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  info@ncr.org.za / complaints@ncr.org.za / workshops@ncr.org.za

WELCOME TO THE NATIONAL CREDIT REGULATOR

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established as the regulator for the South African credit industry by the National Credit Act (34 of 2005) (NCA). It is tasked with consumer education, research, policy development, registration of industry participants, investigation of complaints and enforcement of the NCA.

The NCA requires the NCR to promote the development of an accessible credit market, particularly to address the needs of historically disadvantaged persons, low income persons, and remote, isolated or low density communities.

The NCR registers and ensures compliance to the NCA by the following industry participants: credit providers, credit bureaus, debt counsellors, alternative dispute resolution agents and payment distribution agents.

WELCOME TO THE NATIONAL CREDIT REGULATOR

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established as the regulator for the South African credit industry by the National Credit Act (34 of 2005) (NCA). It is tasked with consumer education, research, policy development, registration of industry participants, investigation of complaints and enforcement of the NCA.

The NCA requires the NCR to promote the development of an accessible credit market, particularly to address the needs of historically disadvantaged persons, low income persons, and remote, isolated or low density communities.

The NCR registers and ensures compliance to the NCA by the following industry participants: credit providers, credit bureaus, debt counsellors, alternative dispute resolution agents and payment distribution agents.

MSR Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd and other credit providers flout the National Credit Act and deals with the consequences

May 2022

The National Credit Regulator welcomes the judgement that was handed down by the National Consumer Tribunal (Tribunal) against MSR Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd previously known as Major Authorised Debt Mediation (Pty) Ltd which entity is conducting its business in Bloemfontein, Free State region. This judgement follows an investigation by the National Credit Regulator into the conduct of the aforementioned entity. The investigation revealed that the entity was acting in a manner contrary to the provisions of the National Credit Act. “The National Credit Regulator subsequently referred an application to the Tribunal”, says Ms. Nomsa Motshegare, CEO of the National Credit Regulator.

The National Credit Regulator’s investigation revealed that MSR Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd previously known as Major Authorised Debt Mediation (Pty) Ltd informed to provide alternative dispute resolution services whilst it was not registered as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Agent with the National Credit Regulator. Motshegare explains that in terms of the National Credit Act, an entity providing the services of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Agent must register with the National Credit Regulator.

“MSR Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd previously known as Major Authorised Debt Mediation (Pty) Ltd also displayed the National Credit Regulator’s logo on its advertisements which gave the impression that the National Credit Regulator condoned its business practices which was never the case”, says Motshegare. “The services offered went beyond the scope of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Agents’ services and was akin to the services provided by a debt counsellor and a payment distribution agency”, adds Motshegare.  Consumers were effectively paying fees for an unlawful service and/or a service which they did not even receive. “The aforesaid conduct was found to be a serious prohibition and a contravention of Section 134A read with Section 1 and Regulation 10B of the Act” adds Motshegare.

Furthermore to this, the entity was found to have contravened Section 44(2), 3(g) and Section 126A and 126(3) of the National Credit Act. The Tribunal imposed an administrative fine against the entity in the amount of R50 000.00 and amongst other orders ordered the entity to refund fees and costs to consumers.

Motshegare alerts consumers of the aforesaid conduct observed within the credit market. It is imperative that consumers ensure that the entities they approach for Alternative Dispute Resolution services are in fact registered with the National Credit Regulator to provide such services. She also stressed that only a registered debt counsellor can make a determination of over-indebtedness. This clearly means that consumers should check if a person declaring them to be over-indebted is indeed registered with the National Credit Regulator by checking on the website www.ncr.org.za or alternatively to call 0860 627 627.

In other matters, the National Credit Regulator investigated and referred the following entities to the National Consumer Tribunal. The following credit providers were deregistered for committing various contraventions of the National Credit Act:

  • TITUSG TRADERS (PTY) LTD - a registered Credit Provider with registration number NCRCP9727 having its registered place of business at 2 Coleskop street, Rosedale, Upington, Northern Cape.
  • PANGOLIN LOANS (PTY) LTD, a registered Credit Provider with registration number NCRCP12222 having its registered place of business at Corso Building, Stand no 777 Luphisi, Sibuyile, Mpumalanga 1218.
  • DLAMINI ZAK ENTERPRISES (PTY) LTD, a registered Credit Provider with registration number NCRCP11532 having its registered place of business at 3097 Luvuyo Street, Kanana Extension 5, Rabie Ridge, Halfway House, Gauteng. 

Motshegare warns entities that are flouting the National Credit Act against such conduct as the National Credit Regulator will not hesitate to take action against such entities.

ENDS


About The National Credit Regulator
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established as the regulator under the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (NCA) and is responsible for the regulation of the South African credit industry. The NCR is mandated with the registration of Credit Providers, Credit Bureaus, Debt Counsellors, Payment Distribution Agents, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Agents; and monitoring their conduct in compliance with the National Credit Act as amended. The National Credit Regulator offers education and protection to consumers of credit in promotion of a South African credit market that is fair, transparent, accessible and dynamic.

For more information contact:
Media Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or
Didi Sebothoma
064 752 3910
E-mail: Didi Sebothoma: Website: www.ncr.org.za

Debt counselling-a debt relief measure for over-indebted consumers

August 2022

Debt counselling was introduced by the National Credit Act as a voluntary debt relief measure to assist over-indebted consumers. A consumer is over-indebted if his/her income is not sufficient to cover all his/her living expenses and debt repayments. Various circumstances such as job loss, reduction of income, sickness, death, rising cost of living (petrol hikes, increase in food prices, electricity, etc.) and others are often the main contributors for consumer over-indebtedness. Consumers who are experiencing financial distress should not ignore their debt obligations, they need to approach credit providers and communicate their financial position and negotiate reasonable repayment options. If this attempt fails, consumers are encouraged to consider debt counselling and approach a registered debt counsellor who will on their behalf negotiate reasonable repayment terms informed by what the consumer can afford with the credit providers, says Adv. Kedilatile Legodi, Manager: Debt Counselling at the National Credit Regulator(NCR).

The concept of debt counselling is often misunderstood by many, as a result consumers miss out on the benefits and the protection that debt counselling offer. In addition, there is a high number of false and misleading debt counselling marketing practices noted by the NCR either online, social media or telephonic with the sole intent of exploiting unsuspecting and financially distressed consumers. Some of these marketing practices, promise a certain percentage of debt reduction (even prior to a financial assessment), savings or consolidation. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, warns Adv. Legodi.

Consumers are advised to be aware of false and misleading practices and to not fall victim particularly if approached. Understanding the debt counselling process from end to end, the consequences, the applicable fees charged, when, where and how to pay such fees, the various steps of the process, the prescribed timelines, the provisions to exit debt counselling and others are important elements that the consumer must ensure knowledge of before signing on the dotted line.

Debt counselling is only conducted by a debt counsellor registered with the NCR. In terms of the National Credit Act, debt counsellors are registered as individuals and not as a juristic person/company. Therefore, a financially distressed consumer seeking the services of a debt counsellor, must ensure that he/she knows the full details of the debt counsellor offering to assist. This includes the debt counsellors name and surname, place of practice and the NCR registration number which is issued upon registration by the NCR. Even if the debt counsellor is operating using a business/trading name, the consumer has a right to be provided this information. To verify the registration of a debt counsellor with the NCR, please visit www.ncr.org.za or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Adv. Legodi further provides clarity on the question that often comes up, when is a consumer under debt counselling? A consumer is considered to be under debt counselling when he/she has applied for debt counselling in a prescribed manner as set out in the National Credit Act. A duly completed and signed application form (referred to as Form 16) or a clear record of when the consumer furnished all information/documentation to the debt counsellor is used to prove that a consumer is under debt counselling. It is for this reason, that consumers are advised to ensure understanding of the debt counselling process before finalisation of the application. Consumers should not succumb to the pressure of signing the application if unsure. For a detailed explanation of the debt counselling process, consumers are advised to visit the NCR website at www.ncr.org.za .

Some important factors to consider:

  • There is a difference between debt counselling and debt consolidation. Debt consolidation offers the consumer one loan to pay off all debts. This will result in the reduction of the consumer’s multiple payments into one single monthly payment to the credit provider that has granted the consolidation loan.
  • If approached and offered debt counselling, insist on getting clarity from the caller regarding their source of information or where they received your contact details and do your homework first before you commit to what is being offered.
  • Debt counselling does not cancel debt, it helps consumers to make reduced payments using disposable income and without having to borrow more money.
  • If under debt counselling you will be paying reduced amounts, as a result the repayment period of your debt may increase and you will take longer to pay off your debts. However, you will still enjoy the legal protection against enforcement of debt by credit providers as long as you continue making payments as agreed.
  • Debt counselling is not a savings plan, it is a measure intended to provide relief for over-indebted consumers. Anyone saying even if you are not over-indebted you can apply, please note that this is misleading and do not do any business with such an individual, they do not have your best intentions at heart.
  • When under debt counselling, you cannot apply for further credit until you have repaid your debts and have been issued with a clearance certificate.
  • If you apply for debt counselling, a debt counselling flag/indicator will be displayed on your credit profile at the credit bureau until a clearance certificate is issued by the debt counsellor.
  • If you are married in community of property, you must jointly apply for debt counselling with your spouse.
  • Debt counselling is not a free service–visit the NCR website on the debt counselling fee guidelines 2018  for a fee guideline and request a written disclosure of applicable fees prior to applying for debt counselling from your debt counsellor.
  • Do not give/pay the debt counsellor money to pay your credit providers. You can either pay your credit providers directly or use a Payment Distribution Agent.
  • If your debt counsellor is un-contactable, please contact the NCR immediately for assistance.

 

If consumers wish to lodge a complaint against a debt counsellor, credit provider, credit bureaus or a payment distribution agent they may send the complaint to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To get a list of registered debt counsellors operating closer to work or residential area, consumers are advised to visit www.ncr.org.za. Given the current economic climate, many consumers will undoubtedly find it difficult to cope and manage contractual repayments, please do not despair, be proactive, do not be pressurized, address your financial hardships by seeking more information on the debt counselling process and gain a thorough understanding because an informed consumer is a protected one, concludes Adv. Legodi.

ENDS


About The National Credit Regulator
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established as the regulator under the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (NCA) and is responsible for the regulation of the South African credit industry. The NCR is mandated with the registration of Credit Providers, Credit Bureaus, Debt Counsellors, Payment Distribution Agents, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Agents; and monitoring their conduct in compliance with the National Credit Act as amended. The National Credit Regulator offers education and protection to consumers of credit in promotion of a South African credit market that is fair, transparent, accessible and dynamic.

For more information, contact:
Media Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or
Didi Sebothoma
064 752 3910
E-mail: Didi Sebothoma:
Website: www.ncr.org.za

Keep your credit bureau record clean regardless of the rising cost of living

June 2022

Despite the interest rate hike and the rising cost of living, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) encourages consumers, in particular the youth who have already signed credit agreements to continuously pay their monthly accounts on time and in full in order to maintain a good credit bureau record. The youth are also encouraged to regularly check their credit bureau reports. Checking credit bureau reports enables consumers to spot any incorrect information and/or fraudulent transactions, thus providing them with an opportunity to remedy the situation. Ms. Poppy Kweyama, Manager: Education and Communication Department at the NCR, said knowing what is contained in one’s credit report gives consumers an opportunity to improve their credit reports.

All consumer credit information held by credit bureaus must be accurate. Incorrect credit information can adversely affect a consumer’s chances of acquiring credit or a job where a company is considering a candidate for employment in a position that requires honesty in dealing with cash or finances. “Hence, it is very important to dispute incorrect information before it affects you adversely,” she advised.

In terms of the National Credit Act, every consumer has a right to challenge the accuracy of their information held by the credit bureaus free of charge. If a consumer has challenged the accuracy of the information, credit bureaus must take reasonable steps to seek evidence in support of the challenged information.  Credit bureaus have 20 business days to do that. “Should the credit provider and/or service provider fail to prove the listing within the 20 business days, then the credit bureau must remove the disputed information from the consumer’s credit profile”, said Ms. Kweyama.
It is very important for consumers to know that inaccurate credit information will stay on the consumer’s credit profile, until rectified or until its retention period finishes. A retention period relates to the length of time that a credit bureau can retain consumer’s information on their credit report. However, consumers should not waste time disputing accurate credit information, knowing very well that they skipped payments or short paid the account.

Consumers are entitled to one free credit report once a year as per the National Credit Act, advised Ms. Kweyama. The National Credit Regulator would like to see more consumers requesting their credit reports from credit bureaus because currently the numbers of those requesting their credit reports are low. According to the Credit Bureau Monitor from the NCR, as at the end of December 2021, credit bureaus held records of 26, 38 million credit active consumers. Out of this total, only 648 280 credit reports were issued. From this total, 35 919 consumers lodged disputes in respect of the accuracy of information held by the credit bureaus. More disputes were resolved in favour of the complainants.

In order to clarify a lingering perception out there, credit bureaus do not decide whether or not to extend credit to consumers.  Credit bureaus are organisations that specialise in creating consumer credit profiles based on information received from a person who supplies goods, services or utilities to consumers, whether for cash or on credit, an organ of state, court, judicial officer and a person providing long term or short term insurance. They keep valuable information about consumers’ recent and past accounts, payment history, defaults, judgments, trace alerts, collections and enquiries.  

Often consumers ask how long their information will be reflected at the credit bureaus. It is important to note that in terms of the National Credit Act, there are different retention periods for consumer credit information held by the credit bureaus. Below is a table on the different retention periods: 

 

 

 

 

 

Category

Description

Time kept

 

Details and results of complaints

Number and nature of complaints lodged and whether a complaint was rejected; no information will be displayed on complaints that were upheld
Note: WinCredit does not display this information

6 months

 

Enquiries

Number of enquiries made on a consumer’s record, including the name of the entity/person who made the enquiry and a contact person if available

1 year

 

Payment profile

Factual information pertaining to the payment profile of the consumer
Note: WinCredit does not display this information

5 years

 

Adverse classification of enforcement action

Classification related to enforcement action taken by a credit provider

1 year or within the prescribed period in section 71A

 

Adverse classification of consumer behaviour

Subjective classification of consumer behaviour

1 year or within the prescribed period in section 71A

 

Debt restructuring

As per section 86 of the Act, an order given by the court or tribunal

Within the period prescribed in section 71(1) of the Act or until a clearance certificate is issued

 

Civil court judgments

Civil court judgments including default judgments

The earlier of 5 years or until the judgment is rescinded by a court or abandoned by the credit provider in terms of section 86 of Magistrates’ Court Act 32 of 1944 or within the period prescribed in section 71A of the Act

 

Maintenance judgments in terms of the Maintenance Act

As per court judgment

Until the judgment is rescinded by a court

 

Sequestration

As per the court order

5 years or until rehabilitation order is granted

 

Rehabilitation

As per the court order

5 years

 

Administration order

As per the court order

5 years or until order is rescinded by a court

 

Liquidation

Removed - delete

 

Other information

Removed - delete

In conclusion, Ms. Kweyama advised the youth about the importance of maintaining a good / healthy credit report as this shows credit / service providers that you are making payments as per your credit agreements, depicting you as trustworthy for prospective credit/ service providers and employers.

Below are credit bureau and other important contact details:


Experian

(011) 799-3400/ 0861 105 665

www.experian.co.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TransUnion 

0861 886 466

www.transunion.co.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

XDS

0860 937 000
(011) 645-9100

www.xds.co.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Consumer Profile Bureau      

(010) 590-9505        

www.consumerprofilebureau.com

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Credit Ombud

0861 662 837

www.creditombud.org.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

National Credit Regulator

0860 627 627

www.ncr.org.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ends     


About The National Credit Regulator
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established in terms of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (the Act) and is responsible for the regulation of the South African credit industry. The NCR is mandated with the registration of Credit Providers, Credit Bureaus, Debt Counsellors, Payment Distribution Agents, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Agents; and monitoring their conduct in compliance with the National Credit Act as amended. The National Credit Regulator offers education and protection to consumers of credit in promotion of a South African credit market that is fair, transparent, accessible and dynamic.

For more information contact:

Media Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or
Didi Sebothoma
064 752 3910
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.ncr.org.za

Misleading advertising on Social Media platforms regarding debt counselling

March 2022

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has in recent times noted advertising practices by debt counsellors and unregistered persons that are misleading and deceptive, unlawful and contrary to the provisions of the National Credit Act and its regulations, causing harm and distress to unsuspecting consumers. This press release is intended to warn consumers against such advertising practices and request consumers to report these practices to the NCR.

Advocate (Adv.) Kedilatile Legodi, the Manager of the NCR Debt Counselling Department says that “in recent times, there has been a surge in advertising for “debt review removals” and some consumers are charged in the excess of R8000 to have his/her debt review flag removed”. Consumers are warned that this “debt review removal” is not supported by law. In a recent High Court Judgment, delivered by three High Court Judges, the Court stated that debt review removal is not possible for consumers who have been declared over indebted, and that consumers need to pay up all debt, except where a bond is not in arrears, to be removed from debt review. Where a consumer has a debt review court order, no Court, not even the High Court can rescind such judgment.

Adv. Legodi further requests consumers to access the NCR Withdrawal Guidelines issued in 2021, from the NCR’s website, which clearly state the circumstances under which a consumer can exit debt review. “If any company offers a service contrary to the provisions of the NCR Withdrawal Guidelines, even attorneys, consumers are running a risk of paying for a service that has no prospect of success without any recourse against persons not registered with the NCR”. Adv. Legodi warns that “before any consumer pays for such services, consumers they are urged to make contact with the NCR, or access the website to verify the registration status of such a person offering the service.”

In addition, Adv. Legodi noted the unlawful practice of consumers being contacted telephonically by “NCR Agents” to discuss his/her debt review status, or debt review flag removal. “The NCR does not have any personal information of consumers and will at no stage contact a consumer to discuss his/her debt review status” she warns. “Consumers are requested to report these “NCR Agents” to the NCR Complaints Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 0860 627 627 and not be scammed by these practices.”

It has further been noted that there are companies that advertise that they work with the NCR to investigate debt counsellors. Adv. Legodi informed that “the NCR has the exclusive mandate under law to perform an investigation into registrants, and cannot outsource such mandate to any outside company. Consumers are urged to request an official Inspector Certificate issued by the NCR from such companies prior to engaging with them. If such Inspector Certificate cannot not be produced, consumers are requested to report such companies to the NCR’s Complaints Department.”

The NCR further noted the prevalence of advertising, especially on social media platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram of claims that debt counsellors can:

  • Get debt written off by credit providers;
  • Payment of a large amount of debt in a very short period of time;
  • Government approved method to get debt written off;
  • Government approved debt relief for over 30’s / 40’s / 50’s / 60’s (Bait marketing);
  • Pictures of senior government officials advertising debt relief; and
  • Save consumers 63% / 60% / 55% / 43% on debt repayments.

Adv. Legodi warns that “if it is too good to be true, it probably is”. She explains that “debt relief measures under the National Credit Act (NCA) are intended to repay all debt to credit providers with certain interest concessions and extended terms to facilitate relief to consumers. It is not a savings plan or magic trick to let debt disappear Consumers remain responsible for debt repayments and there are no provisions in the NCA or the Regulations that can facilitate the claims made in these advertisements. “Don’t be fooled or scammed by such unlawful and false advertising”.

Consumers should not trust any advertising that do not contain the NCR registration number of the debt counsellor. “If the debt counsellor is not clearly identified in the advertising, how can a consumer verify the identity and status of the debt counsellor, or the validity of the service”, explains Adv. Legodi. Therefore, consumers should be vigilant and report any advertising to the NCR where the advertiser cannot be identified. Consumers should also keep in mind that no person, not even attorneys can provide the services of a debt counsellor, if they are not registered to do so. “Always ask for the NCR registration number before engaging with any person, even attorneys who claims to be a debt counsellor or to provide any service surrounding your credit agreements” Adv. Legodi warns. 

Finally, consumers must be made aware that it is unlawful for debt counsellors to receive any payments of money directly from consumers. Adv. Legodi explains that “Regulation 11 of the NCA clearly prohibit debt counsellors from taking any money from consumers and can be deregistered for doing so. Consumers are requested to report to the NCR if the debt counsellor request payment of any monies to them directly.”

ENDS


About The National Credit Regulator
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established as the regulator under the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (NCA) and is responsible for the regulation of the South African credit industry. The NCR is mandated with the registration of Credit Providers, Credit Bureaus, Debt Counsellors, Payment Distribution Agents, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Agents; and monitoring their conduct in compliance with the National Credit Act as amended. The National Credit Regulator offers education and protection to consumers of credit in promotion of a South African credit market that is fair, transparent, accessible and dynamic.

For more information contact:
Media Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or
Didi Sebothoma
064 752 3910
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.ncr.org.za

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