Get up close and personal with your credit history - we will show you how.

Why it’s worth checking your Credit Report & Score

You may be asked for permission for credit checks to be done about you. E.g. if you apply for credit, a loan/mortgage, hire purchase, overdraft, utilities, insurance, a job or rental property. This will give them access to your Credit Report and Credit Score.

Your Credit Report is a summary of your credit history (credit file), which shows how well you’ve been managing credit, bills and paying off debt. Your Credit Score is a number based on your credit history and Credit Report.

Thinking ahead & being proactive

To try and avoid problems with credit applications/credit checks, you can get a Credit Report and/or Credit Score (credit rating) from one of New Zealand’s credit reporting agencies.

Carefully check the information to make sure it’s correct. If it has already caused problems and you’re not sure why, or you think some information is incorrect, the agency can provide advice about what to do next. While disputed information is being checked, it will either not be passed on to third parties, or will show as currently being checked for accuracy.

Your Credit Report may also indicate whether you’ve been the victim of identity fraud, which is becoming more common in New Zealand. E.g. if there are credit enquiries you didn’t approve, credit accounts and/or default payments you didn’t know about. If you think there’s a fraud issue, you can ask credit agencies to temporarily 'freeze' your credit report, while you find out more.

You can also ask the credit agency/agencies if they have an alert service, to notify you if your credit information changes.

Who else can request your Credit Report & Credit Score?

With your permission, third parties can access your credit history, e.g.:

  • Banks & Finance companies
  • Businesses you have applied to for credit
  • Utility companies - e.g. Power, Gas, Phone, Internet
  • Potential Employers
  • Landlords / Property Managers – for pre-tenancy rental applications

Before you give permission or apply for credit, bear in mind that the more credit checks (‘enquiries’) or applications are made*, and the more credit/debt you take on, the more this could affect your Credit Report and Credit Score.

*Employer, tenancy-related enquiries, or if you request your own Credit Report/Credit Score, won’t affect your Score.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Credit Scores

Your Credit Score (credit rating) can change over time and may vary between credit reporting agencies. Agencies may also have different maximum scores – e.g. 1000 / 1500.

Based on a maximum score of 1000, 700+ is above average, 500-600 average.

The better your credit history, the higher your Credit Score. The lower your Credit Score is, the less likely it is that you’ll be lent money, get credit, the best interest rate or deal.

If your Credit Score is low and you’d like to start improving it, make bill payments and pay credit card balances in full on or before the due date, and you could look into debt consolidation: getting one, lower-interest loan to pay off high-interest debts.

What are Credit Scores are based on?

Whether there have been enquiries from third parties (e.g. for credit applications or debt collection), and your credit history:

  • The length of your credit history.
  • Your payment history - good and bad - and any default payments.* (E.g. up to 24 months’ worth of payment history for credit with a financial services organisation.)
  • How much and what types of credit you owe, including credit limit/s - even if you haven’t used it all.
  • Whether credit is secured or unsecured: if you have assets as security for debt.
  • How recently your last credit was obtained.
  • How many credit check/credit application enquiries have been made.
  • Any Judgements (relevant ruling/s granted by a court or judge) – e.g. Ministry of Justice fines.
  • Insolvency – e.g. Bankruptcy, or No Asset Procedure (an alternative to bankruptcy).

’Default payment’: is/was overdue for more than 30 days and the lender tried to recover the money. Even when paid, this can show on your credit report for five years!

Keen to apply or learn more?

You can apply for your Credit Report and/or Credit Score online, or by calling a credit reporting agency. They have free and paid options, depending on whether you need urgent and/or more detailed information.

Agency website links are below, to find out more - including how long it takes and how much it may cost to get your Credit Report and/or Credit Score.

Centrix

Equifax (previously Veda)

CheckYourCredit (Illion)

Credit Simple (Illion) Credit Scores only

Note: The agencies don’t access exactly the same credit data and defaults information, and may assess the same data differently.