If you were to ask the average Australian what they’d most like out of their banking products, it’s safe to say that lower rates, or rates which better reflect their own great financial habits would be near the top of the list.
And while Aussies have had the opportunity to grab personalised rates from peer-to-peer personal loan providers and some banks who offer lower rates for for those with better credit history for years, recent changes to credit reporting could pave the way for borrowers to secure custom rates from a wider variety of banks.
Implemented in September 2018, mandatory Comprehensive (Positive) Credit Reporting now requires lenders to report both the ‘negative’ and the more ‘positive’ parts of your credit history, for instance, on time repayments.
They will also need to share this data with credit bureaus, which can then be used by other lenders to better assess your borrowing capacity and potentially offer you a more competitive rate if you’re deemed to be a quality borrower.
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And as of January 17, MyState Bank became one of the first banks in Australia to move to 100% comprehensive credit reporting - well ahead of the September 2019 cutoff.
According to MyState, the move to 100% comprehensive credit reporting will put the bank in a position where it is better able to match borrowers to the right product for their own credit situation.
“For MyState Bank, the on-boarding of CCR puts us in the best possible position to ensure we are aligning our products with the best interests of customers, based on their personal credit-related behaviour,” said MyState Managing Director and CEO, Melos Sulicich.
“Overall, customers can expect a more accurate credit score reflective of their actual behaviour. For instance, if a customer has missed one or two payments in a long credit history they are unlikely to be unnecessarily penalised.”
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Michael Blyth, ARCA Responsible Lending Expert at consumer education website www.creditsmart.org.au, stated that the introduction of mandatory comprehensive credit reporting would also likely benefit Australians who haven’t had the chance to build up an extensive credit history of their own.
“What we expect to see is that consumers who don’t have a clear credit history - younger people, migrants and people who have come out of a long term relationship where they didn’t have the credit in their name, for instance - to find it easier to create and maintain a good credit history,” he said.
“It will basically allow some of those people to tap into the larger, more mainstream lenders which they possibly wouldn’t have been able to before.”
When will we see personalised rates rolled out?
While expectations may be high among many borrowers for greater access to personalised rates on their personal loans and other financial products, Mozo Product Data Manager, Peter Marshall, believes Australians might have a little while longer to wait yet.
“Peer-to-peer lenders have been offering personalised pricing for years, and last year we did see NAB introduce some flexibility into its own personal loan pricing, so I’d be very surprised if most banks didn’t move to some kind of personalised pricing system in the near future,” he said.
“However, it depends on where the banks priorities are. Given that the royal commission is still looming large it might not be with personalised pricing this year, but certainly in the next 18 months to two years I’d expect it to become very common.”
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