Table with credit score and a cup of coffee
Research report
17 February 2021

Credit reports: what you need to know

If you’re often shopping around for credit or switching power companies, your credit score may suffer.

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Ken M.
20 Feb 2021
Rating is based on deleted information

I engaged in an email discussion last year with Credit Simple (illion) after some persistence. The final revealing comment was: "Please be advised that this [the report with nothing in it] is all the information that illion the credit reporter holds about you, we note that there may have been some historic information held but this is deleted (and no longer accessible) once it has passed the retention period, this is a legal obligation for illion. While illion does not hold any additional “credit information” about you it will still generate a score on the information that it does hold. If illion held positive credit information about you then this would cause your current score to increase while if it were to hold negative information this would cause your score to decrease."

In other words old information (now deleted) causes the rating to go up and down, even though that information is no longer accessible.

I found that Equifax gave a more informative report.

Keryl S.
20 Feb 2021
No more shopping around?

I actively shop around and review my service providers every 1 to 2 years because as a consumer it is one thing I can do to keep pricings honest and competititve. So it is disappointing for me to read this article which has served only to worry and discourage me from my activism. Realistically I will not be emailing the 3 credit organisations on an annual (or regular) basis to check my credit rating, as recommended. Re the so called "credit distress", I imagine these companies know how to evaluate certain patterns and also have an equivalent (perhaps unofficial) term like "frequent changer".

Previous member
11 Aug 2014
Giving away personal information

In the article you specify the information required to get a credit report (e.g. drivers license) but looking at some of the lenders websites ( they want a lot more e.g. past employment history, past addresses, financial info etc..

Are they allowed to demand this extra info to give you a report? It just seems like they are trying to gather more data on you.

Previous member
12 Aug 2014
Re: Giving away personal information

Hi Mike,

The extra information is used to help identify your particular credit records - you may have applied for credit when you were living at a previous address, or under a previous name for instance. Or there may be someone with the same name and birthdate as you. It’s not necessary to supply them with this extra information but it may result in some of your credit details being overlooked. They can’t add this extra information to their database without your consent – check the fine print in the application form.

Richard — Consumer staff.