A Quick Fix? Credit Repair in Australia
Australian Business Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 179-205, 2015
27 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 10, 2015
A poor credit history can preclude an individual from obtaining loans, credit cards and even access to basic utilities. Credit repair companies claim to assist people in this situation, by deleting adverse information from their credit histories. As financial hardship becomes more widespread, increasing numbers of Australians are turning to credit repair. Yet critics maintain that these companies charge high fees for services that are available for free through ombudsman schemes. In this way, they often increase their clients’ financial hardship, while subverting the objectives of the ombudsman schemes. This article examines the Australian credit repair industry, including the regulatory context and the industry’s attempts at self-regulation. It discusses several case studies from a Melbourne community legal centre, and describes the regulation of credit repair in the United States and the United Kingdom. It considers various law reform options that would address the problems posed by credit repair in Australia.
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