Comprehensive Credit Reporting

How credit reporting works

What’s a credit report?

A credit report is a detailed record of your credit history, including the types of credit you’ve had and how you’ve repaid those debts. Your credit report includes the most recent 24 months of history of whether you have made repayments on time. This is known as your “repayment history information”, and a good history will help you to get approved when you apply for credit.

Information supplied

Comprehensive Credit Reporting information on all active personal credit accounts are shared with credit reporting bodies.

The information includes:

  • the type of credit you have – e.g. home loan, credit card
  • the date the credit account was opened and the date it was closed
  • the maximum amount of credit available (the credit limit)
  • Repayment history information (RHI), which records, over a 24-month period, if account payments were made on time or not
  • financial hardship arrangements and whether or not you're keeping to the terms of that arrangement. The credit report can show that a financial hardship arrangement has been entered for the credit account, however although it will not include the reason for the hardship arrangement, nor the details of the arrangement.

Bankwest is required to give your information to three credit reporting bodies: Equifax, Experian, and illion.

What’s a credit score?

Credit reporting bodies (CRB), also known as credit bureaux, calculate a credit score to provide an indication of how likely you are to pay back the money you owe to a credit provider.

The higher your score, the more likely you are to pay back a loan. Each CRB may use a different scoring method to calculate your credit score.

Getting a copy of your report

In Australia, everyone has the right to one free credit report every three months from each of the three main credit reporting bodies. To get a copy of your credit report, you’ll need to contact each of the bodies:

Your credit report changes over time and the CRBs will have the most up-to-date information.

You can learn more about credit reports at the CreditSmart website.

What it means for you

On-time payments reflect positively on your credit report

Your credit report will include repayment history information (RHI) and if you made a payment on time, were late or missed a payment on a credit product. Making at least the minimum repayments on time should positively impact your credit score.

RHI may be used to assess your application for credit products when you apply for credit. It’s more important than ever to make repayments on time.

To avoid missing a payment, consider setting up direct debit or PayTo payment agreement. This should help you to avoid missing a payment.

Your rights to access credit information

You can access credit information a bank holds about you and request to amend any incorrect information at the time of application.

You can also ask another credit provider to correct your credit report, but it’s usually faster for you to go directly to the CRB or credit provider that listed the information.

Other rights related to CCR data

Direct marketing — Personal information in your credit report cannot be used by a credit reporting body (CRB) or a credit provider for direct marketing. But credit providers can ask credit reporting bodies to use your credit information to pre-screen you for direct marketing purposes. You can tell a credit reporting body not to do this.

Preventing identity fraud — If you think you've been a victim of fraud (e.g. if someone else may be using your name to apply for credit) or have transactions you don’t recognise from your Bankwest account(s), you should contact us straight away. You can also inform the credit reporting body that you're a victim of fraud and not to use or give anyone your credit information.

Late or missed payments

Missed and late payments may impact your score

Your credit report will show whether you missed or made a late payment. Repayment history information shows if you have made your repayments on time. There is a 14-day grace period on repayments. Bankwest calculates grace days as calendar days, regardless of weekends or holidays. So if you’re late making a payment after the grace period, it may be recorded on your credit report.

How late and missed payments impact your credit score is determined by each credit reporting body.

Keep in mind that any payments past their due date will be charged a late fee.

Making the minimum monthly payment

If you missed a payment, it may be recorded as missed on your credit report. For a credit card, you need to make at least the minimum payment plus any "Amount Due Immediately" to make sure your repayment history information shows that you’ve paid on time.

Your account statement will show when your payment is due and when the payment you made was received by us. If the payment was received by us on or before the due date, the payment will be shown on your credit report as being paid on time.

How long does my repayment history last?

When assessing a credit application, we may look at how you’ve made repayments over the past 24 months.

If you’ve missed a few payments in the past, your credit history won’t be permanently impacted because repayment history information is only on your credit report for 24 months.

Each time you make your required minimum payment, this will have a positive impact on your credit report. Your credit score may be improved by getting back on track with your minimum repayments.

Financial hardship arrangements

What is financial hardship?

If there’s been a change in your circumstances and you’re finding it difficult to make repayments on your debts when they’re due, you’re likely experiencing financial hardship.

What is a financial hardship arrangement?

A financial hardship arrangement is the assistance that we have agreed to provide to help you with your loan repayment obligations where you have a change in circumstances which has impacted your ability to repay. A payment deferral is an example of the assistance we can provide to help you if you are experiencing a natural disaster, illness, or relationship breakdown.

A financial hardship arrangement can be for a short period of time, e.g. reduced payments for a couple of months. However, in some cases, it can be longer, e.g. an extension of the remaining term of the loan to permanently reduce your monthly payments.

What happens to reporting of repayment history information when you have a financial hardship arrangement?

Your credit report includes your RHI for credit accounts like home loans, personal loans, personal overdrafts, and personal credit cards. During a financial hardship arrangement, your RHI will show whether or not you met the requirements of the financial hardship arrangement (instead of your usual payment obligations).

Your credit report will also show that those payment obligations have been impacted by a financial hardship arrangement. This will be shown by a letter code of ‘A’ or ‘V’ (depending on the type of hardship assistance) that will go next to your RHI and will remain on your credit report for 12 months. However, your credit report will not include the reason for the hardship arrangement, or the details of the arrangement.

Visit CreditSmart for consumer education on financial hardship arrangements.

Do you need financial assistance?

We understand that managing payments can be difficult and there may be a number of reasons you may not be able to make your payments.

If your financial situation changes and you are worried that you will not be able to make your repayments on time, it’s essential you contact us straight away. We have a range of ways that we may be able to help you.

For more information

This information should be read in conjunction with our Privacy Statement for more information about:

  • what personal information we exchange credit reporting bodies
  • how to access and correct your personal information and credit information
  • how to make a complaint and external organisations you can contact if you’re not satisfied with how we’ve handled your compliant
  • how tell credit reporting bodies not to use your personal information for direct marketing
  • what to do if you have been, or likely to be, a victim of fraud including identity fraud.

Policy updated: 10 May 2023
We may update our Comprehensive Credit Reporting information and you can always find the most up-to-date version on our website.