How do I correct the information on my credit file?
If you believe an entry or entries made by a subscriber or collection agent are incorrect or invalid you need to first make every effort to resolve the matter directly with the credit provider or debt collection agency. The full name of the credit provider and debt collector will be named on your credit file.
If you have not been satisfied with the response or outcomes of the subscriber or collection agent and you feel that your issue is legitimate, then you can contact Equifax about the issue in writing.
Forward your written request to Equifax and ensure that you advise us of the steps that you have already taken to resolve the issue with the Credit provider and collection agent.
Your letter should include:
- A request for Equifax to investigate your issue for you
- The name(s) and contact details of the people that you have already spoken to as well as the dates of telephone calls and or meetings.
- Any email correspondence you may have regarding the incorrect/invalid information
- A short explanation of the issue you have in relation to the detail within your credit file so that we can investigate the matter for you
Attach all copies of payment receipts and any other relevant documentation that may assist us during our investigation process.
If you believe that some information on your credit file has not been caused by your actions and may have been caused by another individual committing fraud such as using your identification document, then you need to;
- Promptly report the matter to the police.
- Promptly report the matter to the fraud department of each of the credit providers involved.
When you do this, the Police and the credit providers will conduct their own investigations and notify Equifax of the outcome. Only when this step is completed by you we will be able to remove any fraudulent activity from your credit file.
How long is the information held on my credit file?
All adverse information (i.e. collection data, default data, summary instalment orders and judgement records) remain on your credit file for five years. Previous enquiry information remains on your file for five years. Insolvency information, including record of entry into No Asset Procedure and single bankruptcy may be held on your file for four years from the date of discharge. Multiple insolvencies may be held indefinitely. Account repayment history may be held for up to 24 months.
Where does the information on my credit file come from?
Equifax collects credit information directly from you as the consumer, from our subscribers (including banks, finance companies and other credit providers), or from public sources.
Our subscribers may supply your name, addresses, date of birth, gender, employer, occupation and the type of credit account you applied for. Details may also be provided relating to your repayment history on existing credit accounts you hold with a credit provider.
We also use information from public sources such as court records and newspapers, and other publicly available publications and databases.
Should I have a copy of my credit file?
Yes, for a number of reasons. The information on your credit file may impact your ability to borrow money and obtain credit. It can indicate if you are the victim of identity theft as one of the first places fraudulent activity will show up is on your credit file. And it is possible there are inaccuracies on your file as the information comes from multiple sources.
You are entitled to access your credit file for free (supplied within 20 business days) through www.mycreditfile.co.nz.
Who has access to my credit file?
Your credit file can be accessed by you and certain entities for specific purposes, and only when you have provided consent for them to do so, for example a bank that is considering lending you money.
What is a credit file?
A credit file is a history of all your credit activity, dating back to the first time you obtained credit. Contained within a credit file is information such as:
- Companies you have applied for credit with such as banks, utilities and finance companies.
- The amount of credit you applied for.
- The type or purpose of credit sought, such as credit card, overdraft, home loan.
- Records of payment defaults (overdue accounts), if any.
- Court judgements, if any.
- Insolvency information, if any.
- Collection agency defaults, if any.
- Ministry of Justice fines, if any.
- Collections data, if any.
- Records of any identification you have reported lost or stolen.
Also included is your full name, current and previous addresses and date of birth.