Know your Credit Profile
WHAT IS A CREDIT PROFILE?
AIt is the credit history of the consumer / client or business and includes personal information, the amount of credit applications and proof of payments. Financial institutions and credit suppliers use this information prior to granting the requested credit. A credit profile also includes positive information, which is beneficial to a successful credit application, and is not the same as a ‘black list’.
WHERE IS THE CREDIT PROFILE KEPT?
Credit bureaus are companies that safe guard these profiles. A credit bureau can be seen as a library of credit information. They provide the relevant information to financial institutions and credit suppliers which enables them to make accurate and informed decisions.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE A CONSUMER’S CREDITWORTHINESS?
Credit bureaus and suppliers use a credit grading process to determine the consumer and / or business’ credit worthiness. Credit grading:
- Consists of both positive and negative information to predict the consumer’s ability to repay a loan.
- Used to determine credit risks and patterns.
CAN A CONSUMER REQUEST A COPY OF THEIR CREDIT PROFILE?
Yes, any consumer has the right to request a copy of his/her credit profile, and to report any discrepancies. The following numbers can be used for this purpose: (NB – The credit bureau might levy a fee of R25 or more)
- Experian (consumer) – 0861 105 665
- Credit-forum (business) – (011) 777 2700
- Micro Lenders Credit Bureau (MLCB) – 0861 287 328
- Transunion ITC (Consumer and business) – 0861 482 482
HOW TO DISPUTE INFORMATION ON A CREDIT PROFILE?
Phone the credit bureau immediately with the relevant information, if any discrepancies are noted. Always obtain a reference number. If the dispute is not resolved with 30 days, the consumer can contact the the Ombudsman for credit information on 0861 662 837 or www.creditombud.co.za.
Please note that the credit profile is:
- Not based on race or religion.
- Dynamic and changes everytime new information is added.