Who are Equifax and what do they do?

2min read
Posted 29 September 21

If you didn't already know, all your credit information, like bill and loan payments, go into making something called a 'credit score'. This is a number lenders use to determine if they should give you a loan or what interest rate they should charge.

If you want to find out more, we discuss credit scores in detail in other blogs. But for now, let's look at Equifax's part in all this.

 

So Equifax is…

Equifax is a global data, analytics and technology company. They're one of the leading credit reporting agencies in New Zealand, alongside illion and Centrix.

Equifax tracks your credit history when you or a third party requests a credit report as a credit reporter. They then provide that information to you as a consumer, business or lender (with your consent).

 

Who else can view this information?

Most importantly banks, lenders and credit unions. They want to see your credit history before approving you for loans, credit cards or other amounts.

Think of it like this if a stranger asked for $400, you'd want to know they could pay it back before you lent the money to them.

Getting information from a credit reporter is how banks and lenders access your creditworthiness. Why would they want to do that? Because your credit report shows things like your ability to make repayments on loans and credit cards.

 

So who uses an Equifax score?

Since Equifax is the leading provider here in NZ and Australia, it's the one most lenders will pick.

And because Equifax supports Yonda, that means you're getting the score most lenders will see.

 

So how do I know who's been looking at my credit scores?

Request a credit report. Or ask your lender to disclose who they use.

In some places, like Canada, that info is protected and doesn't have to be given out. New Zealand isn't one of these so if you're in doubt, ask your lender who they use.

The great thing about Equifax being so prominent is their reports are a fair representation of what your credit score looks like to the rest of the world.

 

So is everything based on credit scores?

Not everything. For a full breakdown of what goes into a score, lenders will look at your credit file. This is where everything, like the number of credit applications you've made and the types of enquiries you've had, is recorded.

 

Good grief, there are types of enquiry?

There are only two, which are;

Quotation enquiries. 

These are the sort you want providers to be making first. Quotations are where you access the best price on a credit application, which is then noted down in your report. However, this won't harm your score, although it is noted as part of your credit history.

Complete credit applications.

This is where a lender checks you out before agreeing to that loan you've requested. If any enquiries are made quickly, other lenders raise their concerns. 

You as the consumer must provide your consent from the outset before a credit enquiry is run but in doing so, your credit score may dip slightly. When you start making repayments on time, your score should improve, but taking out too many credit applications may not give your score time to recover.

 

What is Yonda's role in all of this?

A full credit report can sometimes be lengthy and usually takes a few business days.

Yonda allows you to check in on your score for free, on the go. You'll get access to a lot of the same information you'd get on your credit report and be able to track your credit behaviour, like spending and repayments. Yonda even offers tips on how to improve your score and financial behaviour.

But, if you want to go in for things like a loan or credit application. We would recommend getting a full Equifax report.

 

In short.

All your credit information is filed into what's called a 'credit report', which credit reporters like Equifax create so lenders can check up on you before they approve you for a loan. We at Yonda use that information to help you track your credit aspirations and be better with your finance.

 

 

Disclaimer.

Info and tools on the Yonda website are used as a guide only and do not constitute financial advice. Use Yonda as a starting point and then seek professional advice.