Whether you’re planning on buying a home, organising an overseas holiday or getting a new car, it’s likely that you’ll need to borrow money at some point in your life.

So, to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward come application time, here are the top things you need to know about your credit report.  

What is a credit report?

Your credit report is a record of all your dealings with credit providers- such as banks, credit unions and hire purchase companies. It includes information about previous applications you’ve made, the names of lenders you’ve currently got loans with, and details of overdue debts.

What is it used for?

This information is used to generate your credit score, which is used to assess loan applications.

What does my credit report look like?

You can get a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from:

Apart from that, you can also request a copy if:

- Your loan application has been declined. Please note: you’ve got 90 days after the date that you were declined to ask for a copy.

- You can request a copy if you’ve asked that incorrect information be corrected, and you’ve been advised that this correction has been made.

How can I improve my credit score?

Credit scores are compiled over a number of years and take into consideration your financial history. The best way to improve your credit score is to show consistency in making repayments and good conduct in your financial affairs.

Try the following tips to help move things along:

Access your credit report

Knowledge is power in this situation. Knowing your credit history will give you a place to start from when it comes to improving your score.

Pay on time

It seems simple but making regular repayments on your loans and credit cards will positively impact your credit report. 

Don’t unnecessarily apply for credit

Many people are unaware that new credit enquiries can hurt your credit score, even if you don’t get approved or are just ‘shopping around’. Try to keep your applications to a minimum, as the more applications you have, the lower your credit score (and the harder it will be to get approved for a loan).  

Talk to your lenders

If you’re struggling to pay your debts, give your lenders a call. They’re often able to help you with options to get you back on track.    

For more tips on becoming financially savvy, see our other blog posts. 

This blog post is for general information purposes only and is not intended as financial or professional advice. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product or other professional advice. You should seek your own independent financial, legal and taxation advice before making any decision about any action in relation to the material in this article. Railways Credit Union Limited trading as MOVE Bank ABN 91 087 651 090. AFSL/ Australian Credit License number 234 536