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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.

Debt counselling provides hope for those in need

August 2020

Although many sectors have been allowed to get back to work, many South African households are in significant financial hardship and others have been struggling to make ends meet even before the COVID-19 pandemic, says Adv. Kedilatile Legodi, Acting Manager: Education & Communication at the National Credit Regulator (NCR).

In 2007, debt counselling was introduced in the National Credit Act (NCA) as a debt relief measure intended to assist over-indebted consumers struggling to repay their debts through the restructuring of their debts and making repayments manageable. Furthermore, the process of debt counselling leads to rehabilitation as it presents consumers with an opportunity to start afresh and build a clean credit record.

What are some of the benefits of debt counselling?

  • It provides an opportunity to repay debts without borrowing more money or taking on extra debt.
  • If you apply before credit providers institute legal action to enforce the debt, you receive protection against such legal action and repossession of your assets.
  • If you continue making repayments whilst under debt counselling, you will still be protected from repossession of your assets until all your debts are paid up.
  • Essential/living expenses such as groceries, school fees and others are taken into account before a determination of how much is available to offer towards your debts.
  • A registered debt counsellor negotiates reduced repayments on behalf of the consumer, using the consumer’s existing income.
  • The restructuring of debts will be approved by a Magistrate Court or the National Consumer Tribunal and this provides assurance that the negotiated and restructured repayment terms are fixed for the duration that you are under debt counselling.
  • There is no limit in terms of the amount of debt that can be placed under debt counselling, as long as legal action is not taken, the consumer debt can be included under debt counselling.
  • There is no timeframe for a consumer to be under debt counselling as the term is dependent on the consumer’s financial circumstances such as debt, income, living expenses and others.
  • If all your short term debt is paid in full and the only remaining debt is a home loan, if this home loan is up to date in terms of the debt counselling re-arrangement agreement, you will be issued with a clearance certificate and all credit information of accounts which were under debt counselling will be expunged from your credit profile/record at the credit bureau. This means you can start afresh and tap into the credit market on a clean slate.
  • You have the option of making a single payment through the use of the Payment Distribution Agents (PDAs) registered with the NCR. PDAs have a mandate to collect and distribute debt counselling funds on behalf of consumers to credit providers. This option provides convenience for the consumer.  

Whilst it may be difficult for many to confront their financial hardship, consumers who are receiving income are encouraged to act immediately by considering debt counselling as a debt relief measure and to do so before their assets such as houses, cars and others are repossessed by credit providers, urges Legodi.

Below are some of the things that consumer take further note of if considering debt counselling:

  • Debt counselling is often times referred to as debt review;
  • To apply for debt counselling, a consumer must have an income;
  • You cannot go under debt counselling if you are still under debt administration;
  • Once you apply for debt counselling, you will not get any further credit and your name will be flagged at the credit bureaus. This is not a listing, but an indicator that you have applied for debt counselling;
  • Debt counselling is offered by NCR registered debt counsellors and you can verify their registration status with the NCR by visiting the NCR’s website on www.ncr.org.za or calling on 0860 627 627;
  • Debt counselling is not offered for free. The debt counselling related costs should be explained to consumers upfront by the debt counsellor and these fees  can be confirmed on the NCR’s website (www.ncr.org.za) under guidelines;
  • Where a court order has been granted, consumers can only exit debt counselling upon receipt of a clearance certificate from their debt counsellor;
  • Use a debt counsellor that is close to where you live or work for easy access. This will enable you to physically visit the debt counsellor’s office should the need arise;
  • Consumers married in community of property, have to bring a joint debt counselling application and cannot apply individually;
  • The impact of making reduced payment will result in the extension of the initial repayment term.

Legodi stresses that consumers should ensure that they receive a comprehensive explanation from the debt counsellor and understand the debt counselling process before they sign and accept the application. Furthermore, they must have knowledge of who their debt counsellor is (i.e. name and NCR registration number), what the consequences of being under debt counselling is, how their debt is going to be restructured, the related costs, what their rights and obligations are under debt counselling so that they can be able to make informed decisions, stay informed to proactively address any concerns or anomalies they notice.

The NCR was established, amongst others to ensure compliance with the NCA, receive and investigate complaints. If consumers are unhappy with the service provided by debt counsellors, credit providers, credit bureaus or PDAs, they are invited to  lodge a complaint with the NCR at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; concludes Legodi.

Ends  


About The National Credit Regulator
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established in terms of 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:

Ntombizodwa Mahlangu
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: 064 752 3926
Media Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.ncr.org.za

Managing debt during COVID-19 times

July 2020

As South Africa is battling with the rapid spread of CODIV-19 and how to stimulate economic activities, many consumers are in financial distress and struggling to repay debts as a result of reduced and complete loss of income. The National Credit Act (NCA) offers various debt relief measures for financially embattled consumers struggling to repay debts and consumers are encouraged to consider these measures where applicable, advises Adv. Kedilatile Legodi, Acting Manager: Education and Communication at the National Credit Regulator (NCR). 

Below are the various NCA debt relief measures to consider:

Credit Life Insurance

Credit life insurance is an insurance that a consumer purchases when applying for credit or loan. It covers the outstanding debt in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as death, retrenchment, unemployment, inability to earn an income, disability and others. In the event of the consumer becoming unemployed or unable to earn an income, the credit life insurance cover provides that credit providers must settle / pay the consumer’s debt for a period of twelve (12) months or for the remaining repayment period or until the consumer finds employment or is able to earn an income, whichever period is shorter. Consumers who would like to use this relief measure but battling to get assistance from their credit providers can send a complaint to the National Credit Regulator. However, it is important for consumers to remember that in order to benefit from credit life insurance, all payments regarding the credit life insurance policy must be up to date.

 Debt Counselling / Review

Debt counselling is a debt relief measure intended to assist over-indebted consumers struggling with debt, through budget advice, negotiation with credit providers for reduced payments, extension of repayment term and restructuring of debt. Debt counselling also offers consumers protection against repossession or legal action by credit providers. Consumers who have been negatively impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in reduced income are encouraged to consider this debt relief measure since an income is required to apply for debt counselling. However, before signing up for debt counselling, consumers must ensure that the process is understood in detail and the implications thereof. Debt counselling is offered by the NCR registered debt counsellors who operate nationwide. A list of registered debt counsellors can be found on the NCR website www.ncr.org.za or by contacting the NCR on 0860 627 627.

Surrender of goods

The NCA allows consumers to voluntarily surrender / return goods to credit providers when they can no longer afford to maintain the repayments or can foresee that they will not be able to maintain future payments. In terms of section 127 of the NCA, credit agreements under which goods can be surrendered are instalment agreements, secured loans or leases.

Legodi says that there is a process to be followed, which consumers are encouraged to understand before they give notice to a credit provider to return the goods. The credit provider is required to provide the consumer with a letter setting out the estimated value of the goods, ten (10) business days after the consumer gave notice to surrender or return the goods, whichever is the latest. The consumer may withdraw the notice to surrender within 10 business days after receiving the estimated value letter, if the account is not in arrears. The credit provider will sell the returned goods in an attempt to settle the debt. However, there is no guarantee that the credit provider will sell the goods for what the consumer still owes. If the proceeds from the sale are insufficient to settle the outstanding debt, the consumer will be liable to pay the shortfall after the sale. Consumers are also encouraged to privately sell goods that they can no longer afford to repay in an attempt to obtain the best possible price, advises Legodi.

For consumers with a need to borrow or loan money, they should do so having considered their ability to repay the debt and only use NCR registered credit providers. Consumers should never enter into any agreement with unregistered credit providers who usually retain bank cards, SASSA cards, identity documents etc. as security and a collection method. The retention of cards or identity documents is prohibited and a criminal offence in terms of the NCA. Consumers are urged to report credit providers who retain these instruments to the South African Police Service and the NCR, concludes Legodi.

Ends 


 About The National Credit Regulator

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established in terms of 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: 

Ntombizodwa Mahlangu

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

Cell: 064 752 3926

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

Website: www.ncr.org.za

Consumers advised to use their credit life insurance for relief

April 2020

As South Africa is battling with the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, many consumers have been left with the inability to earn an income. Some are unemployed whilst others are receiving less income due to reduced working hours. Some credit providers have pronounced interim debt relief measures for consumers who have been hard hit by this pandemic. The National Credit Regulator (NCR) advises consumers that where applicable, they first consider the option of using their credit life insurance benefit as a relief in this difficult period, says Nomsa Motshegare, Chief Executive Officer of the NCR.

A credit life insurance is an insurance that a consumer signs up for when applying for credit or a loan and it covers the outstanding debt in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as death, retrenchment, unemployment, inability to earn an income, disability and others. Motshegare advises that, in the event of the consumer becoming unemployed or unable to earn an income, the credit life insurance cover provides that credit providers must settle/pay the consumer’s debt for a period of twelve (12) months or for the remaining repayment period or until the consumer finds employment or is able to earn an income, whichever period is shorter.

 Many consumers may not be aware that they have credit life insurance in place and that the premium for this insurance is already included in the cost of credit. To check if this insurance is in place, consumers must contact their credit providers and where applicable consider use of this benefit to provide relief, concludes Motshegare. 

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

Ntombizodwa Mahlangu

(011) 554-2624 / 064 752 3926

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

Website: www.ncr.org.za

Be careful of “fake” credit provider scams during the covid-19 pandemic

April 2020

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is warning consumers to be careful of scammers who act as legitimate credit providers preying on vulnerable consumers during this period of COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of this pandemic has unfortunately left many consumers desperate for money and some having to resort to borrowing. On the other hand, criminals have seen the opportunity to exploit the desperate and vulnerable by posing as legitimate registered credit providers and offering loans with a condition of an “upfront payment”, says Nomsa Motshegare, CEO of the NCR.

“The NCR has during this period, been receiving queries from consumers about unregistered companies posing as registered credit providers offering them loans via SMS and email”, says Motshegare. These scammers use the registration details of lawfully registered credit providers, inform consumers that the loan is approved and before the loan is paid out, they demand an “upfront payment” from the consumers. Once consumers pay this upfront payment, the scammers will disappear with no trace and no loan will be paid out to the consumer.

According to the National Credit Act (NCA), an “upfront payment” for a loan is unlawful and not allowed, consumers are warned not to fall for this scam and never pay any upfront fee for a loan. Those who have fallen victim to this scam and have paid upfront fees should open criminal cases at their nearest South African Police Service (SAPS), advises Motshegare.

Everyone giving out credit, must be registered with the NCR and apply the rules in the NCA. All registered credit providers’ details are listed on the NCR’s website (www.ncr.org.za) and consumers are encouraged to check before doing business with anyone offering credit, concludes Motshegare.

Ends

About The National Credit Regulator

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established in terms of 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 

Ntombizodwa Mahlangu

Cell: 064 752 3926

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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