If you are experiencing problems with a credit bureau, then following advice will help steer you in the right direction:
The Credit Ombud has permission to intervene and resolve any complaints about credit information held by a credit bureau if they relate to the following topics:
1. Credit information froma credit bureau that is incorrect or incomplete: For example a default may depict that you owe R200 000 when you actually owe R2 000.
2. Credit information that is outdated
3. Adverse listings on a credit report produced by a credit bureau and the failure of credit providers to give consumers 20 working days’ notice before publishing an adverse listing.
4. Consumers who have defaulted on debt repayments through no fault of their own, such as in the event of retrenchment, and have thereafter rehabilitated themselves
5. Listings on a credit report in respect of prescribed debt, which is considered as debt for which the debtor is no longer liable
6. Listings of single debt that has been duplicated on the credit report
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7. Identity fraud
8. Service disputes
9. Costs and damages – For example, if a landlord lists the costs of damages to a property
Help from the ombud:
The credit ombud resolves complaints and disputes from businesses and consumers that have been negatively implicated by credit bureau information provided by credit bureaus, as well as disputes with non-bank credit providers and debt counsellors. Non–bank credit is considered as credit that has been issued by an entity other than a bank such as microlenders, retailers, non-bank vehicle and property financers.
In terms of the nature of debt counselling complaints, The Credit Ombud deals with complaints associated with debt counsellors and their clients’ creditors, including banks, and complaints that consumers in debt counselling may have filed against a payment distribution agency. The Ombud provides South African consumer education focused primarily around the credit industry and will help you solve any problems you have experienced with a credit bureau.