Peeping at your credit rating

Sunday 14 March 2004

Reality TV means the phrase "Big Brother is watching" has taken on a different meaning from what George Orwell ever imagined.

By The Landlord

But many New Zealanders are unaware that someone really is watching - the large and pervasive industry devoted to collecting information about their sensitive financial affairs.

The personal credit information industry is big business; dominant player Baycorp Advantage says it holds records on 2.5 million New Zealanders, while its competitor D&B says its figures are similar.

Some of those records show nothing more than your name, date of birth and address.

But if you have applied for a loan, mortgage or hire purchase finance in the past five years, there'll be stacks more information on your credit file because you're defined as "credit active".

You may not have noticed when you signed the loan application, but in the small print you gave permission for your file to be searched, and for the computers making the check to update that file with information from your current application.

And for the record, there's no degree of credit default - you're a defaulter whether the amount was the minimum $20 or a sum many times larger.

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