Know your
credit status
Be financially responsible and
know your credit score

Why do I need to know my credit status?

Understanding and knowing as well as being on top of your credit status has many benefits, including that you will be prepared against credit bullies who try to belittle your financial situation.

You will see any negative remarks and therefore have an opportunity to fix the cause before it hurts your score. If you don't know about the negative impact, then how can you try to fix it?

You will have the upper hand against fraudulent inquiries or guarded against identity theft.

Reading your credit report will allow you to make sure all the information listed on your report is current and accurate.
Need some more information on credit status?Here are some answers to those frequently asked questions.

    Your credit report is a document created to record your credit history and credit worthiness. It's compiled by a credit bureau and keeps details regarding your account history and paying habits along with some personal information such as your name, address, employer and ID number as reported to it by different credit providers that you borrow money from. When you apply for a loan, credit providers will access your credit report for information and consider your repayment behaviour when making a decision on granting you a loan.

    Your account history is a record of your accounts and how you pay them (i.e. missed payments, payment on time, legal action). It also includes the outstanding balance, monthly instalment and opening amount on each account. This information often determines credit providers' decisions on granting loans.

    Credit providers (i.e. banks, stores, etc.) access your credit report when you apply for a loan or other credit products. They will ask your consent to conduct a credit check and they use this information to determine whether your credit will be approved. The information on your credit report (i.e. your account history) can affect their decision and influence the amount and interest rates they offer you.

    Yes you can. You have a right to obtain one free credit report during your birth month or the month thereafter from the Credit Bureau. You can either view it online or request it directly from them. You can also request your FREE credit report from any Old Mutual Branch. Our Financial Consultants are trained to not only explain your credit report to you, but also to help you with financial education. You are welcome to visit any of our branches for assistance.

    Old Mutual uses the score from Experian as part of their bigger calculations to see if you will qualify for a loan.

    An option for you to consider would be to consolidate your debts into a single payment. Not only will you not have all different amounts coming off your account throughout the month, but also your interest rates could be better. Visit any of our branches and speak to a Financial Consultant about a consolidation loan. Alternatively, settle up some of your smaller accounts to make your debt more manageable.

    Default data is negative information supplied to the Credit Bureau by the stores, credit providers or banks if you do not pay your accounts on time or miss payments. A default remains on your report for one or two years depending on the description of your default. Arrears is the total amount that you have not paid on an account, this is the sum of your missed payments.

    Each store or bank has its own policies. In order for a credit grantor to submit a default, they must:

    • Provide the consumer with 20 business days prior notice of the default information being submitted to a Credit Bureau.
    • Be a registered subscriber.
    • Ensure that the default information is accurate.
    • Confirm that the account is not in dispute.

    The best that can be done is to pay up the amount that is owed to the credit provider. This may sound hard but generally, credit providers are still willing to help at this stage. Contact them and explain to them that you are in financial distress and ask them if you can restructure your payment, there is a good chance they will agree. Just remember, if you then default on the new restructured agreement they may not be so forgiving.

    When you fall behind with your accounts or fail to make payments and fail to respond to reminder letters the stores, credit providers or banks may apply for a court judgment. A judgment is granted when a court has ordered that you make payment on the debt or outstanding account. A judgment remains on your report for 5 years.

    The best thing to do is to pay the agreed upon monthly amount as set out by the court order. You can attempt to contact the credit provider to restructure the payments to make it more affordable for you, but the credit provider may not agree as you have already missed many payments. It's important that you make the payments set out by the judgement. If you continue to miss payments, the credit provider might apply for a garnishee/emolument* order. (*see “What is a garnishee/emolument order?” below for further information)

      The credit provider should have informed the credit bureaus that the judgement has been paid, but that isn't always the case. You have a couple of options on how to proceed:

      • Contact the credit provider and ask them to inform the credit bureau that the account has been paid up.
      • Contact your credit provider and ask them for a 'Paid Up' letter from the account. Then contact one of the credit bureaus, inform them the account has been paid up and ask them to remove the judgement (they will require the paid up letter).
      • If your credit provider is refusing to inform the credit bureau and you cannot receive your 'Paid Up' letter, contact the Credit Ombudsman (0861 662 837).

      This is a legal judgement that is given to your employer forcing them to pay the debt on your behalf. This means that the monthly payment is taken from your salary before you even receive your money. This is why it's important to make sure that you do not get to this point. If you find that you have a garnishee/emolument order on your payslip that you are not aware of or was not communicated to you, please contact the Credit Ombudsman (0861 662 837) for assistance in taking the matter further.

      Different credit providers will have different systems, these will be in the agreement documents that you signed. That being said, they will only get to this point if you have missed multiple payments. If you pay the agreed amount on time they will not take this action.

      It's important that the information on your credit report is accurate as it will affect how credit providers grant you credit. If any of the information is incorrect, inaccurate or if any of your details have changed you should contact your Credit Bureau to get this updated. If this hasn't been resolved in 20 business days, contact the Credit Ombudsman (0861 662 837).

      Your credit provider may not have sent through an update to the Credit Bureau. Follow these steps to update your information:

      • Contact your credit provider and request them to update your Credit Bureau information
      • If you have up to date statements, contact your Credit Bureau directly and send them the documents.
      • If your credit provider will not update your details, ask that your Credit Bureau investigates this for you (can take 20 business days).

      Whenever someone queries your credit, it leaves a footprint and should give some details. Use these details to contact whoever is involved and ask why they were accessing your credit report. Nobody can access your credit report without consent. If you cannot get hold of the company, contact the Credit Ombudsman (0861 662 837).

      No, every individual has his/her own credit report even though you may be married in community of property.

      This is because it's a legal document. The National Credit Act requires credit providers to write their credit agreements in plain language. Make sure that you read your agreement and understand what it means. Don't be scared to ask questions. It's important that you understand the agreement before you sign it.

      This is probably due to interest. When you take out credit, there will be an interest rate that is included in the monthly payment. Make sure that you understand what this interest rate means before signing any credit agreements.

      Firstly it's important to know when this happens. You should obtain your free credit report at least once a year so that you can see if anyone has made purchases using your ID. Visit your nearest Old Mutual branch to request your FREE credit report or access it online from one of the Credit Bureaus. If you find an account that you didn't open, follow these steps:

      • Contact the company regarding the information on the account.
      • Contact the Credit Ombudsman (0861 662 837) to lodge a dispute.
      • Contact SAFPS (0860 101 248) to report identity theft.

      Download our pdf which outlines all of the latest prescribed limits - click here to download

      Contact SAFPS (0860 101 248) immediately and explain your situation to them.