Energy Credit Check: All You Need To Know

Energy credit check decoded! Learn the essentials of credit assessment for energy services and how it impacts your utility options.

Energy Credit Check: All You Need To Know

Published on 17/04/2024

By Rajesh Kumawat

Energy Comparison

When it comes to signing up for an energy plan in Australia, understanding the potential role of credit checks is crucial. Energy retailers may commonly perform credit risk assessments for new customers, and this process is more straightforward than you might think. They want to know how much of a risk you could be in the event that you default on any repayment obligations.  

Click below to compare Energy plans, including possible options for consumers with low credit scores!

Why Do Energy Retailers Conduct Energy Credit Checks? 

Energy companies are entitled to assess the credit risk of new customers. This is a standard practice to gauge your reliability in paying bills. Don't be alarmed if an energy retailer requests access to your credit report; it's a routine part of the application process. 

What Information is Collected in an Energy Credit Check? 

Energy retailers can collaborate with credit agencies to build a risk assessment profile for a new customer. The information collected in an energy credit check can include: 

  • Identification details 
  • Consumer credit liability 
  • Repayment history 
  • Past credit applications 
  • Default information 
  • Payment history 
  • Court proceedings 
  • Personal insolvency 
  • Credit infringement history 
  • Public information 

This data gathered in an energy credit check helps generate a 'credit score', which is pivotal in determining your eligibility for an energy plan. 

Understanding Your Credit Score 

Your credit score is key to determining your reliability in repaying debts. Scores typically range from 0 to 1,200, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. The Equifax score, a standard measure, categorises scores from below average (0-509) to excellent (833-1200). 

  • Below average: 0-509 
  • Average: 510-621 
  • Good: 622-725 
  • Very good: 736-832 
  • Excellent: 833 -1200 

You can request a free copy of your credit report and score from each of the reporting agencies once every three months. You can request this online or contact them directly over the phone or by mail.  They just need your personal details and a couple of points of ID. This can generally take up to 10 days, but if you want to receive it faster, you can sometimes expedite the process by paying a fee. 

  • Equifax- 13 83 32 
  • Illion - 1300 734 806 
  • Experian- 1300 783 684 

What Do Energy Companies Do with Your Credit Information? 

Electricity and gas retailers implement strict privacy rules. During the application, they can retain your information following an energy credit check, and afterwards, they must take some steps to destroy that credit information. Your credit information to generate a credit score is for eligibility purposes only. You can also request access to the credit eligibility information through email or by calling them. 

What Credit Score Should You Get for an Energy Plan? 

Retailers usually don’t publish creditworthiness criteria for their products. They are not picky, though, as long as you don’t have a grim credit score and a long history of default payments. Some market offers have explicit credit requirements outlined in their energy price fact sheets under the ‘eligibility requirements’ section. 

Remember, credit history checks can only be used to determine suitability for a market contract. Retailers are not allowed to deny customers access to a standing offer regardless of their credit score. However, consumers with poor credit history could potentially miss out on some of the cheapest energy deals. 

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