CHOICE membership

How to fix low credit rating due to credit enquiries


#1

Hi,

I recently applied for a new home loan but was rejected and was told my credit rating is too low. I was very surprised because I have never defaulted any payment. I requested a free credit report from Veda and found that I have 25 credit enquiries in 5 years. They are all my activities. I have 7 home loan enquiries (shopping around for refinancing), 8 utilities (moved around and shopped around), 8 credit cards (credit limit or better card deals), 1 car loan and 1 purplebrick.

Although I have never defaulted but because I shopped around and all these credit enquiries now I can’t get a loan to buy a house even though I can afford it.

I am yet to call Veda but I was told by the home loan usually they will only remove listing if there is an error and will not change any of the rating if the record is correct.

I find this very unfair, why am I being punished for shopping around, isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Who can I complain to in order to get this fixed so that I can get a loan to buy a house?


Equifax Data Breach, Credit Reporting, and Getting Your Report
#2

The real culprits are companies who check your credit while you are shopping around, not progressing to signing up with them. The credit agencies interpret credit checks as attempts to get credit. The more attempts the more perilous they infer your economic circumstances are compared to your ability to pay.

Another Orwellian problem is that if you have achieved a good credit rating but do not use credit your rating goes down, but if you use too much your rating goes down because they infer you have higher bills and thus less capacity to pay additional accounts.

My credit rating goes down each month as I use my credit cards. At the end of the month when they are all paid in full it pops back up. Enough written? Credit rating agencies are institutionalised scams in many ways but in the end they protect financial institutions from serial deadbeats and those under financial stress, but most importantly are ways financial institutions can lay blame if an account goes bad. Dealing with them is rarely a pleasant experience.

You might try contacting the credit agency and asking for your statement about the checks to be made part of the formal record. (Not sure if they do that in Australia)


#3

Call Veda - and please report back with the result. I’d also contact your financial institution and ask them some detailed questions on what information they received from VEDA and how that was used in their decision. I’m fairly certain they do not see the full report you can get, they just get some kind of ‘score’.

I had a similar issue - a certain govt agency wanted to know why a bank had an entry on my credit report, and the entry was something like “Credit Provider NAB CREDIT RISK” - the word “RISK” causing them perturbation (I had to send them my VEDA report in full). I was able to explain it, but getting the bank to remove it (it related to a mortgage I had closed out with them over a decade ago) was near impossible - it took a couple of months. Eventually the bank removed it as it should have expired years ago - “thanks NAB”.

28 Degrees Mastercard is another interesting one - 6 credit checks over a year and a half for a credit card with $1k limit (I use it for foreign purchases as there are no currency conversion or monthly fees). Why? they couldn’t tell me.

What I believe to be the case:

  • entries should expire after some period of time
  • institutions can remove entries for you, and will do so if you demonstrate to them that it will be easier than dealing with your constant requests to do so :slight_smile:-)
  • you can apply to have your record corrected.

#4

Thanks for sharing your experience @sionghua, I’ve referred you to our CHOICE Help service to see if they can assist in any way.


#5

Wow, here in Tassie if you apply for a rental property you have to also supply a credit check report with your application or the real estates won’t even look at you. We’ve paid for numerous credit checks over the years and it doesn’t affect the results at all no matter how many times you apply for the check.


#6

NubglummerySnr Is that if you personally apply, or a company applies for the credit check, or either? A credit check should never be part of a credit rating and my understanding it is not in the US, but the rating agencies are opaque in various ways.

Perhaps a representative from Veda or D&B could be asked for an authoritative answer on that by CHOICE?


#7

Thanks @TheBBG, a good suggestion - I’ve flagged it for further investigation. Here is @UtaMihm’s previous work on protecting your credit rating for reference in case others would like to check it out in the meantime.


#8

The only information divulged on a Tasmanian credit check is if you still owe money, or if you previously owed money but paid the debt off, or how much you have partially paid off plus the dates involved and who the debts were with. Nowhere does it say how many credit checks have been made against your name and rightly so. Having a credit check is not a sign that you are a credit risk and any states that allow this should outlaw the practice as biased and discriminatory. It would be like a bank denying you a home loan for no other reason than they noticed you check your bank balance a lot. It is completely irrelevant to the decision making process.


#9

A relevant read.


#10

Interesting article, thanks for sharing @TheBBG.


#11

It does not seem to be the way credit assessments should but do work, assuming the “facts” in the story are The Facts.


#12

Perhaps a new worrying addition to Credit Reporting is outlined in this news article “Concerns new credit reporting scheme will penalise people struggling with debt” found at:

Perhaps something for Choice to be watching and maybe something @UtaMihm might like to look into and comment on particularly in light of her previous Choice article referred to in @BrendanMays link in this post above


#13

Thanks for the heads up @grahroll, I’ll be sure to raise the issue with my colleagues that work in this area.


#14

Our article on protecting your credit record has recently been updated: