Chas­ing good credit

NT News - Real Estate - - Realestate Market Place - AN­THONY KEANE

YOU’VE been a re­spon­si­ble bor­rower your en­tire life, never missed a bill or made a late re­pay­ment, but your credit score still only ranks you slightly above av­er­age.

What the heck is wrong with you, you might won­der?

The good news is there’s noth­ing wrong, be­cause per­fect credit scores are al­most im­pos­si­ble to achieve. And bet­ter news is that re­spon­si­ble bor­row­ers are now start­ing to see a spike higher in their scores as big banks be­come in­volved in Aus­tralia’s new com­pre­hen­sive credit re­port­ing reg­i­men.

Your credit score is used by lenders when con­sid­er­ing loan ap­pli­ca­tions, and some of­fer lower in­ter­est rates to peo­ple with high scores.

They are com­piled by credit agen­cies such as Ex­pe­rian, Equifax and Il­lion.

And free re­ports can be ob­tained di­rectly or through web­sites, in­clud­ing cred­it­savvy.com.au, get­cred­itscore.com.au and cred­it­sim­ple.com.au.

A per­fect credit score is 1000 or 1200 points, de­pend­ing on the agency, and lender MoneyPlace’s CEO Stu­art Stoyan said fewer than 1 per cent of con­sumers have a per­fect score.

A score rated “ex­cel­lent” – in the top 20 per cent of all scores – could still de­liver bor­row­ers the best in­ter­est rates.

ANZ this month started shar­ing com­pre­hen­sive credit data, which has moved mil­lions of peo­ple’s credit scores. NAB was al­ready do­ing it and the two months but you be­gin pay­ing on time again, your score will re­cover over the next 12 months, but would take an im­me­di­ate hit of po­ten­tially hun­dreds of points.”

Re­cent re­search by Ex­pe­rian found that two-thirds of Aus­tralians have never checked their score.

The ma­jor­ity of con­sumers also don’t know that more of their per­sonal fi­nan­cial data is now be­ing shared.

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