Credit rating at risk under legal change

REMEMBER that credit card bill you put off paying for a couple of weeks last Christmas?

Well new changes to the Privacy Act that came into effect earlier this week mean any credit card bill or house or car loan payments made just five days after the due date will show on your record.

While there's still time to change your billing habits, the scheme will apply retrospectively - recording any late repayments made since December 2012.

The Australian Retail Credit Association said the reforms would provide a clearer picture of a consumer's ability to repay debts, enable better matching of consumer credit needs and give "fairer" access to credit with increased consumer protection.

Mortgage Choice Bundaberg franchise owner Ron Jeppesen said that under the changes lenders had the potential to view a person's credit repayment history on all credit accounts.

He said this would enable a credit provider to be given a good assessment of a borrower's financial position.

"As such, if you have managed to pay your bills on time, this may increase your chances of obtaining a loan as it will prove to the lender that you are a model borrower," he said.

"On the flip side, if you have been known to miss a couple of credit repayments by more than 30 days, then you may have some work to do."

But University of Queensland School of Law senior lecturer Paul O'Shea said he was concerned that the repayment data would initially lead to a credit squeeze, particularly for people on low incomes.

"This will last possibly about six months before lenders realise they are losing market share and take a more sophisticated approach to the increased and more detailed information that the new system will provide," he said.

"Now a late payment will be recorded not as a default but as a late payment."

According to independent research commissioned by the Australian Retail Credit Association, 59% of consumers have not heard of credit reporting.

"Not a lot of people are aware of their credit history," The Money Edge chief executive officer Leanne Rudd said.

"I think people need to take responsibility for it at the end of the day."

Mrs Rudd said it was unlikely lenders would be too concerned about a single missed payment.


Automate debts: If you want to make sure you meet all of your financial obligations each month, it pays to set up automatic payments.

Close it down: Shut down any credit facilities you don't need. Do you have a credit card that you don't use but you have for "just in case" emergencies? If you do, get rid of it.

Review your file: It is important to keep a close eye on your credit file. By regularly reviewing your credit report, you can keep track of what is showing up and change any information that is inaccurate. You can obtain your credit report from sites such as www.

Be diligent with expenses: If you move out of shared house accommodation, make sure your name is removed from any bills. Don't keep your name on anything it doesn't need to be on.

Source: Mortgage Choice

Fast facts

What does this mean for you?


A clearer picture of your financial situation

Better matching of credit to your needs

Increased consumer protection


You may not receive credit when previously you would have been approved

Late or missed payments may show up on your credit report

Topics:  australian retailers association credit card debt

Grazier avoids conviction over marijuana crop

CROP: Captain Creek grazier Bailey Mitchell Crighton pleaded guilty to growing marijuana.

Livestock farmer given chance to protect livelihood

Man charged with multiple car thefts

ARREST: A 21-year-old Walkervale man is in custody accused of a spate of car thefts and traffic offences, including the theft of car dumped at Hinkler Central.

Police make arrest over car ditched at Hinkler

Cancer 'doesn't have to be a death sentence': video diary

WONDER WOMAN: Kim Pointon (centre) with daughters Ainsley (left) and Sammi-Jo, at Kims Kafe in Monto, which she continues to operate as well as doing a daily school bus run while she undergoes treatment for breast cancer.

Kim Pointon wants to help other women face their situation

Local Partners

Unique approach sets our SES apart as state's best

THE region's nine SES groups and its volunteers have been recognised as the state's best at an awards ceremony in Brisbane.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Workshops to show you how to bring puppets to life

STRING SECTION: Two puppet-making workshops will be held in the region.

Ever wanted to know how to make puppets?

REVIEW: Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead disgusted me

I'm disgusted by The Walking Dead premiere.

SPOILERS: The Walking Dead premiere disgusted me.

Flick teases intense and entertaining Survivor grand final

Felicity 'Flick' Eggington in a scene from the TV series Australian Survivor.

GOLD Coaster's elimination leaves Lee, El and Kristie in final three

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals