So many first home buyers overlook this but it’s one of the biggest issues today. Many don’t even know they have a credit default! You can get a free copy of your credit report within 10 working days from one of the main credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Dun and Bradstreet and Experian – where you can obtain a free copy once per year. However, it’s probably best to check your credit report more often than this, especially if you’re about to buy your first home. If you’re concerned, you can become a member to receive alerts whenever your credit rating is touched and receive monthly updates.
You will need to have the following information handy:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your driver’s licence number
- Two forms of identification including: a copy of your driver’s licence/ passport/ birth certificate or proof of age card, as well as a document issued by an official body which includes your name and address (ie. rates notice, utility bill or bank statement)
- Your current residential address
- Your previous addresses
- Your current employer or a previous employer
- Name of the organisation to which you last applied for credit
- A daytime telephone number
- How you would like your report sent to you, via post, fax or emailOnly you may request a copy of your own credit report. For security purposes, prior to receiving your credit report you will be asked to verify your identity.
Equifax has some simple steps to help you keep your credit report healthy and to help improve your Equifax score:
- Pay your loans and bills on time – consider setting up direct debits and schedule loan repayments on your pay day
- Keep track of your credit commitments – do your homework before applying for credit and keep track of your credit commitments. Making a number of applications within a short space of time will be recorded on your file and is not always looked upon positively by lenders, as it may be an indicator that you’re in credit stress
- If you move house, notify lenders – advise lenders, phone and utility providers of your new address so they can re-direct bills to your new address. If you don’t pay these bills, a credit infringement or overdue debt could be listed on your credit report
- If you’re having trouble meeting repayments – talk to your credit provider who may assist
- Keep track of your credit record – proactively manage your personal credit report by regularly checking your credit report and Equifax score. You can even monitor changes through credit alerts.