What is a credit record?
You may be wondering why you have a credit record, after all, you never signed up for one, right? This is a valid question. Your credit record is the tool credit providers and potential lenders use to track your previous repayment habits. They must know whether it is risky to give you credit or lend you money. As such, when you apply for any form of credit (i.e. home loans, study loans, buying furniture, opening a clothing account), the credit supplier will get in touch with one of the credit bureaux that operate in South Africa.
Through the credit bureau they have access to the information on file regarding how you previously managed your credit. What they need to make sure of – before giving you credit – is to see whether you paid on time, whether you skipped any payments and whether you generally complied with the repayment agreements with other businesses that have extended you credit.
What is a credit report?
A credit report is the organised version of your credit information supplied to potential credit providers by a credit bureau. The following information appears on the report:
Your identity (name and ID number)
Address and how often you moved from one residence to another
Occupation and employment record
Marital status and number of dependants
Any accounts in your name and the balances thereof
Whether you have paid your accounts fully or if you have defaulted
It indicates which credit providers have taken action against you and the kind of action that was taken
Whether you have ever declared yourself bankrupt
Whether you have volunteered to be placed under debt review
All this information gives a potential lender a good overview of the type of payment behaviour they can expect if they were to extend you credit.
However, it often happens that outdated information still reflects on your credit record. This information, although outdated and incorrect, will deem you – in the eyes of a credit provider – unsuitable for extending credit to.
This is now where our skilled, pro-active Libertine team steps in to ensure that your record is brought up to date. All outdated and incorrect information is removed and once the credit bureaux have updated the information, you credit rating will improve within days!
More articles coming
This is a concise summary of credit reports and how they are compiled. Look out for upcoming articles that will explore what a good credit report looks like and what you can do to improve a low credit score.
In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with a Libertine Consultant representative if you want to discuss your credit record in person. We offer a range of cost-effective credit services that have been tailor-made for consumers who want to address their credit score and pave the way to a financially prosperous future.
You can get more information in Part 1 about credit bureaux.