Most businesses ask their customers to complete a credit application form when applying for an account. Astute businesses also conduct an independent credit check.

The TCS Credit Bureau is the most comprehensive credit database available on the Tasmanian population. Information contained in our credit bureau is maintained in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. Provided that you are registered with TCS and hold appropriate authority from the credit applicant, we provide instant access to quality information which will assist you to make the right business decision.

With details of over 65,000 payment defaults and 150,000 credit enquiries recorded each year, credit reporting through TCS is the most cost-effective way a business can minimise the risk of incurring a bad debt. Reports are available from as little as $5.50 (inc GST)




TCS credit reports consist of 4 basic sections:


Identification Details

Details used to identify the subject:
  • Full name (and any known alias names), Sex and Date of Birth or
  • Business/Company name and Registration Date
  • Last two known addresses
  • Employer, or occupation if self employed.

Consumer Credit Record

When a credit provider obtains a credit report on an individual for consumer credit purposes, a TCS credit report may include the following information:

  • General Information
    A consumer is entitled to record comments on their credit file pertaining to information held in the file

  • TCS Consumer Credit Defaults
    A record of any consumer defaults lodged with TCS for collection in the past 5 years, whether the account has been paid, and if so, whether the account was paid voluntarily or as a result of legal action.

  • Consumer Credit Enquiries
    An enquiry is recorded each time a consumer credit report file is accessed. Past enquiries are a valuable history of credit activity.


Commercial Credit Record

When a credit provider obtains a credit report on an individual or business/company for commercial credit purposes, a TCS credit report may include the following information:

  • General Information
    Subjects are entitled to record comments on their credit file pertaining to information held in the file

  • TCS Commercial Credit Defaults
    A record of any commercial defaults lodged with TCS for collection in the past 5 years, whether the account has been paid, and if so, whether the account was paid voluntarily or as a result of legal action.

  • Commercial Credit Enquiries
    An enquiry is recorded each time a commercial credit report file is accessed. Past enquiries are a valuable history of credit activity.
 

Public Record

Public record information is information obtained from public information sources. Information in this section includes:
  • Bankruptcy/Insolvency history

  • Default Information
    A record of other default information known to TCS including all Claims issued for debt in the Tasmanian Courts

  • Securities
    Details of known securities lodged against a subject, including Bills of Sale and Debentures.

If you wish you may view a sample report on an individual, or sample report on a company/business in a separate window.


When you request a credit report from TCS, you will be asked to select the sections that you would like included in the report. These sections are Public Record, Commercial Credit Details, and Consumer Credit Details.

The Consumer section of an individual’s credit file may only be accessed where an individual is applying for credit as a private consumer. Credit terms should be greater than 7 days.

The following authority commonly appears in credit application forms, and is considered appropriate for such purpose.

Sample Authority

The applicant (and guarantors) in completing this application authorises <<Business Name>> to disclose information contained herein to a credit reporting agency and to obtain consumer or commercial information permitted by the Privacy Act from a credit reporting agency and to use such information in order to assess the application for credit, and further to verify account references provided in support of this application. These authorities shall remain in force for the duration of the credit contract.

Specific authority is not required to access the Commercial or Public Record sections of an individuals credit file, however the individual must be reasonably aware that this type of report may be undertaken. Authority is also not required to access the credit file of a business.


The correct identification of the credit applicant is essential.
When conducting a TCS credit check you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Full name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Drivers Licence
  • Details of employment / occupation if self employed
  • The amount of credit being applied for (or credit limit in the case of a monthly account)

This information should be requested from the credit applicant in the course of completing the credit application form.

 


Privacy

Tasmanian Collection Service will collect information about individuals for the primary purposes of providing credit reports, issuing credit related publications, collecting debts, and sundry other credit related services.

Tasmanian Collection Service recognises and accepts the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988, specifically Parts 111A and Part X in relation to Credit Information and the National Privacy Principles respectively.

Tasmanian Collection Service will not collect personal information about an individual unless it is necessary for one of our functions or activities. The information will only be collected by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way.

Information may be collected from a variety of sources, including, from the individual direct, from publicly available information such as the Magistrates Court or the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia, or from authorised credit providers or authorised third parties.

Tasmanian Collection Service will not disclose information about individuals unless it is directly related to our functions or activities or it is related to the primary purposes of collection of that information and an individual would reasonably expect the information to be disclosed for that purpose, or, the individual concerned has provided consent.

This company will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information held about individuals is complete and up to date. Personal information contained on credit information files is only held for a period of maximum of 5 years with the exception of bankruptcy data (7 years).

Reasonable steps are taken to ensure that personal information held is secure from unauthorised access.

An individual can access their personal record with Tasmanian Collection Service. Information held on credit information files can be accessed for a small fee. No fee is payable where the request relates to an individuals refusal of credit, or is otherwise related to the management of the individuals credit arrangements. All requests for access must be in writing. Application Forms for this purpose are available from Tasmanian Collection Service offices.

An individual can apply to Tasmanian Collection Service for a copy of their file or to change any incorrect information on their file by writing to the following address enclosing their fee (if applicable) and enclosing a copy of acceptable photo identification:

The Manager
Tasmanian Collection Service
GPO Box 814H
Hobart TAS 7001

Information held on the TCS credit bureau is maintained in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. Access to consumer credit files is only permitted where a credit provider holds an appropriate authority from the subject, and such access is for the purposes of evaluating an application for credit. Unless you are assessing an application for consumer credit, the legislation does not directly affect access to commercial credit, or public record information.

Key requirements of Part IIIA of the act include:

  • limits on the type of information which can be held on a person's credit information file by TCS.

  • limits on the length that TCS can hold information on a file.

  • limits on who can can obtain access to a consumer credit file from TCS. Generally only credit providers may obtain access and only for specified purposes. Real estate agents, debt collectors, employers, general insurers are barred from obtaining access to consumer credit information.

  • limits on the purposes for which a credit provider can use a consumer credit report obtained from TCS. These include:

    • to assess an application for consumer credit or commercial credit (although consent must be given if a consumer credit record is used to assess an application for commercial credit, or a commercial report is used to assess an application for consumer credit)

    • to assess whether to accept a person as guarantor for a loan applied for by someone else

    • to collect overdue payments

  • prohibits disclosure by credit providers of credit worthiness information about an individual, including a credit report received from TCS, except in specified circumstances. These include:

    • where the disclosure is to another credit provider and the individual has given consent

    • to a mortgage insurer

    • to a debt collector (but credit providers can only give limited information contained in or derived from a credit report issued by a credit reporting agency)

  • rights of access and correction for individuals in relation to their own personal information contained in credit reports held by credit reporting agencies and credit providers.

For further information on your obligations under the privacy act, please consult the privacy commissioners website.


Points to Watch

We have compiled the following list of common questions and traps that you should be aware of when assessing a credit application using credit report information from TCS:

  • Where we may report a name as 'Unknown' or 'New Record', the credit provider should not automatically assume that the credit applicant is necessarily a good credit risk. Failure to locate a credit file may result from incorrect spelling, incomplete information, or the use of an alias name. Further checking should be carried out on the applicant.

  • Volume enquiries particularly from financial institutions may indicate possible over-commitment.

  • Medical and Hospital accounts received do not necessarily indicate that prospective customers would not fulfill credit contract obligations, however may indicate that they are poorly organised.

  • It is difficult to establish the credit worthiness of proprietary limited companies, particularly if they are newly formed. Knowledge of the directors is vitally important. If you are about to issue credit to a business or company, you may be interested using our Trade Referencing service, which provides useful background information on proprietors/directors of the business or company.

 


Trade Referencing

You wouldn’t provide credit to a business if you knew that the proprietors or directors had a history of nonpayment.

TCS Trade Referencing allows you to peel back the veneer of a business and look inside.

To conduct a TCS trade reference you simply need to fax your completed Account Application Form to TCS requesting a trade reference on your fax cover sheet.

In return TCS will provide:

  • A credit check on the business or company
  • A credit check on each of the proprietors or directors, and
  • A report from up to 3 nominated trade references

We will find out if your applicant meets the payment terms of their other suppliers, average monthly spend, whether an account has ever been placed on STOP or if the other suppliers are aware of any other problems you should know about.

We aim to return your completed TCS Trade Reference within 3 working days
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