How to Improve Your Credit Score & What Affects It (FREE Service!)
🕑 2-minute read
The more credit checks you have, the more likely companies are to turn you away. Multiple credit checks in a short period are seen as a sign of “credit distress” – in other words, you’re having trouble paying your bills.
But the problem is these checks can go on your file even when you’re just inquiring about a product or service.
After filling in a form on Harmoney’s website (Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform) thinking she would get information on the company’s rates, Rose ended up with a credit check on her file.
Harmoney’s terms and conditions (on a separate webpage) disclose it runs credit checks, but Rose hadn’t seen them and didn’t realise this was required.
Even changing phone or power companies regularly can negatively affect your credit file. That’s a concern considering there were 440,000 switches by electricity customers last year.
Every time you swap service providers, the new company is likely to run a credit check, and this is recorded on your file.
One member had two credit checks less than a month apart on his file. He first signed with one internet provider that didn’t inform him it couldn’t supply his fibre-connected new home. The next company also ran a credit check.
There are three credit reporting agencies in New Zealand: illion (Credit Simple’s parent company), Equifax (formerly Veda), and Centrix.
Each company holds slightly different sets of information. Credit scores are calculated using sophisticated statistical models and are based on information that is held by the credit reporting agency.
Check your credit score & correct it before re-fixing your mortgage or applying for a new loan! They offer free reports if you are not in a hurry.
Equifax and Illion say that multiple checks over a year or two lower your credit score, though Centrix says these have no impact.
Credit providers must tell you if they’re planning to run a credit check on you. If you’re shopping around, ask if the company will do a “quotation inquiry”. Avoid a full credit check until you’re sure about the purchase.
What's your favourite tip on keeping a good credit score?