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Useful Credit Information

What is a Credit Bureau ? -

A credit bureau is a company, registered with the National Credit Regulator in terms of the National Credit Act that collects; processors and reports credit information, on how consumers manage their financial obligations in terms of credit, and continuous services accounts.

How does a Credit Bureau get my information?+

When you enter into a credit agreement or continuous service agreement you give consent to the service provider to provide your information to credit bureaus. Credit Bureaus also source consumer information from public records such as Court Records. Credit Bureaus collect both positive and negative information on your financial obligations.

What is a Credit Report?+

A credit report is a composite report on all accounts that you have with credit and continuous services providers on how well you are meeting your financial obligations with them. The reports contain your credit score; your personal information such as your ID Number; full names, addresses, information on how well you pay your accounts, public information, such as defaults, and court orders, property information, and enquiries that have been made on you by Credit Providers.

What Information appears in my Credit Report?+

Personal Details: This section of your credit report contains your personal information that is used to identify you. This is the information that is requested by most Credit Providers in the application stage together with consent to share this information with Credit Bureaus.

Potential Fraud Indicators: This section contains information reference against fraud data bases. If your details are listed on any of these sources, this will be displayed as listed.

Presage Credit Score: This is score that reflects your credit worthiness and is calculated from assessing how well you pay your accounts. It is a measure of the credit risk potential credit providers face in granting you credit. The higher your score, the lower is the risk to credit providers. Your credit score is only one part of the Credit Providers Assessment.

Debt Summary: This section illustrates the types of accounts and the number of each type of account, together with a summary of your financial obligations.

Credit Account Status: This section displays all your credit and continuous service accounts provided to a Credit Bureau and details how well you manage your financial obligations on these accounts on a monthly basis.

Adverse Domain Records: Adverse Domain records are records of where you have not met your financial obligations and the credit or continuous service provider has followed legal action for the recovery of outstanding debt. Such legal action may include listing an adverse status code also known as Defaults on you or following other options in a Court such as a Judgement.

Defaults are the actions taken by Credit Providers when you are in arrears. Sometimes they indicate that you are a slow payer or if you are many months in arrears they may take legal action against you. A default is kept for 24 months, and will display a statement of Paid Up when you should you have paid up the amount for which you have been listed.

Judgement is an order to you by the courts, for you to pay your debt. A judgement can stay on your Credit Report for a maximum of 5 years, or until rescinded by a Court. If you have paid the judgement amount, have not rescinded the Judgement and have advised the Credit Bureau then a statement of Paid in Full is inserted with the Judgement Record. If however you have rescinded the Judgement records you need to advise the Credit Bureau of this.

Administration Order is where a Court appoints someone, an Administrator to collect money from you and pays it over to the accounts on which you owe. An Administration order can stay on your Credit Record for a maximum of 10 years, or until rescinded by a Court.

A Sequestration Order is where a Court orders that your Assets be sold and the proceeds of the sale be used to pay off your debts. A Sequestration order can stay on your Credit Record for a maximum of 10 years, or until a rehabilitation order is granted.

Rehabilitation is a record of where you have rehabilitated your financial position and a Rehabilitation Order has been granted by a Court following the granting of a Sequestration Order against you.

Payment Notification: This section displays information of Credit or Service Providers who require that you contact them.

Credit Enquiry History: This section includes a list of organisations or credit providers who have requested a Credit Report on this consumer.

Contact History: This section supplies a list of current and previous addresses, contact and employment data.

Confirmed Information: This section displays a list of address, contact and employment information received from various sources and has been confirmed with you at a point in time.

Telephone Linkages: This section displays additional contact information, whereby your contact numbers are linked to other individuals.

Employment History: This section list your last three Employers.

Property Interest: This section displays a list of properties registered in the name of the consumer at the Deeds offices around SA.

Directorship Links: This section displays a list of companies where the consumer is linked as a principal.

How do I correct an error in my credit information?+

Accuracy is crucial to all Credit Bureaus and we encourage all consumers to request an investigation into their disputed account information if they find an error on their credit report or to send the credit bureau proof of any changes to their contact details. The Credit Bureau will update your information and also investigate where required. If information is found to be inaccurate, or can no longer be verified, it will be deleted. If an investigation does not resolve the question within the 20 business days that the process allows for then the matter can be referred to the Credit Information Ombudsman.

I have an account, which is being paid on a monthly basis, but my balance does not seem to decrease+

When you apply for credit, you need to find out how much interest you will be charged on the item. Request that this is explained to you in simple language, and always request that you be given slips, each time you pay towards an account.

I have obtained my credit report from a Credit Bureau, but the balance on account history is incorrect…how do I get that rectified.+

Your credit grantors may not have sent an update to indicate that you have been paying your account (s). The quickest way to amend this is to request that they send the credit bureaux an update; .You can also request that the Credit Bureau investigates this for you (this may take up to 20 business days).

I have seen notices of companies that claim to be able to remove my name. What can these companies do for me?+

These companies are known as credit repair companies. The majority of them operate illegally. The Credit Bureau Association (CBA) does not support any of these organisations and advise consumers not to use their services. It is important to remember that there is nothing that these credit repair companies can do that you could not do for yourself. They often take large repair up-front fees and do not deliver the promised results.

If I am married in Community of Property and my spouse has a negative listing, will I have difficulty obtaining credit?+

You might have difficulty obtaining credit if you are jointly applying for credit. For example, when applying for a joint bond, credit checks will be conducted on both parties and if either of you has negative information on your credit report, you might experience difficulty accessing credit.

Is my report and my spouse’s combined because we are married in community of property?+

No, every individual has his/her own credit report even though you may be married in community of property.

What if people have bought on my ID?+

The Credit Bureau Association encourages consumers to manage their credit reports by accessing their reports at least once a year to see what is on the report. If your credit report reflects accounts that you did not open you should contact the companies that have enquired on you and request that they provide you with the application form, which you have allegedly signed, when you opened the account. Should you receive no feedback, we encourage you to contact the Credit Bureaus to lodge a dispute.

When can a store or bank repossess my goods?+

Different banks or stores have different credit granting policies. However, each store or bank would detail this policy in the agreement that is signed with you when you enter into a credit agreement with them.

When do stores or banks note default data on a credit report?+

Each store or bank has its own policies. In order for a credit grantor to submit a default, they must be a registered subscriber - The credit grantor must be a registered subscriber - The default must be accurate - The account may not be in dispute - The consumer has been sent prior notice - The amount is a result of a credit-related transaction.

Who can view my credit report information?+

When you apply for credit you give the store or bank consent to view your credit report. This information will help them decide whether or not to grant credit to you. In order to get credit you have to give the store information to help them make a good business decision. You also have the opportunity to access your own credit report free once a year in the month of your birth.

Why do stores or banks not give me a copy of my credit report?+

Stores & banks do not have employees that are adequately trained to counsel you on your credit report and cannot advise you on steps that you need to take to understand and manage your credit report.

My Credit Rights+

The NCA bestows on you the following rights:

* To apply for credit.

* To protection against discrimination

* To be given reasons for credit being refused

* To access and challenge your credit information

* To receive your credit information in an official language

* To receive all credit related documents in plain and understandable language

* To have your confidential information protected

How to improve my score?+

Payment history

Always ensure timely payment of all installments due. If you are already in arrears, it is recommended to make additional payments in order to decrease the arrears until all accounts are up to date. The impact of arrears on a score will be determined by the seriousness and the time frame of the arrears.


The ratio between the current outstanding balance and the credit limit on revolving credit such as credit cards and store cards can impact your credit score. Lowering your utilization by paying off some of the debt can have a positive impact on your credit score.

Length of credit history

Your credit score can improve as your credit history ages, assuming that you make regular payments on your accounts. Before opening new accounts ensure that you will be able to cover the potential additional installments.

Types of credit used

It can have a positive impact on a score if you are able to manage different kinds of debt successfully. Broadly speaking debt can be classified into installment (personal loan, bond), revolving (credit cards, store cards), and open accounts (cell phone account, security). It is not recommended to open new accounts just to improve your score, as a high number of new accounts can negatively impact your score.

Adverse records

Negative listings such as judgements and defaults can have a negative impact on your score. It is recommended to pay off any judgements and follow the recommended steps to have the judgements rescinded. Pay off all debt related to defaults. Once you have paid up a default you can instruct the credit provider to request that the default be marked as paid up.

No score allocated

No score will be awarded should you be under debt review or under administration as you may not be approved for any additional credit. If your credit history is very young you will not be awarded a score. If you do have accounts, you should receive a score in a few months’ time.

Postal address
P.O Box 52572

086 606 3158


Maris IT Development is a registered Credit Bureau.