Helping Australians Understand Their Credit Worthiness
This week is Privacy Awareness Week, the annual initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum, aimed at raising awareness of privacy issues and the importance of protecting personal information.
CEO of the Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA) Kim Jenkins said, “to protect your personal information, you need to first understand what information third parties collect about you, and how they use it.”
“For example, when you apply for credit, your credit provider will access your credit report when considering your application.”
Because this assessment often happens behind the scenes, most Australians know little or nothing about their credit report or what information it contains. This is reinforced by the results of the Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2017, released by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner this week, which showed that 65 percent of consumers don’t usually read privacy policies.
As a credit report is used to determine a consumer’s credit worthiness, it is essential for Australians to understand more about them. A credit report contains details about a consumer’s credit history, whether they are or have been bankrupt, information about credit facilities the consumer holds, and whether payments have been made on time.
To coincide with Privacy Awareness Week, ARCA has launched a new section on the creditsmart.org.au website, ‘Resources for Customer Consultants’. The new section is aimed at providing credit professionals with resources to help explain the credit reporting system to consumers.
“The CreditSmart website has been designed by ARCA to give Australians and their credit professionals access to the information they need. We encourage all consumers to spend five minutes understanding how credit information is collected and used.”