How we treat your personal information
Well Home Loans treats the privacy of your information very seriously. While we collect, use, exchange and protect your information, we know that it’s important to you to know how it’s used. That’s why we want to be as transparent as possible so you can rest easy knowing that your personal information is safe with us.
This policy tells you how we manage your personal and credit related information. We adhere to the Australian Privacy Principles (APP) and are bound by the Privacy Act 1988(Cth).
Who are we?
Well Home Loans is a provider of online home loans, but that’s just our trading name. Our company name is actually Flexstar Mortgage Corporation Pty Ltd. Our staff and particularly our founders have a long history in the mortgage industry dating back to operations in the 1970’s and since then, have always been involved with home loans in some way.
What is Personal Information?
When we talk about personal information we define it as any information or opinion about you which can identify you, or reasonably be assumed to identify you.
This information may include (but is not limited to) your name, date of birth, marital status, phone numbers, drivers licence details, your home and postal addresses, email details, nationality, employment history, how much you earn, what assets you own, what debts you have and how you’ve repaid them (or not!).
When we provide our services to you, there may be times that we will come into possession of information about you that is personal in nature, but is a little more sensitive. A good example of this type of information may be relating to your race or your ethnic background and sometimes even your medical history, both past and present.
We don’t normally need this type of information to provide our services, however in the times when we are offering other services to you such as insurance or other financial products, this information may need to be asked to provide those services. Should you be applying for hardship, then we will most likely ask about any medical conditions that you might have. We will only ever collect sensitive information with your consent, except where otherwise permitted by law to do so.
What about Credit Information?
Credit Information is another type of Personal Information that relates more about your finances. Our Credit Information Policy sets out details of our handling of personal credit information obtained from credit reporting bodies.
Why do we collect your Personal Information?
We’re in the business of providing you with financial products, especially home loans. For us to be able to do this, we will need to use this information that we collect (both Personal and Credit related) so that we assess your eligibility for our products. We also need to comply with various legislative and regulatory requirements in providing our services and we need your personal information in order to do that properly.
At times we may need to help you along the way if you haven’t completed your online application, so we will need to know about you. If you have a product, or use a service that we offer, we also need your information so that we can help to manage our relationship with you.
From time to time, we may have a product or service that we think could be of benefit to you and we need your personal information to be sure that this is the case before we send it to you.
Collecting Personal Information. How we do it.
Ideally, we would like to collect your personal information directly from you unless it’s unreasonable or impractical. This is usually referred to as solicited information. So, try to keep your details with us up to date!
There are a number of ways that we will collect your information. The main and preferably way is through our online channel, being our website and we will generally collect this to provide you with services or help. This can be done from you directly making an application for finance, visiting our website, requesting a quote, contacting us via email or telephone, if you’ve attended an event hosted by us or even if you’ve applied to be an employee.
We will also collect Personal Information from you electronically. As an example, by using our website, mobile applications and other electronic interactions will mean that we collect your information.
We use a specific technology called “cookies” when you visit our website. These cookies are stored on your hard drive and can be used to make it easier for us to remember you when you next visit our website.
We won’t ask you to disclose any of your personal information via public means, such as on Twitter, Facebook or any other Social Media site. If you do provide your Social Media account to link to your home loan account, we will not post any information to your Social Media profile unless you request to do so. We will use this information to communicate with you privately via messages on these platforms if you request us to do so.
Information from third parties
From time to time, we may collect information about you from another source. We do this only where it’s necessary to do so. Some examples of when we do this and why include:
- When we are assessing your loan eligibility, we will receive a credit reference about you from a credit reporting body. We’ve got a whole section about this topic later on in this document.
- If we are checking the details of your property, both residential and the property that you are using for security. We will check the information via public registers including Sensis and Google.
- In order to provide our services, we may receive exchange information with your legal or financial advisers, your employer, or even your friends and family from their referrals.
- In order to ensure the prevention or detection of unlawful activites, regulatory bodies may provide us with information about you.
- A third party who we have contracted with in order to provide a service or product to our customers;
- Any external parties where you have asked them to provide your personal information to us.
How do we use your Personal Information?
For our services
When you provide us with your information, it’s usually for a purpose and we’ll use it for that purpose. Where reasonably required for secondary purposes or when you have consented to any other purposes that are permitted under the Privacy Act, then we will use it.
Some examples of this include:
- Providing our services to you in the provision of financial services
- When we are verifying your identity and providing our ID Agent to verify your identity
- When we are assessing, processing and managing your application for finance as a borrower or guarantor
- If you make a complaint, we will need to manage your information
- For some data analytics purposes in our reporting and to help improve your experience as a customer
- For direct marketing
Sometimes we will have products and services that we think may be of interest to you. To send these offers to you, we will need to use your information. We may also send you details of offers or services provided by our business partners. These direct marketing offers and promotions are designed to make your life easier, not harder.
We also understand that sometimes you don’t want to get these type of communications and at all time you can unsubscribe from any of our communications. These methods of removal are included at all times for any Direct Marketing related communications.
Please ensure you email us if you have any privacy concerns, our best details are listed in our Contact Us page.
For uniform representation of fonts, this page uses web fonts provided by Google and Adobe Typekit. When you open a page, your browser loads the required web fonts into your browser cache to display texts and fonts correctly.
For this purpose your browser has to establish a direct connection to Google or Adobe servers. They thus becomes aware that our web page was accessed via your IP address. The use of Web fonts is done in the interest of a uniform and attractive presentation of our plugin. This constitutes a justified interest.
If your browser does not support web fonts, a standard font is used by your computer.
No personal information is sent to either of these organisations and no tracking cookies are left on your computer.
In the provision of your services, we will need to communicate with you electronically to inform you on the progress of the provision of our services to you. For this purpose, we will need to use your personal information.
What if you don’t want to provide your Personal Information?
That’s ok, it’s your information and you have every right to keep it personal and private. However, we won’t be able to provide our services to you if you don’t want to disclose your personal and credit information to us.
How safe is your Personal Information?
We always take reasonable steps to protect your information (both personal and credit information) by storing it in a secure manner both on our premises and offsite using trusted third party providers. Where this is the case, we use contractual arrangements to ensure those providers take appropriate measures to protect that information and restrict how they can use that information (if at all).
Our aim is to ensure that any details are securely protected from misuse, interference and loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
For the most part, we only keep your information for as long as it’s required for the purposes that we’ve outlined in this policy. We are also required to keep some of the information for a prescribed period of time under law. When we no longer required your information, or can legally remove your information, then we’ll ensure that it’s either destroyed or de-identified.
Who do we share your Information with and why
To make sure we can meet your specific needs and for the purposes described in ‘How do we use your Personal Information’, we might need to share your information with others and even receive information from other third parties so that we can provide our services to you. This will depend on what product or service that we provide you.
Sharing within the Flexstar Group of companies
Any member of the Flexstar Group of companies that is involved with providing the financial services that you have requested. This could depend on the product or service you have applied for and the Group member you are dealing with during your relationship with us.
Sharing with others
Subject in all cases to local law, we may share personal information within the Flexstar Group, and may disclose personal information outside the Flexstar Group:
- where we are authorised to do so by law, such as under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth);
Government or regulatory bodies (like Australian Tax Office and Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) who may also share this information overseas);
- An external dispute resolution service;
- companies and contractors who we retain to provide services for us, such as IT contractors, call centres, payroll providers, stationery printing houses, mail houses and storage facilities who will need to have access to your personal information to provide those services;
- our accountants, auditors or lawyers and other external advisers;
- organisations who provide us with payments systems including merchants, payment organisations, and organisations that produce cards, cheque books or statements for us;
- loyalty program partners.
- to our service providers, who provide services in connection with our products and services (including archival, auditing, accounting, customer contact, legal, business consulting, banking, payment, delivery, data processing, data analysis, information broking, mailing, marketing, research, investigation, insurance, identity verification, brokerage, maintenance, trustee, securitisation, website and technology services);
- Any party involved in securitising your facility including re-insurers and underwriters, loan servicers, trust managers, trustees and security trustees; as contained in the terms and conditions of any specific product or service.
- We may also disclose your personal information (on a confidential basis) to people considering acquiring an interest in our business or assets;
- By providing us with your personal information, you consent to us disclosing your information to such entities without obtaining your consent on a case by case basis.
We may from time to time transfer personal information outside Australia in accordance with the Privacy Act to countries whose privacy laws do not provide the same level of protection as Australia’s privacy laws. For example, we may transfer your personal information to the Asia-Pacific, European Union or the United States of America. We may also use cloud storage and IT servers that are located offshore.
By providing us with your personal information, you consent to us disclosing your information to entities located outside Australia and, when permitted by law to do so, on the basis that we are not required to take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that any overseas recipient complies with Australian privacy laws in relation to your information.
Accessing and updating your Personal Information
We’ll always give you access to your personal and credit related information unless there are specific legal reason for doing so.
You can request this information by contacting us at [email protected] or by any method found in our contact us page or even call us on 1300 899 724.
We may need to talk to you further if you request credit related information and also ask you to contact the credit reporting body to check what information that they hold about you. This is so that we can ensure its accurate and up to date.
Regardless of the type of information that you request, we will need to confirm your identity before we release any information at all.
We try to make your information available within 30 days of your request.