Comprehensive Credit Reporting is a boon for Australians
Just as we hoped, Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) has improved the credit scores of millions of Aussies.
Late last month, the Big Four banks shared the remaining 50% of lending data with the credit bureaus, marking the biggest milestone in the history of the new reporting regime.
Literally overnight, nearly half of all Aussies using Credit Simple received an improved credit score.
What is Comprehensive Credit Reporting?
CCR is a reporting scheme that takes all of a borrower’s credit history into account, both good and bad.
Prior to this, lenders were only sharing the bad stuff with the credit bureaus: things like late payments, defaults and making too many loan applications.
Now the bureaus see more of the good stuff, like on-time payments and accounts in good standing.
For that reason, this type of reporting is sometimes called positive credit reporting.
Most other developed countries have been using positive reporting systems for quite some time, so it’s a welcome change Down Under.
Has it helped?
Initial results seem to suggest that positive credit reporting lives up to its name. In fact, nearly half of Credit Simple users saw their credit scores increase – by an average of 27 points on the 1,000-point illion scale.
On the flip side, nearly 30% saw their scores decrease – by an average of 53 points.
26% saw no changes to their score.
What should you do if your score changed?
CCR offers a number of opportunities for you to improve your financial situation, whether your score increased or decreased.
If your score increased
If your score increased, you should immediately try to take advantage of your good fortune. The number one way you can do that is by negotiating better rates with your lenders.
Our research shows that homeowners positively affected by the new scheme could save 0.5% p.a. off their current mortgage rates, which for a $373K home loan (the national average), works out to be a saving of $112 per month or $40,000 over 25 years.
With a higher score and more transparency into your credit file, you can now walk into such negotiations on the front foot.
If your score decreased
There’s still plenty to be positive about even if your score went down. For one thing, you now have more transparency into why it went down. The comprehensive nature of the new scheme means there’s more information on your credit file – information that you can easily access and view using a tool like Credit Simple.
With all this information at your fingertips, here are some steps you can take to improve your score:
- Look closely at your credit history. Log into Credit Simple or request your credit history from one of the bureaus. If you see a late payment you totally forgot about, pay it as soon as you can. If you see any negative events you don’t recognise, alert the credit bureau and your lender. With Credit Simple, you can alert us right there in the tool.
- Set up direct debit. Paying on time used to not account for much, at least as far as your credit score went. Now you’re rewarded for it with a higher score. Set it and forget it using direct debits and watch your score climb over time.
- Keep a healthy amount of debt. Your credit score and credit history are important because they show how well you can handle debt. That means you have to have some debt in the first place. If it’s within your means, consider getting a simple, low cost credit card if your credit history is bare.
- Have birthdays. Demographics also play into your score. As you age, you get the advantage of being identified with a group of people widely considered to be good borrowers. As long as you don’t make a lot of financial mistakes, your score should increase as the years go by.
The information in this blog post is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial or professional advice. It is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual. We do not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information and you should not rely on it. Before making any decisions, it is important for you to consider your personal situation, make independent enquiries and seek appropriate tax, legal and other professional advice.