier, lack of knowledge of credit reporting legislation could still disadvantage the consumer.

“As it currently stands, disputing an unfair credit listing is a bit like a battle between David and Goliath, with the consumer rarely holding enough knowledge of what constitutes an unlawful credit listing to be able to remove it from their credit file on their own. It will be interesting to see if this will change after the March 2014 deadline,” he says.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Housing: English On Housing Affordability And The Economy

"Long lead times in the planning process tend to drive prices higher in the upswing of the housing cycle. And those lead times increase the risk that eight years later, when additional supply arrives, the demand shock that spurred the additional supply has reversed. The resulting excess supply could produce a price crash..." More>>


Sweet Health: Sugary Drinks Banned From Hospitals And Health Boards

All hospitals and DHBs are expected to kick sugary drinks out of their premises. University of Auckland researcher, Dr Gerhard Sundborn who also heads public health advocacy group “FIZZ”, says he welcomes the initiative. More>>


NASA: Evidence Of Liquid Water On Today's Mars

Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. More>>


Bird Brains: Robins Can Just Be Generally Clever

Research from Victoria University of Wellington has revealed that birds may possess a ‘general intelligence’ similar to humans, with some individuals able to excel in multiple cognitive tests. More>>


Psa-V: Positive Result On Whangarei Kiwifruit Orchard

Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) has received a Psa-V positive test result on Hort16A and male vines on a kiwifruit orchard in Whangarei. This is the first confirmed case of Psa-V on an orchard in the Whangarei region. More>>

Regional Accents: Are Microbes The Key To Geographical Differences In Wine?

A new study of six of New Zealand’s major wine-growing regions has found that differences in flavour and aroma of wine from different areas may depend more on microbes than was previously thought. More>>


Science: AgResearch To Cut Science Staff In Areas Of 'Reduced Demand'

“We are therefore consulting with our staff from today on a proposal to reduce science staff in areas of shrinking demand. Combined with recruitment planned in areas of growing demand, this would mean a net reduction of 15 scientists and 41 technicians at AgResearch in the 2015/16 year." More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news