Credit for good be­hav­iour can score a bet­ter deal

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

MANY of us have no idea what a credit score is, let alone what it ac­tu­ally means.

But that magic num­ber be­tween zero and 1200 can ul­ti­mately de­ter­mine whether or not you are cred­it­wor­thy.

By find­ing out your score, you can be on your way to a bet­ter deal on fi­nan­cial prod­ucts.

The na­tional av­er­age VedaS­core is 760. How­ever, about 85 per cent of Aus­tralians have no idea what their credit score is and most are re­luc­tant to ask for a bet­ter deal on a credit card or per­sonal loan.

Credit re­port­ing agen­cies keep de­tailed re­ports on a cus­tomers’ credit history. These hold in­for­ma­tion such as ap­pli­ca­tions for credit, whether re­pay­ments have been on time, over­due or de­faulted, court writs and judg­ments, and bank­ruptcy in­for­ma­tion.

By punch­ing out a few of your per­sonal de­tails into getcred­its­core. com. au, you get vi­tal in­for­ma­tion on how you fare fi­nan­cially – and that could ul­ti­mately save you money.

Peer- to- peer len­der So­ci­ety One’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Matt Sy­mons says find­ing out your credit score can help “em­power peo­ple” and get them well on their way to scor­ing bet­ter fi­nan­cial deals.

“Armed with the knowl­edge that if you have a great credit history, you should ab­so­lutely be us­ing that to your ad­van­tage and there’s a num­ber of ways you can do that,” he says.

“You can shop around and look for a provider that’s go­ing to of­fer you risk- based pric­ing, or you can go back to your ex­ist­ing provider and tell them you’ve got a very good credit pro­file and why aren’t you get­ting a bet­ter rate.”

Un­til last year, in­for­ma­tion on an in­di­vid­ual’s fi­nan­cial history could be shared by lenders but was re­stricted to credit ap­pli­ca­tions and de­faults.

But leg­isla­tive changes now al­low ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing “pos­i­tive” or “com­pre­hen­sive” in­for­ma­tion.

This is data such as whether a cus­tomer has a good credit history – for ex­am­ple, if they can meet their monthly re­pay­ments. It doesn’t just fo­cus on the bad stuff. Getcred­its­core. com. au spokesman Christo­pher Zinn says it’s im­por­tant con­sumers know their credit score and make sure it’s a healthy num­ber – if not, they need to change their fi­nan­cial ways.

If they are a good bor­row­ers, they should tell their len­der their score and try to get a bet­ter rate, he says.

“There are var­i­ous credit providers who will give you a bet­ter rate if you have a bet­ter credit score,’’ Zinn says.

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