What is a Credit Bureau?

A Credit bureau is an organisation that keeps a record of your credit information. Your credit record shows how you manage your debts and is used by credit providers and moneylenders to decide if you can afford to borrow money or pay back a new loan. 

The National Credit Act says each credit bureau must be registered with the National Credit Regulator – who decides how your credit information can be used and who can see your credit record.

What is the role of a Credit Bureau?

When you take out your first loan with a credit provider, you have to fill in a form that asks for consumer credit information – including your credit history, financial history, education, employment and identity details.

This information, and the details of the loan, is given to a credit bureau that then puts together a credit report.

What are the responsibilities of a Credit Bureau?

  • To file information on your credit record after the fee is paid by the credit provider;
  • To make sure the information is correct and not keep inaccurate information;
  • To only keep information for the prescribed period and to a prescribed standard;
  • To provide a report of the information – a credit report – when required by credit providers or anyone else who has your permission;
  • Not to charge for corrections or challenges to the information by you, the consumer;
  • Not to make a negative judgement about you when they do not have any credit information.

How can your credit information be used?

  • To decide whether or not you can afford credit;
  • To investigate fraud, corruption or theft;
  • To consider you for employment in a position that requires trust, honesty and the handling of cash or finances.

What are your rights regarding a Credit Bureau?

  • To be told that a credit provider intends to report negative information on you to a credit bureau 20 working days before they do so;
  • To get a copy of your credit record from a credit bureau when you ask for it – you can get one free record each year but may be charged a small fee for further records;
  • To challenge information kept by a credit bureau if you are unhappy with it;
  • For your information to be kept confidential, and for it to be used only for the purposes that are allowed.

How do you apply for your free Credit Record?

  • Contact the credit bureaux and ask them to send you your credit record;
  • You should contact Transunion on 0861 482 482 and Experian on 0861 105 665.
  • You will need to provide some personal information – such as your ID number and address.

How do you correct your Credit Record?

  • If you disagree with your credit record, you must send in the corrections within 30 days – during this time, you can get additional free copies of your record to check the corrections have been done. After this, you must pay a small fee for a copy.
  • Contact the credit bureau and ask for a dispute form. They will send you the form and a reference number;
  • Complete the forms and send them back to the bureau with a copy of your ID;
  • Include proof of the information you want changed, such as a debt clearance certificate or statement of account;
  • If they have kept a negative listing longer than they should have, insist they remove the record from their system. They have 20 working days to investigate the matter;
  • Ask for another copy of your credit report to check that the changes have been made;
  • If they are unhelpful, contact the Credit Bureau Association on 011-4477194 or email enquiries@cba.co.za OR the National Credit Regulator on 0860 627627 or email complaints@ncr.org.za

Information courtisy of Black Sash: Credit Bureaux - Black Sash Information Sheet

Debt Counsellors

Marsia Kuypers

Tel: 082 396 2568

Fax: 086 556 3328

Area: Pretoria

Jan-Viljoen Coetzee

Tel: 084 549 1755

Fax: 086 621 9193

Area: Nina Park

Valerie Nakale

Tel: 018 381 8768

Fax: 018 381 8604

Area: Mafikeng

Dean Morris

Tel: 083 645 4094

Fax: 031 763 4363

Area: La Lucia

Joana Vivier

Tel: 053 832 6229

Fax: 086 543 4640

Area: Kimberley

Jacques Jooste

Tel: 011 794 7555

Fax: 011 794 9965

Area: Johannesburg

Marlene Stein

Tel: 012 667 4177

Fax: 086 527 2203

Area: Irene

Heidi Naude

Tel: 044 873 0281

Fax: 086 512 5012

Area: George

Herbert Theron

Tel: 011 472 0088

Fax: 086 655 6730

Area: Florida

Isabe Landman

Tel: 041 933 1189

Fax: 086 591 2676

Area: Despatch

Andiswa Tinto

Tel: 021 431 9134

Fax: 086 523 7084

Area: Cape Town

Jaco Janse Van Rensburg

Tel: 082 568 4969

Fax: 086 645 0389

Area: Barberton

Monique Snyders

Tel: 032 946 3024

Fax: 086 588 4605

Area: Ballito

Christopher Beukes

Tel: 084 2577599

Fax: 021 637 5023

Area: Athlone

Lydia Kinnear

Tel: 082 824 6338

Fax: 086 537 5976

Area: Annlin

Anlizette Schuurman

Tel: 031 903 3840

Fax: 031 701 5570

Area: Amanzimtoti

Kelebogile Mooketsi

Tel: 082 299 3430

Fax: 086 695 3280

Area: Amandasig

Annerie Marais

Tel: 083 703 0486

Fax: 045 838 6572

Area: Aliwall North

Rerandzo Mokgwatlheng

Tel: 082 430 6329

Fax: 011 805 8348

Area: Alexandra Township

Daniel Lezar

Tel: 011 907 1022

Fax: 011 907 1490

Area: Alberton