A guide to doing a credit rating check for free.
You may not realise it, though your credit rating is visible to all banks. Here is how you can do a free credit rating check and see what the banks, telcos and other lenders will see.
When applying for a home loan, credit card or any other form of credit – just about every financial institution will do a credit rating check on you.
The company that is looking to lend you the money will in turn do a search for your credit rating, which has a detailed view on your credit history and how you have behaved as a customer in relation to money you have borrowed.
Here is how you can obtain a free credit report in Australia to quickly and easily understand your credit rating.
Why do they care about your credit rating?
They (the lenders) care about your credit report for two main reasons.
Firstly to do a credit history check and see whether you have repaid your debts in a timely and efficient manner without any kind of trouble. They are looking to see if you have any blemishes against your credit record indicating whether or not you were ever late on repayments or similar that might indicate a bad credit rating.
Secondly to see what existing debts you already have – this helps them understand just how much debt you are committed to on a regular basis and whether you have sufficient means to repay all of the debts (including the new money you might be requesting).
In basic terms – are you good for the money? Will you do a runner?
I was worried about my credit report
If you are anything like me, you have probably missed a few phone bills, perhaps missed a mortgage repayment by accident or even worse – gone overseas and been missing in action for a few months with banks frantically trying to get in touch with you.
It made me wonder whether these oversights would affect my credit history and in turn my ability to borrow money come time for a home loan.
Why do a credit history check?
For me, I am dying to know what it is the banks see on my credit report. My credit rating has the ability to make or break my capacity to borrow money, so finding out what the banks see has me rather curious.
I have taken it upon myself to get a copy of my credit report for free. Access to your credit rating for free is a law, meaning I have found a few websites that will help you obtain your credit report history without paying (though some offer a paid service also).
Here is how to check your credit rating for free
Here is what I did to do a credit check online. I was able to get two copies of my credit report mailed out to me with little to no hassle.
Go to My Credit File (MyCreditFile.com.au)
The first credit rating provider I am going to use is called ‘My Credit File’ – they are part of Veda Advantage, one of Australia’s largest credit reporting agencies.
Like many credit rating providers, they offer both a paid and free service. I am of course opting for the free service. All this means is I have to wait a little longer for it to arrive I am told. Not a huge deal.
How to do a free credit check with Veda/MyCreditFile
- I went to www.mycreditfile.com.au
- I then went to the ‘personal’ tab
- Scrolled down to find the button stating ‘Free – Find out more’
- Loaded the page called ‘Free Credit File’ which tells you all the details you need to fill out
- I then downloaded this form to request a free copy of my credit report
- I attached a scanned copy of my drivers license (or passport) and also a copy of my utility bill proving my name and residential address.
I have to say, it was all rather easy. I now just have to wait 10 working days for my credit report to arrive.
Why do they offer a paid version of your credit rating report?
If you are wondering what the difference is with the paid version from MyCreditFile – please note that the only difference is that you pay $49.95 and it in turn comes to you via post, email or fax within 1 working day. E.g. you save 9 days. Still the same report.
Dun and Bradstreet credit rating report
Like Veda, Dun and Bradstreet are one of the big players in credit ratings. They are used by many companies as the source of reporting on credit.
They by law have to offer you a free credit report and free copy of your credit history as discussed earlier. Here is how to get it.
How to get a copy of your credit report from DNB
- Go to https://www.dnbcreditreport.com.au/
- Look to click on ‘standard credit report’ or similar – e.g. not fast tracked.
- On the standard request page you then fill out the online form (takes around 3minutes)
- Attach copies of your identification
- Submit/mail it
- You’re done.
Much easier than the MyCreditFile.com.au website – it’s as if the previous site was trying to hide the free report (well they certainly made it hard to find).
Check My File
I also went to this website but found out they are simply a reseller for Veda Advantage and Dun and Bradstreet, this is why they push so heavily to make you pay.
If you wish you can go through the order form for a free credit report, though please note that it isn’t really free – it’s free for the first 30 days which means they are hoping to then charge you after you forget.
In my opinion I would avoid this credit report provider – they are just a middle man.
Why did I order free credit reports from two different credit rating providers?
If you are wondering why I went to two separate providers for a free credit report, the answer is simple. Both agencies may have potentially different records, so I wanted to see what each had to say about my personal credit history.
If I do find any ‘defaults’ or ‘dents’ on my credit history, I am told I can easily fix my bad credit rating by simple contacting them and asking to begin the process of repairing my credit history.
Your credit score is an indicative rating
Further to the above, most credit reports have what is called a ‘credit score’ – that is a score that gives you a rating on how good or bad you are in terms of dealing with credit.
People often ask ‘what is a good credit score?’ – however these credit scoring metrics are often kept confidential with the lenders and credit reporting agencies.
They are a metric that lets them give you an assigned score based on how much debt you currently have, how many credit applications you have filled out recently and more. It is more for the lenders to use to easily categorise people, so it isn’t often you get to find out your exact credit score – which in turn can make it hard to improve your credit score.
I am told that each lender has different weighting systems for assessing and providing an actual score.
Know any other ways to do a credit check free?
We would like to hear how you obtained a record of your credit history, whether you found any oddities on your record and how you went about actually fixing them.
23 Responses for Credit Rating Check For Free – How To See Your Credit History
There are two providers of personal credit reports in Australia – Veda and Dun & Bradstreet. The others are aggregators and middle people.
Dun & Bradstreet has just launched dnbcreditreport.com.au where you can order and receive online a free copy of your report in additon to an instant service.
Unlike our competitor we aren’t making it difficult to gain access to a free report.
would like a free copy of my credit history.
I tried Dun and Bradstreet , twice… took 10 days at least each time for the free report.
All I got was a SAMPLE. i.e. not a real report. It had my name and then just a sample of what a report would look like.
I contacted customer service and was told that real reports you had to pay for.
Checkmyfile.com.au only have a subscription service, so you have to enter your credit card details. you can however cancel subscription before the end of the “free” trial but having to give the details is a no no in my opinion.
So all in all , its near impossible to actually get a free copy of your credit report, which is a bit of a catch 22 when trying to figure out why you can’t get a credit card/loan in the first place…
I called them again and this time got a much more pleasant consultant.
apparently if they can not find any information on you then they send a sample of what a report might look like… strange that as a 35+ year old with loans and credit cards that they could not locate any information on me…
This was explained away by stating that there are actually 2 bodies that hold separate, independent information about our credit history. That it is up to the lender which organisation they use, and that the 2 databases are not searched by either Dun and Bradstreet nor Veda…
What does this mean? It means you have to request your credit report from both to get an accurate picture… just glad I didn’t spend the $30 for an instant ” sample
Question. Why do I have to order my credit file by snail mail, with ID and waiting 10 days for the report, when the banks etc seem to be able to do it online within 1 – 2 days?
I paid for a credit report from Dun and Bradstreet ($30), and on the basis of the report applied for a loan. I’d previously had a default, but figured, as it wasnt on the report that it had been more than five years and had been removed. Not so. The loan got knocked back because of the default.
I subsequently got a report from Veda, and sure enough the default was there, still with a few months before it will be removed. The Dun and Bradstreet report missed this and a couple of other credit applications i had made.
I contacted Dun and Bradstreet and as with the previous post, got some nonsense about different databases, and that if the lender doesn’t contact Dun and Bradstreet, then how could they possibly know.
Comically, the guy on the phone at Dun and Bradstreet tried to convince me that this was to my advantage. After all, if a lender only used the Dun and Bradstreet profile then i would not have any problem.
It wasn’t immediately clear, however, why a lender would check such a substandard service that omits details of a persons borrowing history. However, if there is such a lender out there, please let me know.
To keep the joke going, i asked if i could get my $30 refunded in light of the things they had missed on the report. No doing. After all, according to the guy on the phone, I had paid for a service, and they had provided a service. And he wouldn’t even acknowledge that it was a pretty inadequate service.
Anyway, if you want a cheap credit rating ($30), go for Dun and Bradstreet. If you want an ACCURATE CREDIT RATING that is used by lenders, then go for Veda ($36)
The banks pay a premium for fast service. You will be able to pay on the two above mentioned sites if you want and get faster service. I would however recommend instead saving the money, waiting the 10 days and using the saved money to treat yourself to something nice!
Veda has the second largest database in the southern hemisphere, second only to the Australian Tax Office.
Many consumers find that Dun & Bradstreet hold very little information (if any) regarding their credit history. Veda provides a free copy of your credit history within 10 working days. Alternatively if you need it immediately, you can recieve it within 1 working day for $41.95, this fee is to put you at the front of the queue of thousands of requests recieved daily.
For an extra $10, Veda provides a monitoring service. When an update is made to your file they will email you within 24 hours to let you know.
Veda is the only company that provides this kind of service, and it allows you to take control of your credit history, potentially protecting yourself from any fraudelent activity.
They also have a dispute resolution department, in which they will undertake an investigation on your behalf (free of charge) if you are disputing information on your file because you believe it does not belong to you or was listed in error.
I applied for a personal loan at the Commonwealth Bank and was told that Optus have given me a bad credit rating.
Why is it that Veda Advantage (or other credit rating companies) have information on file that is denied by major Telco’s and other companies that have put the record there in the first place?
Is there some kind of disconnect we are not aware of? Is there a delay between when they submit a default on your credit rating to when you can actually see it?
Apparently I am on ‘red alert’ to lenders as a risk. I am unsure what has gone wrong on my credit rating over the years, though something must be drastically wrong to be getting such ‘alerts’.
Veda want me to pay $51 to know why, though I followed your tips on checking my credit history above and managed to get a free copy.
Turns out I had a bad credit rating from a heap of companies that couldn’t get in touch with me when I was overseas for 3 years.
I am so frustrated at been told I have a bad credit rating.
I have no idea what I have done and to find out the issue with my credit history I have to now run around everywhere trying to back track what has gone wrong.
I feel the consumer really comes off second best in many instances of credit ratings. You are guilty until proven innocent sadly.
Please tell me how to do a credit history check. Thank you.
Does any one know for how long your credit rating is impacted for? In other words if you have a credit default, how long before it will be cleared from your credit report with Veda Advantage of D&B?
How do I fix my credit rating? The above shows me how to check my report, however now I have found some issues and wish to correct them.
How do I clean my credit history?
I declared bankruptcy in 2006 and it is visible on my record for 3 years.
I am also told that after this 3 years, my bankruptcy will be visible on my credit rating for a further 3-5 years before it is removed and I am given a clean slate.
How can I be sure it is taken down? Nobody notifies you so I am keen to make sure this happens.
Happens all too often. My biggest tip is to have someone back home manage your mail and bills while you are away. I hear so many stories of people damaging their credit history because they were unreachable for an extended period of time.
Get in touch with a credit repair company or the rating companies themselves and ask to mediate through the issues due to the misunderstanding.
They might be able to help you remove the notes against your credit file.
I think this is quite common.
Often the customer service departments of a company are only able to see outstanding bills and what is owed. This means they are unaware of what the ‘accounts receivable team’ have done with the outstanding bill.
For instance, they could have forwarded to a debt recovery agency which has in turn damaged your rating.
The best thing to do is ring the company, find out how long the bill has been outstanding, request if it has been sent to any collection company and make immediate payment. Once immediate payment is done, you can contact Veda or any of the other credit reporting companies and tell them this issue is now fixed and you would like your history corrected.
After the designated time period (that you mentioned above) – I would do a free credit history check or even a paid credit check so that you can see what the lenders see.
If it is still visible, wait another 6 months and try again.
There are a few agencies that ‘clean’ your credit history.
You can also do this yourself as most credit reporting agencies have a service to fix any unresolved or disputed notes on your credit rating.
The reason many people use a specialist credit cleaning company is they can methodically work towards a positive outcome and will fight until it is completely deleted from your credit history.
May be worth the money depending on just how bad your rating is and how badly it is effecting the rest of your life (e.g. you can’t get a mortgage even though you can rightly afford it).
Best bet is to follow the exact steps above. This will get you a free copy of your credit report.
If it all gets too hard or you struggle to find a free version (as they often change the links) – simply spend the $50 or so and get a paid version. It is probably worth the money if you are having credit problems.
Contact the companies that have listed the bad ratings against your report, fix up any oustanding issues you have with them (e.g. pay the invoice or what ever it was) and ask them for confirmation this is now paid.
Then submit a dispute to Veda for requesting the removal of the above bad credit notes.
Veda have a ‘credit dispute’ section on their site that is very helpful for this.
I am a Credit Repair Advisor and these comments seem to reflect what we have found to be the general consensus out there with this issue – that finding out what’s on your credit rating isn’t always straightforward, let alone fixing any issues that arise once it comes back.
To clarify – yes – if you want a full picture you will need to order a report from both Veda Advantage and Dun & Bradstreet. If a sample is sent back, this will mean the agency does not hold a credit report for you.
If you are Tasmanian you may also need to order a report from TASCOL. You can do this for free and it will be sent within 10 working days, or you can pay for it to be sent earlier.
If you find anything that you believe is unfair or is inaccurate, then you will need to request the listing’s removal with your Credit Provider (or debt collection agency if the debt has been sold on).
Depending on the type of credit listing, and in some cases the Credit Provider in question – this could be an easy process or it could require lots of investigation and knowledge of the relevant legislation to make a good case for removal (which is where a reputable credit repair company can come in). If it is found and demonstrated that the Credit Provider has not adhered to the relevant legislation necessary when placing the listing on your credit file, then it should be removed.