Credit reporting agencies and your credit rating

Who do I go to?

The Privacy Commissioner(external link) for advice on privacy, breaches of  the Credit Reporting Privacy Code (the Code) and complaints if the credit reporter fails or refuses to act on your request.

The Human Rights Review Tribunal (external link)(HRRT) if you are unhappy with the findings of the Privacy Commission.

The Disputes Tribunal OR District Court(external link) if you are claiming defamation or negligence.

The Commerce Commission(external link) to report for false or misleading conduct or statements under the Fair Trading Act.

What kind of problems do they handle?

Privacy Commissioner investigates complaints that credit reporters have failed or refused to act on a correction request.

The Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT) will investigate any breaches of the Privacy Act or the Code, once the Privacy Commissioner has finished his investigation.

The Disputes Tribunal deals with claims up to $15,000 (or $20,000 if both parties agree). The District Court deals with claims over $15,000. Read Going to the Disputes Tribunal  to find out more.

What do I need to do?

  1. Contact all the credit reporters(external link) in New Zealand. If you want to access your credit report, correct some information, or freeze your report, make sure that you contact them all. Each credit reporter must have their own simple, fair and efficient complaints procedure.
  2. If any of the credit reporters refuse or don’t act on your request, complain to the Privacy Commissioner using their complaints process(external link).
  3. If you are unhappy with the findings of the Privacy Commissioner, you may wish to take your case to the HRRT(external link). To do so, you will need a certificate of investigation from the Privacy Commissioner. 

What else do I need to consider?

You can get a free written copy of your credit history from credit reporting companies. If a credit reporter has generated a credit rating for you, you can ask the reporter to explain it.

Credit reporters have to deal with your request within 20 working days. If they need longer, the credit reporter must tell you and explain why.

If you want the information within five working days, you may have to pay a reasonable charge.

The HRRT can award money to compensate you for any damage caused by a breach of the Privacy Act. It can also award costs against you if your case is unsuccessful.

Where can I get more information?

Privacy Commissioner

Provides information and advice on the Privacy Act and the Credit Reporting Privacy Code and investigates complaints about breach of the Act and Code.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 803 909
Email: enquiries@privacy.org.nz

Human Rights Review Tribunal

Provides information on the tribunal and the process of making a claim.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 04 462 6660
Email: hrrt@justice.govt.nz

The Commerce Commission

Provides information how to make a complaint if you feel a business is not complying with the Fair Trading Act.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 943 600
Email: contact@comcom.govt.nz