Why does Equifax charge for checking my credit score?
In Australia, three credit bureaus collect information about financial transactions to establish the credit scores of people making those transactions.
Agencies are bound by comprehensive credit reporting regulations, which means transactions that raise or lower an individual’s score are reported.
Among these credit bureaus is Equifax, which acquired the credit information provider Veda. If your credit report is available with Equifax, you can request a copy of this report at no cost once every three months or if you have been denied credit or if you need to correct information on your report.
How To Get Your Equifax Credit Score Report
You can get a copy of your credit report by making a request online or by contacting Equifax by phone at 138,332. The credit report can only list factors or incidents affecting your score without actually mentioning your credit score. Equifax also offers an online dashboard, which you can use to check your credit score and understand what the score means – as an alternative to requesting a credit report. You can also visit RateCity’s credit score center to check multiple scores for free.
Access to the dashboard or credit report requires proof of identity. You can also choose from the various paid subscription plans from Equifax, which can include credit alerts, monthly access to your credit score, and identity theft protection in addition to your credit report.
Apart from free quarterly requests, you can only access your credit report free of charge if:
- You applied for a loan, such as a loan or credit card, in the past three months, and your application was rejected, or;
- You have asked Equifax to correct any incomplete or inaccurate details on your credit report and received an update that it has been corrected.
At other times, Equifax – as a private entity – charges for preparing a credit report.
How does Equifax calculate your credit score?
Equifax collects information about your credit activity from lenders, credit card companies or utility providers to calculate your credit score. An algorithm is used to process this information. If you’ve never applied for credit, you may not have a credit score. But once you get an electrical connection or a credit card, Equifax begins to compile your credit history.
The information and incidents that Equifax uses to calculate your credit score include:
- The type of credit you requested and the associated risk level
- The loan amount or the credit limit available on your credit card
- The frequency of your credit applications – for example, applying for several loans in a short period of time can negatively affect your credit score
- Any history of defaults on bill payments or loan repayments or bankruptcy filings
- The number of years for which Equifax has collected information about you
- Your personal information, such as your income and residential address
Typically, when you apply for credit, the lender or the credit issuing company sends a request to Equifax or another credit reporting bureau for your credit report, which also affects your credit score. If you don’t make too many or too frequent requests and have enough income to make timely repayments, your credit score might not be negatively affected. In addition, your credit report can tell you about incidents that have a positive impact. You can then try to improve your credit score by accumulating more of these events.