Understanding how credit information and how it applies to you can be confusing. We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions people ask about credit checks and their personal credit below. If you would like more information, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 236 874.
If you would like to access our most common FAQs in other languages, click here.
A credit bureau assesses the creditworthiness of a business or a consumer, based on their financial information and payment history. Credit data is gathered from various providers such as banks, finance companies, utility companies and debt collection agencies. Centrix also collates information from Companies Office, Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) and New Zealand’s driver registration database.
Centrix is New Zealand’s credit bureau. We have the most comprehensive account payment data and credit information – covering 95% of New Zealand consumers and most credit-active companies. Unlike internationally owned bureaus, our focus is 100% on New Zealand.
Our extensive and unique credit information database comprises of comprehensive credit information, utility data and supporting credit risk information aggregated from a wide range of sources.
Specifically, our data comes from:
• Registered banks and other contributors to Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR), providing payment behaviour data.
• Contributors include finance companies, telcos and utilities.
• Credit enquiries, when individuals apply for finance – indicative of real time credit demand.
• Monthly snapshots of arrears trends and exposure (open accounts and credit limits).
• Fintech providers such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
Centrix manages and stores credit information securely in accordance with all relevant regulations, including the Privacy Act 2020.
Credit checking is the process a credit provider might use to check your credit report and score before lending you money or provide you with a product or service in advance of payment. Banks, telcos, power companies, finance companies, and even prospective employers may ask your permission to access your personal credit data.
Your credit report will tell them if you have a history of paying your bills on time, and they will use this information to estimate how likely you are to pay them.
Your credit score is a number between 1 and 1000 that indicates how likely you are to pay your bills on time. A high score means you may get better offers from banks, insurance and utility companies. A low score can result in companies refusing to lend to you or charging you a higher interest rate.
Consumer credit bureau’s collect information on bill payments, any credit defaults as well as court judgments and how much credit you have across your mortgage and credit cards. Paying bills in full on time is also recorded, so this increases your score.
Most credit scores are between 500 and 900. A good score is considered more than 705.
If you think your Centrix credit report contains incorrect information, you can make a request to correct it by contacting us. Considering a correction request will often involve contacting the organisation that provided the information to Centrix. We will advise you of our decision within 20 working days, unless we require additional time to investigate your request.
The best way to improve your credit score is to pay any bills you receive on time and keep your credit accounts up to date.
<p?If you have any outstanding defaults, settling it will improve your credit score. A default will stay on your file for 5 years but over time the impact of the default will reduce. Paying your default will help reduce the negative impact.
Don’t open new accounts or make repeated applications for credit. Lots of enquiries for small loans or credit on your file can negatively impact your score as it could be seen that there is an increased risk. Please note, asking for a credit history by requesting a report is not the same as a credit enquiry with a lender. You can access your credit history with us and get your score as many times as you like, and it will not impact your score.
There may not be much information about your credit history, meaning you might not have applied for much credit, so there is limited data to base your score on.
Very Good and Excellent scores are usually assigned where you have a long active credit history and a very good payment history demonstrating a high level of stability.
A Centrix credit report contains credit information about you that is allowed by the Credit Reporting Privacy Code (“Code”). Centrix may provide your credit report to its subscribers, including credit providers that have your consent to review your credit report and debt collectors. Generally, credit providers are businesses who lend money (such as banks or finance companies) or businesses who provide goods and services before payment (such as mobile phone retailers or gas or electricity retailers).
The following information may be on your credit report:
• Full Name and any known alias name or previous name
• Date of Birth
• Address and any known previous address
• Occupation and any previous occupation
• Employer and any previous employer
• Type of credit sought
• Amount of credit sought
• Whether you are the applicant, joint applicant or guarantor
• Date of the application
• Details of the credit provider
In addition, the following information in relation to any defaults by you in payments of a credit account may be on your credit report:
• Whether you are the account holder or guarantor
• Date of the default
• Type of account, the amount in default and the total amount owing on the account
• Status of the default including details of any referral to a debt collector and any payment, part payment, scheme of arrangement or write-off subsequent to the default
• Details of the final settlement of an amount of default
• Details of the subscriber
• Subscriber’s client reference number
Your report may also contain information sourced from public registries such as:
• District and High Court Judgments
• Current and past Company directorships
• Insolvency notices
The Code sets out how long certain information can remain on your credit file, including the following:
|Credit application information
|5 years from date of application
|Credit account information (other than repayment history information)
|2 years from date credit application closed
|Repayment history information
|2 years from month following due date of periodic payment
|Payment default information
|5 years from date of default
|5 years from date of judgment
|4 years from date of discharge from bankruptcy
|Single entry to no asset procedure
|4 years from date of discharge from no asset procedure
|Multiple insolvency events (as provided in the Insolvency Act 2006, s.449A)
|Previous enquiry record
|4 year from date of enquiry
|Serious credit infringement information
|5 years from date of report
You can request a copy of your credit report from us. So that we can be satisfied that your credit report is being released to you, and not someone else, you will need to complete the on-line application form including your identification details or send to us an application form and provide suitable identification. You can also arrange for your information to be sent to your agent (for example, a financial advisor or debt counsellor).
Yes, if you think your Centrix credit report contains incorrect information, you can make a request to correct it by contacting us. Considering a correction request will often involve contacting the organisation that provided the information to Centrix. We will advise you of our decision within 20 working days, unless we require additional time to investigate your request.
If we do not correct the information in accordance with your request you can request that there be attached to the information a statement of the correction sought by you and not made. You can do this by contacting us. You can also make a complaint to Centrix and we will investigate your complaint under our Complaints Procedure. Details of our Complaints Procedure is found here. You can make a complaint by contacting us.
The Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2020 affords you specific rights to access any data we hold on you and to request correction. A summary of your rights under the Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2020 can be found here.
If you think Centrix has breached the Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2020, you should contact us and we will investigate your complaint in accordance with our Complaints Procedure. Details of our Complaints Procedure is found here.
If you believe that you have been, or are likely to be, a victim of fraud (including identity fraud) you can request to suppress your credit file. Read more here to suppress your credit file page.
Centrix has an agreement to forward ‘freeze’ requests with the two other credit reporters (Equifax and illion) and can pass these on so you will not need to contact them separately if you agree to this.