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Credit reports and debt counselling: Answering your questions

Do you want to get your finances in order this year but don’t know where to start? We suggest you pull a credit report to determine exactly where you currently stand, it is a lot easier than you think!

What is all the fuss with this credit score business? Well to put it simply, your credit score will affect your ability to take out future credit. Can you imagine finally saving up enough money to put down a deposit on your dream home, but your bond application doesn’t get approved because your credit score is not up to scratch. Sounds like a nightmare, right?

Why should I pull my credit report?

Your credit report will show you a complete record of your financial history, giving you insight into your borrowing and spending habits, your payment trends, as well as your personal details.

From there, you will be able to see every account you have ever opened, every payment you have skipped, every judgment you have received and the amount you still owe your creditors.

It is important to review your credit report at least once a year. This keeps you informed about your credit status and allows you to evaluate where and how you need to improve. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to ensure all your personal account details are correct, and that you have not fallen victim to identity theft.

How do I pull my credit report?

Transunion states that fewer than 5% of South African consumers make use of the legislation, entitling them to obtain a free credit report from any credit bureau once a year. You can quite easily access your credit report by visiting any of the South African Credit Bureau’s websites and following the prompts on the website.

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If you would like a more in-depth look and understanding of your credit report, you can use a credit monitoring service such as Kudough, which provides you with an in-depth credit check and the knowledge to understand the ins and outs of your credit report, as well as tips and advice.

Will being under debt counselling affect your credit score negatively?

Being under debt counselling will not impact your credit score negatively. In fact, it may be beneficial for it.

While you are under debt counselling, the credit bureaus can’t list any further negative information under your credit profile because you will be under protection of the National Credit Act. Your debt counsellor will notify the credit bureaus that you have applied for debt counselling and your profile will be identified.

Credit providers will no longer be able to take legal action against you. If you are under debt counselling, it is very important that you continue to make your payments every month and to notify your debt counsellor if any problem should arise.

Take action, and review your credit report.

Keep yourself informed about your current financial status and protect yourself by ensuring that your information is reflecting correctly on your credit report. Make a plan to build and maintain a good credit history in order to achieve the long term financial goals you are working hard to achieve.

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