How to keep your credit report clean
What late payments appear on my credit report?
Under the new credit reporting laws, credit reports can include repayment history information to show if payments are made on time.
If your pay your credit card, personal loan, car loan or mortgage over 14 days late, it may be recorded on your credit report as a late payment. If you generally pay your credit card on time, a few late payments are unlikely to affect your overall creditworthiness.
Telecommunications and utilities companies can't report or access repayment history information, so paying your phone or gas bill a few days late - let's say if you were on holiday - won't affect your credit report.
On the other hand, defaults have always appeared on credit reports and are much more serious.
Defaults are recorded for payments over 60 days overdue, for debts over $150, where specific notifications have been sent. Telco and utility companies can both see and report defaults on your credit report.
It's important to understand the difference as repayment history information including late payments stays on your credit reports for two years and defaults stay for five years.
The Privacy Act clearly sets out what can be included in your credit report and who can access it; you can find more information at creditsmart.org.au.
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