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According to Experian Australia statistics, only 15% of Australians have ever accessed their credit file meaning a black mark on the credit file may never be known. Most of your transactions are recorded on your credit file by credit reporting agencies like Equifax so it pays to query this from time to time.

A free tool I would encourage anyone to use is order a free copy of your credit file by logging on to http://www.mycreditfile.com.au/ and follow the prompt. I recommend this to all my clients and see what entries are on your file.

If you haven’t had a look at your credit file before, it’s still good to know what you can do to avoid damaging it

On time, every time – Pay your debts. A single missed payment can have negative impact on your home loan application. Most lenders won’t consider your application if they feel you are stretched already and can’t afford another loan.

Avoid applying for multiple loans or forms of credit at the same time. Most lenders will see you as high risk if you make more than two loan enquiries within a 6 month period and may even decline your loan application. Every enquiry will stay on your credit file for 5 years.

Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a legal status where you cannot repay your debts. If you’re currently registered as bankrupt then you can’t get a home loan. The record will remain on your credit file for 7 years after which you’ll be discharged bankrupt and may be eligible for a home loan with a specialist lender.

What if I already have bad credit?

If you already have bad credit, the going might be tough but all is not lost. To get on the road to re establish credit is not as hard as you may think! The key is to have a good mortgage broker work with you to identify good reason and evidence that your debt problems are of the past or at least under control.

With more lenders now moving to comprehensive credit reporting, information such as your repayment history is more easily accessible. If your credit file isn’t up to scratch then this new reporting may work in your favor. Eg. You’re late on your car payments but it is visible that your bills and loan repayment was made on time and in full. It shows you are overall managing your finances.

If you would like to understand more about your credit file or looking for a second opinion on your finances please feel free to call on 03 8390 5855 or email [email protected]