Rights of access, correction and notification

53.51 Credit reporting agencies and credit providers in possession or control of an individual’s credit information file or credit report must take reasonable steps to allow the individual access to the file or report. The individual can authorise another person (who is not a credit provider or a trade or mortgage insurer) to exercise these same rights in connection with applying for a loan, or advice in relation to a loan.[107]

53.52 Credit reporting agencies and credit providers must, in relation to credit information files and credit reports in their possession or control, ‘take reasonable steps, by way of making appropriate corrections, deletions and additions, to ensure that personal information in the file or report is accurate, up-to-date, complete and not misleading’. If so requested, the agency or provider must either amend personal information in a file or report as requested by the individual concerned, or include a statement of the correction, deletion or addition sought by the individual.[108]

53.53 Credit providers also have notification obligations when they use a credit report to refuse an application for credit. Where a credit provider refuses an application for credit, and this refusal relates partly or wholly to information in an individual’s credit report, the credit provider must: notify the individual of these facts and of the individual’s right to access his or her credit report; and provide the name and address of the relevant credit reporting agency.[109]

53.54 Where a joint application for credit is refused, and this refusal relates partly or wholly to information in the credit report of one of the applicants or proposed guarantors, the credit provider must inform the other applicants that the application was refused for this reason.[110] In this situation, however, the credit provider does not have to provide any further information, as the other applicants do not have a right to view the credit report of this person.

[107]Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) s 18H.

[108] Ibid s 18J.

[109] Ibid s 18M(1).

[110] Ibid s 18M(2), (3).