From 12th March 2014 significant reforms to privacy laws came into place under the Privacy Act.
What are the changes and how will they affect you?
As part of the reforms, you will be able to:
- Request access to your personal information held by an organisation (eg. a Lender)
- Request a correction to your personal information held by an organisation
- Opt out of receiving direct marketing communications from an organisation
- Ask an organisation where they collected your personal information from
- Find out if your personal information will be sent overseas.
Other important changes relate to the way your credit report is impacted.
What is a credit report?
- A file that records your applications for finance, any defaults and your current lending relationships
- All of this information is used by Lenders to help decide whether they will approve or decline your application for a loan or credit card.
From 12th March 2014 your credit report will:
- Show your monthly repayment conduct on your loan or credit card (that is, whether you make your loan and credit card repayments on time, and if not, how late you are in making payments).
- Include the day on which a payment is due and if you make a payment after that day, the date on which it is paid.
Are these changes good or bad?
If you always pay your loan and credit card payments on time these changes will be beneficial as Lenders will be able to see your positive behaviour and assess your application accordingly. They will also show that you have worked positively to fix a default – rather than just having the default recorded on your credit report.
However, if you make a late payment you could be penalised by having a loan or credit card declined – or a requirement to pay higher interest rates on your new loan or credit card.