Know your credit status

That’s why the Credit Bureau Association (CBA) and the National Credit Regulator (NCR) have joined forces for a Know Your Credit Status campaign. The educational initiative was enabled by four of the credit bureaux who list consumer credit information.

Jeannine Naudé Viljoen, CBA executive manager explained, “People shouldn’t fear their credit profiles. All credit active consumers have a credit profile which lists both good and bad credit behaviour.”

When you apply for credit such as a store card or loan, the credit provider will run a check on your credit profile to see if your past behaviour matches their requirements for granting credit.

“There is no such thing as blacklisting anymore, and the new regulations and amendments to the Credit Act give additional incentive to pay off old and bad debts,” said Viljoen.

“Even bad information can be rectified and new good habits formed, but the first step is knowledge and getting your profile.

“The laws around the provision of credit in South Africa are proactive and protective, so we encourage consumers… to educate themselves about credit and their own credit reports. It is important that consumers know their rights, understand their credit reports, and act accordingly. It is your credit report after all, so we want you to take ownership of it.”

Mpho Ramapala, manager of Education and Communication at the National Credit Regulator (NCR) said, “We would like to see more people requesting their free credit report, as it is their right as per the National Credit Act.

“Consumers should further remember that it is also their right to lodge a dispute on incorrect information that appears on their credit reports. They should not ignore incorrect information.”

The first port of call for any incorrect information on a credit report is the bureau which will investigate within 20 business days and address any issues at the outcome of the investigation. If the consumer is still unhappy with the outcome, they can take the matter to the Credit Ombud who will assist them, free of charge.

Details: 0860 627 627; [email protected]

Heidi Giokos

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