Cash management Credit control Credit Management Credit Reports Credit Risk debtor management Due Diligence
4 mins read

How to check a credit history in Australia – A step-by-step guide

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Credit reporting agencies in Australia, such as CreditorWatch, analyse enormous datasets to generate credit scores for businesses or individual consumers. Companies, banks, lenders and other creditors use this information to determine the suitability of debtors and applicants for loans.  

What is a credit score, and who can check my credit score? 

A credit score indicates how much risk a company or individual poses as a borrower. Reporting agencies and bureaus, such as CreditorWatch, provide these scores to creditors to inform their decision-making process. A high credit score represents a borrower more likely to demonstrate positive payment behaviour.   

For example, RiskScore from CreditorWatch scores Australian companies on a scale of 0-850 and allocates a payment rating from A1 to F. What is a good credit score? Any entity with a credit rating above B2 is considered a ‘low’ or ‘very low’ risk. To accomplish this, the machine-learning technology analyses over 11 million monthly tradelines of data from 55,000 + customers, demographic risk indicators and traditional risk drivers, such as ASIC notices.  

CreditorWatch clients can access this credit score information within the all-in-one reporting suite via a company name, ABN or ACN search. A higher score represents a trading partner more likely to pay its bills on time. Savvy businesses ensure that this credit checking is a fundamental step of their due diligence and risk management processes, only extending credit to debtors assessed as creditworthy and dependable.  

Similarly, banks and lenders access personal consumer credit scores when assessing an individual’s application for a loan. You may ask, “Who can access my credit report?”. Any bank or provider with an Australian credit license can request access to your credit file to determine your suitability. Further, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report with the credit reporting bureaus for individual consumers once every three months.  

What documents do you need before you check credit history in Australia? 

To credit check a company  

The credit reporting suite from CreditorWatch can analyse any Australian company via a search of its name, ABN, or ACN. New users can sign up for a free trial to test the suitability of the reporting platform for their business needs. 

To check your individual consumer credit file 

You have three consumer credit files, each held independently by a different reporting bureau. You’ll need to contact each bureau separately and verify your identity with documents such as an Australian Passport, Australian Driver’s Licence, Medicare card, and more.  

How do you conduct a credit score check in Australia? 

How to credit check a company  

Step One: Sign up with CreditorWatch 

New users can sign up for a free trial offer to ensure the right fit for their business. You can change your subscription easily within your account and cancel at any time.  

Step Two: Log in to the all-in-one credit reporting suite 

Access the full selection of CreditorWatch credit reporting, credit management and risk mitigation tools from one central location. Beyond company credit scoring – you can also leverage DebtorLogic, a user-friendly debtor management platform, CreditorWatch Collect to chase customer payment more efficiently, Know Your Customer (KYC)/Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) reporting, and more.  

Step Three: Search a company via its name, ABN or ACN 

That’s all the information required to credit check an Australian company. Once you’ve identified the correct entity to analyse, the RiskScore technology reveals all the information you need to assess the financial situation of the business. 

Step Four: Review the Risk 

RiskScore delivers a score between 0-850 and a payment rating from A1 to F. A higher score indicates a more creditworthy trading partner, more likely to make payments on time and in full. Each payment rating tier recommends actions based on CreditorWatch’s extensive experience.  

Step Five: Assess other risk indicators such as court actions, ASIC notices and previous enquiries 

The credit report also details other indicators, such as court actions, ATO tax defaults, ASIC notices, previous enquiries and registered payment defaults, to form a complete picture of company risk.  

Step Six: Make a well-informed decision on the extension of credit 

Armed with a trusted analysis of company creditworthiness, your team can make informed decisions regarding the extension of credit. You can identify risky debtors with a habit of paying late, thereby reducing the risk exposure to your business and protecting your essential cash flow.  

How to check credit scores for an individual consumer 

You are entitled to a free credit check in Australia with the credit reporting bureaus for individual consumers once every three months.  

Step One: Gather your identification documents  

Each bureau has its own process for identifying individual consumers before allowing access to their credit reports and score. You’ll need to provide personal identification documents, such as an Australian Passport, Driver’s Licence and Medicare card, to assist in this verification process.  

Step Two: Contact each reporting bureau independently 

Visit the individual websites of the credit reporting bureaus. Once you have submitted your order for your free credit check in Australia, it may take a few hours to several business days to be delivered.  

Step Three: Report any incorrect information 

If you observe any incorrect details, make sure to report the mistake to the credit reporting bodies to have your information updated. Otherwise, lenders assessing your application may be working with false data, impacting your ability to secure loans.  

Proactively manage risk exposure with 24/7 Monitoring and Alerts 

While credit scoring is fundamental to risk management, company information and creditworthiness indicators can change quickly. Credit checking alone is insufficient – you must continue monitoring trading partners to ensure they remain trustworthy and dependable.  

The integrated and automated 24/7 Monitoring and Alerts system from CreditorWatch keeps an eye on risky activity from trading partners, so you don’t have to. As soon as details change, an email reaches your inbox notifying you of this. Being informed in advance, you can act swiftly to protect your business. Prioritise collecting payment from riskier trading partners and manage customer credit expectations as risk increases. 

Proactively manage your risk exposure, monitor your trading partner’s payment behaviour and protect your vital cash flow. Speak to our expert team today.

Product Marketing Manager
Lucy joined the CreditorWatch marketing team in October 2022. With experience across government, media and SMEs she loves working with companies like CreditorWatch that enable businesses large and small to improve their processes and work smarter.
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