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Here's how to check your credit score for free

Here's how to check your score for free. (Source: Getty)

NAB has made credit checks free for all Australians – whether or not you bank with NAB – through a partnership with Illion-owned Credit Simple.

The credit check is done through the NAB Credit Health website. After You’ll receive your credit score and credit report based on information provided to Illion, a third-party credit reporting body.

If you’re concerned that the big bank will retain your details, your report isn’t shared with NAB, the register page states.

“No matter who you bank with, you can jump on the secure website today and check your score as often as you want, free of charge and see it change in real time,” said NAB chiec customer experience officer Rachel Slade.

It’s good news, given that sites such as Experian and Equifax ask you to pay a fee to check your credit score – but NAB’s initiative isn’t new; there are already other ways to get your credit score for free.

First things first: Why does my credit score matter?

If you’ve signed up to a mobile phone plan, utility contract or applied for a loan or credit card, you have a credit score. This number influences how much credit a lender is willing to give you. The lower your credit score, the more likely you’ll be perceived by the lender as having a higher risk of not paying back the money.

A bad credit score could mean you get charged extra interest, or you get knocked back from the loan – so it’s important to keep up to date with your credit score and get your affairs in order, particularly if you’re looking at getting a loan in the near future.

What if I have a bad credit score?

It’s not ideal, but it’s no cause for alarm: there are steps you can take to improve that.

Start with the basics: pay your bills on time, then catch up on missed payments. And if you’re a new credit user, don’t open too many new accounts.

How do I check my credit score for free?

The big credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian) will send you a free credit report once every 12 months. Any more than that, and you may have to pay.

But other websites such as Credit.comFinder.com.auCredit SavvyGetCreditScore, and Credit Simple’s own website will give you your credit score for free, online, any time you want to check it.

You’ll have to sign up and provide some personal information, like your address and some proof of identity such as your Australian drivers license, passport, or Medicare details.

Note that your credit score won’t be the same depending on where you’re receiving it from, as different credit bureaus receive different sources of information.

However, you can get in touch with either the bureau or the credit provider to get your report up to speed.

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