Your Credit Score
by Liz Berry, SDA Organiser
I know that the majority of my members live week-to-week. That is, at the end of each pay period, there is very little money left. For many, they need to get a loan from a family member or friend, and for many others, they rely on their credit card to get by. But as we all know, there will come a day of reckoning.
It is important to be aware of the fact that if you have ever applied for a mobile telephone account, or, for example, a credit card, then a credit reporting agency will keep this data on a report.
If you fail to make a payment on your credit card or mobile phone account, the provider may take action against you to recover the unpaid money. They will also report it to the agency against you that holds your information. When you apply for another account or for a loan in the future, the new company will then learn that you have bad ‘credit’ and may refuse you their services.
What’s on my credit report? Who can see it?
The report will contain such information such as date of birth, past addresses, employment and driver’s licence number. It will list all the applications you have made for some form of credit and it will list any payments you’ve ever been overdue for 60 days or more, plus any more serious infringements.
You can see a copy of your own credit report from a number of agencies but watch out for ‘free credit report scams’. Only go to agencies which are recommended by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the government authority. Advertisements you may see in unsolicited emails are not legitimate. No credit reporting agency needs to know your credit card details.
I have bad credit. What can I do about it?
Any reputable financial advisor would strongly advise you to get serious and make a financial plan and stick to it.
They would then suggest that you start paying off your most expensive debt, namely your credit card. After that, attack your other debts and then try to save.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it. Of course not! It takes discipline, but it’s worth it.