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Ten lies about your credit report

Posted: 07 Jul 2014

5 mins to read

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Want to improve your credit reputation? Be sure to tell the myths from facts when it comes to your credit report.

Credit report answers

1. One credit report is enough to tell me what my credit status looks like Even though you are allowed one free credit report per year, your credit report is something that changes every time you skip a payment, take out a new loan or pay off an account. You need to view your report regularly, not only to keep track of your debt obligations, but to monitor it for fraudulent activities that might indicate that you have been a victim of identity theft.   2. My credit report is stopping me from getting a job Your credit report is not the only deciding factor on whether or not you’ll get a job. In fact, according to the Employment Equity Act of 1998, potential employers may not deny you a job on the grounds of the nature of your credit report, unless your credit profile is an inherent requirement of the job. Your report is important to a potential employer to ensure they are dealing with a factual person. Employers will generally not see your detailed credit information on your report but they will look at data indicating fraud, your public information and personal information.   3. I don’t need to check my credit report if I pay all my debt on time Just because you pay back all your accounts on time does not mean you don’t have to check and manage your credit report. It is important to monitor your account in case: 1. you do forget to make a payment (we’re all human, right?), 2. a credit provider makes an enquiry about you, and 3.to make sure your information remains accurate. Also remember to use your credit report to detect any fraudulent activity against your record. 4. I can pay someone to fix or repair my credit report There are many fraudulent companies out there who offer to “fix” your credit report if you pay them a fee. Do not let these fraudsters fool you! They will pretend to be affiliated to credit bureaus, but they will not help you improve your report. We will never remove adverse information from your report unless:
  • The information is inaccurate and we can confirm it through the standard dispute process. Register and log in with My Credit Check to log a dispute.
  • The information relates to a paid-up judgment that according to the Removal of Adverse Consumer Credit Information and Information Relating to Paid-up Judgments Regulations has to be removed on an on-going basis.
  • Adverse information such as Slow paying, Delinquent, Default, Non-contactable, Absconded, Written off, Repossession, Facilities/Credit Card Revoked and Handed Over is subject to a two year retention period and can only be removed from your report if it is factually incorrect.
 5. Anyone can view my report  No one may ever view your personal details without your permission! We will only release your credit report to you or any third party after obtaining your permission. 6. Checking my own credit report will harm my score Now, why would we penalise you for checking your own information? If you subscribe to receive unlimited access to your report, you are able to make as many report enquiries as you like without it affecting your score at all. Be careful though! If you buy a lot of once-off reports (R25 per report), it can however affect you negatively, which is why we suggest you sign up for our three, six or twelve month subscription. It works out cheaper in any case, plus you get free access to our monitoring service.  Register now! 7. My credit report shows when I was denied credit Not true! Potential credit providers will however be able to see how many enquiries by other lenders have been made on your profile, but nowhere will it say if the applications were unsuccessful.   8. I have paid off my debt, so the information will be removed from my report Well done for paying off your debt! But sorry to burst your bubble – your report will still show that you owed money. The good news is that this will be seen as positive information, since your report will show that the account has been paid-up! The retention period for paid-up accounts is 5 years after the last payment date. However, Compuscan will only show the information for three years after the last payment date. 9. A credit bureau can stop me from getting credit Credit bureaus are not credit providers, so they have no say in whether you are granted credit or not. However, the data we provide to potential credit providers will assist them in making that decision, which is why it is so important for you to get your credit report and take control over your credit reputation. Credit bureaus only house the information they receive from the credit provider. If the information on your report is false (this can happen for many reasons), you have to notify us by lodging a dispute (at no cost). The bureau will then investigate the matter to clear the false information, which might help to improve your credit score. 10. If I have a lot of debt, my score will be bad If you have a lot of debt, but you are managing it well, you’re safe! Your repayment history affects your score. Meaning, if you have been a bad payer, your score will reflect this. The total amount of your credit does not affect the outcome of your score, since your score is calculated according to your repayment actions and not by the amount you owe.