Many people don’t realise they have a default in their name until they have been unsuccessful applying for a loan or credit card.
Credit defaults – if correctly listed – can remain on your file for five to seven years. A credit default can only be removed if it is proven that it was placed incorrectly or the required steps weren’t followed when a company tried to chase up the debt.
Repairing credit files and removing defaults
Credit Repair Agents (CRA) advertise services claiming to ‘repair credit files’ or remove credit defaults. We do not recommend using these services when it comes to unpaid electricity, gas or water bills. There are often high fees and there is no guarantee that they will be successful in removing defaults if they have been applied correctly.
Our service is free and we can investigate if a credit default was applied correctly by the electricity, gas or water company in Victoria. We can request that the company remove the default if it was found to be listed incorrectly.
We often receive complaints from CRA representatives acting on behalf of customers who request the removal of credit defaults using our free service. It is important to know that we are not able to request a refund of any fees paid to a CRA.
Help with credit defaults
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman are also able to investigate complaints about credit-related finance or phone/IT issues for free. Visit their websites to find out how they can help.
You are entitled to access a free copy of your credit file from a Credit Reporting Bureau (CRB) once a year under the following conditions:
- if you have applied for, and have been refused credit, within the past 90 days
- when a CRB or a credit provider needs to correct information included in your credit report.
How to access your credit file
Visit these Credit Reporting Bureaus to access your credit file: