Find out how to improve your credit record and increase your
Three key credit must do when Blacklisted:
The single most important way of improving your credit
record is to pay your accounts on time. This is because the
most important information, other than negative
blacklistings, is the fact that you are (hopefully) now
paying your accounts on time. Each month your payments get
recorded in the Payment Profile section of your credit
record and provided you have been paying your accounts on
time for at least six months, or preferably a year, you
stand a far better chance of being granted credit, and
improve your credit record.
Paying unpaid blacklisted accounts (but be careful when
If you have `forgotten` to pay some old accounts that are
less than three years old you should pay them and have the
accounts reflect as paid, unless they no longer appear on
your credit record.
It is also no use paying an old account in the naive hope
that the negative listing will be automatically removed.
Unfortunately the law does not force creditors to remove
these negative blacklisted records once the account has been
paid. It is important that you obtain written confirmation
from the creditor, before you pay the account, that they
will remove the Adverse Information and not simply amend it.
If they will not remove it make sure they, at least, agree
to amend the listing to reflect the account was paid.
Unlike an Adverse Information listing which can be removed
or at least amended, a court judgment can only be removed
before the 5 year data retention period (see below) if the
court that actually granted the judgment orders that it be
"rescinded". Judgments are very negative and should not be
ignored, they are given a higher weighting than other
negative blacklisted listings because a magistrate or judge
has held you liable. It is therefore really important to
have any judgment rescinded as this will greatly improve
your credit score. In rare cases you may still get credit
despite a judgment reflecting on your credit record but you
will be playing into the credit providers hands as they will
feel justified in imposing a higher interest rate.
It is not a simple thing to have a judgment rescinded. It
involves obtaining the original court papers, having the
application typed up and correctly served, setting the
application down for hearing, appearing in court and
answering any objections, obtaining and processing the court
order. That may not seem like much but the "devil is in the
While many people think of themselves as lawyers they often
find their inadequate knowledge of the law results in long
delays, frustration and embarrasment. The famous American
President Abraham Lincoln said "He who represents himself
has a fool for a client." It makes sense to have an attorney
assist you as rescinding a judgment requires a court
But how expensive is it? Law firms usually charge by the
hour but we charge a fixed amount, to have the judgment or
blacklisted record rescinded and removed. It really isn't a
lot considering the amount of work involved. Given the far
larger saving you will make by qualifying for a lower rate
of interest, it makes sense to have a reliable lawyer, who
specialises in this field, assist you. To find out what our
clients have written about us click here.
Yes, there are many other aspects to getting credit cheaply
(and you should read more about them below) but if you want
credit or are being asked to pay a fortune for it, you
should consult a specialist consumer attorney and sort the
problems out efficiently before you get taken to the
Aside from the three key issues explained above it is
essential that you also take other action as part of your
strategy to save on interest.
First, by law you are only entitled to the credit that you
can afford. That means that should you have an existing
credit facility that you do not use, such as an Edgars store
card, this should be closed as the credit provider must take
this facility into account when determining whether you can
afford further credit. In other words, close those accounts
you do not use.
Second, some types of credit such as credit cards or
personal loans are revolving, in other words the account
gets paid but quickly goes back into credit. In their nature
these accounts reflect poorly on you as they imply that you
are in regular need of credit. If possible, you should close
these types of accounts.
Third, try to avoid debt spiral behaviour. In other words,
do not borrow to pay your instalments on other credit
facilities. Likewise, you should try to pay more than the
minimum instalment amount on each credit facility as this
indicates that you have disposable income. Lastly, avoid
expensive debt, such as short term (30 day) loans.
Fourth, whenever you apply for credit an "enquiry" is added
to your credit record. This is fine if it is done seldom,
but if you make several enquiries for credit you will seem
desperate and this will also reflect the possibility that
you have already been declined credit. It is therefore best
to rather clear your credit record of negative information
and then apply to as many creditors as possible on the same
day. That way they are unlikely to pick up the enquiries
immediately as the enquiry data usually takes a couple of
days to reflect on your credit record.
Fifth, if you apply for credit when you have "maxed out" all
your credit facilities you will also run the risk of the
application being declined or the interest rate being
"loaded" (made higher), so ideally, try to apply for credit
when you have paid down your existing credit facilities.
Sixth, the fewer different credit facilities you have the
better. You do not need to consolidate all your credit but
you should aim to reduce your "lines" of credit, as the
fewer you have the better.
Seventh, if you are applying for credit with your spouse (or
even someone else standing as surety/security), you should
also ensure they have fixed their credit record and gone
through all of the above tips and done their best to add to
the good impression you are trying to create.
Those are the keys tips to ensuring you get credit and get
it as cheaply as possible.
The term blacklisted is the colloquial term used to describe
people or companies who have a bad credit profile, otherwise
known as a credit record. While everyone understands the
term `blacklisted` there is actually no `blacklist`.
It’s easy to find out, all you need do is get your credit
record, from South Africa’s two largest consumer credit
bureaus, TransUnion Credit Bureau (Pty) Ltd and Experian
Ltd. You need to get your credit record from both of these
credit bureaus as they have different business subscribers
and usually have different, but overlapping, credit data for
every user of credit.
Blacklisted: the full picture
To illustrate, you may find that an adverse listing such as
a "Bad payer" or "Slow Payer" default by e.g. Appliance City
only appears on your Experian credit record and a
magistrates court judgement by e.g. Standard Bank only
appears on your TransUnion credit record. So, to be on the
safe side, get your credit record from both credit bureaus,
either by applying directly to each credit bureau in turn
Why is at an issue being blacklisted?
blacklisted is horrible. It is extremely difficult to
get any kind of finance if you have a poor credit record.
Even when you get finance the rate of interest charged is
usually far higher than it would otherwise be. Basically
your financial reputation is negatively affected by any
adverse listings and unless they are removed you are treated
like a financial leper.
Types of negative blacklisted records
The type of listings on your credit record are broken down
into four major categories: Payment Profile; Adverse
Information (previously called Defaults); Judgments; and
Notices. These listings are also generally known as negative
or adverse listings and, depending on the type of listing,
you will either not qualify for credit at all (where for
example you have a Notice on your credit record) or have to
pay much more (by way of interest, an upfront deposit,
increased security or loaded settlement terms). So, it is
best to try to have as many of these adverse listings
removed as possible.
So how bad is each listing type?
The worst listings are without doubt Notices. If you have
been placed under debt counselling or administration or been
sequestrated you will not get credit, full stop. You can
apply to court to have the situation corrected. Unless any
Notice is removed you cannot get credit because the credit
provider is acting illegally in lending you money.
Judgments are the next most serious type of listing. They
are highly likely to stop you getting credit. In rare cases
you may still get credit despite having had a judgment
granted against you. You will just pay far more for it. Much
depends on the amount of the judgment, how long ago judgment
was granted, what other listings you have and whether your
payments over the last two years have been on time or were
frequently missed or delayed. Fortunately getting a judgment
removed is relatively easy - you still need to go to court
but the process is less complicated.
Adverse Information can stop you getting credit but in most
cases it will impact the cost of credit more than your
ability to get credit. Again, much depends on whether it was
a recent listing and whether the account remains unpaid.
Generally this type of listing can be removed on instruction
by the creditor (but often the creditor will refuse to do so
unless they receive a detailed motivation). At the very
least it is important to have the listing amended to reflect
that the account was paid.
Payment Profile information changes monthly as the payments
made or alternatively missed during that month gets noted on
your credit record. The most recent data gets added while
the oldest data gets deleted. It is far less serious than
the other types of listing but like the other types of
listing, if you have a very poor payment profile during the
last six to twelve months you will either not get credit or
find the cost of credit far higher.
Blacklisted Data Retention Periods
What most consumers and/or debtors are unaware of is that
all types of credit data are subject to strict maximum data
retention periods. These data retention periods are as
Notice of Sequestration - 10 years
Notice of Rehabilitation - 5 years
Notice of Debt Counselling (after termination of Debt
Counselling) - removed immediately
Notice of Administration (after lapsing or rescission) -
Notice of Administration (if current, i.e. not lapsed or
rescinded) - 10 years
Civil court judgments (High Court or Magistrates Court) - 5
Adverse Information - 1 or 2 years (depending on type)
Enquiries by Credit Providers or Subscribers - 2 years
Removing blacklisted data before the data retention period
Yes, these listings stay on for what seems an eternity and
sometimes it is impossible to wait for these listings to
fall off. It is possible to have most of these listings
removed before the data retention period expires.
For starters, court judgments can be rescinded by the court
that granted the judgment and blacklisted accounts. Once
rescinded, the credit bureaus must remove the judgment
blacklisting; this is because the court has made the
Adverse Information and blacklisted data can also be removed
on instruction by the creditor. While members of the Credit
Providers Association will only remove the adverse
information in limited circumstances, most other creditors
will do so following payment of the account.
Administration, Debt Counselling and Sequestration notices
can also be removed following application to court.
Who can help me fix my credit record?
Credit repair is the general term used to describe the
removal of negative listings from your credit record. While
many companies advertise that they are able to remove
blacklisted data, they often promise more than they can
It is also important to remember that in terms of South
African law (Notice 169 issued under the Harmful Business
Practices Act), you should only pay an attorney upfront to
help you in this regard. Credit repair agencies other than
practising attorneys are not permitted to collect an upfront
fee, because they often fail to perform the advertised
credit repair services.
It is always better to approach a registered firm of
attorneys, which charges a fixed fee to rescind court
judgements and blacklisted accounts or negotiate the
amendment or removal of Adverse Information.
Beware of paying upfront fees to problematic credit repair
agencies such as Credit Clear or Credit Fix - not only do
you stand to lose your money without anything being done,
but you will have acted as an accessory in helping the
credit repair agency break the law.
Why is credit repair discouraged by Banks and other credit
When a Bank can charge you more interest because you have a
poor credit record it will have an easy excuse to do so. It
is obviously not in their best interests to help you qualify
to pay less. That is the main reason why they discourage you
taking action to improve your credit record.
In addition, when a Bank or any other credit provider adds a
negative listing to your credit record they limit your
ability to get credit elsewhere - this allows them to hold
you hostage so that you have to take up their credit
facilities rather than one of their competitors. Standard
Bank, Capitec and some other creditors go so far as to
withhold consent to the rescission of a judgment - to make
it harder to have the judgment rescinded.
While Banks and credit providers often play down the
importance of credit repair, everyone in the credit granting
industry knows that it is essential to have a good credit
record if you are to qualify for credit or get it cheaply.
Correcting false information on your credit record
If, on the other hand, you never had an account with the
creditor that blacklisted you, or were blacklisted after you
settled your account, report the matter to the Credit
Information Ombud. The Credit Information Ombud will only
investigate the matter after you have lodged a complaint and
obtained a reference number with the relevant credit
bureau(s) and waited 30 (thirty) days for them to respond,
but it is a free service and provided the listing was made
in error, it will be removed. It is important to understand
that the Credit Information Ombud is appointed by Credit
Providers and does not assist consumers to remove
blacklisted information from their credit record - he simply
facilitates the correction of credit data.
Know whether you are Blacklisted or not.
You can do an
blacklisted check and check your credit records to find
out if you may be blacklisted for unpaid debts. Keeping
abreast of your credit status will give you peace of mind
when you next apply for credit. Checking and knowing whether
you are blacklisted is important and consumers and should be
done at least once a year.
Consumers are entitled to one free credit report a year
according to the National Credit Act. You should check your
credit record at the credit bureau, especially when you have
been refused credit or told you that you have a bad record
or are blacklisted. Many blacklisted people feel embarrassed
when they apply for a loan with a lender only to find out
they have a blacklisted account against their name due to
previously un-paid debts. Transunion ITC will do a
blacklisted check for you.
In any case, no matter who you go to when you need a loan
from a financial institute they will always run a
blacklisted check to see if you are a high risk to lend
money to. The best you can do is to run a blacklisted check
on your name to know your credit score and rating before you
approach a lender. You can apply for a loan without knowing
your score, but it is always best to be prepared and to do a
blacklisted check to know your credit rating before you fill
out any applications to get finance.
If you have done a
check and discovered that you are indeed blacklisted,
there is help. A professional counsellor will guide you with
the utmost of integrity and understanding of your situation,
to a successful and satisfactory way to clear your debt and
work out a plan that will help pay your debt back, clear
your name, and get all your