Aussies 'lack knowledge about their credit profiles'

Australians are damaging their chances of securing loans and credit cards because they lack knowledge about their credit profiles, industry experts have said.

The credit bureau firm Dun and Bradstreet found that nearly 86 per cent of women in Australia do not know what their credit profile looks like, the Australian reported.

Christine Christian, the company’s chief executive, said that many people are unaware about how their credit report works and have little idea about how to get a copy, even though it is legally available to everyone.

She said that the negative-only reporting system that currently operates in Australia means that many people are only aware of blots on their record when they apply for credit and are turned down.

Ms Christian noted that defaulting on a payment for as little as $100 could stay on a credit report for up to five years and that after being turned down, customers are forced to compare credit cards and home loans and settle for higher interest rates.

Last week, the international analyst Fitch Ratings said that rising interest rates this year would cause a sharp increase in the number of Australian homeowners defaulting on their mortgages.

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