This is a government initiative called: Removal of Adverse Consumer Credit Information and Information Relating to Paid-Up Judgments announced on 26 February 2014 (Government Gazette Notice No. 37386, “The Notice”).
This initiative is aimed at providing relief to consumers listed at credit bureaus. The barriers created by a negative credit record created great hardship to consumers, for example, being unable to access employment opportunities, rental accommodation, home loans as well as affordable credit. It gives you the opportunity to start your life on a clean financial slate and maintain a clean credit record going forward.
HOW DOES IT WORK:
1. It is a quick and simple process from 1 April 2014 to remove adverse credit information or “listings”.
2. For judgments, you don’t have to approach the court or pay a lawyer to have your name removed. Once you have paid up and provided proof of payment it will be removed within 7 days.
TYPES OF INFORMATION REMOVED:
1. Adverse consumer credit information (such as ‘handed over’, ‘written off’, ‘slow payer’, ‘absconded’, ‘not contactable’ etc.).
2. Information relating to paid-up judgments (such as default judgments where the consumer has paid the judgments).
3. Details and results relating to disputes lodged by consumers.
4. Adverse consumer credit information in the payment profile represented by any mark, symbol or sign or any manner or form.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO CONSUMERS:
1. Once the relevant information is removed, no credit provider may use your adverse credit information again if you are applying for credit. Credit bureaus are not allowed to provide such information to anyone for any reason.
2. You are still responsible to pay your unsettled debt even if your adverse credit information has been removed from your credit bureau record.
TIPS TO CONSUMERS:
1. You are allowed one free credit report a year from each registered credit bureau.
2. You have the right to dispute inaccurate information on your credit record.
3. You have a right to apply for debt counselling when you are over indebted.
4. You must use credit responsibly.
5. You must provide honest and true information when applying for credit.
6. Always pay instalments on time.
7. Start a culture of saving for a rainy day, today.