​Mortgage brokers the 'essential link'

by AB07 May 2014
Mortgage brokers are the “essential link” in educating consumers about recent changes to credit reporting, Australian Retail Credit Association said.

ARCA has called on financial intermediaries – mortgage and finance brokers, accountants and financial planners – to use today’s inaugural CreditSmart Privacy Day as a catalyst to discuss changes to the credit reporting system with clients.

On 12 March, reforms to the Privacy Act saw extensive changes to Australia’s credit reporting system, providing a clearer picture of a consumer’s ability to repay debts, enabling better matching of consumer credit needs, and giving fairer access to credit with increased consumer and privacy protections.

“Mortgage and finance brokers, accountants and financial planners may be the first port of call when a consumer has a problem with their credit report, and an essential link in the chain to inform their clients on the credit reporting system and their consumer rights,” said ARCA CEO Damian Paull.

“It’s vital that we help to educate consumers about what the new laws mean in practice, how credit reports are used, and what protections consumers have so we, as an industry, can help prevent any confusion around the new credit reporting system.”

The OAIC is releasing a number of fact sheets today to help consumers understand their credit reporting rights.

“The fact sheets, together with the CreditSmart website developed by ARCA, provide a good mix of formats for consumers to be better informed about credit reporting,” privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said.

Consumers and financial professionals can find more detailed information on the credit reporting laws; including detailed steps and explanations on what information is included, who can access consumer credit reports, and directions for consumers to access their credit reports at www.creditsmart.org.au.

Today marks Australia’s first CreditSmart Privacy Day, part of Privacy Awareness Week from 4 to 10 May.