Research from CreditSmart has revealed that one year on from the adoption of Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR), most Australian consumers are still unaware of the changes that impact their credit health.
The main risk for consumers is future credit as a mark on a credit report makes it harder to achieve future credit.
The changes relate to major banks being required to share 50 per cent of data with other credit bureaus. As of 1 July 2019, they are now required to share 100 per cent of data.
Mike Laing, CEO of the Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA), which founded CreditSmart, believes it’s easy for consumers to get mixed up.
“It is easy to understand how consumers may become confused about what’s important when it comes to credit reporting and their credit health. There’s a lot of information out there and it’s important to bring it back to a simple, straightforward message,” said Mr Laing.
Most worryingly, consumers who are struggling with their credit health said they were just as likely to seek advice from a credit repair or debt management service as they would from their lender or fee financial counsellor.
“Consumers are still largely unaware of credit reporting, what information is contained in their credit report, and what that means about their borrowing behaviour and overall credit health,” said Mr Laing.
“Our research has found that while awareness has actually increased 11 per cent from last year, less than one in three consumers are aware that credit reporting has changed. Importantly, however, awareness is higher among those with a real need to know – with one in two consumers who are planning to make a significant purchase in the next 12 months being aware of the changes,” added Mr Laing.