Know your credit status
Media Release October 2015
To educate consumers about credit information, credit statuses and credit scores, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) in partnership with the Credit Bureau Association (CBA) and credit bureaus, is urging consumers to know their credit statuses by accessing their free credit reports from any of the 14 registered credit bureaus.
“Every person who has an account with a credit or service provider in the country or makes use of credit services will find their payment behaviour information recorded with a credit bureau irrespective of whether that person pays their account regularly or not,” says Jeannine Naudé Viljoen, Executive Manager at the CBA.
Credit bureaus hold both positive information, such as consumers paying their accounts on time, and negative information, for example when a consumer has fallen behind or defaulted on payments, adds Naudé Viljoen.
“The purpose of listing information collectively at the credit bureaus is to create a comprehensive view of the consumer for both prospective and existing credit and service providers, to assist them in evaluating new credit or account applications, and also to assist in the management of their relationships with their customers,” explains Naudé Viljoen.
Mpho Ramapala, Manager: Education & Communication at the NCR says statistics (for the quarter ended June 2015) show that out of 23.37 million credit active consumers, over 157 000 credit reports were issued to consumers at their request. Out of the credit reports requested, 65.5% (102 967) were issued without charge, and the remaining 34.5% (54 283) were issued with charge. Ramapala expressed concern because there is a 25.4% decrease in reports issued from the same quarter last year, which shows that many consumers don’t know their credit status.
She reminds consumers that under the National Credit Act (NCA), they are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the 14 registered credit bureaus. “Should a consumer require an additional copy of his or her credit report within the same year, there will be a fee that credit bureaus will charge.
“In terms of the NCA, consumers have a right to access and challenge information on their credit records if they believe that it is not accurate”.
“When challenging the credit bureau record, the consumer needs to contact the credit bureau that issued the credit report. The credit bureau has 20 business days to investigate the matter,” says Ramapala.
If the consumer is not satisfied with the outcome from the credit bureau investigation or they do not have an answer after waiting for 20 business days for the bureau to assist them, they should escalate the matter to the Credit Ombud’s office where they will receive assistance free of charge. However, consumers need to have a reference number from the credit bureau first.
Relevant contact details:
- Credit Bureaus:
- Compuscan – 0861 514 131
- Consumer Profile Bureau (CPB) – 010 590 9505
- Credit Watch– 086 100 0694
- Crosscheck Information Bureau (previously known as MLCB) - 0105 909 505
- Experian SA – 0861 105 665
- Inoxico – 010 001 0540
- LexisNexis Risk Management – 011 245 6500
- Managed Integrity Evaluation – 012 644 4000
- Robertsons International Reports – 011 777 4000
- South African Fraud Prevention Services – 011 867 2234
- Tenant Profile Network - 086 187 6000
- TransUnion – 0861 482 482
- Vericred – 018 294 1000
- Xpert Decisions Systems (XDS) – 011 645 9100
National Credit Regulator
Telephone: +27 11 554 2722