Buy Now Pay Later users put on notice by credit agency

Do you use a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service like Afterpay or Zip? If so, be warned that one leading credit agency has made a big change that means your BNPL data will go onto your credit report.

BNPL transactions have risen rapidly over the past few years – so much so that they caught financial regulators and credit reporting agencies a little flat-footed.

But Equifax, one of the three main credit reporting agencies in Australia, looks to have caught up.

In a recent email to brokers and lenders, Equifax states that BNPL accounts and transactions will be included in credit reports from 24 July 2021.

“Expect to see two new BNPL account types available for accounts, enquiries and defaults,” the Equifax email reads.

So what does this mean for your credit score?

Don’t stress, time is on your side!

That’s because it’s still early days and Equifax wants to measure how much BNPL data could affect overall credit scores.

“The new BNPL Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) account types will be quarantined from scores in the short term to prevent any unintended and inappropriate impact on scores. As data builds up over time, we will reassess,” Equifax explains in a FAQ here.

But, Equifax adds, BNPL accounts and transactions will be included in CCR scores as soon as they believe it is sensible to do so.

“We are moving cautiously as we have never seen these types of accounts before, so it is not possible to evaluate and reflect the relationship between [BNPL accounts and transactions] and risk accurately,” they add.