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Credit Card and Credit Scores

Credit Card and Credit Scores

Credit card and credit scores - Ways to Boost Credit Scores using a credit card

With the right credit card, you can make the most of your purchases and finance items effortlessly while enhancing your credit worthiness, credit report, and credit scores. In addition to boosting your credit score, this excellent product will also allow you to earn rewards at the same time. The responsible use of credit cards can be a valuable tool for financing the purchase of goods and services. However, if not used properly, there is also the possibility that it will have adverse effects on your finances as well as your credit scores.

You may initially see a drop in your credit score when you take out this facility. However, if you manage your Master or Visa card responsibly over time, you will be able to build a positive credit history over time.

If you make all your payments on time, complete them promptly, and stay within your credit limit, you will be able to appear to credit providers as someone who is financially responsible. The following weeks and months may result in an increase in your credit score, leading to a considerable increase in your card limit.

To get the most out of your credit cards and in our quest to answer your question - how can a credit card build my credit score? follow this article closely. As the title implies, this article aims to give you a comprehensive overview of how you can improve your credit scores with a more effective and responsible approach to these financial cards.

Credit Cards: How to use them wisely to improve credit bureau scores!

So, you have received your new facility and card with the aim to boost credit scores. The key is to use it strategically and not run out to the nearest store to finance expensive items knowing you won't have to pay for them immediately. One thing you should always consider when using this type of card is that you want the new facility to help you build your credit scores and develop a healthy financial profile rather than getting you into excessive debt. There are several ways to go about this, and here are a few of them:

Create a budget.

Credit cards and budgeting: Is it possible? As a rule of thumb, budgeting is all about making sure it does not become a habit for you to spend money you do not have. As a result of taking out a Master or Visa Card, you will inevitably spend money you do not have. Spending smarter with your Visa or master card can prevent you from getting trapped in a debt spiral you will find challenging to escape. A credit card's buy now, pay later structure can lead to you living beyond your means if you do not stick to a strict budget.

Your balance will quickly increase as you become increasingly free to spend the bank's money on whatever you want. Maintain a low balance, manage your payments, and keep your credit score high by not overspending your card. As a result, you will be able to afford your payments, and your card usage will be consistent. Follow the next Tips for an effective credit card budget.

Do not rely on your credit limit for your budget. Use your income figures to budget. Your budget begins with your monthly income and spending.  It is important to remember that the money you see on your card under your credit limit is not yours and using this facility will incur interest charges. Tip#1: Never use your entire credit limit and make it a habit to use it as little as possible. Keeping your budget on track will automatically increase your credit score without you having to do anything extra and without even realizing it.

Essential tips: How to use your credit card wisely

  • Plan and stick to a budget.
    • It can be convenient to use these cards when making purchases without thinking about the consequences twice, but you should not use it to buy items you cannot afford. Keep yourself from getting in over your head by knowing how much you can spend and pay off each month. Make a budget and spend only 50% of your net pay on essentials and living expenses, 15% or less on items you don't need and 35% on debt repayment and savings. Keeping your spending in line with your income and other spending priorities will help you manage your debt. Eventually, you will see your credit score skyrocket without even realizing it if you manage your facility effectively.
  • Paying accounts or settling debts with a credit card is never a clever idea.
    • It is imperative for you to reassess your financial situation if you find yourself in a situation where you wish to make payments on your debts with your Visa or Master card. There is no doubt that interest rates on these cards are high, and the balances can quickly spiral out of control. Have a confidential discussion with one of our advisors and see how you can prevent yourself from falling into the debt trap.
  • There should never be a situation where you miss a payment on your card.
    • If you can only afford the minimum required payment, make sure you pay this account each month without fail! If you miss a payment, you will incur an overdue payment fee, penalty interest, collection charges, and, more importantly, it will damage your credit card and credit scores.
  • Keep Track of Your Purchases and set up a debit order.
    • The first step is determining how much you can afford to repay monthly on your new facility. Then, make sure this amount reflects in your budget. Track your monthly purchases carefully and make sure they are within your budget. As soon as you have reached your monthly spending cap, it is best to stay away from using the card until you have paid off all the outstanding debt on the card.
    • You should leave your Master or Visa card at home, so you won't feel tempted to use it. It is a strict and challenging method of self-discipline, but once you become accustomed to it, you will find it more manageable.
    • As of the end of the month, you will have to pay your newly added instalment every month, and it will take some time to get used to it. Schedule a debit order to prevent overdue payments on your Visa or master card account. If you want to pay more than the minimum payment, you should instruct the credit provider to load a debit order for more than that amount.
    • The payment history on all credit agreements is one of the most significant factors in calculating a credit score. Keep your credit score climbing by paying all your accounts on time.
  • Never use a credit card for impulsive purchases.
    • Do not, under any circumstances, live on the available balance of your credit card. Paying off your outstanding balance at the end of each month will help you significantly increase your credit scores and debt to income ratios. Due to the higher instalments and high-interest rates, living off your available credit will damage your credit scores and increase your debt-to-income ratio. All banks offer a 54-day interest-free period on purchases made with these financial instruments. The interest-free period enables you to make purchases and pay off the balance in full without paying interest.
  • Make the most of your credit card interest rate!
    • As soon as possible, pay the balance of your outstanding balance in full each month so as not to pay interest on recent purchases. Making effective use of a Master or Visa Card without interest is easy if you resist the temptation to spend more than you can afford. If it is not possible to settle the balance within 54 days, paying the balance soon will be beneficial.
    • As per the National Credit Act and the National Credit Regulations, a bank may charge a maximum interest rate of 20.5% on a Master or Visa card and a maximum interest rate of 27.5% on personal loans. On paper, the rates on credit cards are lower than the interest rates on offer on your typical personal loans. A credit scoring tactic that will prove to be an effective way to improve credit scores is to take advantage of this low-interest rate and pay off the balance in 54 to 80 days.
  • Stay within your limit - ALWAYS!
    • As tempting as it might be to max out your facility, it is crucial that you do not do this. The simplest way to increase or boost your credit score is to keep your credit utilization ratio below 40% whenever possible, regardless of your available credit.
    • The credit utilization ratio represents how much of your total available credit you are utilizing at any given time. Utilization of credit plays a significant role in determining your credit score.
    • To illustrate an example, if your credit limit is five thousand Rands, then it is recommended that you keep your balance under two thousand Rands. It is essential to keep in mind that this utilization ratio applies to all your outstanding credit agreements.
    • For example, if one card is five thousand Rands with a two thousand Rands balance and another is two thousand Rands with a five hundred Rands balance, you are at roughly 36%. The calculation for the above example will be R2,500 out of an available R7,000, which is the level of credit utilization percentage you want to boost credit scores.
  • Credit Card needs versus wants.
    • Make sure you use your new facility only for emergencies and use it responsibly to improve your credit score, not to upgrade your lifestyle. It is prudent to use credit cards carefully as unmanaged frivolous purchases can lead to indebtedness. Using these cards can be convenient in times of need, such as when you owe money to a doctor or blood test account. Pay back your balance as soon as possible to avoid interest charges or to ensure you do not exceed your 40% utilization ratio.
  • Use credit cards that offer rewards.
    • Take advantage of credit cards that give you benefits and rewards. You can use these free rewards to reward yourself for being a responsible user. By using these cards effectively, you will boost your credit scores as well as earn some decent free rewards.

Credit card and credit scores infographic Ways to Boost Credit Scores

Credit Card Fraud will damage scores – Tips to use your card safely

In credit card fraud, unauthorized purchases tend to occur online using your facility without your knowledge. Essentially, it is when somebody steals your card, finds it, and then makes purchases with it intending to steal your money. There is also the possibility of your account information to be stolen as part of a data breach or if someone uses a skimming device to clone your card information to make in-store or online purchases. Master and Visa card fraud can impact your credit score if the fraudulent activity ends up in your credit reports. Here are some tips for keeping your Visa or Master card secure:

  • Considering the importance of keeping passwords and s safe, we strongly recommend that it is kept confidential, and you do not write them down anywhere.
  • Do not conduct your banking in public internet cafes or insecure terminals available in hotels and airports.
  • It is imperative to avoid sending any electronic mail messages that contain your card number, expiration date, and CVV number. The information in your mail can be intercepted and used to make purchases without your knowledge.
  • Review your account statement carefully each month and contact your bank immediately if you discover any unrecognized transactions.
  • When shopping online, only place orders with your card with well-known companies offering secure websites. A protected website address should begin with the letters HTTPS rather than HTTP. S at the end of HTTP indicates that the website is safe, and the website is using an SSL. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer connection, which guarantees that all information entered the website will be encrypted before it gets sent to the server.
  • Always keep your card in sight when it is time to use it and ensure that it returns to you after every purchase. It only takes a few minutes to clone a card.
  • Report the loss or theft of a card immediately with the bank that issued the card.
  • Do not use your card to withdraw money from an ATM as it will cripple your creditworthiness with the bank, but if you do and your card gets swallowed, contact your bank immediately and cancel it before you leave that ATM.
  • Do not choose the same PIN for all your cards.
  • Do not reveal your passwords or PINs to anyone over the phone, fax, or email if they ask for it. Please note that bank employees will never ask you for your pin. In such a case, report the staff member immediately to the bank's complaints department. 
  • Inspect the ATM slot and see if it looks natural. If it does not look right, do not insert your card. 
  • Enable SMS notifications on your card to be notified of transactions.

Conclusion

Having discussed credit cards and credit scores in detail, we have now concluded. As a result, if these cards are handled responsibly, they can be a valuable financial tool under the right circumstances. Your credit score will increase if you make regular, on-time payments on your credit cards, and some cards may even offer rewards for purchases along with 0% interest on outstanding balances if you pay it off within 54 days.

There is no doubt that if you get out of control with your credit spending, you may find that monthly payments and accumulated interest can become a problem for many years afterward.

Finally, you should take the steps mentioned above to protect yourself against ever-present fraud.

Credit card and credit scores Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

If I am late with my payment, what will happen?

When you are even one day late, you run the risk of having to pay a late fee. Irrespective of whether you missed a payment accidentally or intentionally, you will end up damaging your credit report and lowering your credit score because of this oversight.

My card has been used fraudulently. What should I do?

You should immediately contact the bank that issued your card if you believe any transactions posted to your account are fraudulent. Your card may have a customer service number on the back. If you do not find it on your card, you may find it on your statement. 

Is it better to use my credit card for all my expenses to earn more points on a rewards program?

Many people indeed use their Visa or Master cards for most of their monthly expenses and entertainment needs to earn the most points possible, but this can only work if you pay off your outstanding account balance in full each month. In the event that you do not settle the entire balance by the due date, then any rewards you have earned will be offset by the interest on the outstanding balance. 

Do too many credit cards affect my credit score?

When you have too many facilities of this type with high outstanding balances and large monthly repayment instalments, you are likely to have a negative impact on your bureau score. It all depends on your overall credit history and utilization ratio. The most important thing to remember is to keep your credit utilization ratio below 40% whenever possible. 

How do you keep your utilization rate low?

You should not max out your Visa or Master Card, and you should ensure that there are no large balances on these types of cards. Your utilization rate can be decreased to between 30 and 40% by paying more towards your balance every month and settling your facility from month to month.

What are the effects of closing a credit card on your bureau report and score?

There is a possibility that closing the card will affect your credit score if it changes your overall credit utilization ratio. As mentioned above, your credit utilization ratio is a measurement of how much of your total available credit you are using, based on the information on your bureau reports. It is essential to remember that the more available credit you use, the worse the impact. As a rule of thumb, a 30-40 per cent ratio tends to be the ideal level.

Whenever you need us, and you have a question about clearing your credit bureau report, or if you need debt assistance, we are here for you.

Feel free to contact us via any of the following methods

Online chat:

Located at the bottom right corner of our website

(you'll be chatting with one of our proficient client care managers) A director will also join the conversation in cases of complex situations. 

Contact: 087 898 0895/6/7/8

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You can apply for our services online here:

What is a Credit Bureau?

What is a Credit Bureau?

What is a Credit Bureau? and How Does It Work?

Forty-five percent of people in South Africa report they do not know how credit reports come into being.

It is likely that you are like many consumers; you are aware of what a credit score or report is but have no idea what a credit bureau is. There are four major credit bureaus in South Africa that keeps track of your credit information.

Credit providers then use these to determine a particular prospective customer's creditworthiness.  

A credit bureau's primary function is to observe the actions of consumers with respect to credit information and accurately translate these actions into measurable and reasonably accurate figures. It, therefore, ensures that any credit provider registered with the NCR can accurately determine the degree of risk associated with a particular consumer.

It is a game of numbers, and from the perspective of the credit provider, it is one of the most crucial steps in their process of due diligence. It is common for credit providers to feel more inclined to refuse a new loan application if a credit score drops.

We have previously mentioned that South Africa has four main credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, XDS, and Compuscan. Let us take a closer look at what these companies do and why they are crucial to the South African economy.

What Is a Credit Bureau?

It would be helpful to start with the repositories of consumer credit information, namely credit bureaus. The primary purpose of these credit bureaus is to provide information and analysis of the consumer's credit behaviour primarily for the benefit of credit providers like the six banks, store companies, loan providers, service providers like telecommunications companies and other registered financial institutions.

The credit bureaus obtain their information from several reputable sources, including banks, loan companies, retailers, and other registered credit providers. They are responsible for collecting, storing, and maintaining all this information about consumers' credit histories. This information helps credit bureaus generate consumer credit reports, which lenders use to determine an individual's creditworthiness.

What is the Purpose of a Credit Bureau?

Credit bureaus partner and work closely with lending institutions to help them make informed decisions about lending money. A significant source of revenue for credit bureaus is the sale of consumer credit reports to lenders.

With the help of these purchased credit reports, financial institutions determine whether an individual is a suitable candidate for a loan and what interest rate to charge.

It is also common for insurance companies to use credit information about policyholders when determining premiums and evaluating claims. Employers use credit reports to screen applicants for positions in the financial sector.

It's important to understand that while credit bureaus undoubtedly play a significant role in our financial lives, they are not government entities. Nor are they a non-profit business. The business model of these for-profit companies is to sell consumer data.

There are many reasons why it is so important to know what is in your credit reports and that you ensure that the information is accurate. There can be significant repercussions if there are errors in your report, whether they will affect your ability to obtain a home loan, rent a house, or even land your dream position in a prestigious company.

Common Myths About Credit Bureaus

There are two myths associated with credit bureaus which we have already busted.

They are privately registered and owned, and they are neither government entities. They are in business to make profits for their shareholders. Let's look at a few more.

Myth #1

All your personal information, including your income and race, is recorded, and tracked by credit bureaus. 

The statement is false. Credit bureaus only collect information about your credit-related activities, such as whether you pay your monthly accounts and service agreements on time, how much debt you have and what type of credit products you have. However, there are certain things they do not track, for instance, race, what your bank account balance is or how much money you earn.

Myth #2

You only get a credit report if you have a good credit history.

This statement is also false. Any consumer who has ever applied for a loan or had a credit card has a credit history and a credit score. Even if you have never been late on a payment, your credit reports will still show up when credit providers request your report.

Myth #3

A free credit report is only available once a year.

This statement is another myth. You have the right to receive a free report from each bureau every twelve months. For example, if you check your Experian report and find an error, you can also request a free report from Compuscan and TransUnion to see if there are any errors on those reports too.

Myth #4

You can damage your credit score by checking it yourself.

This statement is false. When you check your report or credit score, you do not affect your score. The only time your score affects you is when a lender assesses it as part of the qualification process for a loan, home loan, vehicle finance application or credit card.

Myth #5

If you miss payments on your debts, you will get blacklisted.

This statement is another popular myth. The credit reporting bureaus do not maintain a blacklist of consumers who defaulted on their repayments. A surprisingly common myth that has existed for an exceptionally long time is the term blacklisted. It refers to a self-made belief that if you fail to make any payments on any of your debts, you will not be able to access credit facilities in the future.

The credit providers will evaluate your report and score whenever you apply for credit. These factors will influence their decision about whether to approve your credit request. Credit providers decline your application because they do not believe you have met their minimum criteria to qualify for additional loan facilities and not because your name appears on a dreaded blacklist.

Myth #6

A higher income leads to a higher credit score.This statement is another myth. The amount of money you earn has no bearing on your credit score. It is not how much money you have available to pay your accounts that determines your credit score, but how well you pay your credit agreements. Your bureau report and score may improve if you pay off your outstanding debt and earn a higher salary. Even if you receive a modest income and have a good repayment profile, your credit score may be better than those earning higher incomes with poor payment profiles. 

Article continued after the Infographic.

What is a Credit Bureau Infographic

The Main Credit Bureaus in South Africa

Having clarified some common misconceptions about credit reporting bureaus, let's take a closer look at the four main credit bureaus based in SA. These are fully registered member credit bureaus, meaning they have access to a wide range of data sources and are subject to strict regulatory requirements under the National Credit Act.

The following section will concentrate on the four credit reporting bureaus whose services tend to be the most widely used by credit providers in South Africa. These credit reporting bureaus are out of the eighteen credit bureaus in existence in the country.

Experian

With over 40 years of experience, Experian has established itself as one of the world's largest credit reporting bureaus. Globally, they operate in thirty-six different countries.

It is pertinent to note that Experian South Africa offers consumer and business credit reports. These services are readily available at your fingertips in an easy-to-understand format.

TransUnion

Another widely used global credit bureau, TransUnion, has been around for more than one hundred years and has a reputation for providing accurate and timely credit information. On an international scale, they have access to data on approximately 18 million consumers and over 3 million businesses.

The headquarters of the TransUnion organization lies in Chicago, United States of America, but the company also has offices in twenty-two other countries around the world.

XDS

XDS stands for Xpert Data Solutions and is a local credit reporting bureau completely 100% independently black-owned. They are the largest locally owned credit bureau in South Africa.

It is a member of the EOH Group, which operates in more than fifty countries across the globe.

Compuscan

Another credit bureau that does business in South Africa is Compuscan. The company has been operating for over 25 years and has its headquarters in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

What information does a credit bureau collect?

It is essential to understand that credit bureaus are registered independently. Most credit decisions and assessments rely on information gathered by XDS, TransUnion, Compuscan and Experian, the four main credit bureaus. Credit bureaus collect the following information:

1. Personal Information

Credit bureau companies use your personal information to identify you, so they can distinguish you from other borrowers who may be applying for credit. The following personal information is collected:

  • Full names and Surname
  • Physically address as per proof of address document. 
  • Date of birth
  • Identity number
  • Previous addresses
  • Employment history

2. Public Records

The only public records appearing in credit reports are sequestrations, administration orders, debt review indicators, and judgments.

3. Inquiries

As soon as a consumer applies for a new credit facility, the credit provider will request a report from the bureaus to assess the risk involved for the consumer. This newly recorded inquiry will appear under the section inquiries. Your report will show these inquiries for one year. Your credit score will be affected if you apply for numerous new credit applications within two weeks.

4. Payment history

Payment histories are records of all your credit agreements, loans, home loans, and other services, and they are the most crucial information credit bureaus collect. About 35% of your credit score stems from the information gathered from this section.

Each loan has several vital characteristics. They may go by a variety of names, but the general attributes are as follows:

  • Creditor name
  • Account number
  • Account type
  • Date account opened
  • Current Balance
  • Date Of Current Balance
  • Account status
  • Date of Account Status
  • Credit Limit
  • Monthly Installment
  • Last Payment Amount
  • Last Payment date
  • Arrears Amount

If you are more than 30 days in arrears, the arrears amount, and last payment date will adversely affect your credit score. Your credit score will suffer if you do not resolve your arrears as soon as possible. 

What information does not appear in your bureau report?

Credit providers want to know how you manage your debt when the time comes for you to apply for a home loan, vehicle finance, or loan. As discussed earlier, credit reports provide credit providers with a detailed record of your relationship with past and present debt obligations, how much debt you have, and how well you manage your debt. You will find your personal information in the report that helps verify that the information in the bureau report is related to you.

Credit reports do not include the following sensitive information:

  • Marital status
  • Medical and disability information  
  • Bank account balances
  • Criminal records
  • Educational details
  • Income
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Trade union affiliation
  • Opinions on politics
  • Investment portfolio
  • Purchase records, such as what type of car you bought

Old information

Even the most relevant financial information will inevitably become outdated at some point in time. Consumer credit information is permitted to appear on consumer credit reports for a maximum period prescribed by the National Credit Act. The National Credit Act sets the maximum retention period for credit bureau information. The following information should automatically drop off your bureau report as it expires:

  • Credit Enquiries. One year.
  • Payment histories. Five years.
  • Classifications of adverse enforcement actions. One year or 14 days after settlement.
  • Debt Counselling. Once a clearance certificate is issued.
  • Judgments. Five Years or until paid.

Checking Your Credit Report

It has already been mentioned in the previous paragraph that you are entitled to one free report from each credit reporting bureau once a year. In most cases, the process involved in requesting your credit reports in South Africa is straightforward to follow.

You can either request your report online or by mail. You can choose either of these options from the respective credit bureau's website. The information you need to provide to request your report will include some of your personal information, such as your name, address, email address, and a copy of your ID card. The credit bureau report should be sent to you within a few hours after making the request.

If you'd prefer to request your credit bureau reports by mail, you can send a letter with your full name, ID number, physical address, and contact details to the credit reporting bureau's postal address.

It's important to remember that you are entitled to one free bureau report per year from each credit bureau. You will have to pay a fee if you request a copy of your credit report more than once in 12 months.

Errors on Your Credit Report

Acting as soon as you find an error on your credit report is extremely important if you want to repair your credit score. Why is that? Having errors in your credit report or any other negative information that it contains can result in you being denied credit or even offered less favorable terms, such as an increased interest rate.

As a first step, you will have to initiate an investigation with the credit reporting bureau. As a result, the credit bureau will subsequently contact the lender or service provider concerned and ask them to verify the information displayed on your credit report.

It is possible to have inaccurate information removed from all your credit reports if it turns out to be erroneous.

You can also dispute any information in your bureau report that you believe is incorrect. The data includes information about delinquent payments, defaults, and insolvencies. If you wish to do this, you will need to send a written request to the credit bureau, accompanied by any documents that may be required.

Upon receiving the disputed information, the credit reporting bureau will investigate it within twenty business days and issue a response. There will be a correction to your credit report to remove the disputed incorrect information listed on your credit bureau reports.

How To Address a Bad Credit Report

If you've found your report isn't quite where you want it to be, there are several steps you can take.

As a first step, you will want to look carefully at your credit report and determine if you have any negative items. The types of credit score damaging listings that need to disappear from a bureau report include delinquent payments, defaults, and sequestrations.

Identifying the negative items in your report will allow you to start working on removing them to improve your bureau report. A person who owes their creditors outstanding money may have to negotiate updated terms or repayment plans.

Making payments monthly on time without fail and keeping your balances low can help you build your bureau report and scores. The fact that you are trying to improve your credit score means that you should live within your means and manage your finances accordingly. 

If you follow these steps regularly, you have the potential to improve your credit score and create a healthier financial future for yourself over time.

You can improve your credit score in several proactive ways, one of which is to work with a credit bureau clearance organization, such as Credit Salvage, which can assist you in clearing your credit bureau reports from all major bureaus.

Keep Your Credit Report Healthy

So, What is a Credit Bureau? Being familiar with what a credit reporting bureau is and how it works is a crucial and essential part of managing your finances.

With your new understanding of the role that credit reporting bureaus play in your credit history, you will be able to ensure that the information in your report is accurate and up to date. In addition, you can also use this knowledge to start building a good credit history that you will be able to use in the future to your advantage. By following these tips, you can help to create a bright financial future for yourself.

Do you prefer having someone who specializes in credit bureau clearance assist you through this process and help you improve your bureau score? Identifying credit score crushing listings, credit bureau clearances, default listing removals, and debt review removals are only a few of our services. You can apply online for our service by completing our easy online application today. Customer satisfaction is our top priority. We work quickly, professionally, and efficiently.

Credit Clearing

 

Credit Clearing

Credit Clearing: frequently asked questions

 

Credit score

A credit score in South Africa consists of a three-digit number generated by a credit bureau and determined based on the information found in a credit report. The credit report creates an overall picture of how well you manage your credit agreements month-to-month and how risky it would be for a financial and credit providing institution to advance your financing.

When calculating your credit score, credit bureaus use a complex formula based on the information they receive from your creditors.

Take note of the following regarding credit clearing
  • If you use your credit responsibly, you will earn points.
  • If you cannot manage your credit responsibly, you will lose points.
  • Depending on the bureau, there may not be a score if you have applied for debt review.
  • As your credit report changes from month to month, your credit score will either rise or fall over the course of time, depending on how your credit report is changing.

ITC check

ITC Check is a general term used to indicate what a consumer searches for when looking for a credit report from TransUnion Credit bureau. Generally referred to as ITC, TransUnion collects, holds, and distributes information about a consumer’s financial history from registered credit providers.

Based on this information, your credit report and credit scores are derived. If you have not requested a copy of your credit report within the last 12 months, each of the registered credit bureaus based in South Africa will send you a copy of your credit report within twenty-four hours.

Additionally, all four major credit bureaus are available to you through Credit Salvage via an easy-to-read credit report, and you can get this by clicking the picture below. There is a cost for these four comprehensive reports of R315 inclusive of VAT. The service fee includes an expert analysis of your information and a set of recommendations to follow so that your debt-to-income ratio and affordability calculations decrease to an acceptable level that will improve credit scores.

Order your report here

Experian free credit report

Experian free credit report is available in several different ways. Credit bureaus have various categories of information about your credit history, which may vary from bureau to bureau. The fact that you are ordering your own credit report from Experian has and never will influence your credit score. If you wish to obtain a copy of your free Experian credit report, please use one of the methods outlined below.

Order by mail or fax

  • Use the forms provided by Experian or contact Experian directly to obtain a free Experian credit report. Use the forms available on their website or contact them directly to acquire a free Experian credit report. 
  • Make copies of two pieces of acceptable identification, such as a driving license card, passport, or I.D. card.
  • A proof of residence that is no older than three months. 

Order by telephone

  • Call Experian directly and follow the instructions.
  • Experian Credit bureau Tel: 0861 10 56 65
  • You will have to verify your identity by answering several questions related to your personal and financial situation.
  • You will also need to provide the above-mentioned documents. I.D. and proof of residence. 
  • You will receive an electronic copy of your credit report via your email address. 

Get your Experian Free Credit Report online.

  • It is possible for you to order your credit report online from other Credit bureaus for a fee. However, it is essential to note that Experian allows you to access your credit report online for free.

Credit check with id number

A personal credit check or credit report requires your id number. Moreover, Credit Salvage provides easy-to-read credit reports for all four major credit bureaus. Click on the picture below to access them.

We will provide you with a detailed analysis of your information, including a set of recommendations to follow so that your debt-to-income ratio and affordability ratio drop to a level acceptable to the credit providers. This information and guidance, if followed, will improve the credit scores.

For these four comprehensive reports, there is a cost of R315 inclusive of VAT.

Credit Bureaus South Africa

It is important to note that there is no official credit bureau or credit rating organization in South Africa who can legitimately claim to be the primary credit bureau.

A South African credit bureau, referred to as a credit bureau, is a privately registered institution that accumulates, analyses, and provides credit providers with information regarding the borrowing and payment habits of South Africans.

There are eighteen registered credit bureaus in South Africa, and four of them tend to be the major credit bureaus for consumers: TransUnion, Experian, XDS and Compuscan. Experian, TransUnion, and XDS are the most popular credit bureau agencies for business reports.

You should be aware that each credit bureau operates independently and does not share information with one another. You should check your credit report from each of these main bureaus since your credit report will differ from one bureau to another.

Loans for Blacklisted people

When asking yourself whether you can get a loan with a blacklisted status or an impaired record, the answer would be yes, in some cases. Unfortunately, it is possible to qualify for a loan in South Africa while blacklisted and having an adverse credit history. But be warned of the predatory and unethical loan sharks and their payday loan products. There is nothing worse than loan sharks who will pounce on you, snatch all your money and assets, and suck you dry without care or regard for the damage they have done to you.

No matter how bad your credit report is, these loan sharks will grant you a loan. Despite this, they will charge you a very high-interest rate, and there are times when they will charge you ill-legitimately high-interest rates to catch you up in their web of dependency.

Business models used by loan sharks attempt to trap you into an endless debt cycle that is extremely hard to escape. The idea is for you to pay back the previous month's loan in full via an irreversible debit order that will make you feel pressured to borrow from them again. You will borrow again to cover household living expenses. 

An Alternative to getting caught up in this vicious debt cycle is the National Credit Acts Debt review process. During the debt review process, you will be protecting yourself from adding to your debt and further aggravating your situation. In addition, loan sharks who offer you loans while you are overextended and blacklisted are usually not registered with the National Credit Regulator. When dealing with unregistered and dishonest loan sharks, you will have no recourse in the event of a dispute.

If you find yourself in this situation, call us today, and we will offer you almost immediate financial relief from all your creditors and loan sharks.

Easy online debt help application Credit Salvage

Credit bureau contact details

Currently, there are eighteen credit bureaus in South Africa, and four bureaus are established and operate as the main credit bureaus. It is also important to note that TransUnion, Compuscan, Experian, and XDS are the major ones. In case you need to contact any of these credit bureaus, there are several reasons for you to do so. These factors might include disputing adverse information on your credit report, investigating inaccurate personal details, or reporting identity theft and fraud.

Some of these disputes can be handled online or via e-mail on all major credit bureau websites, but sometimes talking to a customer service representative is the best option.

We strongly recommend checking out our website or calling us if you have a complex problem or would like extra peace of mind knowing that you are dealing with a credit bureau expert to sort out any blacklisted matters.

Credit bureau contact details

There is a main customer service contact number for each of the major credit bureaus listed below:

  • XDS: 011 645 9100
  • Compuscan: 0861 105 665
  • Transunion: 0861 886 466
  • Experian: 086 105 665

As soon as you call, you will not only have to answer a few questions, but can also speak directly to an agent who can route your call to the best department, depending on what you want to dispute or rectify.

Credit bureau websites

Most credit bureaus have a consumer-self-service section on their website that provides consumers with the most frequent questions and general services they might need. Among the services that Compuscan, Experian, XDS and TransUnion provide to their customers are:

  • Free credit reports online.
  • A dispute resolution service.
  • Resolve disputes regarding credit fraud and identity theft.
Whether to contact all or just one bureau for credit clearing

In most cases, you will have to contact all four credit bureaus separately if you have any information to dispute.

Alternatively, if you find an error in one credit report, you should also request and review the credit reports from the other bureaus to see if the mistake is also there, and if it is, make a separate dispute with those bureaus.

When adverse information appears only at one bureau, you will only need to contact that bureau.

You will need the following information when contacting a bureau!

Prepare yourself for questions designed to verify your identity before contacting one or more credit bureaus.

The first thing you will need to provide is your full name, birth date, Identity number, and proof of residence. If you have this information and copies thereof accessible beforehand, the call will go smoothly, and you will not have to call back at a later stage.

Long term loans with poor credit in South Africa

Generally, credit providers require good credit scores and a decent credit report to qualify for a long-term personal loan. Furthermore, lenders will also look at your income level, job stability, and the ratio between your debts and income.

Even though your application for a long-term loan may get rejected by a bank or any of the larger loan providers because of poor credit histories, some alternative smaller lenders will not decline your application. Those with a poor credit history can borrow funds from numerous private lenders online. It is important to note that they usually charge higher rates and fees than banks. In many cases, these will over indebt you rather than help you out of your financial predicament.

There will also be the problem of multiple credit inquiries conducted against consumers' credit reports during their attempts to obtain loan approval from lenders. Whenever possible, you should avoid being in this situation. You will have a lower chance of getting the loan if you apply to multiple lenders.

Loan sharks often ignore the financial well-being of consumers, if they can catch you in their web of dubious loans. You may want to consider a legal solution to your debt problems, offering immediate financial relief and significantly reduced interest rates. Such a solution serves for your maximum protection and your overall financial well-being. Our debt review solutions provide immediate relief, reduced interest rates, and help you meet your living expenses.

ITC report document

An ITC report document is a credit bureau report issued by TransUnion that provides credit information about a consumer. As a leading global credit bureau and formerly known as the Information Technology Company (ITC), TransUnion is an organization that has been around for over one hundred years and has gained a reputation for providing accurate and timely credit information to consumers worldwide. Estimates suggest they have access to the data of approximately 18 million consumers and over three million businesses globally.

How to get a free ITC report document from TransUnion

Order a copy of your credit report from TransUnion South Africa by mail, e-mail or via their website. Your credit score is not affected by ordering your credit report from TransUnion.

Order by the website or via their call center

  • Use the forms provided by TransUnion to submit your request in writing.
  • Please provide copies of two pieces of acceptable documentation, such as a certified copy of an ID card and proof of residency that is no older than three months.
  • You will receive a copy of your credit report via e-mail within a few hours. Once you have received your free credit report you can subsequently establish if you blacklisted and what to do in your quest for credit clearing with TransUnion.

You can order by phone

  • Contact TransUnion and follow their instructions
  • TransUnion South Africa Call Centre 086 188 6466
  • You will need to answer questions regarding your personal and financial situation to confirm your ID.
  • You will also need to provide your Identity number.
  • You will receive a copy of your credit report via e-mail within a few hours after verifying your documents.

Get your ITC report document from TransUnion online.

If you want to order your credit report more often than once a year, you will have to pay a fee. Visit the TransUnion website by clicking the following link. 

Does the Credit Bureau decide the outcome of a credit application?

No! Credit bureaus do not decide the outcome of credit applications. A credit bureau provides information about a consumer's or business' creditworthiness. Credit bureaus are private companies registered under section 43 of the Credit Act. Credit information is readily available to banks, lending institutions, and leasing companies.

Based on the information the bureau provides, lenders will assess credit applications and decide whether to approve them. You can apply for credit repair assistance by visiting the following link: Credit Salvage credit repair application.

How long will my blacklisting last?

Depending on the type of adverse information, adverse information will stay on your credit report for a certain period. The following is a brief list of unfavorable listings on your credit report and how long they will remain there.

  • Five-year period for judgments
  • Defaults - two years
  • For five years or until a court issues a rehabilitation order.
  • Administration order. Five years.
  • Debt Review. Credit reports contain this indicator until a debt counsellor issues a clearance certificate or a court declares the consumer no longer over-indebted.
  • Credit Enquiries. One Year

Blacklisted loans same day approval

Long-term and short-term personal loans require good credit scores and a decent credit report. Moreover, lenders will also examine your income level, job stability, and current debt-to-income ratio when determining your loan approval.

Even though a bank or any of the larger loan providers may reject your application for a long-term or short-term loan due to your blacklisted and poor credit history, loan sharks will not. In fact, loan sharks’ prey on blacklisted consumers who are desperate to get a loan to get by.

When you consider doing business with loan sharks, we always give you the best advice - don't ever deal with them. They are usually unscrupulous moneylenders who charge very high-interest rates on loans to borrowers who can't afford to repay them and even sometimes use intimidation and violence to intimidate borrowers who can't afford to repay them.

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) regulates registered moneylenders under the National Credit Act. 

Most loan sharks are small businesses, are not registered, and often operate outside the law. If you approach these unscrupulous lenders for a same-day payday loan, you'll likely:

  • You're given a loan with terrible terms.
  • You'll pay a high interest rate.
  • If you fall behind on your payments, you will suffer harassment.
  • Once they take their hefty instalment, you will have no choice but to borrow more money from them to cover your living expenses. 
  • To guarantee repayment, some loan sharks illegally take your ID and bank card. 

If you've borrowed from a loan shark

The best way to get out of a situation where you have borrowed money from a loan shark and have fallen into a debt spiral is to apply for debt review to repair your finances. As part of the debt review process, a debt counsellor will investigate these loans, and if recklessly given, a magistrate's court could declare them null and void. The contract will become legally unenforceable once deemed null and void, and no further payments are required. 

It is possible for loan sharks to threaten those who don't pay their loans that they will prosecute them and send them to prison if they don't pay back their loans. Threats like these cannot occur.

Feeling harassed?

It is illegal for any credit provider, registered or not, to harass you. If you are threatened or misused by a loan shark, you should report the incident to the police as soon as possible.

The advice and help you need

Our team has years of experience dealing with unscrupulous lenders, credit clearing, removal of blacklisted matters and debt review removal. Get free debt advice from us today, and we will guide you to a debt-free life. 

Credit Salvage Credit clearance online application

Get out of debt with a debt counsellor and debt review!

Get out of debt with a debt counsellor and debt review

Get out of debt with a debt counsellor and debt review!

Getting out of debt is very difficult. We will discuss and examine how a debt counsellor and debt review can assist you in getting out of debt. Perhaps we should start this conversation with a music reference. Have you ever heard the song “The Debt I Owe” by American musician Woody Guthrie? Being in debt can be a very overwhelming experience. You can feel as if you are drowning in it.

Specifically, the song contains a section that speaks volumes about the situation: “Every day, several times a day, a thought comes over me that I owe more debts than I ever can pay back, more money than I will ever see.”

A drowning debt situation has led to so much confusion about where one can turn for help and what one should do about it. There is also the possibility that many might feel a deep sense of guilt and shame about how their finances ended up in a mess in the first place.

As the song progresses, there is a point where the songwriter feels lost and drowning in his debts. Sadly, this is the case for many South Africans facing a dire financial crisis. 

As adults, we had to figure things out on our own because most of us did not receive any education about financial literacy in school. As a result, we had to figure things out on our own through trial and error. Most consumers feel overwhelmed when they must deal with their ailing finances.

When it comes to keeping your finances in order, it may be in your best interest to seek professional and legal assistance, especially if you’re suffering from spiraling debts that are out of control. That is a suitable time for you to investigate engaging a registered professional who can offer you debt counselling or debt review.

Debt Review, sometimes also known as debt counselling, is designed to assist consumers who might be having difficulties managing their finances. In addition to debt counselling, this professional can help you with budgeting advice, advice on home buying, and even bankruptcy. You can benefit from seeking advice from a certified financial professional when you encounter difficulties managing your money.

How do you know if it is worthwhile for you to use the support and advice of a debt counsellor? To determine if their services are right for you, you need to understand how they function. Let us delve into how to get out of debt with a debt counsellor and debt review.

Why should you contact a debt counsellor?

The question now is, what would the support look like for you? If you are trying to improve your financial situation, a debt counsellor can offer you a lot of help. Whether through negotiating directly with your creditors or even offering budgeting advice, providing immediate financial relief, assisting you with possible repossessions, or simply having an empathetic ear, your counsellor can help you immensely.

First and foremost, they have extraordinarily high empathy for your financial predicament mainly because most deal with this particular situation daily. The good news is that a knowledgeable and experienced debt counsellor will also discuss your options with you, and thanks to the National Credit Act, you have a wide range of resources available.

What does a debt counsellor do?

When you are in the process of working with a registered debt counsellor, this professional will be able to assist you with several things. At Credit Salvage, we offer the following services to our clients:

  • Our debt counsellors devise a realistic budget to cover your living expenses. We will review your income and amounts owed and create a realistic budget for you. Our debt counsellors will usually schedule a private session with you at the beginning of the process. The counsellors at our company understand that consumers feel vulnerable and even embarrassed when they share their financial issues and budget with somebody. When dealing with your finances, ensure you only trust in the right company. Our firm is precisely that. We have not started this business to judge but to help consumers professionally and confidentially.
  • Restructuring financial management plans. A restructuring management plan allows you to simplify and consolidate all your account payments while potentially lowering interest rates and fees. Each month, you make a single reduced contribution to your creditors, and our assigned payment distribution agency (PDA) distributes the payment among your creditors. These distributions will be strictly following the proposal of the debt counsellor. A debt counsellor can assist you with the restructuring procedure when you are having trouble dealing with all your accounts.
  • The prevention of foreclosures. If you intend to skip payments on your bond or have already missed several payments, you may want to speak with one of our restructuring counsellors about foreclosure prevention options. That will include the process of restructuring your mortgage payments.
  • The prevention of repossessions. You can meet with our debt counsellors to discuss options to prevent car repossession if you are in danger of falling behind on your car payments or have already done so.
  • We help you become more financially literate: We offer guidance on account management, money management, and how to deal with unscrupulous collectors. Our main goal is to help you find the right balance between paying off all creditors and covering living expenses. In addition to this, we also offer a variety of free financial education tools to our clients, including but not limited to budgeting templates, credit score guides, and of course, various other financial instruments.
  • A debt counsellor will be there every step of the way to help you pay off your outstanding balances with creditors. One of the most valuable yet underrated services of a restructuring counsellor is that they will always be there for you when it comes to paying off substantial amounts of debt that you may be experiencing. We will provide advice, keep you motivated, and deal with creditors directly on your behalf so that you do not have to.
  • Our team diligently works on your credit reportAs part of an account restructuring process, you may want to work on improving your credit scores. Our debt counsellors can assist you with this by reviewing your credit reports and explaining how it affects your credit report and score, as well as providing tailored, personalized advice and tips. 

Debt Counsellor and debt review infographic 

How Can I Find a Reputable and registered debt counsellor? 

It is generally the case that most debt review companies work with clients in a specific city or area, whereas some companies provide services nationwide. Your consultant can be reached online, by phone, by email, or in person.

It may be a clever idea to start by searching on a reliable website such as National Credit Regulator (NCR) for a company with registered debt counsellors. Take the time to thoroughly research these companies before you sign up for their services, as there are a lot of scammers out in the marketplace. On the Hello Peter and Google reviews websites, you can read what past clients have said about their services.

Across both the Hellopeter and Google websites, Credit Salvage has received great reviews. By clicking the links above, you can read what our happy clients said about their experiences while being with us. Furthermore, we have been operating a debt review company for over a decade. 

Questions to Ask a Debt Counsellor.

In your initial debt review consultation, you will be the main subject of many questions. However, it is wise to go prepared with some questions you may have. It will not only help you gain insight into what is involved in the entire process, but it will also help you gain insight into the experience of the restructuring counsellor. Consumers who have become over-indebted and are meeting with a debt counselling firm for the first time should be prepared to ask the following questions:

  • How will your services benefit me? You need to find a company that offers a variety of workable solutions to deal with your financial challenges. Any reputable registered company should be able to provide several services to you, including dealing with collectors, setting up your budget, renegotiating most accounts, and educating you on how to manage your spending habits while staying committed to your new budget. 
  • Are you registered with the Nation Credit Regulator? ? Make sure you only deal with a registered company affiliated with NCR. It is necessary to obtain their NCR registration number if they claim to be registered. The registration number for debt counsellors always starts with NCRDC, followed by a couple of digits. Let us take our own NCR registration number as an example - NCRDC2338. With this registration number, you can easily access the NCR website, enter their registration information, and see if they are registered. You can use this website to check the status of an organization's accreditation and determine if the registration has been revoked or suspended.
  • Can you explain your fees in detail? In South Africa, financial relief services like this process, sequestration, and administration are not free. Per the National Credit Act, you have the right to an explanation of these fees upfront. Inquire about the charges associated with the service you are receiving and when the costs are due. Some restructuring fees may be deducted from your monthly payments, while others are paid upfront.
  • Does your contract make any provisions regarding how the terms of the agreement will be implemented? Anything you have been promised verbally in the session must be documented. Before you sign any document contract, ensure you understand everything contained therein.

Credit Salvage is a registered with the National Credit Regulator that can help you avoid a stressful monetary crisis by helping you manage your money more effectively. 

Is debt review the ideal process for me?

Debt review or debt counselling is not for everyone. If your debt counsellor determines that you are not overindebted, it is likely that you will not qualify for debt review. If the debt counsellor determines that your current debt situation will result in over-indebtedness in the near future, you may be eligible for this process. 

Therefore, it is essential to consider the following when applying for the debt review procedure.

  • You will have to cease using credit cards. 
  • There will be a debt review indicator on your credit report, and you will not generate credit scores.
  • You cannot apply for any future credit facilities. 

We have addressed most of the above elements, explaining why the benefits of debt review outweigh the negative aspects. This list will enable you to decide if the process is the right one for you. 

Whenever you are unsure whether the process is the right way to deal with your debts, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you. 

It is important to note, however, that working with our company as your debt review provider of preference is a worthwhile option if the following conditions exist:

  • You are overcommitted with numerous credit providers to pay, and you struggle to pay for living expenses like food and electricity.
  • Your income is insufficient to afford the monthly repayments on outstanding debts for multiple accounts.
  • Currently, you are seeking information to help you better manage your finances.
  • Want to pay off all your accounts with lowered interest rates in a set timeframe.
  • Unless your current debt situation is unresolved, you have no interest in applying for new credit facilities. 
  • You are not ashamed of your over-indebtedness situation and are willing and committed to seeking help in getting it resolved. 

Benefits a debt counsellor can bring to your financial life.

  • The first benefit is the reduction of collection calls.
  • Tailor-made budgets and solutions to manage your creditors.
  • Provide you with legal protection from court proceedings.
  • Act as your legal representative in negotiations with your creditors.
  • Obtain a prolonged period to pay off your creditors.
  • The interest rates that you pay on all your accounts may decrease.
  • Reduction in the total amount of debt owed.
  • A better alternative than sequestration, administration, and liquidation.

For immediate debt relief, call our debt counsellor and debt review.

Often, all it takes is a brief conversation with someone who knows what they are doing. Developing a solid financial strategy can kick-start your entire personal finance strategy in repaying large outstanding and overdue credit agreements. Contacting us can help you start achieving whatever financial goal you may have. As a result, your goals might be to become debt-free, to ensure you can pay all your living expenses, and to fight over-indebtedness or any combination of the above.

We often hear from clients that they wish they had contacted us earlier for restructuring assistance. It is practically instantaneous for most people to feel a sense of great relief and peace of mind after speaking with us.

Regardless of the type of financial situation that one is in, our company with years of experience proved to be an invaluable resource to all South Africans. Whether you need tailored solutions for restructuring, repossession assistance, avoiding foreclosure or just an empathetic ear to listen, we are here to help you navigate the shortest and most cost-effective path toward a financially successful future.

By clicking here or tapping the picture directly below, you can apply for our professional debt review process online easily and securely. 

Easy online debt help application Credit Salvage

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