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How do I get a negative listing off my credit report

by | Jul 15, 2021 | Personal Finance

A Fin24 reader had question about a listing on their credit report which was negatively affecting their credit score. Lubabalo Silayi, registered debt counsellor at NDA, shed some light on the recourse available in this situation.

 

QUESTION:

“I had an account with a cellphone provider which I terminated end of the contract term a few years back. I checked my credit score early this year, and it turned out that my account/contract was still reflecting as active and in debt. I called the service provider. They told me about an amount that I paid immediately, and I was promised that it would take 21 working days to remove my listing. Months have passed, and the account is still active, and the listing hasn’t been removed yet.

I’ve tried to contact the service provider to no avail. I’m trying to buy a house, and the listing is affecting my credit score.”

 

ANSWER:

You are completely entitled to feel anxious about what is listed on your profile at the credit bureaus, as well as what your credit score is, as this is a huge part of the criteria lenders use to assess your risk for credit. I would advise you to submit your “paper trail” and proof of communication wherein Vodacom promised you that it would take 21 days to remove the listing, to the relevant credit bureaus where you are listed. It is possible to be listed at one credit bureau but not the other.

Lodge an official dispute with the credit bureaus, by following each bureau’s individual process. The credit bureaus  will then follow-up with the credit provider and investigate why they have not updated your status, as they are supposed to.

Credit bureaus can escalate a matter like this for further investigation within their organization, as well as impose  a penalty on the service provider, if they are  found to have erred.

You can log you dispute with the following credit bureaus via email at:

XDS: [email protected]

Transunion: [email protected]

Experian: [email protected]

 

Sadly, many consumers are in the dark about their credit report and credit score. Therefore, they don’t have a clear understanding of their overall financial situation or what their individual accounts looks like. Often, consumers only become aware of a default or judgement on their name when they apply for a loan and are turned down. And very few consumers are even aware that they are entitled to one free credit report from every credit bureau once a year.

According to Transunion, one of South Africa’s leading credit bureaus – fewer than 5% of South African consumers make use of the legislation which entitles them to obtain their credit report free of charge from every credit bureau every year.

South African consumers are unaware of the importance of a  credit score, with many not knowing that  is a number that evaluates your creditworthiness. It is based on your credit history and is displayed on your credit report as a 3 digit number.
The higher the number, the more financially trustworthy a person is considered to be.

How well or badly you pay your bills or how much debt you have will determine your credit score.

Your credit score in South Africa, is one of the most important numbers in your life. Especially if you are in the market for a home loan and vehicle finance.

Your credit report shows your credit score, along with your defaults (accounts that are more than 3 months in arrears), judgements and applications for credit. Your credit report is basically a collection of data on a specific person, supplied by credit providers to credit bureaus. This is done once a month. Your credit report is a valuable tool used by creditors to determine how risky it is to grant you access to credit.

When a consumer  applies for debt review, they  will have to give their permission for a full credit report to be drawn by their  debt counsellor on their  behalf. This will enable the debt counsellor to have a better overview of their  financial situation.

All credit bureaus are mandated by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to supply consumers with a yearly credit report, so that they may be aware of their credit score and standing at all times.

You may access your free credit score from any of the following credit bureaus:

Transunion:
www.transunion.co.za

Experian
www.experian.co.za

XDS:
www.xds.co.za

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