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Government data sharing push a boon for borrowers

Experian, Suzanne Steele, Australian credit markets, money borrowing, money lending, money management, wealth management, wealth planning, retirement planning, retirement savings

The government’s decision to fast track data sharing recommendations outlined in a report from the productivity commission will likely benefit Australians with a history of making their credit repayments on time, according to credit bureau Experian.

The company expects borrowers with “a strong track record of making timely credit repayments” will be better recognised and rewarded from next year after the government set the end of 2017 as the deadline for more detailed data sharing between lenders.

“The government’s deadline is a significant incentive for change from the ‘negative’ system, where lenders are generally only sharing data about credit applications and defaults, and can’t see, for example, how consumers are meeting their monthly credit repayments,” the company said.

“Although the positive data isn’t yet being generally shared amongst credit providers, it is being shared by a number of credit providers with Australia’s credit bureaus, which is why all Australians need to be aware of what information will be shared and how it may impact their credit scores and future applications for credit.”

Suzanne Steele, Experian’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said the changes will provide lenders with better insights into who they are lending to, and could drive down a number of the costs associated with credit.

“The government’s decision to fast-track the introduction of comprehensive credit reporting in support of the Productivity Commission, will ensure Australian borrowers see the benefits of their positive data being shared much sooner,” she said.

“Positive data gives credit providers a much more comprehensive view of their customer’s financial situation, creating an environment to support their responsible lending decision around the level of debt the borrower could manage.”

Ms Steele noted that as much as 80 per cent of all Australian borrowers are likely to be making their repayments on time, but that nevertheless further insights into how Australians make repayments will be of use, and borrowers will need to keep an eye on their credit score.

“From our experience in the 18 other countries where we operate a credit bureau, positive data sharing is a much fairer system,” she said.

“Positive data sharing may also enable Australians with a stronger credit history to access more competitive deals and interest rates and will assist others to avoid entering into unmanageable levels of debt.”

Government data sharing push a boon for borrowers
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