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open banking icon Comprehensive Credit Reporting

Lenders within the Australian finance industry, such as Newcastle Permanent, use credit reporting to better understand risks associated with granting individual customers access to our products and services.

Credit reports are supplied by credit reporting bodies and contain personal information relating to an individual’s current and previous credit accounts, types of credit, credit limits and payment history. Due to the personal nature of this information, credit reporting is regulated by the Privacy Act 1988.

The credit reporting system used in Australia prior to March 2014 is considered 'negative credit reporting'. Credit assessments were determined based on whether applicant’s credit reports contained negative events. Other credit information was not permitted to be included in a credit report.

Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) is sometimes referred to as ‘positive credit reporting’. This refers to the positive information that can now be included in a credit report, such as when repayments are made on time. Credit reports have been expanded so that they can include more information relating to an individual’s credit liabilities and repayment history.

Changes to the Privacy Act 1988 to allow comprehensive credit reporting came into effect in March 2014. However, implementing the changes was not mandatory, and many lenders chose to delay making the changes to their systems and policies. In 2018 the Federal Government decided that participation would be made mandatory for the major banks, so that by:

  • 30 September 2018: major banks required to share comprehensive credit information for 50% of their consumer credit accounts with credit reporting bodies, and
  • 30 September 2019: major banks required to share comprehensive credit information for 100% of their consumer credit accounts with credit reporting bodies.

Newcastle Permanent will be participating in the comprehensive credit reporting system in line with this timeframe, which means we will also be able to receive expanded credit reporting information from credit reporting bodies.

Over time, once the relevant data is provided by lenders, credit reports may include information about your consumer credit liabilities and repayment history. This is in addition to the information already included in credit reports.

Consumer credit liability information includes:

  • types of credit accounts that you hold or held
  • dates these accounts were opened and closed
  • details of the respective credit providers
  • credit limits on these credit accounts.

Repayment history information includes:

  • information relating to consumer credit such as credit cards, personal loans or home loans
  • whether required minimum payments were made
  • whether or not payments were made on time

Both consumer credit liability information and repayment history information will be kept on your credit report for two years.

Credit scores are determined by credit reporting bodies (such as Equifax Australia) based on the information in your credit report. Whether or not your credit score changes will depend on the balance of positive and negative credit information that is provided to a credit reporting body and included in your credit report.

Consumers may benefit from the inclusion of positive information in credit reports. A positive credit history may be established in a shorter period of time, and should you encounter a negative credit situation such as a default, it may be easier to show when you have recovered. More recent positive credit behavior may also balance earlier negative credit behaviour. 

Lenders (such as Newcastle Permanent) participating in the comprehensive credit reporting system will have access to more accurate and detailed credit reports. This will allow us to make a more informed assessment when we receive your application for a credit product.

It is important to ensure that you pay your bills on time to avoid any negative impacts on your credit report.

  • If your payment is not made by the due date, it may be recorded in your credit report as part of your repayment history.
  • If your payment is overdue by more than 60 days and exceeds $150, it may be recorded in your credit report as a default.

Repayment history information is kept on your credit file for two years. Default information is kept on your credit file for five years.

  • Set up direct debits, which will help to ensure that your bills will be paid on time
  • Inform relevant credit providers if your personal details change
  • Only apply for credit if you need it and can afford it
  • Avoid identity theft.
^^It is only possible to view past statements from when your accounts were registered for Internet Banking.