A: It is important that a consumer understands that their credit report is not available to anyone who asks for it. The Privacy Act sets out the rules about who can access and credit report and under what circumstances it can be accessed and used.
A consumer can also allow an ‘access seeker’ to obtain their credit report on their behalf. However that access seeker has to be someone who is providing assistance to a consumer (such as a lawyer, a financial counsellor, or someone who the consumer has consented to assisting them). It cannot be a credit provider.
If a consumer needs to check what information their credit provider collects, how they use it and to whom they disclose it, their credit provider will have a credit reporting policy document which sets this out.
If a consumer thinks someone who is not allowed to access their credit report has done so, they can lodge a complaint with their credit provider or credit reporting body. If they feel the credit provider or credit reporting body did not deal with the complaint effectively, they can then make a complaint to the external dispute resolution scheme of the credit provider or credit reporting body, or to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.