Check bu­reau records be­fore seek­ing credit

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THUMBS DOWN Many con­sumers find that their credit ap­pli­ca­tion has been turned down due to neg­a­tive in­for­ma­tion from a credit bu­reau. “Of all our cases last year, 70% of con­sumers con­tacted the Credit Om­bud of­fice for as­sis­tance af­ter their credit ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected due to a neg­a­tive list­ing on their credit pro­file,” says Credit Om­bud Manie van Schalk­wyk. “To avoid dis­ap­point­ment it’s im­per­a­tive for con­sumers to en­sure the credit in­for­ma­tion held with credit bureaus is cor­rect be­fore ap­ply­ing for credit.” Most credit providers use credit bu­reau in­for­ma­tion when un­der­tak­ing credit as­sess­ments. The credit pro­files are used to de­ter­mine in­ter­est rates and the terms of busi­ness. Ac­cord­ing to Na­tional Credit Reg­u­la­tor (NCR) sta­tis­tics, a to­tal of 199,26m in­quiries were made on con­sumer credit records for the quar­ter ended March 2011, an in­crease of 12,8% on the pre­vi­ous quar­ter. This was an in­crease of nearly 60% against the pre­vi­ous year. “There was a mar­ginal in­crease in the re­jec­tion rate of credit ap­pli­ca­tions to nearly half of all ap­pli­ca­tions — from 43,21% to 43,25% for the quar­ter ended March this year.” Van Schalk­wyk says con­sumers are en­ti­tled to a free copy of their credit bu­reau record from any of the reg­is­tered credit bu­reaux an­nu­ally. “In ad­di­tion con­sumers’ credit re­ports can be ob­tained from credit bu­reaux for a min­i­mum R20 a copy of the re­port,” he says.

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