Errors occur in every facet of life, every minute of every day.  As good as our credit reporting system is, it is also prone to errors.  This doesn’t mean you cannot have it rectified if it is genuinely an error.

What is the error?

First things first. An individual not paying their bills on time and this being reported on their credit file is not grounds for a correction.  For a good credit file with a good score, we need to pay out bills on time.  We already have credit (borrowed money we don’t have) so paying it back when we say we will is not just the right thing to do, but owning our responsibilities is what makes society work.

A person paying their bills on time and the credit provider made an error or not recording the payment, then reporting a late payment does provide grounds to apply for the correction!

First steps

As with above, really think about whether truthfully the credit provider has made an error, or you didn’t live up to your obligations (forgetting is not a valid reason).

If you come to the point where you accept your role in the adverse entry.. good for you.  That’s part of being an adult.   Pay your bills on time for a period and watch your credit score not just repair, but also grow.

It’s definitely them, not me

If there is a mistake on your credit file or you think there is something not quite right, its’ time to take action and get it corrected.  If you just let it go, it will impact your ability to get credit, get credit at a good rate or with flexible conditions or even get a new phone on a contract!

Step 1 – Get in touch with the credit provider!

Doesn’t matter if it’s a bank, Telstra/Optus, or an electricity company, get in touch and request the same thing.  An investigation into the error you have picked up and a request that your credit file be corrected.   If you have evidence, this should be fairly easy. If you don’t have evidence and are going on hearsay or memory, then you are going to be battling a company that probably keeps extremely good records.

Having a bank statement that shows the dates you paid, or receipts from the credit provider would be extremely useful.  Making sure that the payments align with bills or invoices is also good.  It shouldn’t be up to consumers to have to enter in invoice numbers to ensure their bill is credited, but reference numbers are usually par for the course (especially when it comes to Bpay or credit card payments)  Check you used the right reference number, as this may have meant the money went somewhere it wasn’t supposed to.   You still may have a case if they find the money and accept that you did pay on time, just with an incorrect reference number (who hasn’t done this? Especially when reference numbers can be 10-15 digits long!)

Step 2:

If you have no joy, time to contact a credit reporting agency.

Credit reporting agencies such as Equifax offer a free service investigating the accuracy on your report.

It’s quite simple.


You can submit to Equifax online or by post.

Click here to submit online if you are a consumer

Click here to submit online if you are a commercial customer

By mail

Equifax – Public Access

Equifax Australia Information Services and Solutions Pty Limited

GPO Box 964


You will need to include the following identification information:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Current Address
  • Previous address
  • Driver license
  • Current Employment

You will also need to provide details of the correction required. Please include:

Details of the entry being disputed; including any account reference numbers and the name of the credit provider who listed it.

  • The reason for disputing the entry
  • Any relevant documentation

From Equifax:

The more information you can provide the quicker we can investigate. If you are requesting the correction on behalf of someone else, please also include the requester’s (your) details.

From there, Equifax will conduct an investigation and will come back to you with an outcome. You can also appeal the outcome if it’s not favourable or even take it a step further by contacting the Financial Services Ombudsman.  (this info should be included in the outcome communication under “What You Need to Know” Brochure)

How long before the correction is applied?

It can take a few weeks, even up to a month to be corrected, however, companies like Equifax will contact any recipients of your credit report in the past 3 months prior to the correction being made.

Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions conveyed on this website are those of the author/s and are of a general nature. Any information provided does not constitute financial or general advice to you from Journey Finance Australia. When considering financial or insurance products, you should seek your own independent advice from a professional.

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