Checking your credit score and report should be considered a ‘must do’ prior to applying for any type of credit. From large credit applications such as a mortgage or a MacCredit loan, down to mobile phone contracts and utility bill accounts, your credit file will be checked to assess whether you can be relied upon to make timely payments.
When you check your credit file, you will:
By doing this, you will put yourself in a great position for ensuring you are approved for credit in the future, whenever you need it and whatever the reason for needing it.
Australia’s credit bureaus like Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet are options you have for checking your credit file.
Numerous factors affect your credit file. Here is a rundown of both the widely known and lesser known factors, and some tips for ensuring your credit file always paints a positive picture of you from a credit perspective.
Making Late Payments
The most basic obligation you have when opening any credit account is to make your repayments on time. Although creditors can only place a notice of late payment on your credit file if a payment is 14 or more days late, do not allow this to lull you into taking a carefree approach to making repayments.
Defaults and Other Infringements
If you do make late payments and these are logged on your credit file, if you do not take action to get your account up to date you may default on your agreement. If you then still fail to repay the money you owe, further financial sanctions could follow. Depending on the extent to which the situation escalates, you may find yourself subject to a court judgment or even bankruptcy proceedings.
All of these outcomes, if they occur, will be logged on your credit file and make it very difficult for you to acquire credit in the future.
How do you avoid this?
By making all your payments on time, and by being upfront and honest with your creditors if you ever reach a point where you are starting to struggle to meet your debt repayment obligations.
Information and sanctions around late and missing payments are factors that most people know can influence their credit file.
What are the factors that are lesser known but that could be helping you unintentionally damage your credit score?
Your credit file contains information on all the credit enquiries you have made in the last five years. If you have made a significant number of enquiries within a short space of time – for example more than three in the last six months – this can reduce your credit score.
Repeated credit enquiries are interpreted as a desperation for credit, and may be a sign that you are a credit risk. Although it is tempting to apply for credit with a different lender if you are declined – different lenders have different criteria, after all, so you might have a better chance of being accepted elsewhere – you should check your credit file, ensure it is correct, and only apply again once you’re more sure of being accepted.
Payday loans can cause havoc with your credit file. Despite what payday loan providers say about building your credit history by using them, any benefit of repaying a payday loan on time is massively outweighed by the damage done by using them. A payday loan is a sure sign of short term financial need and potentially an inability to manage your finances. While you might be able to apply for further payday loans without any problems, when it comes to acquiring other types of credit you may struggle to be accepted.
Banks and finance providers that offer mortgages and other types of credit may even refuse an application on the grounds of you having used payday loans within a specific recent period. If you are having short term financial difficulties, look at other solutions before turning to payday loans, as they could have a dramatic effect on your ability to acquire credit in the longer term.
Make it a regular and on-going financial habit to check your credit file and ensure all the information held is up to date and correct. Be aware of these factors and how they can affect your ability to acquire credit, and you’ll find you are usually able to access credit whenever you need to in the future.
Disclaimer: This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.
Whether you’ve only just started giving serious thought to undergoing cosmetic surgery, or you’ve made your decision and are now looking for a clinic and surgeon, the reality of whatever treatment or procedure you’re looking at is that a successful outcome begins with your initial consultation.
When you find a clinic or surgeon and go for your consultation, this is your opportunity to ask as many questions as possible, to put your mind at rest about any concerns you may have, and to understand everything there is to know about what’s going to happen. The answers to these questions will help you to understand whether cosmetic surgery is right for you, and also whether that specific surgeon or clinic is where you want to undergo your treatment or procedure.
Here’s the five most important questions you should be seeking answers to during your consultation.
Believe it or not:
While this sounds incredible and unbelievable, it means that you need to take charge of finding out what qualifications your surgeon has, and the accreditation level of the clinic you are visiting. Find out how long the surgeon has been working in this field, when they qualified, and ask about their experiences. On top of this, ask questions about the clinic and its history.
When asking these questions, be sure to make it clear you’re asking specifically about the procedure you’re considering for yourself. Many doctors may be trained in cosmetic surgery but be far more experienced in dealing with some operations than others.
While the answer may depend on the location of the clinic as well as the popularity of a specific procedure – breast augmentation for women is far more popular than ‘man boob’ reduction for men, for example – ideally you’re looking for plenty of specific and recent experience in carrying out the procedure you’re considering.
If you’re visiting a clinic or a surgeon that specializes in what you’re looking for, then you can be confident in a positive outcome for your own treatment. As well as asking the question, many surgeons and clinics will have a portfolio of before and after pictures of patients. Ask to look at these too to understand what the outcome of the treatment may look like for you.
This question is an important one both for putting your mind at rest but also so you can understand the anesthetist cost that will be incurred on top of your surgery. Once you have the details around anesthesia – and perhaps have some different options if there’s flexibility and choice – you can move forward happy.
We would recommend:
Although cosmetic surgery is more popular than ever before, some people still don’t realise the impact the post-treatment stage can have on your life. Even if you are undergoing a relatively simple procedure, you could have a period of weeks or even months afterwards where you need to take things easy or avoid certain situations.
Ensure you ask about specific restrictions and rules you need to stick by. Ignoring your doctor’s advice at this stage can lead to complications and even illness depending on your procedure.
When it comes to recovery, don’t base your expectations on something you may have read online. We’re all different, and as such your doctor will give you a tailored recovery plan. In some cases, for example should you be undergoing bariatric surgery, then you’ll be given a very specific plan of what you should eat and when, as well as other guidance to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.
Listen carefully to the guidance you are given here; if you need to take extra time off work for your recovery, for example, then you may need to schedule your treatment for a later date.
Before committing to any surgery, you need to know the cost. Your initial consultation will usually be free, but after that your pre-surgery appointment, as well as the surgery itself and the anesthesia, will need to be paid for. When asking this question, ask to what extent any post-treatment visits or follow up treatment is covered in the cost. The last thing you want to do is to pay out $10,000 for a procedure and then have a future unexpected bill for $3,000 in a few months’ time for something you thought was covered under the initial cost.
With MacCredit, you can take out a payment plan that suits you, while you can also find accredited clinics and surgeons using MacList.
Be sure to ask these questions and explore your options to ensure you find the best clinic and surgeon to meet your needs.
*Reference: Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc.
Cosmetic Surgery, Medical Treatement, Plastic Surgery
When looking for a personal loan to cover your medical expenses, it’s easy to make mistakes, especially if you’re hastily looking for a loan to help you pay an unexpected medical bill, or if you’ve had a quote for treatment that’s thousands of dollars more than you thought it would be but need to act fast.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest personal loan mistakes you should avoid when thinking about how to cover your medical costs.
When you want to get something sorted out quickly, it is tempting to just accept the first thing you find or are offered. If you do that when looking for a personal loan for your medical expenses, you may end up repaying thousands of dollars more than you need to or taking out a loan with a company that doesn’t really care about you.
Unfortunately, buyer’s regret won’t count for anything if you have a payment plan that lasts for seven years, and you find a better loan just after the one you accepted hits your bank.
Follow these golden rules for shopping around:
Remember that with MacCredit we provide you with a range of payment plan options to cover the cost of your medical bills, while you can also use MacList to find clinics and doctors near you that provide the treatment you are seeking.
It is easy to check your credit file and ensure that all the information held on it is correct, and if there’s any incorrect information held on there, it’s quite straightforward to resolve, too.
You should really check your credit file before you apply for any type of credit. Not only do you ensure the information that’s in it is correct, but you also can then go and apply for loans with a degree of confidence that you’ll be accepted.
Despite the personal loans industry being more heavily regulated than ever before, there are still some lenders out there who offer ridiculous repayment terms that have the potential to put you in difficulty.
Look out for the following:
If you find yourself needing to take out a loan quickly you’re more likely to fall into one of these traps, so remain diligent and again, take your time and ask all the questions you need.
Lenders usually take the flak when it comes to not lending responsibly, but it’s up to you to be a responsible borrower, too.
With this in mind, you should spend some time putting together your own financial plan so you can understand what you can afford. Think about potential changing circumstances, too. Do you have a variable rate mortgage, for example, and what would the implications be if your mortgage repayments increased? Likewise, if you opt for a variable rate medical loan or payment plan, what tolerance do you have for the payments increasing should interest rates go up?
Remember that irrespective of whether you’ve borrowed irresponsibly or the lender has lent to you irresponsibly, ultimately it is your credit file and your credit score that will be damaged.
Avoid these common mistakes when it comes to finding a personal medical loan, and you’ll find the best plan for you that enables you to save money and enjoy fantastic customer care while being able to undergo the treatment you need.
Did Christmas and the New Year put paid to all the fitness work you did during the spring and the early part of the summer? If you fell off the wagon in dramatic style then fear not, for you weren’t alone.
At the same time, just because autumn is here and it’s getting darker, colder, and raining more often, that doesn’t mean you need to kick back and forget what fitness feels like until spring is here again. How can you keep your exercise regime moving throughout the autumn to ensure that you’re beach ready in a few months when things brighten up again?
Many people who don’t stick to an exercise plan fall off the wagon for that precise reason. It’s a plan, and sometimes sticking to a plan and to a routine is boring.
During the autumn months, if you plan to go for a run in the park every morning, but end up cancelling when it rains or is cold, you’ll quickly fall out of any planned routine.
This means you need to change it up.
Instead of having a plan, when you wake up and it’s warm and the sun is out, take the opportunity to take your exercise and go for your morning run then. If you know you need to exercise but don’t enjoy running, walk to the next bus stop in the mornings and evenings. Another great idea is to take a walk during your lunch break at work. Not only does it avoid you doing email while you eat and gets you moving, if you work long hours lunchtime might be the only time during autumn and winter that you see daylight, so take advantage and boost your mental as well as your physical health.
If you haven’t been to the gym or done anything especially active for a couple of months, it’s really important that you don’t over compensate and start doing twice the volume of activity you were before. The key to getting in shape is to ensure you push yourself without overtraining. If you’d run five kilometres before, then start running five kilometres now, or maybe even less.
You’ll soon be back into the swing of things and feeling fitter and looking better. If you go for it too hard you’ll end up injuring yourself and end up not being able to do anything for another few months.
Our biggest enemy can often be the scales, and a lack of weight loss can often see us pushing harder and getting injured, similar to what we looked at above.
To get around this, you simply need to stay off the scales.
Instead, think about how you feel, and how you look, and go from there. Sure, once you’re feeling and looking great you might want to adapt your diet or cut out certain foods in order to lose weight, but for now you should avoid being a slave to the scales.
Having fallen out of the exercise habit over Christmas and New Year, autumn and winter can be the perfect storm for getting even more out of shape. Look around the office. You’re probably not the only one feeling like you do. Ask your colleagues what they’re doing fitness-wise this autumn. Suggest going to the gym together, or motivating each other on those sunny mornings when you could walk to work instead of catching the bus.
You could even have a friendly bet on who will give up first, or who can jog home from work the quickest at the end of the week – doing it on Friday is a great idea as it stops you going for the end of week work drinks that inevitably turn into a big night out.
Summer is gone, the days are shorter and colder, so you have the perfect excuse not to exercise during the autumn.
Forget all that.
Instead, put these tips into practice to ensure you feel great all throughout the autumn and winter and can head straight to the beach in the spring!
While dentists and orthodontists both work to improve the oral health of their patients – some dentists and orthodontists may even work together in specific clinics – there are some key differences between the two.
With this in mind, it is unlikely that your dentist and your orthodontist will be the same person. The treatment pathway for dentistry is usually that you will go to your dentist for a general checkup and to undergo procedures such as having fillings or teeth removed, and perhaps even to undergo some cosmetic dentistry procedures such as cleaning and capping, while you will go to an orthodontist if you require specialist treatment.
Orthodontists will provide a range of additional cosmetic dentistry procedures, usually linked to straightening teeth and bite patterns. If you need braces, for example, then you will usually be referred by your general dentist to an orthodontist, but may return to your regular dentist for checkups and adjustments to the braces.
The easiest way to differentiate is to say that a dentist looks more generally at your oral health while an orthodontist is a specialist in a specific area, such as in teeth straightening as in the example above.
In terms of how dentists become orthodontists, all orthodontists will be qualified dentists and will have worked in a dental clinic for at least two years prior to undertaking the additional qualifications to become an orthodontist. Orthodontists therefore have a dentistry degree as well as an orthodontics degree.
Orthodontists will also typically work with different types of technology that aim to provide better treatment solutions. As a result, if you go to see an orthodontist you could find yourself undergoing a 3D scan of your jaw or being offered some new and innovative treatments, depending on what you’re looking to have done.
If you are in need of dental treatment you may be able to save time by ensuring you go and see the best person to diagnose and treat your specific problem. If you are registered with a dentist and attend regular dental check-ups, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist as and when they identify any problems that require specialist attention.
If you don’t have a regular dentist but are seeking treatment, the table below will help you understand who you should go and see.
Do I Need to See a Dentist or an Orthodontist?
Make an appointment to see a dentist if….
Make an appointment to see an orthodontist if….
You haven’t had a regular dental checkup in the last 12 months
Your regular dentist has identified potential oral health problems that require orthodontic treatment and you have not yet been referred, or you have agreed with your dentist to find an orthodontist yourself
You are experiencing any pain in your teeth or gums
You have misaligned teeth
You are suffering with tooth decay
You have crowded teeth
You are suffering with root canals
You have an underbite or an overbite
You have bad breath, have tried over the counter solutions, and think you may have a gum disease
You are looking into cosmetic dentistry options such as crowns, bridges, veneers, or tooth whitening (You may also choose to enquire with a cosmetic dentist for these treatments. Although a cosmetic dentist may not offer general checkups, they will still be fully qualified dentists)
If you don’t have a regular dentist, or your dentist has told you to find an orthodontist to treat a specific problem, use MacList to help you find a dental clinic close by. All clinics and dentists listed on MacList also allow you to cover the cost of your treatment with a MacCredit payment plan.
Undergoing cosmetic ear surgery – or otoplasty to give it the medical term – can truly be life changing. Whether you are looking to undergo otoplasty for cosmetic and appearance reasons, or whether you have a medical issue that has been treated and you now require otoplasty, having the surgery can change your appearance and boost your self-esteem and confidence at the same time.
Otoplasty is used to improve the shape, position, or proportion of patients’ ears.
This type of surgery is often used to correct defects in the ear structure that are present at birth, although very young children will usually not be operated on unless there is a medical urgency for doing so. Often defects in the ear structure will only become apparent as young children grow.
While otoplasty is a common procedure undertaken by children, it is something that is available to all regardless of age and circumstances. Among adults, otoplasty is common where misshapen ears are present as the result of injury or because of a medical condition.
At the same time, adults may have structural defects that have been present since birth that were not previously treated, so may choose to undergo otoplasty as soon as they can. Adults may also choose otoplasty if as they grow older they feel dissatisfied with how they look following previous corrective surgery when they were a child.
The aim of otoplasty is to give the ear a natural shape and bring balance and proportion both to the ears and to the face in general. This may mean having your ears “pinned back” to avoid them protruding, or having the size of your ear lobes reduced.
Even small changes to the size and shape of our ears can have a profound effect on our self-confidence.
Specific reasons why someone may choose to undergo otoplasty include, but are not limited to, macrotia – a rare condition where ears are unusually large – and protruding ears on one or both sides where the protrusion is not related to hearing loss.
In the majority of cases, otoplasty is an elective surgery that isn’t considered essential from a medical point of view. Should you wish to undergo otoplasty for whatever reason, then it is often the case that you will be able to do so.
Below, we look at some of the criteria for undergoing otoplasty to help you identify whether you might be a candidate for this treatment.
Cosmetic surgeons will always put your health first, so this is the first thing to make sure of when considering otoplasty. If you’re generally unhealthy, you should look to make other changes to your life first before looking into this procedure.
If you suffer from recurring ear infections or other ear issues, or have any life-threatening conditions, then clinics will not perform otoplasty on you.
In addition to ear structure defects becoming evident at different stages, this is another reason why children undergo otoplasty at different ages. Surgeons will not operate on a child if their ear cartilage is not firm enough to withstand surgery. This could mean a child undergoes otoplasty at a very young age or later in life when they’re teenagers.
While clinics require parental permission to undertake the procedure itself, many today are happy to be child-led in terms of deciding whether to have otoplasty, and will communicate directly with the child about the procedure and the benefits of doing so.
If an injury has left you with misshapen or protruding ears, then otoplasty could help correct the problem and help you to regain lost confidence and self-esteem.
As we mentioned above, adults often want to undergo additional otoplasty when they are dissatisfied with the outcome of a previous procedure, usually one that was undertaken when they were a child.
If you are a smoker, clinics usually won’t carry out otoplasty on you.
If you don’t like your ears, then you can do something about it thanks to otoplasty! In addition to the above criteria, you should also be able to follow simple instructions, as there will be specific things you will be told to do, as well as things you can and can’t do, both before and after undergoing the procedure.
If you want to undergo otoplasty, you can use MacList to find a clinic, while MacCredit is here to help if you have any concerns about how you will cover the cost of your otoplasty treatment.
All clinics and doctors listed on MacList accept patients who are planning to pay for their surgery using a MacCredit payment plan, which you can apply for here.
Whether you are young and have limited credit history, or have a poor credit score due to problems in the past, it may be tempting to ask someone to take out a personal loan on your behalf. It isn’t against the law to do this, so it really comes down to the trust between the person who needs the loan and the person who will be taking it out on their behalf, and the arrangement they come to in relation to paying off the loan.
However, taking out a personal loan on behalf of someone can be a risky thing to do. Here are some of the considerations you should make, whether you’re the person who needs the loan or the person who will be taking out the loan on behalf of someone else.
Let’s say you’re the person who has taken the loan out on behalf of someone else, and you then fall out with $10,000 remaining on the loan balance. Unless the other person continues to honour the repayments, you’re going to end up liable for this $10,000 yourself. Unfortunately, you can’t call up the loan company and say “Actually, I took this loan out for someone else,” for them to turn around and say “Thanks for letting us know, don’t worry about it!”
One way to avoid this happening is to have a contract written up for the loan repayments, in effect saying that you have given a loan to the other person, so at least you have some form of legal option should you fall out later. Admittedly, asking someone to sign a contract like this isn’t easy, as straight away they might think you don’t trust them.
Same scenario, but you haven’t fallen out this time. Instead, the person who needed the money has lost their job or ended up taking a pay cut, and now they can’t afford to repay the loan.
Again, the onus falls on you to repay the loan.
If something has a negative effect on your credit file, it has the potential to have a hugely negative effect on your life in general.
How will taking out a personal loan on behalf of someone else effect your credit file?
While it isn’t against the law to take out a personal loan on behalf of someone else, you really need to think carefully before you do it. While it feels great to help someone out, in the long term it could lead to serious problems for all parties.
If you need a personal loan but can’t get one, remember that at MacCredit we accept joint loan applications, so if you’re a couple you can apply together rather than have one of you take out a loan on behalf of the other.
Apply for your MacCredit payment plan now.
Whether you’re considering undergoing a cosmetic surgery procedure because you want to improve a specific aspect of your appearance and boost your confidence, or you’re awaiting essential cosmetic treatment as a follow up to a prior medical condition, it is likely you have plenty of questions and perhaps even some fears about the procedure you’re about to undergo.
It is perfectly natural to have some level of apprehension and anxiety before undergoing a procedure. While some people are able to deal with how they feel, for some their cosmetic surgery fears can be full-blown phobias to the point they require counselling to help them even make a decision about undergoing surgery.
Wherever you find yourself on the anxiety scale, we should stress that if you feel that you’re not sure of the risks attached to cosmetic surgery – and there is always a risk, no matter how small – or you’re unable to understand or accept them, then you shouldn’t undergo the procedure if you don’t want to, unless it is an essential treatment.
You can lower or perhaps even completely remove your anxiety by taking a number of steps prior to undergoing a procedure. Whether you’re opting for an elective procedure or you have been told you should have – or at least consider having – something done following a medical issue, a lot of what you can do in the lead up to it will help to put your mind at rest.
Here’s what you should do.
Confidentiality rules governing the medical profession mean that you can’t be put in contact with people who have been treated at a specific clinic or undergone a specific procedure in the past. However, there are plenty of online forums – not to mention social media websites – where you can go for support and to ask questions about different procedures and clinics.
Talking to people who have previously undergone a procedure and will be able relate to you is a great way not just to relieve anxiety but also to understand the difference it has made to their lives. This is a powerful means of understanding the experience of the procedure and the effect it could have on your life.
If your consultant doesn’t put you at ease, then this is likely to be a major cause of your anxiety. This doesn’t mean the consultant is necessarily bad at what they do, but their personality might just not be what you need to make you feel happy about undergoing your procedure with them.
When you’re at ease with your surroundings and the people who will be administering your treatment, you’ll feel much better about it.
If you’re struggling to find a clinic or consultant you can use MacList to help you.
Carrying out your own research into the procedure you’re interested in is another great way to help put your mind at rest. There are numerous medical advice websites available today where you can find out everything you need to know about specific procedures or medical terms that you don’t understand.
Be wary that when doing your research, you might find yourself gravitating towards what you perceive to be the negative aspects of the procedure.
Rather than letting these put you off, use them to help inform and formulate the questions you’re going to ask during your next consultation.
For some patients, their anxiety of the period of recovery post-surgery can outweigh the worry surrounding the surgery itself.
Those undergoing gastric band procedures, for example, may worry about what they can consume in the weeks following surgery or when they’ll be able to “eat properly” again.
While clinics will inform you of everything you should do post-surgery to ensure you minimize risks and reduce your recovery time, be sure to ask any additional questions you may have. Remember that when it comes to post-surgery, each of our bodies adapts differently, and just because you speak to a couple of people online who were fully recovered in a short space of time that doesn’t mean the same will be true for you. In fact, by rushing ahead with your recovery post-surgery you could be putting yourself at further risk of complications.
Though you will always be able to find examples of when worst case scenarios have played out following cosmetic surgery, remember that overall the risks are very small. By following the other tips above, you will feel at ease and find the best clinic and surgeon to undergo your procedure with, regardless of whether you’re undergoing elective surgery or need treatment out of necessity.
Put you mind at rest and move forward with the cosmetic surgery that could change your life. If you are worried about how to cover the cost of your procedure, then MacCredit may be able to help with a payment plan tailored to you.