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Improve your credit health

Financial Planning  |  9/11/2018  |   5 min read

We each have a personal credit record maintained by credit reporting bodies, and it shows how well we manage debt and repayments. When it comes to getting loans, whether it’s for a house, a car, or anything else, your credit report is something lenders will look at and access when you apply. 

As ME Bank writes, this makes it important to maintain a healthy credit record. Yet in many cases, the first time people realise they have a poor credit record is when they get knocked back for a loan.

Recent research by consumer education website CreditSmart found most people are unaware of their credit score, and have never checked their credit report. 

The thing is, your credit report is a key indicator of your credit health. And recent changes that have come out of the Comprehensive Credit Reporting regime could impact your credit record. 

In the past, credit records largely focused on negative events like a missed loan repayment. These days, positive events are also recorded such as paying bills on time. 

 

Easy ways to keep your credit record healthy

The good news is a few simple steps can keep your credit record in great shape.

1. Get to know your credit record – it’s free 

You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report annually. There are a number of websites that provide this free of charge, including:

2. Have any mistakes checked out

Keeping an eye on your credit report allows you to pick up on any entries that appear incorrect. Just ask the credit reporting body for help with fixing this. It’s usually a free service.

3. Keep track of your credit score

Your credit score is like a summary of what’s on your credit report. The bigger the number, the healthier your credit record. It only takes a minute to check your score – and it’s free when you visit sites like Credit Savvy, Credit Simple and Get Credit Score. 

4. Make paying bills on time a priority

In our busy lives it’s easy to forget due dates for bills. An easy solution is to talk to your credit providers about setting up automatic debits to ensure regular payments are made on time.  

5. Keep a lid on debt

Only borrow what you need. Having too much credit can make it harder to secure a loan. Something as simple as having the limit on your credit card cut back can make a tangible difference to your credit score.

Maintaining good credit health brings its own rewards including a wider choice of loan products, and that can eventually mean paying lower interest rates. 


This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit www.mebank.com.au 
 

Equipsuper Pty Ltd (“Equip”) (ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383) is the Trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund (“the Fund”) (ABN 33 813 823 017, MySuper Authorisation 33813823017672). This document provides general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs, so should not be taken as personal advice. Before making a decision to invest in the Fund, you should read the appropriate Equip Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Equip is licensed to provide intrafund personal and general superannuation advice under its AFSL. Member Advisors are employees of Equip. For more information about the remuneration of Equip and its employees, please refer to the Equipsuper Financial Services Guide (FSG).

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