Are you drowning in debt? You might even find that you are no longer in a position to service your loans and debts. Not paying your debts on time, every time, will have a negative impact on your credit history.

This could reflect negatively on your credit profile when applying for a loan. A credit provider will look at your credit report when considering your credit application. If you are blacklisted by any of South Africa's credit bureaus, you will probably not be eligible for a loan.

Your credit risk and personalised credit profile is based on late payments, non-payments, debt review, balances on credit cards, and more. If you're in the red on a lot of these, credit reporting agencies will give you a bad credit score. There are, however, ways to get that loan. Getting clearance from credit bureaus is easier than you think! 

  1. Service your debts on time

    Have you ever been unable to service your debts? Have you incurred unnecessary debt? Failing to pay your debts could have long-lasting consequences on your life. The next time you apply for credit, they could flag your name. Being flagged means you are not eligible for a loan.

    A good example is not paying your credit cards and other credit providers. These include furniture accounts and other store accounts. Not paying your small accounts could mean you don't qualify for a bond or other big purchases. Unpaid accounts could then negatively affect your credit score.

    There is, however, good news. It is possible to clear your name with registered credit bureaus in South Africa. You can get the credit status you need to get that loan or bond, simply by regularly making payments on your debts.

  2. Make arrangements with credit providers.

    To improve your credit score and get approval for a loan, sorting out your current debts is important. An easy way to get on top of debts is to make arrangements with your creditors. You can either discuss a repayment plan you can afford or ask them for a settlement figure.

  3. Consider a "bad credit loan"

    Did you know you could still get access to credit even if you have a bad credit history? You need not despair or give up hope, even if you are considered high-risk by the bigger lending institutions. How? It's called a bad credit loan.

    Could I still qualify for a loan if I have a bad credit record?

    You could still get a loan if your creditors have taken action against you. A credit lender might still assist you with a personal loan. The loan would be designed specifically for those with a poor payment history.

    Many non-traditional lending institutions have seen a gap in lending. These lenders often offer online loans. You could still benefit by finding credit offers to help you, even if you have a bad credit record.

    You won't be the first individual with a poor credit history and bad debt to apply for a loan. There are many individuals looking for a loan — individuals just like you! Many of us have outstanding debts. 

  4. Consider a consolidation loan

    Another solution could be a debt consolidation loan. This is an affordable payment arrangement with lower interest rates, where smaller debts are pooled together. By consolidating your debts, you can pay them off quicker. This can help resuscitate your low credit score. Major credit bureaus won't pick that score up instantly, but it will give you an advantage over time.

  5.  Find out more about your poor credit history

    How can I find out the basics about credit? Where will I find out more about credit bureau clearance in South Africa? It is advisable to presume nothing, especially regarding your financial situation.

    You might find it useful to know your credit score before applying for a credit card or a loan. Do you know your credit status and credit reputation? Maybe you think it is in the red, when it is actually doing okay.

    It could benefit you to request a credit report. This is a great way to find out about your financial status. Your payment profile isn't affected by all non-payments. For example, if you don't pay your municipal account on time, it doesn't affect your score.

    Get Your Free Credit Report From African Bank!

    At African Bank, we care about you and your financial well-being. That’s why you can get a free credit report with us. Even if you don’t have an African Bank product, you can still benefit from a free credit report from us!

    Your free credit report means you could be on your way to improving your credit score. This could your first step in the right direction.

    What is my credit score?

    • A credit score is a measure of your credit worthiness.
    • Your credit score is based on your credit profile. 
    • They hold it at the TransUnion Credit Bureau.
    • You have every right to find out your credit rating at the credit bureau.
    • Your credit score is a personal asset and your key to financial security and greater financial freedom.
    • It could also be your investment in your future by helping you understand your financial history. Negative listings on your score can help you understand which mistakes to avoid and how to get a better score with major bureaus.
    • Your score is a one-number rating summarising your credit reputation. The report goes into detail about your unpaid debts and financial health based on information legally provided by your creditors

Where can I get my credit report?

You can view your credit score on the African Bank App or by clicking "Register" above. Some bureaus offer a once-off report that is only free once a year, or you can pay to see your report frequently.

The benefits of a good credit score

Did you know? When applying for credit, your credit providers do a credit check at the credit bureau. This will determine whether your credit worthiness and your ability to repay any credit will hold water.

  • A good credit score could help you get that job you always dreamed of having.
  • Your healthy credit score is your gateway to a cellphone contract.
  • Are you dreaming of owning your own place or renting? This could be the first step in the right direction.
  • A good credit score could get you the wheels you always dreamed of.
  • If education is close to your heart, a great credit score could help with tertiary fees.

 You can get your free credit report now!

At African Bank, it is our purpose to advance lives. We care about your financial wellbeing. As a valued customer, we offer you unlimited access to your FREE credit report. You will be able to check your credit score every time you log on to the African Bank App or internet banking.

African Bank respects your privacy and confidentiality. We will only make this information available to you based on your stated consent.

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