Keeping a clean credit record
It’s important to make sure the credit information held in your name is correct, and to keep your record clean.
The more repayments you make on time, the cleaner your credit report will be.
If you’re considering being a guarantor on someone else’s loan, your own credit rating could be affected if they miss payments.
Unpaid court fines or unpaid reparations are not recorded on a credit report, but they may be included when a credit check is done. So unpaid fines may affect your ability to get credit. Find out more at the website fines.govt.nz.
Trouble paying debts?
If it gets hard to keep up with debt repayments, there are just two rules to remember:
- Try not to miss a repayment
- Let the lender know as soon as possible. They may be able to work out a new repayment plan.
Before things get too serious – debt management advice is available from financial capability services. Reach out to the team at MoneyTalks on 0800 345 123, firstname.lastname@example.org or text 4029. You can even use this service anonymously if you prefer.
If the repayments are for goods bought on hire purchase or using a credit sales agreement, find out about more options on the Consumer Protection website.
More serious trouble
When debts get more serious, options include:
- Applying for a Summary Instalment Order which allows you to repay debts in regular instalments without the threat of legal action (provided the unsecured debts total less than $40,000).
- Applying for a No Asset Procedure (NAP) if you have no means of repaying any amount towards your debts.
Or, as an absolute last resort, there may be the option of filing for bankruptcy.
For more information, visit the Insolvency and Trustee Service website.
The Consumer site also has helpful information.
Identity theft occurs when someone applies for credit using another person’s name and then deliberately defaults on payments.
Here’s what to do if that happens:
- Ask all the credit reporters to freeze (suppress) the credit report and place a fraud alert on it.
- Notify the police and IDCare.
For more information about identity theft, see:
- Department of Internal Affairs identity theft website for examples and a checklist to use in case of suspected identity compromise