Your guide to your rights as consumer in South Africa in 2019 (Part IV)

The fourth article on our consumer rights series is ready for your perusal! Our first article dealt with your right to apply for credit, and your right not to be discriminated against when applying for credit. This was followed by a second article that took a look at your rights to be given reasons for credit being declined, as well as the provision of documents in an official language that you understand.

Our third and most recent article unpacked your right to be given documents related to the credit transaction, and the fact that these documents have to be presented in plain and understandable language. Today we’ll take a look at two more rights you have as a consumer in South Africa, in accordance with the National Credit Act – namely, the right to confidential treatment and the right to access and challenge information held by a credit bureau.

date: 03/10/2019Author:

The right to confidential treatment

When you apply for credit you are often required to share very personal information. This is why the National Credit Act makes a point of protecting consumer privacy. According to section 68 of the Act, any person or business that gathers sensitive personal information regarding your finances can only ever use that information for the purposes that you agreed to. There are exceptions to this rule that is stipulated in the Act, but these are few and far between. Also, the person or business that took your personal information may only ever release it if they are instructed to do so by you, or a court of law.

The right to access and challenge information held by a credit bureau

When you apply for credit, it may sometimes happen that you are turned down due to an issue with your credit report. Your credit report compiled the credit bureaux that operate in South Africa and serves as a record of your previous credit management behaviour. According to section 72 of the National Credit Act, you have the right to access this information free of charge every 12 months. If you request it more than once within a 12-month window, a charge of no more than R20 may be levied.

Additionally, if you challenge the accuracy of some of the information on your credit report, and the bureau is unable to provide you with proof of accuracy of the information, they have to remove it from your record immediately.

TOP TIP: If you ever have trouble interpreting your credit report, or require assistance in clearing you credit report of old or outdated information, the Libertine Consultants team can assist.

There you have it – two more rights you have as a consumer in South Africa in 2019, explained in simple terms. Check back soon for Part V. If you would like some more information in this regard, or feel that your rights have been dismissed by a credit provider, please feel free to get in touch with Libertine Consultants. We are here to assist you in paving the way to a more financially secure future.

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