Welcome to christianlazarou.com.au

Hello and welcome to christianlazarou.com.au. Christian Lazarou is a licensed financial planner who specialises in wealth management, investment advice, superannuation and life insurance. Christian has worked in the financial services industry for over 10 years and has worked with some of the largest companies in not only Australia but the world. These include PricewaterhouseCoopers, GE Capital, Computer Sciences Corporation and some of the big four banks here in Australia.

One life changing realisation Christian discovered was that there is a large gap between wealthy people and ordinary people living from day to day. Since the ‘ordinary’ people were the ones who made up the majority of the working population, he designed a range of financial planning strategies that would achieve long term wealth for these people, people like you, which include tax minimisation, asset protection and accumulating a portfolio of investment properties, superannuation and direct shares over the long term future. Ask yourself this question, how do the next 10 years look for you financially based on the last 10 years? If history always repeats itself, then it might be looking a little bleak. Is it time to take a serious look at your personal situation and start planning ahead?

One of the most significant drawbacks people encounter is a bad credit rating so we have included an article on managing your credit rating because this will play an important role in obtaining credit from mainstream lenders again sometime in the future so Christian has put together an article on what credit ratings are and how they work in this world of banking & finance, see below

Keep a clean credit file
Collected information about you could have a financial impact, so it’s worth checking out – and its free. Three out of four Australians aren’t sure what a credit file is, consumer credit bureau Veda Advantage says, and finance brokers lament that clients sometimes have no idea there’s information on their credit file that could deny them a home loan or any other loan. Veda Advantage says a recent survey conducted on its behalf by Galaxy Research found that just 15 percent of respondents could correctly identify what a credit file is; a further 9 per cent had a rough idea. Yet the survey also found that 14 percent had an overdue bill in the past three months – something that could leave a black mark on their credit file if the debt remained unpaid for more than 60 days.

Finance brokers around Australia have also found that many clients had no idea what was on their credit file, even though information such as a bill default or applications for other credit could be enough reason for them to be denied a home loan. The head of external relations at Veda Advantage (which holds credit files on more than 14.5 million Australians), Chris Gration, says the state of your credit file can affect not just your ability to get a home loan but even something as basic as having the internet connected. People should make it a habit to check their credit file annually – something you can do at no cost, Gration says. They should also review their file at least 30 days before making any credit application.

Just 4 per cent of those in the Galaxy survey had requested a copy of their file in the past 12 months. “By obtaining a copy of your personal credit file you’ll know what financial institutions and other credit providers are looking at,” Gration says. “That way you can be ready to answer any questions that might arise from your credit file.” He says checking your credit file will also alert you to any mistakes or to fraudulent activity in your name.

What is it exactly?
So, what is a credit file? It’s a detailed record of your credit history over the past seven years. Its updated every time you apply for new credit – approved or not – and if you ‘default’ on a payment.
A default is when you’re at least 60 working days late with payment. Most defaults remain listed for up to five years, though lenders have a certain amount of discretion to not list a default straight away. This is a big reason why you should talk to your credit provider as soon as you strike a problem because that problem could grow into a five year one! Your file includes information that helps distinguish you from someone else with the same name, plus information that’s relevant to a credit assessment by someone such as a bank or retailer.
Your credit file include your date of birth, drivers licence number, address history, details of past employers and court judgements. It will then list details such as credit applications, the credit providers you have facilities with, overdue accounts, debt agreements and any bankruptcy rulings.

After checked your file, if you believe there’s an error you should let Veda Advantage know. “There’s a fairly stringent process for removing something from a record – but it can be done with the right kind of evidence,” Gration says.

If Veda can’t resolve the problem itself, it will redirect you to the credit provider involved or the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Office of the Privacy Commissioner if there’s a dispute. Only registered credit providers are allowed to access your file and they can only do so if they first notify you – but you’re likely to have given permission when you signed the credit application form. You can access your credit file free via mycreditfile.com.au (go past the paid services to the link “My Credit File Free”). You should allow 10 days for the free service but if you’re in a hurry you can pay for an “express” report. Veda also offers a paid service call My Veda Alert, which generates an electronic report every time information is added to your file – including when someone else tries to obtain credit in your name. Article edited by Christian Lazarou