How a $560 phone bill stopped a home
loan application dead in its tracks

How a $560 phone bill stopped a home loan application dead in its tracks

It’s easy to go through life ignoring your finances. Money, bills and investments are topics that are often thrown in the too-hard basket, and we live with the mindset that if we pay the bills, our finances should be in order. But it’s not quite that simple, and as Melbourne resident Krystle* discovered, something as small as a late payment can come to haunt you years down the track.

“I’ve always been a really organised person,” Krystle says. “The importance of paperwork has been ingrained in me through working in the Victorian public health system then moving into an admin team leader clerical role. So when my partner and I went to the bank to apply for a home loan we assumed it would be a quick and straightforward process, but we were far from right.”

The bank declined Krystle’s mortgage because of her bad credit score.

“I was speechless,” Krystle says. “I always keep all my receipts and pay bills on time, so I couldn’t understand how this would happen.”

Krystle checked her credit score and discovered a late payment was incorrectly showing as a default and had destroyed her ability to get a home loan.

“Three years ago I had a phone bill for $560 that slipped under the radar and was paid two weeks late. I was assured it wouldn’t affect my credit score so I never thought anything else of it. Thankfully I kept all my receipts and was able to send proof of payment to my phone provider who wiped the incorrect debt.”

Although Krystle followed all the correct steps to have her credit file fixed, it still took weeks to be processed and cleared.

“It took my partner and I weeks to have this incorrect debt cleared before we could get our home loan approved. It was an avoidable speed bump and I wish we’d checked our credit reports before heading to the bank.

“If I had one point of advice it would be to check your credit rating before applying for a loan. Don’t let any skeletons in the closet slow down the process.”

You can check your credit score for free right here at

*Name has been changed to protect this person’s privacy.

Credit Simple

Credit Simple gives all Australians free access to their credit score, as well as their detailed credit report. See how your credit score compares by age, gender and community and gain valuable insights into what it all means.

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