0860 627 627 (Call Centre) / 011 554 2700  (Reception) 

  info@ncr.org.za / complaints@ncr.org.za / workshops@ncr.org.za

Education and Communication

Mandate of the Education and Communication Department

Education and the provision of information play a very important role in raising awareness around the provisions of the National Credit Act and consumer rights. The National Credit Regulator (NCR) deploys a variety of different strategies to communicate to several different target audiences and a broader consumer base. Strategies include communication via the print media, broadcast media (radio, television), electronic media, outdoor media such as billboards, outside broadcasts, workshops, exhibitions, mall activations, the NCR’s website and targeted awareness campaigns to mention a few.

Services offered

The Education & Communication Department conducts both interactive and non-interactive activities. Interactive activities comprise of workshops, exhibitions, roadshows, outside broadcasts etc. whereas non-interactive comprise of media interviews. These are conducted with an aim of educating consumers on matters relating to the National Credit Act. The NCR’s services for education purposes are free of charge for all consumers around the country.

If you would like the NCR to conduct any educational activity for your community or organisation, contact us for additional information on Call centre – 0860 627 627 or use the below contact details.

Requests for Educational Activities and Media Relations

Jimmy Golele: Senior Education & Communication Officer – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Workshops – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Media – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Winnie Rabathata - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is over-indebtedness?

A consumer is considered to be over-indebted if money available after payment of essential expenses is not enough to pay all other debts.

What are some of the indicators of over-indebtedness?
  • borrows money to pay other loans;
  • skips payments on some accounts in order to pay others;
  • receives letters of demand and/or summonses from creditors;
  • is thinking of being placed under debt administration or debt counselling;
  • has judgments passed against him/her;
  • is always absent from work, especially towards month end;
  • regularly feels emotionally stressed about money matters; and
  • is regularly losing money to rip-offs and frauds.
What are the causes of over-indebtedness?

There are different reasons why people end up being over-indebted. Below is a list of some of the most common reasons:

  • Indulgence – living in the first class lounge whilst you clearly cannot afford that lifestyle;
  • Ignorance of financial products – An example would be having too many funeral policies that you clearly cannot afford. You need to see a financial advisor for assistance of choosing an insurance cover that is sufficient and affordable for you and your family.
  • Lack of proper planning
  • Social pressures – peer, family
  • Change in circumstances – divorce, retrenchment, death, etc.
  • Reckless lending
  • Economic upswing – increasing interest rates
OVERCOMING OVER INDEBTEDNESS & PERSONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
TIP # 1 Don’t ignore your debts
  • Know how much is coming in, and how much is going out;
  • List all the people you owe, including friends, family, neighbours etc;
  • Get a copy of your credit bureau record – free of charge;
  • Keep in touch with your bank statement – track all the deductions;
  • Get in touch with your creditors and explain your situation. Reduced payment is better than no payment;
  • Don’t be threatened or bullied into promising to pay what you don’t have; and
  • Review your budget regularly.
TIP # 2 Prioritise your debts
  • Pay your essential expenses first – electricity, rent, insurance;
  • Then pay your day-to-day expenses like transport and food;
  • Pay off debts with the highest interest rate first, and the rest in descending order;
  • Seek expert advice before selling / cancelling anything;
  • Don’t cancel important insurance policies such as car, household etc.; rather shop around for cheaper premiums
TIP # 3 Don’t borrow to pay off debts
  • Credit creates more debt, don’t borrow more to pay existing debts;
  • Don’t buy food on credit;
  • If you get retrenched, use the retrenchment package to pay off debt;
  • Be very cautious when considering to take a consolidation loan
TIP # 4 Cut down on your expenses
  • Cut down on luxury items – entertainment; TV subscriptions, holidays etc;
  • Make a list of “wants” and “needs” and focus on needs;
  • Surrender goods which you can no longer afford to pay, before they are repossessed;
  • Consider early settlement so that you can save on interest and other cost; and
  • Review your insurance policies from time to time – use an independent financial advisor.
TIP # 5 Don’t wait until goods are repossessed
TIP # 6 Start saving
  • Put aside some money for unforeseen circumstances;
  • Be consistent, save every month – no matter how small the amount is.
TIP #7 See a Debt Counsellor for assistance (click here for more information)
ABOUT CREDIT INFORMATION

Every person who has an account with a credit or service provider in the country or makes use of credit services will find their payment behaviour information recorded with a credit bureau irrespective of whether that person pays their account regularly or not. Credit bureaus hold both positive information, such as consumers paying their accounts on time, and negative information, for example when a consumer has fallen behind or defaulted on payments.

The purpose of listing information collectively at the credit bureaus is to create a comprehensive view of the consumer for both prospective and existing credit and service providers, to assist them in evaluating new credit or account applications, and also to assist in the management of their relationships with their customers.

HOW TO ACCESS YOUR CREDIT REPORT

Consumers are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the registered credit bureaus. Should a consumer require an additional copy of his or her credit report within the same year, there will be a fee that credit bureaus will charge.

To get a copy of your credit report, contact any of the below credit bureaus. Remember, you are entitled to get one free credit report once a year.

CompuScan 

0861514131

www.compuscan.co.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Experian

0861105665 

www.experian.co.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TransUnion 

0861886466

www.transunion.co.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

XDS

0860937000

www.xds.co.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Consumer Profile Bureau

0105909505

www.consumerprofilebureau.com

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VeriCred Credit Bureau

0871503602

www.vccb.co.za

 

Credit Ombud

0861 662837

www.creditombud.org.za

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In terms of the National Credit Act, consumers have a right to access and challenge information on their credit records if they believe that it is not accurate.

When challenging the credit bureau record, the consumer needs to contact the credit bureau that issued the credit report. The credit bureau has 20 business days to investigate the matter.

If the consumer is not satisfied with the outcome from the credit bureau investigation or they do not have an answer after waiting for 20 business days for the bureau to assist them, they should escalate the matter to the Credit Ombud’s office where they will receive assistance free of charge. However, consumers need to have a reference number from the credit bureau first.

HOW LONG DOES MY INFORMATION STAY AT THE CREDIT BUREAUS?

Below is a table on retention periods:

 

Category

Description

Time kept

1

Details and results of complaints lodged by consumers

Number and nature of complaints lodged and whether complaint was rejected. No information may be displayed on complaints that were upheld

6 months

2

Enquiries

Number of enquiries made on a consumer’s record, including the name of the entity / person who made the enquiry and a contact person if available

1 year

3

Payment profile

Factual information pertaining to the payment profile of the consumer

5 years

4

Adverse classifications of consumer behaviour

Subjective classifications of consumer behaviour 

1 year or within the period prescribed in section 71A.

5

Adverse classifications of enforcement action

Classification related to enforcement action taken by the credit provider

1 year or within the period prescribed in section 71A.

6

Debt restructuring

As per section 86 of the Act,
an order given by the Court
or Tribunal

Within the period prescribed in section 71(1) of the Act or until a clearance certificate is issued

7

Civil court Judgments

Civil court Judgments including default court judgment

The earlier of 5 years or
until the judgment is
rescinded by a court or
abandoned by the credit
provider in terms of section
86 of the Magistrates Courts
Act 32 of 1944 or within the
period prescribed in section
71A of the Act

8

Maintenance judgments
in terms of the Maintenance
Act 99 of 1998

As per court judgment

until the judgment is
rescinded by a court

8

Administration Orders

As per the court order

5 years or until order is
rescinded by court

9

Sequestrations

As per the court order

5years or until rehabilitation
order is granted

10

Liquidations

As per the court order

Unlimited periods

11

Rehabilitation

As per the court order

5 years


THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR CREDIT

Every person has the right to apply for credit from any credit provider. However, it does not prevent the credit provider from turning down your application. When your application is turned down you have the right to be provided with reasons.

THE RIGHT TO DISCLOSURE

A credit provider must provide you with a pre-agreement statement and quotation before you can sign the credit agreement. This must disclose the amount borrowed, deposit to be paid (if any), number of installments, interest payable, any additional charges, credit life insurance, date of first installment and the date of last payment. Always make sure that you get a pre-agreement statement and quotation before signing.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION IN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

You have the right to receive any document that is required in terms of the NCA in an official language that you read or understand.

THE RIGHT TO BE GIVEN DOCUMENTS IN PLAIN AND UNDERSTANDABLE LANGUAGE

You have the right to receive information and documents in plain language. This means that the contents, meaning and importance of the document must be easy to understand. Ask if you do not understand. Do not sign unless you understand the terms and conditions of the agreement.

THE RIGHT TO CONFIDENTIAL TREATMENT

You have a right to have information held about you treated confidentially. This means the credit provider may only use information for the purpose for which it was given.

THE RIGHT TO ACCESS AND CHALLENGE INFORMATION HELD BY A CREDIT BUREAU

You have the right:

  1. To be informed that the credit provider intends to report negative information about you to a credit bureau before the credit provider actually reports you.
  2. To receive a copy of your credit record from a credit bureaux when you request it. You can get one free record per year, but the credit bureaux may charge you a fee  of R20 excluding Vat for any further records;
  3. To challenge information kept by credit bureau if you are unhappy with the information;
  4. For your information to be kept confidential, and for your information to be used only for purposes allowed by the National Credit Act.
THE RIGHT TO GET ASSISSTANCE WHEN YOU ARE OVER-INDEBTED

If you experience problems with servicing your debts take the following steps:

  1. Contact your credit provider to discuss your situation and negotiate an affordable repayment plan;
  2. If you cannot reach an agreement with your credit provider, you may contact a debt counsellor in your area;

Note that when you are under debt counselling you will not be able to get further credit until you have settled all your debts.

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Challenge Credit Record

When a consumer requests a credit report, the said report must disclose  identical information to that which will be displayed should such a  report be provided to a third party.

 

If the accuracy of the consumer credit information is challenged by a consumer, 

the following steps should be taken:

  1. The consumer must contact the credit bureau concerned to raise an objection or lodge a complaint (either TransUnion ITC or Experian);
  2. The bureau has 20 business days in which to resolve the issue;
  3. If the bureau is unable to resolve the issue, the consumer should refer the matter to the Credit Information Ombudsman (CIO);
  4. Should the CIO be unable to find a resolution, the NCR will intervene on the request of the CIO.

Note that the National Credit  Regulator will not be able to deal with the complaint until the complainant has first contacted the credit bureau.

Call center numbers of the credit bureau

TransUnion ITC Experian
Consumer 0861 482 482  Consumer 0861 105 665
Credit Provider 0861 482 482 Credit Provider 0861 636 070

Contact details

Physical Address
127 - 15th Road
Randjespark
Midrand
1683

Consumer Rights

Consumer Assistance
Know your rights
Consumer Tips
Challenge Credit Record

Operating Hours

Mon - Thur : 8AM - 5PM
Friday : 8AM - 4:30PM

Call Centre
0860 627 627

Telephone
011 554 2700

National Credit Act

Download the National Credit Act
National Credit Amendment Act
National Credit Regulations
Background Documents on the NCA

 

Fraud / Anti-Corruption Hotline

Report any incidents of wrong doing
to the KPMG Ethics Line

0800 20 53 17 (Toll Free)