Your credit report in Australia contains information about you and your credit history, including:
personal details - name, date of birth, current and past addresses, employment and driver's licence number
credit applications - credit provider, amount of credit and type of credit (for example interest free loan, home loan, credit card)
credit defaults - overdue payments of 60 days or more when you have been sent a letter notifying you of the default
credit defaults that have been paid
serious credit infringements or 'clearout' listings - this is when the credit provider has unsuccessfully tried to contact you in writing and has reported you as a missing debtor.
information on the public record - for example judgment debts or bankruptcy orders
Your file cannot include information identifying your political, social or religious beliefs or affiliations; criminal record; medical record; ethnicity; or sexual preferences.
Court Judgments, credit/loan applications or overdue accounts (over 60 days) are listed on your credit file for 5 years from the date of listing and NOT the day the
infringement or judgment occurred.
If you have been bankrupt, this will remain on your credit file for seven 7 years from the date of listing.
Clearout Listing - This term is used when a creditor has tried to contact you unsuccessfully or cannot locate you at the address you where known to live at the time. This type of listing will remain on your credit file for seven 7 years.
What about old or 'statute-barred' debts
You may have a defense against a debt if a long period of time has passed since you last made a payment or confirmed the debt no court action has been taken to recover the debt in the meantime.
Generally, you can rely on this defence if six years have passed since you last made a payment or confirmed the debt, and there is no court judgment against you. In the Northern Territory the time period is three years.
If this is the case, recovery of the debt through the courts is said to be .statute-barred. and the courts will not enforce the debt.
If there is no court judgment against you and you make another payment, the clock will usually start again and normally you will not be able to rely on this defense anymore.
If you think a debt collector is contacting you about a debt that is 'statute-barred', you should get legal advice before you make any payment or confirm the debt in any other way.
You may also want to read Statute Of Limitations In Australia
Although all information has been written in good faith and reviewed, please email us at [email protected] to report any inaccuracies.