Know your rights
When New Zealand businesses collect, use, store or disclose your personal information, they must follow the 12 information privacy principles(external link) (IPPs).
They also have to follow strict rules about credit reporting under the Credit Reporting Privacy Code(external link).
For a summary of your rights on credit reporting, see Credit reporting: consumer rights(external link) on the Privacy Commissioner’s website.
Credit reporting rules apply to any agency that collects credit and personal information from credit providers and publicly available sources such as a credit reporter. The credit reporter then sells this information, which lenders can use to assess the credit worthiness of individuals.
Lenders must apply the Lender Responsibility Principles before they provide credit to a consumer and during the life of a credit contract.
Read the Commerce Commission’s fact sheet on how the changes to consumer law apply to contracts(external link).
Check your credit record is accurate. You might need a good credit record to get a loan, some types of jobs, or rental accommodation
Your credit history changes regularly. Although most credit checks can take place only with your consent, it’s important that your credit record is accurate, otherwise you may not be able to get credit easily or at all. Your credit record can also affect your opportunities with employment, renting, and insurance.
There are maximum periods for which various types of information can stay on your credit history. For example, defaults can remain for five years and records of missed repayments for two years. Even if you've since taken steps to sort out an issue, the record will still show the defaults together with any payments made since then.
You can get a free written copy of your credit history from credit reporting companies. If a credit reporter has generated a credit score for you, you can ask the reporter to explain it. If you want the information within five working days, you may have to pay a reasonable charge.