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Defaults and serious credit infringements

If you don’t pay overdue charges, your provider may report this to a credit reporting body – one of the organisations that stores credit information about individuals and businesses. Providers can report a default when a debt of $150 or more is overdue by at least 60 days. They can report a serious credit infringement if they haven’t been able to contact you for at least six months and think that you don’t intend to pay what you agreed in your contract. 

We can help with your complaint about an incorrect default or serious credit infringement. To resolve your complaint, we consider the law, good industry practice and fairness.

Types of complaints about defaults and serious credit infringements

We deal with complaints about defaults and serious credit infringements such as providers:

  • reporting a default without telling the consumer first
  • not updating credit information after the consumer pays the debt
  • reporting serious credit infringements incorrectly
  • reporting serious credit infringements while a debt is in dispute.

What you should expect from your provider: the law and industry practice

Your provider must warn you before reporting a default

Before reporting a default, a provider must tell you in writing that the debt is overdue. If you don’t pay after another 30 days, it must send you a second notice telling you that it will report a default.


Once you’ve paid, your default should be updated 

Once a debt has been paid, waived, incorporated into a new contract or settled for an agreed lesser amount, providers must report this to the credit reporting body within three days so that the default can be updated.

You have a right to see your own credit information 

Generally, providers must give you information about any defaults or serious credit infringements when you ask. If your provider agrees there is a mistake in your credit information, they should correct it within 30 days.

More information

For more detailed information see our guidance on Credit information and credit reporting.


This page was last updated on
30th Aug 2021