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NEW CREDIT ACT

YOU CAN GET A JOB IF YOU ARE BLACKLISTED

Being blacklisted is a disappointment to anyone. Not getting a job because of it is a double disappointment. Musa discovered how difficult it was to find a job after being blacklisted. He believed he was unfairly blacklisted and contacted the credit-giver, but they couldn’t help him. He then contacted the Credit Information Ombudsman.

In line with the new National Credit Act, credit information of people who had been blacklisted for failing to pay debts of less than R500 have been removed from the credit bureau on 1 June this year.

Couldn’t pay

In 2004, Musa had a car accident. He was in hospital for four months fighting for his life. During this time, his employer didn’t pay him, so he couldn’t pay his debts. He was also unable to make arrangements with his credit givers. They thought he had disappeared and reported him to the credit bureau. When Musa got out of hospital, he tried to find a job, but it was very difficult. Even with a good CV and reference from his last employer, most employers told Musa they couldn’t give him a job because he was blacklisted.

Good news

But Credit Information Ombudsman, Manie van Schalkwyk, had good news. In line with the new National Credit Act, your bad credit information at the credit bureau may not be used against you when you apply for a job. The only time this information may be used against you is when you apply for a job involving working with money and where the utmost trust and honesty is required. But the employer must have your permission to get the information from the credit bureau.

The Act also says that credit givers must give people 20 working days before they can be blacklisted at the credit bureau.

Credit report

With the new Act, consumers can ask for a free credit report from the credit bureau at least once a year. If you believe you were wrongly or unfairly blacklisted, you must first try to put the matter right with the credit providers and the credit bureau. If this doesn’t work, you can contact the Ombudsman by calling 0860 662 837 for free. If you have access to the Internet, you can e-mail the ombudsman at ombud@creditombud.org.za, or visit the website at www.creditombud.org.za for more information. - Ndivhuwo Khangale

- Ndivhuwo Khangale

If you have been unable to find a job because you are blacklisted, the new National Credit Act brings good news. In line with the new Act, bad credit information at credit bureaus may not be used against you when you apply for a job unless you will be working with money. The new Act came into effect on 1 June, 2007.

For more information on the New
National Credit Act, call the Credit
Information Ombudsman on
086 166 28370