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Can I Get A Loan If I Have Bad Credit History?

If you have bad credit and default on your file, we may still be able to help you depending on the circumstances. If an applicant needs a loan, Nimble may assess a loan application from some applicants with bad credit history or a default on their credit file, depending on the reason and timing of the black mark.

It's important to note that your credit history is only part of our application assessment - as a responsible lender, we also consider other information, like whether you're in active employment and your ability to repay at the time of your loan application. This is because our goal is always for you to repay comfortably and have a great experience.

However, there are still cases when applications are declined. If you are an undischarged bankrupt, in a Part IX debt agreement or Part X personal insolvency agreement, have defaulted on short-term loans, or have an extremely bad credit history, your loan application will be declined.

But because your financial situation may improve, being declined today doesn't mean we won't be able to consider an application from you in the future, although you'll still need to meet our lending criteria and suitability checks.

Bad credit guidelines in Australia

How do I check my credit rating?

If you've ever applied for credit or a loan, there will be a report outlining your details and any debt associated with your name, which is kept with credit reporting agencies.

These credit agencies take a look at your financial history and previous payment details, and provide the results in a report for you to access - this report is called a credit file.

The credit file determines your credit rating. This is a super-handy document because it includes your history of credit providers and if you have had any overdue debt or loan applications.

If you would like to check your credit rating before applying for a loan, there are a number of online credit agencies in Australia that provide this service.

You can find out what's in your credit file and correct any wrong information, free of charge, once a year (usually you have to wait 10 days after the request otherwise charges may apply).

You can get a copy of your credit file from these credit reporting agencies:

Credit reporting agencies Phone number
Veda.com.au
PO Box 966, North Sydney NSW 2059
13 83 32
CheckYourCredit.com.au (Dun and Bradstreet)
PO Box 7405, St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC 3004
1300 734 806
Experian Credit Report
GPO Box 1969, North Sydney, NSW 2060
1300 783 684

You'll need this information to get a copy of your credit file:

The credit reporting agency will need your:

  • Date of birth
  • Current address
  • Previous address
  • Daytime phone number
  • Current or previous employer
  • A copy of your driver's licence, passport, birth certificate or Proof of Age card
  • A document issued by an official body which includes your name and address (eg. rates notice, utility bill or bank statement)

Your credit file won't include information about your repayments of utility bills (electricity, water or gas) or phone bills (home, mobile and internet).

When you get your credit file, check all the loans or debts listed are actually yours and check details like your name and date of birth. If something doesn't look right - or you don't agree with what's in the report - you can ask to have it changed. The report can only be changed if a listing is inaccurate or out of date.

What is a credit score?

In Australia, your credit score is a number based on the information collected in your credit file. Generally, the higher the number, the better your credit score will be. A lot of people don't realise that your income actually has nothing to do with the result of your credit score.

Your credit score is separate to your credit file - so if you wanted to see your credit score, you may need to request your credit score separately to your credit file.

Your credit score can change over time, depending on your purposes for loans or how much credit you have applied for.

Companies like phone and telco providers, banks and lending services can use your credit score when you apply for one of their credit products.

For example, when you apply for a Nimble loan, we may look at your credit file through a third-party provider and use your credit score to fine-tune how much you can borrow and how much you can comfortably repay. However, as a responsible lender, we also use our own lending criteria and suitability checks when you apply for a loan.

You might have a credit score if you have ever applied for any of the below:

  • Credit card
  • Personal loan
  • Car loan
  • Business loan
  • Home loan
  • Interest-free store loan
  • Store cards
  • Mobile phone plans
  • Utility accounts with payment terms of more than seven days
  • Rental property