Correcting credit reports and complaints

A person who believes their credit file includes inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading information has the right to request that either the credit provider (s 21V PA 1988) or the credit-reporting body (s 20T PA 1988) correct that information (see also s 20 CR Code).

The credit provider or the credit-reporting body must comply with this request within 30 days. If they need more time to comply with the request, they must notify the individual and seek a reasonable extension of time.

If the correction is not satisfactorily made, the person can make a complaint to the credit provider’s free external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme, or with the Australian Information Commissioner.

All credit providers who participate in credit reporting must be a member of an EDR scheme that can receive and resolve complaints about them. The current EDR schemes are the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria, and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (seeContacts”; see alsoSolving disputes with creditors” in Unauthorised transactions and ePayments Code).

If the individual believes there has been another breach of part IIIA of the PA 1988, or the CR Code, they are entitled to make a complaint to the credit provider or the credit-reporting body.

Where such a complaint is made, division 5 of part IIIA, and section 21 of the CR Code require that the complaint must be acknowledged within seven days, investigated and where necessary consultation with other credit providers or credit-reporting bodies must occur.

A decision must be made in relation to the complaint within 30 days or a longer period agreed to by the individual in writing.