A credit bureau collects and stores data supplied by credit providers. The data is used to draw up a record of how consumers manage their credit. Credit bureaus fulfill the duty of gathering data and compiling reports on individual consumers and allocate them a credit score.
When a consumer requests to borrow credit from a credit provider, the creditor will approach various credit bureaus in order to determine whether or not they will grant the credit. Not only will they do this in order to gauge whether or not they feel you will be able to manage the credit, but they will also assess whether the requested credit is an affordable amount for the consumer.
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Any South African consumer that has a store account, bond, personal loan, etc., will have a record at more than eleven credit bureaus, who receive information from all major credit providers.