Ever since a story broke that the credit score details of thousands of Australians had been leaked to the major banks to help them market to customers, there’s been no shortage of companies urging us to check our credit score. The question is do you really need to do anything about this data-collecting hype?
Now unless you’ve recently been contacted by a debt collector, or really have a good reason to believe that your credit score might not be that good – which generally means you’ve had difficultly paying loans or credit cards – then don’t get too worried.
Logging on to one of these websites will involve providing companies a lot of private information about you, from your address to your driver’s license.
Because data is king, and companies like to build their “people” connections, once you do this, expect to receive mail on all sorts of offers, even from companies you thought may be unrelated to the credit-checking source.
Earlier this year credit reporting company Veda was in the spotlight for providing banks such as Australian and New Zealand Banking Group and National Australia Bank with customer information which was then used for marketing purposes.
Basically if you have a bad credit score, you tend to know it because you find it harder to get a loan, and are more likely to be forced into expensive financial products that could make it even harder to pay off.
If this is you, by all means check out your score, but perhaps expect some marketing mail on the side with that. Or if you can, be selective with your private contact details if you don’t want marketing mail.
This is despite their research, which was reported here in news.com.au, which also found that around 20 per cent of Australians believed their credit score is either “very good” while 50 per cent think theirs is “excellent”.
Even if you haven’t had a history of debt, don’t be surprised if curiosity is what gets you interested in checking out your credit score.
A recent study by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner reported that 77 per cent of Australians didn’t know what a credit score is or how it’s used by lenders.
The average national credit score, according to VedaScores, was of 760 out of 1200, which is in the ‘very good’ category and just 73 points shy of excellent status.
SugarMamma.TV’s Canna Campbell says getting out of credit card debt can be hard work but there are some simple and easy steps that she recommends to achieving a less stressful financial life.